I know we can be an itchy, impatient bunch, but it's been a while since I've seen Orange Nation collectively quit on a football team like we did Friday night. Somewhat understandably given what we've seen and what lies ahead, but one thing became clear...
We needed someone to pull us back from the brink.
We needed an "adult" to step in and tell the fanbase that the team gets it, they're not happy about it, in fact they're angrier then you are and they're going to fix it.
That's all. That's all you can do, really. At least for the moment.
Instead, we got a defensive Scott Shafer trying to make us feel bad with a case of the Perspectives. Shafer obviously came into the press conference angry over the reaction he had heard and/or expected to hear and took it out on the reporters and the fans for demanding the quality that we'd been promised. I get it. I might feel the same way if I had to listen to boos in my home stadium. But...still. This is the job.
So if we're not going to get what we need from our coach, perhaps we could get it from our quarterback. I'm not one for guys "doing things the right way" and all that but I do appreciate a team leader who can step up, take the blame on their shoulders, deflect blame from his or her teammates, and let everyone know that they're on the case. There's power in that. It's reassuring.
Unfortunately, Terrel Hunt doesn't seem to be that guy. I remember thinking to myself after the game, "I wonder just how passive-aggresive Terrel's first post-game tweet will be." That's what he did following The Punch Heard Round The Dome instead of just owning responsibility, so I assumed the same might be coming.
I hate being right, you guys.
They gone love you when you up and hate you when you down— Cameo Rel♠ (@Rel_Hunt10) October 4, 2014
That's it. Sigh.
Not a good look for our team leaders. Not a good look following a game in which both players and coaches seemed absolutely shocked to learn that we had no timeouts with seconds remaining in the second quarter, letting a critical scoring chance slip away. Not a good look following another game of dumbfounding offensive play-calling. Not a good look when both the coach and QB are openly indifferent towards the fanbase.
Apparently, Sean Hickey pulled the team aside in the locker room after the game (check Stephen Bailey's timeline) and tried to remind them that last year's squad started 2-3 and went to a bowl game. He tried to instill in them a sense of urgency and a realization that we're not out of this just yet. That no matter how bad things look in this moment, all it takes is one spark to turn things around.
Good to hear. Someone taking the time to tell SU fans the same thing would sure go a long way. But will anyone do it?