Fans’ frustration shows as losses mount

Bobby Curran
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Friday - September 19, 2008
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It never takes long for disappointed fans to begin the dissection of their team’s woes. Pros, colleges, even high schools are subject to scrutiny and criticism when teams fail to live up to expectations.

In the NFL, Viking fans are up in arms over their 0-2 start. It won’t be long before head coach Brad Childress or QB Tarvaris Jackson or both take serious heat. Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis is clearly throwing second-year head coach Lane Kiffin under the bus.

Fans are unhappy in San Diego (though they have officials to blame), Seattle, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland and Jacksonville, just to name a few.

Some teams will turn it around and, for those teams, the early season vitriol will soon be forgotten. Remember the New York Giants started 0-2 last year, and head coach Tom Coughlin was on the hot seat before they caught fire and won the Super Bowl. Maybe the Chargers will manage it this year.

For many of the others, their fans will rant and vent right through the last play of the year, only pausing for the draft or signing day.

College fans are sometimes worse. You can hear them at Michigan, Arizona State, West Virginia and Syracuse.

After last Saturday, you could hear them in Hawaii as well. The complaints vary: offense, defense, special teams, play calling, preparation or coaching. But the root cause is always the same. It’s losing, plain and simple. Fans don’t much care about injuries, schedules or inexperience.

As one fan wrote to then UH coach Fred Von Appen in 1988, “Don’t tell us what you need! Stop whining and just win 10 games!”

In college football everyone loves to talk conferences. Last Saturday may have been the roughest day in Pac-10 history. Yes, USC dominated Ohio State, but as one wag put it, it’s the Trojans and the nine dwarfs. No. 15 Arizona State gets beaten at home by UNLV, No. 16 Oregon has to come back from 20-3 versus an average Purdue team, Arizona gets beat by New Mexico, Cal gets whacked by ACC mediocrity Maryland, Washington gets annihilated by Oklahoma, Washington State is crushed by a poor Baylor team, and UCLA suffers its worst defeat since 1921, to BYU. Had to be a tough day for Bruin offensive coordinator, Norm Chow. Can’t remember the last time one of his teams was shut out. To have it happen in Provo where he worked for so long adds insult to injury.

The Warriors have a much-needed bye after a troubling loss at Oregon State, where UH was soundly beaten in all three phases. Many of the Warriors’ difficulties are fixable, especially the defensive mistakes and the special teams. The offense may take a bit longer, particularly if Hawaii has to do without Tyler Graunke and Keith Ah Soon.

Congrats to Dave Shoji and the Rainbow Wahine, who managed a magnificent come-from-behind victory against No. 9 Washington. To do so despite trailing 2-0 in games makes you think the Rainbow Wahine could be pretty sporty by year’s end.

When I saw Amber Kaufman had 11 aces, I thought it was a misprint. That’s in comparison to three by the entire Husky team.

Now that’s a great win!

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