If you haven't watched the video of Drew Allen answering questions yesterday from Syracuse.com, I suggest you go check it out.
Man, now that's a guy who's had a rough couple weeks. Allen can barely hide the frustration, contempt and, let's admit it, anger he's feeling over his reign as Syracuse's starting quarterback, a reign that has in all likelihood come to an end.
It's one of the those interviews where what he's saying is less important than what he's obviously not saying.
I think it's easy to watch that video and say, "Dude, you're deluded" or "Clearly you haven't seen what we've seen." But I'd like to take a moment to defend Master Allen if I could.
1. I've had moments in my professional career when I've disappointed people, felt the effects of lackluster results and had to grin and bear it while everyone around me tried to make up for the fact that I failed at my job. Thank God there weren't a dozen people with microphones and cameras around constantly asking me the same probing, personal questions over and over and over.
2. I get why Allen (very cleary) thinks he still deserves the top spot. I don't care what he actually said, that much was made clear. And I get it. Allen had to bear the brunt of going against Penn State's best players and followed it up by having to try and do the impossible against Northwestern. Terrel Hunt, for as great as he's done, has basically excelled against JV squads. Hell, you could argue Wagner was a middle school squad.
Allen is the varsity quarterback being replaced by the JV quarterback even though the JV quarterback hasn't actually played a varsity team yet.
3. I'm going to guess, and this is simply a guess, that consciously or subconsciously, many of the SU players want Hunt to be the quarterback. I do NOT think anyone is dogging it when Allen is in. I do NOT think anyone is doing anything but playing to their best ability all the time. But you've got Terrel, whose been with the team for a couple years and probably has strong friendships with a lot of the guys on offense. And then you've got Drew, this interloper from Oklahoma who came in with all this hype and "stole" Terrel's job. I don't think people are openly rooting for Hunt over Allen on the team, but I think there's probably a lot of energy being directed that way. And whether we admit it or not, we feel those things on some level.
4. Unfortunately, the vocal minority always seems to loom louder than the quiet majority. And the vocal minority has been calling for Allen to be benched since the first quarter of the Penn State game. For people like Allen and Allen's family, they notice the vocal minority way before they notice the quiet majority, so the vocal minority becomes the majority in their minds. So he's probably got it in his head that most Syracuse fans have wanted him gone since Week 1. And that's a shame. But it's hard not to see how that creates a me-against-the-world mentality (The "haterz effect," if you will).
Drew has always said the perfect thing in interviews since he arrived at Syracuse, just like Greg Paulus did when he signed on for mercenary duty four years ago. Paulus had the uncanny ability not to break character no matter what but, for better or worse, Drew can't help himself. Despite continuing to say the perfect things, his body language, demeanor and pauses give him away in this interview. He's human after all. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Drew's still got some fight left and Syracuse fans should be happy to see that. As he says, even if Hunt remains the starter, he wants the coaches to know that in case of emergency, they can break the glass and Drew Allen can be counted on. If that situation arises, I do hope he gets to prove that it's true.