Could it get any worse? Could a college football team sink any lower? Could this season plunge any deeper into despair and disrepair? Have we all hit bottom?
I wonder what Dave Clawson, a guy I truly admire, will say in today’s press conference. Will he say it’s all his fault like he did last week? Will he talk about how hard it will be for his team to pay to get good players to join his team next season? Will he ask for more money to add to the “collective” to pay players? Will he remind us for the zillionth time that his team made too many mistakes today including turning the ball over – something his good teams haven’t done?
Will he admit it was his fault for not having his team ready for the onside kick early in the second half that Notre Dame recovered then scored soon thereafter slamming this game shut for the seventh loss in the last eight games with each one seeming to generate more dismay and dreadfulness, a weekly march into mayhem and madness?
Will he say he needs to do some soul-searching about how he’s coaching the team, evaluate his entire program, and decide what needs to change? Maybe get away for a while? Or that he’s going to be bracing himself these next few weeks worried how many of his players will tell him they’re transferring because they’re being offered more money than Wake can offer, without sharing another reason, that they’re not enjoying football for Wake Forest?
Will Dave know, but won’t say, he can’t stand another season like this one and plans to leave to coach Michigan Stat or some other team that has more talented players and more money to pay players to join his team?
Is he thinking of his next move?
Of course, he is. When the house is on fire, the instinct is to get out. Save thyself first.
And that’s understandable. Can you imagine how emotionally tormenting this season has been on him given how painful it’s been on you?
Five turnovers against Georgia Tech – a five-star dumpster fire. Two devastating unsportsmanlike penalties against Duke to throw that game in the trash can. Complete annihilations fired by Florida State and NC State – driving a stake through the hearts of all things Wake Forest football.
And today, watching the quarterback who led them to prominence, Sam Hartman, destroy them for another team, the prestigious football school, Notre Dame, by a score of 45 to 7 or whatever; none of us watched till the end. On national TV Americans everywhere got to witness how unimpressively Wake Forest plays football.
There’s cruelty in life and this was one of them for Wake, seeing what could have been had Hartman stayed, seeing how well he passes the ball and surveys the field, something monumentally difficult for this year’s Wake quarterbacks.
The sky has fallen much faster than any of us could have expected, from 11-3 two years ago, sliding to 8-5 last year, to 4 and 7 this year which sounds better than it actually has been because Wake didn’t play particularly well in any of the wins. Almost choked to Old Dominion. Remember that? This team could easily be 2 and 9 or worse.
What are you going to do, Dave? Whatever you decide, I wish you the best because you are a classy human being who has brought plenty of joy to my life watching your teams play football in an honorable way. Whatever you decide, I will understand it. If you want to leave, all the best. If you stay, I’ll still root for you and the Demon Deacons but not as avidly if the blowouts continue.
But I hope you learned something this season about how not to coach a football team. I don’t think all your complaining about your players and their talent levels and mental mistakes and how tough it is to recruit players to play for Wake Forest is a good look for you nor psychologically helpful for your players. Tell them they’re not that good and they’ll resent you – which I suspect some or many of them do. You got too negative and whined. It’s unbecoming.
That’s not you. At least I didn’t think that was you. Is that who you really are, Dave?
Questions are now endless. Will you stay at Wake Forest? What changes will you make? How much money will you have to pay players? How many of your current players will leave? How negative will you be about all this? I suspect if you go that route things will get worse.
You’re a good man, Dave. Maybe a great man.
Act like it. Talk like it.
Whatever you decide, be an inspiration to us all. That’s the man we all came to love, respect, and root for.
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