In post-practice interviews with the media Collie showed no love for BYU fans reaction to the fourth straight Las Vegas Bowl. Here's what he had to say: (found in Deseret News Blog)
"The fans don't even play the game. Just go and watch football for the love. Man, we went 10-2 this year again and we're going to a bowl game. This will be the only time in history we can win three consecutive bowl games. If I'm a BYU fan, I'm looking at that as a positive outcome for the season and a positive for the team.Couldn't agree more Austin. I get tired of BYU fans being down about playing in this game again. I'm actually more excited for this matchup than any other Las Vegas Bowl matchup we've had there since 2005.
If you're complaining about what bowl game you have to go to, you're not a true fan. Put that in there."
If you have to force yourself to get motivated for a BYU Football game, a bowl game no less, don't call yourself a Fully Invested Fan, or hell even a BYU fan for that matter.
Now I'm not saying I'm the greatest BYU Football on the planet, I'm not. There's someone out there I'm sure that's a bigger and better fan, and that's great. But I do pride myself on being a loyal BYU fan. No matter what I always try to put a positive spin on the program. I never get down on these teams. Now guys like Cecil O. Samuelson, different story. But all in all I try to be an eternal optimist. Why get down and out? Its Cougar Football! This is the last football game were gonna see till September 2009, well unless you count the Blue-White Scrimmage. But still, it only comes 13 times a year the actual games. Get pumped about it, and cherish it.
I've never understood the mindset of fan bases anymore, and this is with any team across the country. Its just give up, win now, fire this coach fire that coach, etc. I get annoyed with it and its almost caused an elitist attitude on my part, I guess. I just get frustrated with how people act towards any of their teams. I rarely encounter a fan who is just there through thick and thin.
One of my biggest gripes with BYU fans has always been the lack of respect for Gary Crowton. I'm probably one of the few people who still respects what he did as a Head Coach at BYU. It's always a pet peeve of mine, when I see these BYU message boards and people post with titles such as, "Oh, I traveled with the team during the Crowton years." Or when people call local sports radio shows and say, "I've been a die-hard Cougar fan for years and I even put up with the Gary Crowton years and went to every home game still." Just stuff along those lines. Oh so it was so tough being a fan during those years? My personal view during that time was that BYU was snake bit. No confidence due to lack of support from fans at home games. I mean when the team was playing better away from Provo you know there's a problem. The negativity towards Crowton during his tenure has since left a bitter taste for me with BYU fans. People act like he was the biggest idiot there was, but if it wasn't for him we would have never seen John Beck step on a field. When Cougar fans were pleading for Matt Berry at QB, Crowton believed in Beck saying he would be one of the all-time greats at BYU by the time his career is over; and people just thought Crowton was high up in the night. Guys like Jonny Harline, Dennis Pitta, Austin Collie, Todd Watkins, never come to BYU probably if it wasn't for Crowton. People tend to forget that.
I could go on and on with this group. The negativity towards the hire of Bronco in December of 2004. Everyone was devastated that the program didn't get Whittingham. I remember the knock on Bronco was his lack of ability to recruit and his disinterest in making recruiting visits, but I wasn't all too concerned with that because the one trip Bronco made in his tenure as Defensive Coordinator, a trip to see Vince Feula, who at the time was a HUGE get for the program a 4-star JC transfer out of Cerritos who was gonna go to Utah had it not been for the visit by Bronco and Crowton.
Then when Bronco started his first season in 2005, the bad start he had. Everyone was just ready to jump ship after that San Diego State game, then everyone believed again after the New Mexico win. What kind of attitude is that?
Since, Bronco hasn't received as much slack, until the TCU game where the Firesides are now being mocked by some BYU "fans" and think Bronco's recruiting tactics bring no speed to the program. Then they mock the "The Quest" shirts thinking Bronco was actually referring to it as a Undefeated season. When Bronco said it had nothing to do with that I would take Bronco's word for it, the man doesn't say things for the hell of it. But that doesn't mean anything to BYU fans. 10-2 record is pathetic now apparently in Cougar Town. BCS every year is whats expected apparently. Four tough non-conference games is what we must schedule every year according to Cougar Fandom. And on and on and on. It seriously gets old.
I wasn't planning on posting all this, but its a topic that has always eeked at me and I have some strong views on it. I don't want to see a coach like Mendenhall walk away from the game in three years because all the stress this job and fan base has caused him. To me, Bronco has already reached a status where he leaves BYU on his own terms. Regardless of wins and losses, lack of difficult scheduling, or whatever. What Bronco says goes in Cougar Town, in my opinion.
So Bronco, Austin or anyone with BYU's Athletic Department that might come acrossed thisl; just know there are two fans on this little blog that win or lose, bowl game no bowl game, were here for the long haul and will support these programs no matter what, and be Fully Invested along the way.
I love Bronco. I love Austin Collie. And I love BYU Athletics.