Last night I went to an IU football kick off event hosted by the the IU Alumni Association. There was free food, free beer, lots of Hoosiers and special guest speakers.
Athletic Director Fred Glass was there to introduce the main speaker for the night, your coach and mine Bill Lynch.
Lynch spoke for maybe 15 minutes and took some questions from the audience about the Pistol offense, our back up quarterback situation, the new facilities and the outlook for this year’s football team.
But the conversation that I found myself involved in most often, whether it was with the ’73 and ’62 Alumni I sat with during the speech, or with a former Hoosier football player from the Rose Bowl Team and Coach Lynch himself, was about getting the students excited about the team, creating an atmosphere of excitement in Memorial Stadium and generally getting people involved in IU football again.
Or, as I like to think of it, the same conversation Hoosier fans have every year.
There are two ways to get people excited about your program, and we saw both of them work a few years ago. The first, and most important, way is to win.
If IU puts a fun, exciting and successful program on the field people will fill the stadium. You want proof? Go back and watch the Purdue game from 2007. That place was packed with excited fans. Hoosiers want to get excited about IU football, but they need a reason.
Give us a winning football team and watch the fans show up.
The second way, and this is only a short term fix because if the team doesn’t win eventually this won’t do much, is to hire a coach who is vibrant, exciting and a great pitch man for the program. Terry Hoeppner was all of that and more. He was excited about IU football, and he made us excited about it as well.
I’m in no position to tell you if someone is a good X’s and O’s football coach, having never played the game in my life, but I can tell you this. After watching him talk last night and then speaking to him for 15 minutes after that, Bill Lynch does not have the ability to get the fan base fired up.
He may be a great X’s and O’s guy. I can’t say, but the purpose of last night’s event was to get us excited and ready for a great IU football season.
My mood, as I left there last night, can best be described as cautiously optimistic.
I don’t make it to many football games. The drive from Chicago is a bit much to do every week, but I make it to at least one game a year. I do, however, watch every game on TV, which puts me on the high end of the Committed IU Football Fan Scale.
If you can’t make me excited, then you can’t make anyone excited.
The theme song for last night’s event is a little something I like to call Bill Lynch is excited.
It’s my computer reading the lyrics to “I”m so Excited” by the Pointer Sisters while we watch paint dry. Enjoy.