2006 - Our Team

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A/V Subscriber
Oct 26, 2003
Carl Junction, MO
As the countdown to GundyBall 2006 ever so slowly winds down towards zero, it is time to take stock and count our blessings.

To know where we are, we must first look at where we’ve been. Last season was a new beginning for the Orange family. New coaches, new philosophy, new money, a major adjustment in players. It was a year filled with tearful loss (Vernon Grant), difficult transitions, wasted talents, frustration, jubilation, and a coming down to earth for a program that had much success the previous three seasons.

Then our coaching staff worked their tails off and brought in a lot of fine young men that formed the highest rated recruiting class in our school’s history. The new signees formed what was considered by many to be the most surprising class in the nation. As quickly as that, hope began to grow little by little. Passion started being rekindled.

Our team currently isn’t feared and isn’t hated. That could not be any plainer if the words “we don’t respect you” appeared in 6” headlines in the paper. Fear and hatred are the same side of the coin and sadly, last year, on the football field, it landed down. A season such as last year will always bring out those that believe our team is destined for failure. We can read it in every national magazine and fan board around. The thought is that our team will struggle to beat every D1 school on our schedule. This is part of the price to pay for last season. The final bill on 2005 isn’t one that can be paid for by Mr. Pickens. It will require scoreboard success by our orange gladiators.

The beauty of all of this is that with the dawning of a new year, a new chance emerges. We see how hard our coaches, trainers, and players have worked. We see the new coliseum being erected where many future memories will be forged. Success always appears to be easy to those not involved, but to those in the process, it requires dedication, risk, blood, sweat, tears, honor, and sacrifice.

This is our team. We are all a part of it. Every walk, every cheer, ever snap, every time we choose to wear the colors of our family are all a part of what this season holds. We know that the greatness we all strive for requires more than just a great team on the field, it requires all of us to do our parts. Those valiant few that get to don the helmets and pads need us.

It is time my friends. It is time for all of us to rally and earn back the fear and hatred of our athletic counterparts. The players on the field are and always will be our team. They represent the university that we all love so dearly and we must represent them. We do this by being loud and proud. We don’t ever give up on them. We all wear our orange as a symbol of our unyielding faith that the men on the field and on the sidelines are as ready to start earning that respect back as we are.

These are our guys, this is our team. We care more about the men on the field just what they can bring to the scoreboard. These guys are family. I wear my orange because it is a symbol of my commitment and my appreciation for those that strive to not only better themselves, but the university that I care so much for. I cheer win or lose because these young men deserve it. I’m not very good at looking at my team and determining win/loss record as I am unable to separate myself from them and the colors they proudly wear to be able to see anything but success. These are our players and coaches. When they hurt, I hurt. My first instinct when I hear that a player isn’t going to be able to play isn’t what this will mean on the field. I think of the young man and his family. I think about the rest of the team that will now have to look at an empty locker. This is family. This is us versus the rest of the world. These are our guys, those are our coaches, there are our cheerleaders. We have done great things over the years, but we do it because we stick together. We hear great stories about the sea of orange invading cities, we are known as a school that travels very well. We all know why.

These guys represent us and likewise we are privileged to represent them. They are our family and friends. This is our team. Never forget that.

David Harrell - Pokes
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