An Open Letter To Dan Hawkins: Give Us Our Program Back
To Mister Daniel Hawkins:
On December 16, 2005, I was firm in my belief that Colorado football had the chance to be nationally relevant once again. The glory days, not long gone, of Chris Brown, DJ Hackett, and Daniel Graham and back further to Kordell Stewart, Rashaan Salaam, and the like were back; the Hawk was going to lead the Buffaloes back to the promised land. The Gary Barnett chapter in our history was sealed and closed. Conference championships, BCS games, and national attention were in our immediate future.
All that before this:2-10, 6-7, 5-7, and one of the ugliest 0-1 starts in my memory. I backed you after your first season; you had no solid quarterback play, the defense was shoddy at best, and our offensive line was something to scoff at. There were those pesky recruiting sanctions. You were still adjusting to a big time conference after your stunning success at college football's most consistent mid-major program. We thought you were fired up after the season. "It's Division One football! It's the Big XII! It ain't intramurals."
Your second season showed marked improvement, and with your son at the helm we believed the Hawkins family had Colorado on the upswing. The upset of Oklahoma in Boulder had everyone in the state talking about you once again. Bringing in recruits like J-Fly Josh Smith showed that we would eventually be able to compete with the other high caliber offenses in the conference. But 2008 was a huge step back. Despite bringing in Darrell Scott, who you have absolutely ruined, and a big non-conference win against West Virginia, you still managed only two wins in conference play and we watched a Buff-less bowl season.
Coming into 2009 we, the collective we, Buffalo Nation, we believed that you had the right pieces in place for success. A third year starter in Cody Hawkins, thunder and lightning in Scott and Stewart, and a strong returning pass defense in the pass-happiest conference in the game.
We had the Colorado State Rams, the hated Rams from just up I-25, forty minutes away, in our house. A chance to crush our biggest rival outside of Nebraska in front of the student body and the national television audience. And you blew it. You blew it like the wolf and the house made of straw. You blew it like Bobby Brown's deviated septum. Here are some examples of how:
You gave Darrell Scott, our best and biggest recruit in who knows how long, one carry and one pass. ONE CARRY and ONE PASS. Yeah, he returned kicks, but he is obviously not the best choice on the team for that. You should have run upwards of 17 carries with Scott straight up the gut, and everyone with a pulse in that stadium knew it, form the drunken co-eds to the Boulder yuppies' small children.
When we were down (the entire game), instead of throwing it down field, you continuously threw screens, outs, and slants no further then ten yards down the field. When you did actually send it deep, Andre Simmons, who was brought in to replace the deep threat of Josh Smith, actually showed some promise. But that was apparently for not, as your short passing game and east-west running charade, the exact opposite of what you should be doing (and it's sad, to me, that the entire stadium knew what you should be doing, wanted you to do it, nay, BEGGED you to do it, and you refused), was all you could give us.
At the half, down 20-3, it seemed over. But the Buffs came storming out of the gate and, so it seemed, made the necessary adjustments to destroy the no-good-dirty-rotten-stinking-Rams. That is until the second drive of the half, where all that promise turned into the old three yard pass for another three and out offense kicked in. You did not convert a third down until the LAST DRIVE OF THE GAME. With four minutes left, you did not call a play with a pass that went pass the line of scrimmage.
And lastly, and, to me, most importantly: You chose family ties over success on the football field. You chose 5'10'', tiny, little Cody Hawkins over 6'3'', dual-threat Tyler Hansen to lead the team. Don't get me wrong, you would have lost this game either way, Steve Fairchild put together a tremendous game-plan and fields the best offensive line in the game, but Hansen would have been competitive. He would have been able to gun the ball down field, and see and escape the pressure that constantly hounded your son Cody.
Mike Bohn has consistently backed you, giving you over a million dollars a year and a contract extension that lasts until 2012, and believe me, if this charade keeps up, it will truly be the end of the world for the Colorado Buff faithful.
However, you have a chance to right the ship. Bench your son. It may lead to some awkward family dinners, but the truth is, the fans don't really care about that, just wins. Unleash the beast that is Darrell Scott. This guy looked so good when he got here that George Hypolite, the much-missed star defensive tackle from last season, was predicting a Heisman for him by his junior season.
The once proud Colorado program does not deserve your apparent destruction of the team. Head my advice. Do this, and BoCo and the rest of the Buffalo faithful will be calling for a toast, not your head.
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