No one cares and no one will. Not until North Texas football wins something of substance. The long days between March Madness and Fall Football are filled with the hunger pangs for information, for validation, to feed the hope that our little team won’t disappoint us this season, and – if it isn’t too greedy to even contemplate – maybe win something important.
Enterprising writers – you might think about jotting down the transformations taking place in Denton. Capture the moments as Seth Littrell takes his charges through the paces with –gasp— thin playbooks, excitement, and a whiff of modern football philosophy. Who knows – the anecdotes of these early days might be the legendary insights into the start of a legendary career? The mild skepticism of some of the oldest timers might serve as a nice contrast. Perhaps summate the early skeptics’ arguments down to a glance or a quote from one particularly interesting fan? Perhaps a summary of the message board would suffice to encapsulate the naysayers? Maybe you writers could grab the comparisons made between Dodge and Littrell and eviscerate that awful comment with some biting literary device? This could be big! Hope!
As I continue my own transition from enthused fan to pessimistic alumnus I see now the rationale of the angry complainers that used to frustrate me. “It’s the same old thing”, they’d say then. And I’d argue that hope was essential. “Hope is how they dupe you again and again”, they’d retort.
They are right until they are wrong. Every season is disappointing until you either adjust your expectation levels or your favorite team exceeds them wildly. You might hit the jackpot of emotion, like the lucky fools who bet big on Leicester City against all reason. Or you might slowly bankrupt your emotional capacity for sporting hope by dutifully betting big that your junk stock of a team will turn it around.
No one wants to jump off the bandwagon right before something amazing happens. Long time sports masochist that I am, I followed the losingest North Texas football team. When they won the 2014 HOD bowl it all felt like it was kind of sort of worth it. All that losing and all those empty stadiums, and all those sparsely read blog posts were worth it. I’m sure there’s a word for this phenomenon. I figure it is a part of being human. Irrational devotion to a seemingly lost cause is so much of a fallacy of human thinking that it practically defines human thinking.
While I’m interested in Littrell’s Spring exploits, and while I realize their importance to the overall production of a Good Football Team, I can’t allow myself to play the emotional slot machine just yet. I have to save my money for the Fall.