The modern American society has become accustomed to the expectation of instant gratification at every turn. In the quest for such, there has been an exponential increase in fast food, stores of convenience, the use of Google for every kind of inquiry, all kinds of knowledge and technology at the fingertips of the average person in the promise of saving time and money and various forms of accelerated results without the necessary preparation.
This same kind of "on-demand" expectation has bled over into every area of society, and it is a direct contributor to the modern invention of the 24-hour news cycle and subsequent specialized news services.
With the public demand at an all-time high, networks, websites and various news agencies have created specialized programming and publications to suit the needs of the many various groups, fans and interested parties.
In a desperate quest to fulfill the appetite of the ever growing information beast, many of those assigned the task of keeping the public satisfied have begun to reach into areas that were once mundane, uninteresting and even off-limits.
Now, before you think that this is a self-righteous diatribe directed at the "system," understand that nothing could be farther from the truth. One of the many things that makes America great is the quest to become better, stronger, faster and yes—even more informed.
However, as the old saying goes; "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." There are some foundational principals that shouldn't be set aside in the rush to advance.
Other things that make this nation great are hard work, dedication and yes even the "P" word. That word is patience, and no farmer, artist, computer programmer, college student or parent could make it through this hectic, fast paced world without a little bit of this often villainized, but much needed, commodity.
So, what in the world does this have to do with Coach Petersen, Boise State and their quarterback?
Well, be patient.
Coach Petersen loves competition within his own team. He believes that it is healthy to have his players challenge each other day in and day out. In an article published in the Idaho Statesman, Petersen is quoted about his love for competition:
Competition is what it’s all about. If there’s one theme that possibly runs through our program, that would be the one that I get most excited about. So I hope we have a lot of competition at all groups. … When you have someone breathing on you and challenging you every day, that’s good. That’s healthy, and we like that. That’s one of the reasons that we are excited about this, because I think there are a lot of unknowns, but there a lot of guys that are hungry and ready to go hard.
One of the biggest reasons Petersen has not named a starter seems to be for the simple fact that competition will create a better starter. This might explain why he is in no hurry to name "the guy," and why his answers to repeated media questioning about the subject seem to be getting shorter and shorter.
Matt Johnson published an article on KLEWTV.com that quoted Petersen after the recent fall scrimmage. You can almost see Petersen's expression when you read the comments.
"Joe has earned some good reps," said Petersen. "I've said this before; when we've got the starting quarterback we'll tell you guys."
Coach Petersen seems very content with not naming a starter until he is ready and believes his process has been played out.
This is not the first time Petersen has done this either. In 2008, just ten days before the opener against Idaho State, Coach Pete named a redshirt freshman as his starting quarterback. Of course, that quarterback was Kellen Moore, and the rest is history.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist or anyone with above average intelligence to figure out that strategy might come into play here. By not naming a starting quarterback, Petersen doesn't allow his opponent—in this case the Michigan State Spartans—to know for sure who they will face on opening day.
Not that Michigan State won't be prepared for whoever the Broncos line up at quarterback, but it is a small distraction when a coaching staff doesn't know exactly what or who to expect. The simple fact that not much game film exists on any of the four quarterback contenders is probably a bit frustrating for those who are trying to plan and prepare.
Even if it is only a small advantage in not naming a starter, it is still an advantage. In a game that can come down to one pass, one run, one play and yes, even one kick, coaches are looking for any kind of advantage they can get. No matter how small it is.
Does waiting to name a starting quarterback help Boise State beat Michigan State? Who knows. However, it probably doesn't hurt.
Aw, the "P" word. As mentioned before, patience is a key factor in the way Coach Petersen coaches. Think about all of the "so called" no-star or two-star recruits that Coach Pete has taken into his program and over the years developed into amazing players.
Look no further than the crop of amazing players from last year's squad that are now wearing NFL uniforms. When you think about the progress Petersen has made in his six seasons as head coach it really is quite remarkable.
Like patient farmers, Coach Petersen and his staff have mastered the art of sowing and reaping. They have invested time, energy, knowledge, wisdom and passion in their players and reaped a harvest of success, character and a winning tradition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson had one of the best ever quotes about such matters.
Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.
This is exactly what coach Chris Petersen has done over the years, and what he continues to do every day. So is it any wonder that this patient coach is taking his time in naming a starter?
Coach Petersen obviously wants to wait until he, his staff, his team and his quarterback are ready before he announces his decision. There is nothing wrong with that.
In a world where everything seems to be screaming "Now!," Coach Petersen should be commended for his ability to slow down the process and wait for the crop to mature.
The process seems to be working for him, and the last time he waited to name a starter until the final days of fall practice it didn't turn out all that bad.