Most of the student section had emptied. The fourth quarter hasn’t even started. They came to see a Wake Forest win. They didn’t see anything close to that for three quarters.
First downs, no, not really, pretty much none. Lots of punts, though, if you’re into punts.
I don’t know what to say. The Wake Forest football season has taken a dark turn, and today the lights went out everywhere.
I look at Dave Clawson’s face and I see a man about 700 miles beyond frustrated, way out there in some emotional state neither of us wants to go or, we’ve been there, never even wanting to reflect upon how low we felt.
What happened? This football program came into this season with promise riding the momentum of several consecutive seasons. But now the team looks as if it’s just lost, soul-less, and so does the coach, and there’s probably a relationship between those two tough truths.
Everything today seemed to be anemic, borderline pathetic as if Wake Forest should seriously consider dropping down to Division II football because they look smaller, slower, and less athletic than NC State and it’s not even realistic to expect them to win the game.
And they seem to have lost hope that they can win. This will be the team’s sixth loss in the last seven games and the first three games it won weren’t especially impressive performances.
What is going on? What is going on in the locker room that we don’t know about? Has the coach lost his ability to connect with the players? Are they tired of hearing him criticize their play and just want the season to end so they can get away from him and his anger and frustration?
I am not saying I’ve given up as a fan and never will. I am saying watching this team has been hard to process and endure emotionally.
Just now they started a drive and my hopes elevated, but on the next play, the quarterback threw an interception.
The team must be setting some sort of record for zero and negative one-yard carries, and rising on the list of teams that have turned the ball over the most in the United States.
I am not criticizing so much as wondering how this season has swerved off course so wildly and dare I say kind of disastrously.
Football isn’t that important. Winning isn’t all we should care about. It’s a feeling of sorrow for these players that they are going through a bombardment of disheartening losses.
The pain, the frustration they must feel. The mental torment, it must be pretty tough, so much so that you just want to not even talk about it. The topic of Wake Forest football is not something that makes you feel invigorated.
A lost season this is, a losing season, a perplexing journey into someplace unpleasant. They’re not a bunch of quitters, not at all. Just a team cursed with bad fortune, bad luck, bad breaks, and a coach who just doesn’t seem to be able to raise them out of this football funk.
This is just football. But it’s now 24-0. They’re about to be shut out at home by a mediocre team. Oh, finally, a touchdown – but then, going for 2, they throw another pic and they gut runs it back 101 yards. I ask again: What is going on? This is absurd. You get the feeling they would have lost to a few hundred teams today.
I want the players to know I am still with them, respect them, and appreciate their effort. I want the coach to know he’s a good man but seems to be saying too many negative things lately about his players, overall team performance, his frustrations with the transfer portal, and his dislike of all the things he has to do as a head coach beyond coaching football.
I don’t know much but I know this: Negativity won’t turn things around. I don’t know what will. But I do know that this team is struggling for many reasons and one of them is ineffective leadership.
So to turn around this failing enterprise it’s on you to figure it out, coach. You get paid millions of dollars a year. One hundred and twenty million dollars have been invested in the Wake football program.
It’s not the facilities. It’s something else. Maybe it’s talent. But I think it’s mostly attitude, and your negative comments, that are most to blame for this team’s definite demise.
Lift people up. Accept your situation. Speak more positively.
Or maybe it’s time to do something else.
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