This isn’t express mail. The results go through a process that takes some time to be delivered.
This is football. In the case of our Canes, the process involved going through a long and stormy road. The physicality, talent and game planning take a few years of development and even longer if the foundation was in shambles before.
I think sometimes we Canes fans forget or are unaware of the disarray in previous seasons: the infamous UM-FIU football brawl in 2006, the first losing record in almost a decade in 2007, and the blowout loss at the Sun Bowl in 2010 (the last bowl appearance for the team).
The Shapiro scandal, too, had its obvious effects. This scandal signaled a withering of the ethical fabric in the program before Coach Golden arrived, which had its contaminating effects on the football culture of the program.
These are not excuses, however. These are merely reasons for Canes fans to understand that the foundations of the program had been in shambles and that it requires time to rebuild.
There were plenty of bright spots that point to clear progress this past season: the offensive sparks that lit up in the running game, the game changing interceptions by the defensive backs and the booming punts and precise field goal kicking by the special teams.
The team was undefeated for most of the season, and now finishes the regular season at 9-3, with an opportunity for a ten-win season with the upcoming bowl game.
There is more excitement to look for in the upcoming seasons, though. The incoming recruiting class is rated among the top in the nation, within the ranks of such SEC football powerhouses as Alabama and Georgia. The NCAA investigation is in the rear-view mirror, and there is nothing but a clear road ahead.
Now is the time to instill confidence in our team and its leadership. Coach Al Golden continues to stress integrity and character for the team, making the players leaders on and off the football field.
The players and coaching staff want to return back to championship football just as much as we the fans do, but playing this caliber of football takes time to build.
Let’s do our part as fans by putting our faith behind the team, brushing aside the criticisms and appreciating the 2013 season. Only time will tell, but it may very well be worth it.
Raymond La is a junior majoring in microbiology.