Standing up for our football team

The football team has suffered another loss, this time to the Virginia Cavaliers. I don’t think anyone expected the Hurricanes to have such a poor season, and undoubtedly, more people will be complaining in the upcoming weeks, as in weeks past, about their performance. I, however, will not be one of them.

As the captain of my football team in high school, I know what it is like to win championships, and I know what it is like to lose. The last thing this team needs is the entire school complaining and whining about how they have lost so many games. Undoubtedly, however, that is what will happen, and certainly has happened, in the next couple of weeks. Complaining and rambling is only going to create more problems for our team. After all, they are our team, and we need to support them.

It’s rather easy to throw nachos at the TV and scream “you suck” at Kyle Wright when he throws an interception, isn’t it? It’s rather easy to criticize Larry Coker and say how he should be fired, isn’t it? It’s rather easy to boo our team off the field, isn’t it? It is rather easy. However, it’s not easy to go out on the field, oftentimes in front of national television, and win game after game. It is not easy to win games, and we shouldn’t be so critical of our team. It is much more complicated than many of our students think; frankly, too many of our students don’t have a clue as to the complexities of the game to be justified in their judgments about this team.

Of course, tragically, our team and school is devastated by the loss of student-athlete Bryan Pata. His loss has obviously taken a toll on our team, as could be expected. He was their teammate, their leader, and most importantly, their good friend. Last week, I heard television commentators asking why our team didn’t come out and play harder in light of his tragic passing.

I however, did see a team that was playing as hard as they could. But this is not Hollywood, and there are no scripts. These players are feeling the loss of their good friend, and to tell you the truth, we need to support them as much as we can, rather than criticizing their level of play and their talent. While I feel humbled at the loss of Bryan Pata, I – and most of you – did not know him personally, and cannot know the personal anguish that many of those players are experiencing.

So, before many of you begin rambling on the Facebook about how we need to fire Larry Coker or about how our team “stinks,” I ask that you change your outlook, and realize how difficult all of this is. Not only is it hard enough to win games in the real world, but it is even harder when a team experiences a hardship like this. This is not a video game, it is not easy – so grow up, and root our team on.

Chris is a senior majoring in philosophy. He dedicates this article to the family and friends of Bryan Pata. He may be reached at