Boise State fans have to be weary of the criticism their team is bombarded with year after year.
It seems that many commentators, television talking heads, self-appointed experts and fans of the so-called, and self-proclaimed "college football royalty," are never short in their disparaging diatribe directed at the Boise State program.
Bronco fans can quote the numbers and statistics in response, but all they hear back is, "well, that's because you never play anyone."
So, after years of hearing that kind of criticism, Boise State schedules out of conference away games with so called "elite" programs and battles to hard fought victories.
What is the response then? "Well, you played them early in the season", or "well, you only play one tough game all year." The criticism continues with, "your conference is a joke." Or, "why don't you join a better conference."
So, in response Boise State attempts to join a better conference and they are finally accepted into the Mountain West. Of course, by the time they arrive with lunch pail in hand, the best three teams of that conference, BYU, TCU and Utah all bolt for greener pastures. So the "weak conference" criticism continues.
Of course, the Pac-12 doesn't offer a spot in the lineup for the boys in blue, and neither does the Big 12. Critics proclaim, "of course not, your academics, your facilities, your tradition," and the comments go on-and-on.
This critique comes despite the fact Boise State academics have had vast improvements and the football team has finished second in the Academic Bowl Championship Series two years in a row and was recently announced as being tied for second with Duke in the multi-year Academic Progress Rate score among every FBS team.
New academic programs are being added, and new academic buildings are being built. The President of Boise State, Bob Kustra, has a firm commitment for continually improving and elevating the school into a "Metropolitan Research University of Distinction."
Not only that, but the Broncos are currently adding remarkable football facilities and expanding their Stadium. When completed, the Broncos will be able to host 53,000 very loud, very passionate football fans.
Still, it is never enough for those who have nothing but criticism to launch toward them.
In late 2011, a conference with a bit of elevation came calling on Boise State. The Broncos, of course, jumped at the opportunity, unafraid of any challenge. The Big East isn't the Pac-12 or the Big 12, but it is a step above the Mountain West.
However, the critics still complain, "why don't you just stay in the Mountain West?" They continue, "why would a team from Idaho join the Big East?" "That's just stupid," many have clamored.
It seems no matter what the Broncos do, it is never good enough for those who love to hate.
You have to wonder if some of that bitterness comes from a self-righteous, grandiose, selfish, egocentric, highly entitled attitude of pompous postulation form those who believe themselves to be the oracles of all things sacred in the football kingdom?
Quite frankly, BSU fans have to be tired of the arrogant rants of those who think they are somehow better or more important simply because their school has had football since the 1800's.
Sure, Boise State is the new guy on the block. But wasn't that one of the foundational principals of our nation? A country of new-comers who were told, if they worked hard enough, dream big enough and give it everything they have that they would succeed?
So what happened along the way? Did college football forget the very principals that made it great? Do those same entitled elites believe that hard work, dedication and higher aspirations are only for those who they appoint and only when they say they deserve it?
Bronco fans are smart enough to know they have to earn their place at the table, and it seems all of them are fine with that. However, if they haven't earned a spot even at the very end of that same table yet, then what in the world do they have to do?
Now, the Broncos will join a conference in 2013 that is much like themselves. The Big East is never short in its number of critics or naysayers. It is odd to see the vast amount of venomous vituperation of a conference that is simply doing all it can to succeed given the circumstances.
Once again, the Broncos appear to be in the same position they have been for many years now. They are with the rest of the Big East on the outside looking in. It was announced this week that Notre Dame is working to land a deal with the Orange Bowl and the ACC for an automatic bowl tie-in.
This on the heels of the Pac-12 agreement with the Big 10 to schedule more games between the two conferences and to lock down the Rose Bowl. The SEC and Big 12 have also inked their deal, making sure their top teams or even their second-tier teams are included in this so called "new playoff bowl system."
Of course, this is all part of a so-called newer and fairer college football playoff. However, everyday the new system is sure looking a lot like the old system with one difference; more control by the traditional powers of the game.
But take heart, Boise State fans. The Broncos play best when they are underestimated and overlooked. From the blue blood in their veins to the blue chip on their shoulder, the Broncos have a blue-collar work ethic that will continue to prove that hard work and determination do pay off—no matter what some might say.
Coach Petersen said it best in the "Out of the Blue" video that was produced following the Broncos' dramatic win over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
"We cannot take counsel of our fears, our naysayers or the unknown."
Bronco fans, do not be afraid of what is ahead of you and your beloved team. The cream always rises to the top, even if the silver spoon tries to keep it down. Don't worry about the naysayers and critics, because their words are born in jealousy.
Robert A. Heinlein was an American science fiction author that penned a very good definition of jealousy.
“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.”
The Broncos threaten the balance of a boat that long ago needed to be rocked. They are not alone, but they are leading the charge.
Bronco fans, enjoy your team. Enjoy their last year in the Mountain West and their future years in the Big East. Give them the kind of support warranted by their commitment and every drop of sweat falling from their underdog brow.
Stand up, cheer loudly and keep rocking the boat.
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