Death, Taxes, and Fans
Nothing has changed in the history of Longhorn sports between “passionate” fans and the coaches since the early years of Longhorn sports history. In 1894 Coach Wentworth with a 6-1 record, 1908 Coach Metzenthis with a 11-5-1 record, and 1915 Coach Allerdice with a 33-7 record, all resign because of what they consider as the "super critical nature of the Texas fans."
The University even passed a resolution to try and stop these unruly Longhorn fans in 1915.
In 1950 Coach Cherry decides to resign after compiling a 32-10 record at Texas because he receives letters and phone calls from the fans that are alarming. One letter says "Boy you're on the spot. If you don't win you'd better not come home." In his exit statement he said " While much is made of the fact that most coaches are paid more than college presidents, the financial rewards are an insufficient attraction when the hazards are all considered." "I'm going into the oil business which is simpler than football coaching. You dig a hole , and oil comes out or it doesn't." Author and former Longhorn football player R.E. Peppy Blount says in his book titled Mamas, don’t let your babies grow to play Football that it was frustrating to him when Cherry quit. Blount said“The overzealous ex-student and super fan is the anathema of every college football coach.”
Billy Disch once said of the fans and media " The 'hot air' league, in session during the Summer months has done its share of (projecting) winning intercollegiate championships for Texas. The state papers have been full of 'wonderful prospects,' etc., and it is these false assertions (from media and social media) that have impressed themselves upon the mind of the public which should be disspelled."
In September 1956 The Ranger paper states that "Texas fans in both basketball and football are considered rude, ruthless, and unforgiving." The article goes on to say "although the alumni have many ways of reaching a football game, they usually ride the coaches."
In 1959 with the team 8-0 the San Antonio Express stated that Royal benched Lackey for quarreling with him at half time . Royal denies it to the critical fans and in frustration says “ After winning eight straight, suddenly the players are out of shape, there’s dissension in the club, and we are under clad.”
Royal expressed his own opinion of Longhorn fans when he said "Everyone graduates with a coaching degree." In 1971 Coach Royal Says Of The Longhorn Fans " We're Beginning To Develop Some Difficult Fans. They Don't Understand There's No Such Person As King Kong And That When You Start Thinking There Is, You Can Get Ready To Wipe Your Bloody Nose." Royal thought the media could be the worse fans, but he understood their role so he said “Keep ‘em sullen but not defiant”.
Aker’s had the funniest remark about critical Longhorn fans when he said "that's what coaching has in common with the world's oldest profession. It's not the long hours that get you; it's the amateur competition.
Fans are even critical of players off the field. In a great game for Harley Sewell in the 1953 Cotton Bowl a fan complains to J.T. King that he saw Sewell dipping snuff. King said to the fan "If you'll find out what brand Harley is dipping, I'll recommend it to the whole damn team."
In more contemporary times many fans have crossed the line at the expense of acceptable norms of behavior and common sense. In 2004 after losing to OU (again) a growing number of Texas fans thought Coach Brown should be to replaced even though he had a .800 conference winning percentage over seven seasons!!! In 2004 many fans called him Coach February (letter of intent signing month) which implied he was a great recruiter but not a great football coach. Mack won the national championship the next year.
And then there is Coach Strong
I know I am swimming up stream with this comment, but logic states that if fans public support helps recruiting then a fans public criticism hurts recruiting.
Since 2009 Longhorn fans have used social media to vent their frustration about the direction of the Longhorn football program. Unfortunately, the internet does not screen content for intelligence so there are some Longhorn fans who know just enough about sports to make themselves dangerous to the Longhorn Nation and the recruiting process. The internet has given them more power and influence then they deserve.
Fans who are sane in the light of day morph into dark souls when sitting in their office or closet in front of a keyboard. I have blocked three special friends who are caring and compassionate in person, but who write the vilest comments on line.
Many great high school athletes read the fan sites and to some degree use the sites to narrow their list of Universities to visit. In addition, many Coaches from competing universities also capture the worst of the worst comments from Longhorn fan sites and use as bulletin board material to recruit for their university.
During Coach Strong’s tenure mean spirited fan remarks reached a new high. Coach Strong had to deal with this fan revolt partly caused by Mack Brown’s mediocre record and poor recruiting the last 3 years as head coach . Strong was finally fired for many reasons one of which is that the Longhorn fans expectations conflicted with the realities surrounding the football program he inherited.
Fans are going to do what they want to do, but I believe that many Longhorn fans don’t understand the significance of their predatory comments on the internet. If they did know, then many would would at least tone down their comments. Longhorn fans need to understand that spreading venom about Texas never helps and always hurts the Longhorn Nation. In effect their comments are recruiting tools for our Big 12 competitors-not for Texas. It is time for more fans to understand that like it or not they are now part of the Longhorn recruiting staff.
Please read the link below.
4:32pm Sep 9
There are all types of Longhorn fans .
May the Horns be with You
Fair weather fans that leave when the team loses;
“Donor” fans who rightfully expect a return on their investment"
Faux fans who are the lowest form of Longhorn support
Critical fans who pretend to know what they are talking about but have no clue
Longhorn Internet fans who know just enough about football to make themselves dangerous to the Longhorn Nation
and then there is Wesley Allen type of fan
Wesley was the quintessential fan -passionate, pure, sincere, unwavering, uncomplicated, and indefatigable. Wesley earned his friendships with Longhorn Head Coaches, team members past and present, UT administrators, and 1000’s of others.
His friends knew the purity of his heart, and they admired his glowing, eternal, and contagious spirit. Wesley passed away in 2017 . Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw. said "my prayers are that his passing was peaceful for his fight has been so great.....what a young man of strength he was......all young men should be like him.....love you forever ."
Wesley you are missed.
Wesley- Keep the sky in the morning and evening burnt orange for us.