CAA: Are the "almost" wins good enough to remember?

Joined
May 4, 2009
Posts
83
Likes
0
Here's a link to the 'Zone - I wrote a little 'editorial' titled: "Are the "almost" wins good enough to remember?" Some very good comments over there so far (borderline surprising).

http://caazone.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=98166

History. The CAA definitely has one, but it's filled with a lot of "almost" moments. Recent history has created teary-eyed moments even for the toughest fan. From UNCW's "almost" win vs. Maryland to (insert here, lots and lots of examples for us). But, in 2009, is it time for us to hang up the "almost" moments?

I think it's time to quantify them as what they are - LOSSES.

On the flip side of history, we've had great successes this decade. From UNCW's brilliant win over USC, Mason's Final 4 run and VCU's win over Duke (both in the NCAA tournament) to ODU's improbable win at Georgetown and Drexel's sick run through the Philly 5, we have enough WINNING success to hold onto until the next time. Should we grasp these victories until we WIN again? Or, should we satisfy ourselves and continue to pat our backs when we "almost" get there? It's time for a mentality change.

As a VCU fan, we've had close call after close call in the NCAA tournament. Personally, I do not recall the "almost" victories as well as the actual ones. Pittsburgh, OT, 2007? Memorable, but no W. UCLA, shot away, 2009? Memorable, but no W. Wake Forest, 1-point, 2004? You get it. The way older fans hold on to the memory of our #2-seed in 1985, I hold on to Duke.......that's a memory I feel we can celebrate for years. Why? Because it's one that we should (we WON).....at least until the next time.

Now, this is not about being "proud" of an effort. For example, if you are a Towson fan and you take a Villanova to OT, that's something you can hold on to (because of the lack of recent successes). But that memory is $0.10 compared to actually winning that game (priceless). And, it should be looked at as such from the conference - a LOSS.

I think the standard for success is not truly formed until you live it collectively. Although all programs have their own respective standards (esp. from a fan's POV), as a conference we should have one - WIN, or LOSE. Period. The 2009 season closed the 2000's for us. The upcoming season starts a new decade of CAA basketball, so the time is now. The standard for success as a conference will not change until we stop celebrating and clinging on to losses........how mid-major of us.
 
I personally don't really follow what you're trying to say. Of course they're good enough to remember. I'll remember losing to Pitt just as clearly as I'll remember beating Duke.

And who cares how the fans act? How is that going to improve the quality of basketball being played in the CAA? That's up to the athletic departments, the coaches and the kids they recruit. It has NOTHING to do with how the fans remember or qualify close losses to good programs. Please explain how reclassifying the loss to UCLA by one shot just as a "Loss" instead of "A Close Game And Near Win" could possibly improve the quality of basketball being played at VCU? I don't really get it.
 
TJReaper said:
The standard for success as a conference will not change until we stop celebrating and clinging on to losses.

See, this doesn't make any sense to me either. The standard for success as a conference will not change until we start WINNING GAMES. It doesn't matter what the fans cling on to. We're not out there playing the games.
 
Fan mentality has direct effects on the perception of a program. I didn't think this was disputed. See my re: below for clarification.

The "standard" is fan mentality. I could write a book about success standards in athletic programs (I did write a 35-page paper on it!).

This is my re: from the 'Zone:

Very, very good points so far. If I could edit the title (I won't), I would change remember to "celebrate". It's key to remember where we are trying to go as a conference. We can't celebrate these losses because if you look around, the only ones celebrating close losses are mid-majors. IF we want to get past that label, we have to celebrate the wins and wins only - no matter how far in between they come. We have enough actual wins to keep our mouths salivated.

Ever try to become vegetarian, only to revert? I did, for a year. The taste of that In N' Out burger, bite after bite, still lingers in my memory. How would that taste compare if I ate a burger everyday? It can't. Nothing compares to that In N' Out burger, on that occasion. $0.10 vs. priceless.
 
No, it just sounds like fans becoming too self-important. You're over-thinking nothing.
 
(I hate how long this post is, but I had to do it)

If that's your mentality about the role of fans, that's fine. But, if I did not feel the way I feel (and I would guess if most users on these boards), I would not have used my time to even think of posting something like this, or at all for that matter.

In-Game Threads. Game reviews. Record reviews. Season Highlights. All popular topics, where fan mentality is clearly captured. This is the internet - people from around the world read our comments and could form their own judgment on the mentality of our fans concerning our program (and what we expect of it, i.e. "what's good enough"). Have you ever gone to another school's forum to read the overall feelings of their program's win or loss? Have you slightly judged that program's mentality by the fan mentality? This happens OFTEN. It's even a popular post/thread-type.....

And, if you think this does not tie into the overall mentality of a program (how their FANS feel about it?!?), okay. I thought fans did more than just post on forums, like buy tickets, help fund scholarships, new arenas, etc. The higher the level of play, the more important fan mentality becomes (this was part of my quantified research for that paper I mentioned).

And I am over-thinking? It's SUMMER....I thought any topic like this would be a welcomed read, even if you think I am an idiot. Your comments make it seem like my topic is not even good enough to think or talk about.....I didn't know you were crowned the King of Ram Nation. All hail. Hey MarcusNation, I have a suggestion - maybe start a review board, keeping new topics pending until approved by either His Majesty or some other Chamber of Lords. That would've saved me the embarrassment.......

You've officially made this 'un-fun' for me. I'll post again when I can simply think about "something" vs. "over-thinking nothing". Good advice, "Ask Sometimes" - I appreciate it.
 
Someone is a bit touchy. I just said I didn't understand what your argument was. In my opinion basketball teams win games, not fans. And when fans start thinking they're that important, it just seems a bit delusional to me. I'm not telling you not to post. I'm not telling you not to have your opinion. The overwhelming level of responses from other people in this thread clearly shows how many people agree with you.
 
well, Reaper, I follow you, and agree with you.

That fans do not play games is a given. Fan support ultimately, is what determines the strength of a program. Without rabid fan support, the patient (program) dies.

Let's take Kentucky fandom, for example. They're in a down phase right now. But they have a tradition, and an expectation, of winning national championships. They'll stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, to accomplish that. (look who they just hired as their HC.)

Now, I'm not suggesting we should emulate Wildcat fans and their program in many of their ways, but the fans' expectations and support are something we should emulate, and try to grow with each passing year. I've said before that I would like to see the Siegel Center become as feared a place to play as Cameron Indoor, and I still think it's possible to build a program at this university which could accomplish that.

I'm very encouraged, because each head coach we hire lately impresses me more than the last. We've got a top notch athletic director with a great work ethic, who seems to love his job. We've got a great and talented assistant athletic director (Mike Ellis), who really knows the game and seems to be a gifted talent evaluator. We've got the Villa 7 program which supports a lot of this. As long as the people who move through this athletic department replace themselves with people more talented than themselves, we should be golden.
 
Sometimes said:
Someone is a bit touchy. I just said I didn't understand what your argument was. In my opinion basketball teams win games, not fans. And when fans start thinking they're that important, it just seems a bit delusional to me. I'm not telling you not to post. I'm not telling you not to have your opinion. The overwhelming level of responses from other people in this thread clearly shows how many people agree with you.
Ever heard of Boosters? Without signature wins, there are no big donors...without big donors, there are no(consistent) signature wins.
 
TJReaper said:
You've officially made this 'un-fun' for me. I'll post again when I can simply think about "something" vs. "over-thinking nothing". Good advice, "Ask Sometimes" - I appreciate it.

Sometimes has made this un-fun for a lot of us!
 
Sometimes said:
Someone is a bit touchy. I just said I didn't understand what your argument was. In my opinion basketball teams win games, not fans. And when fans start thinking they're that important, it just seems a bit delusional to me. I'm not telling you not to post. I'm not telling you not to have your opinion. The overwhelming level of responses from other people in this thread clearly shows how many people agree with you.


I agree with him I think he is just saying that if the fans are satisfied with the Almost win the program will never try and go to the next level because they know the fans are happy where they are. (not really speaking on VCU here but sports teams in general)
 
I think it is the natural reaction to be proud of your team for all that they accomplished during a year to get to a conference final or the NCAA tournament, and in the event of a loss end up being able to say things like "we proved we belonged by taking the #3 seed to overtime" etc. We obviously want our teams to be successful but it's difficult to abandon them and not be supportive of them (as we are so vehemently through the season) when they lose to equally good or better competition by not accepting anything less than a win. For me its still a display of team pride and the natural fall back position in loss after the fact...not a culture of mediocrity in approaching these big games.
 
Sometimes, it's best to ignore a few posts, while some posts by Sometimes are best ignored.
 
Here is a list of VCU's all-time "all-mosts" - gripping, high-profile defeats that might have dramatically altered the program's growth if only the ball, at the end, had bounced this-a-way instead of that-a-way

The problem with "all-mosts" is that they are so quickly forgotten by anyone not directly involved

Chronological order:

March 4, '78 - St. Bonny 63, VCU 61 (finals of ECAC, win would have given Rams first NCAA bid)

Feb. 15, '79 - ODU 72, VCU 71 (regular-season loss at Coliseum denied Rams of post-season)

March 15, '81 - Tennessee 58, VCU 56 (OT) - second round NCAAs

March 19, '83 - Georgia 56, VCU 54 (second round NCAAs)

March 14, '96 - Mississippi State 58, VCU 51 (Rams grab late lead but falter in NCAA opener)

March 18, '04 Wake Forest 79, VCU 78 (Rams lose 6-pt lead in second half in NCAA first round)

March 17, '07 - Pitt 84, VCU 79 ((OT) Rams just miss first shot at Sweet 16

March 9, '08 - WM 56, VCU 54 (NCAA bid left on Coliseum floor)

March 19, '09 - UCLA 65, VCU 64 (valiant comeback falls short as curtain falls on Maynor era)
 
Rambunctious said:
Sometimes, it's best to ignore a few posts, while some posts by Sometimes are best ignored.

D'uh. This isn't new news.

That being said, I still think it's taking it too far to think that we need to change our mindsets for the program to continue to succeed and improve. That's Norwood's job and Smart's job. My job is just to cheer and donate what I can.
 
Back
Top