Wichita State. You say those two words right now on any social media platform or in any public setting and they're sure to elicit some polarizing responses.
Pick your favorite four-letter word and that will be uttered with an accompanying groan. Or you'll get a smile with a Go Shockers! attached to it. Or you could also receive a bitter snark of 'we don't get any respect.'
Pick your poison because that's what most of it is.
I've always said that I shouldn't really complain about the passion that these fans are showing for their teams because that's what keeps me in a job. Passion, yes, that keeps me in my line of work, but not vitriol. Not the hate that is spewing from people's mouths.
If you want to have an adult argument with me, a rational discourse, then I'm all for it. I've seen teenagers, namely Kellen Marshall, have more decorum in arguments about Wichita State than many grown men! And that's including the national writers with which Kellen usually goes to bat!
I can understand why coaches and players don't trust reporters; there are many reporters out there who are only out there to ruffle feathers and start arguments and get 'clicks' so they can keep their jobs. Page views, that's a big buzz word in the world of television and media these days. How many page views are we getting? We are starting to concentrate on getting people looking at our stuff instead of making sure we have quality work at which they can look.
But even when we bring just a fact, a simple sentence about a game time change or an update on where a team is ranked the hate just gets vomited onto the page. It's like we're an entire nation of neglected 6 year olds who are doing anything to get a hug or even a slap.
The funniest part of all of this is we expect these athletes in college to act like adults. We desire them to be mature, we tell them they have to be silent in the face of all the haters. We demand that they turn the other cheek at their most adrenaline-fueled point because well, just because.
How can we expect adult actions out of these teenagers and guys in their early 20's when we aren't even acting like responsible adults? How can we expect guys to stay out of trouble and be mature and responsible when all they hear or see is just how bad they are, how horrible they are, etc. etc.
Gregg Marshall got some great advice from Kirstie Alley last week. She told Marshall and his players, "Don't read your reviews. The positive or the negative ones."
I couldn't agree more, Kirstie. It's just too bad that the blind hatred is so prevalent that we can't avoid it.