Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What the "Experts" Say About the Cardinals

Most fans of major college football programs wait with bated breath as the supposed gurus and preseason publications prognosticate their lot in the college football universe for the coming season. Prognosticating in early summer for the season about to unfold is wildly speculative and usually wrong, but we, as fans, continue to support these endeavors with flashy covers, pages of stats, and usually a page or two of cheerleaders thrown in to make sure the blood doesn't all pool in our brains.

This year's crop of preseason magazines found their way into my hot little hands over the weekend, and OTP is proud to share what these augurs of the college football world had to say about our beloved Ball State Cardinals.


The Sporting News College Football 09 Preview Magazine
The Sporting News has put out preview magazines for years, but for whatever reason is not considered to be one of the premier previews of the season. The information contained within is good enough, and it makes for at least something to fill the days before August, but for the most part, as one would expect with such a large national following like SN, the focus is on the top-tier teams and not on the ins and outs of the MAC and the teams within it.

An example of this sort of "non-factor" status in the college football universe is the fact that SN loads one page with 3 different MAC teams. One column a piece isn't much to get across any insightful commentary or in-depth analysis. Instead, the BSU column space is reserved for commentary on what we've lost (11 starters on offense and defense, 7 of them All-MAC selections), and commenting on the fact that while last year's 12-2 campaign was good, it was nowhere near as good as it should have been.

SN pegs the November 24th contest at Western Michigan as the "Game to Watch" for the Cardinals, as they opine that this is the closer of a 3-game stretch that BSU must go at least 2-1 through to have any shot at a Bowl Game.

Overall, it's an accurate but fairly rudimentary preview of BSU. In fact, it sort of feels like this entire piece was sort of rushed through and simply to fill column space for the MAC, as nothing really worthwhile comes across or through other than Nate Davis left and Brady Hoke did too.

Predicted BSU Final Standing: 4th in MAC West
Predicted MAC West Champion: Western Michigan
Predicted MAC East Champion: Buffalo
BSU Players on SN All-MAC Team: MiQuale Lewis, Brandon Crawford
BSU Players on SN All-American Team: None
Of note: SN ranks BSU 10th in the MAC in terms of recruiting because "a coaching change lost Ball State its mojo late in the recruiting process"... Charlie Cardinal ranked best mascot in the MAC... The best fans were given to Central Michigan, best stadium to Toledo, and best home-field advantage to NIU... Buffalo, Bowling Green, Western Michigan all projected to go Bowling.


Lindy's Football 2009 College Preview
Lindy's is actually a decent option for anyone looking for a national publication with adequate coverage of the midmajor programs throughout the land. Unlike the Sporting News, Lindy's prides itself on being insightful and detailed, while still prognosticating and opining page after page. Lindy's, for the most part, handles the MAC with at least some semblance of dignity and respect, and donates more than three or four pages to the entire conference.

For Ball State, they were the focus of the MAC lead in, as Lindy's mentions how the Cardinals went from "heavyweight to lightweight contender in a matter of months." The overarching theme of the conference coverage as an entire entity revolves around transition and change, and special attention is given to the new faces on MAC sidelines.

As it stands with Lindy's, BSU is the 5th-best team in the conference, according to ranking, clocking in at #94 nationally. The team-specific write up focuses of course on the loss of Davis and Hoke, as well as the offensive line. Lindy's lists the change in atmosphere around the program as a result of the recent success as a strength, and lists the new responsibilities of Faulkner and Parrish as potential problems.

BSU National Ranking: 94
Predicted BSU Final Standing: 3rd in MAC West
Predicted MAC West Champion: Central Michigan
Predicted MAC East Champion: Buffalo
BSU Players on Lindy's All-MAC 1st Team: MiQuale Lewis, Madaris Grant, Brandon Crawford, Sean Baker
BSU Players on Lindy's All-American Team: None
Of note: Lindy's says BSU should still be "one of the best in the league" despite the losses... Lists MiQuale Lewis as the #12 RB in the country... Lists MiQuale Lewis as #3 in the league on the Top 10 NFL Talent list... Lists the BSU-CMU game as one of "The Big Ones", or the most important games in the league. CMU appears on the list 8 times... Lists MiQuale Lewis as the 6th most valuable running back in Fantasy College Football


Athlon Sports College Football Preview
Athlon Sports is consistently one of the well-written, well-researched, and well-thought out preview publications in all of college football. However, the write up on the Cardinals in this year's publication had best be slanted incorrectly if Cardinals fans want any semblance of success come fall. The overarching theme is that the Cardinals lost simply too much talent and coaching off last year's dream season to have any shot at success. When coupled with the apparent love affair with Central Michigan and Buffalo, that doesn't spell good things for Ball State in terms of prognostication.

Athlon's magazine is chock full of unit rankings, national coverage, etc. and it is clear that the MAC doesn't generate a lot of interest on the national scene, nor does it demand respect from those that cover college football for magazines like Athlon. Out of 120 FBS teams, BSU is ranked 109. However, 4 MAC teams and one BSU non-conference opponent (North Texas) is ranked below the Cardinals. So that's good news.

The unit rankings by Athlon show either a blatant disrespect for the Cardinals or a major overvaluing by Cardinals fans. Out of 12, BSU ranks the following in terms of units, according to Athlon: QB-11, RB-2, WR/TE-10, OL-11, DL-3, LB-9, DB-3.

As for the final jab at the Cardinals, Athlon says BSU would be competitive in the MAC East, but it will be difficult "to be much of a factor in the MAC West".

BSU National Ranking: 109
Predicted BSU Final Standing: 5th in MAC West
Predicted MAC West Champion: Central Michigan
Predicted MAC East Champion: Buffalo
BSU Players on Athlon All-MAC 2nd Team: MiQuale Lewis, Madaris Grant, Sean Baker, Brandon Crawford, Davyd Jones
BSU Players on Athlon All-American Team: None
Of note: MiQuale Lewis ranked as the 11th best RB and 22nd best overall for Fantasy College Football... BSU ranked 4th in MAC for recruiting this offseason... Central Michigan the top-ranked MAC team at #69... Large piece on new coaches in the FBS. Lists Parrish's pros as his experience as a QB coach, and his cons as a lack of success as a head coach and his age. Calls his hire "strange."


Phil Steele's College Football Preview 2009
By and large, there is no better preview magazine available than Phil Steele's Football Preview. Most who cover college ball in some capacity call it simply "The Bible" and truthfully, even that is putting it mildly. Steele focuses on statistical analysis and simply loading the most information possible in a preview magazine. If you're a casual fan or just looking for college football reading material, this is the ONE magazine to purchase.

Steele dedicates pages and pages to the MAC and its members, and even goes so far as to break down the MAC stats from last year, filtered down to only taking into account statistics accrued against other MAC teams. It's impressive, it's fair, and it's packed.

As for the MAC in general, Steele falls in line with most other major publications by picking Central Michigan to win the West, but shocks many by picking Ohio to win the East, and Buffalo finishing 4th in the East. Buffalo seems to be the belle of the ball on the national scene, probably more so because of their coach than their potential, but Steele bucks the national trend and goes with the Bobcats over the Bulls.

As for Ball State, Steele touches on the losses of personnel and coaching (following the obvious) and indicates that he expects the Cards to take a few steps back from last year's dream season. Steele gives a shout to Kelly Page, and says he expects him to be "solid", but states that Page has nowhere near the supporting cast that Davis did and teams will now be gunning for the Cardinals. According to Steele, a simple winning season would be an accomplishment for this Ball State team.

BSU National Ranking: 108
Predicted BSU Final Standing: 5th in MAC West
Predicted MAC West Champion: Central Michigan
Predicted MAC East Champion: Ohio
BSU Players on Steele All-MAC 1st Team: MiQuale Lewis, Madaris Grant
BSU Players on Steele All-MAC 2nd Team: Brandon Crawford
BSU Players on Steele All-MAC 3rd Team: Michael Switzer, Davyd Jones
BSU Players on Steele All-MAC 4th Team: Sean Baker, Ian McGarvey
BSU Players on Steele All-MAC Honorable Mention: Briggs Orsbon
BSU Players on Steele All-American 4th Team: MiQuale Lewis
Of Note: BSU ranked 25th in the country for their RB unit... Ohio, CMU, Akron the MAC members going Bowling... MAC ranked 11th out of 12 for toughest conference of 2009... Ohio, Toledo, Temple, Akron all in the Most Improved Teams for 2009... Ball State's unit rankings for 09: QB-11, RB-1, REC-9, OL-11, DL-5 , LB-9 , DB-6 , ST-7 , COACH-9


So what does all this tell us about the upcoming year for the Cardinals? That no one expects much of anything from these men. And truthfully, that's when a team is the absolute most dangerous, pundits, critics, and prognosticators be damned.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totally ridiculous. I mean, I'm sure that most of these guys thought that BSU was going to suck last year too. Too bad we peed all over their parade by rocking out a 12-2 season. I hope the team uses this as motivation for the coming year. Go Cards!!

Anonymous said...

Not really all that shocking. The Chips are the class of the MAC. You Ball State fans and players are simply living in our shadows and lucked into your MAC Championship game last year because of some shady officiating against us. FIRE UP CHIPS!!!

Anonymous said...

How pathetic that a Chimps fan must come onto a BSU fansite and cry about their loss last year. CMU really does have the worst fans in the MAC.

Boo frickity hoo.

RV said...

Ray Bentley,

Thank you for your commentary. Go back to working with Pam Ward, and leave the analysis up to those with a brain. Thank you for your insight during the season, we can only pray that you get moved to something more your style, like PBA broadcasting.

Eric said...

Actually, most college FB publications list CMU as having the MAC's best fans for your information.

Face it, BSU was a one hit wonder last year. I'm not trying to be a troll, I'm just stating facts. BSU had a perfect blend of talent and experience last year which led to a great season. This year, a majority of your talent is lost. Your coach, your QB, 4 O-linemen, your TE, your best WR, your best CB, and several D-linemen and LBs. Frankly, BSU doesnt't have enough returning talent to warrant good ratings in these pre-season magazines. You can't give a team a good pre-season ranking simply because they had a good year last year; returning talent has to be considered.

Looking at CMU, yes we lost our last 3 games of last year, but we do return our QB (who has been nationally recognized numerous times), a RB with several starts under his belt, our top three WRs (two of which have been nationally recognized in several publications), 3 O-linemen (probably our weakest position), 3 out of 4 D-linemen, and our entire starting LB and DB core. Granted our DBs weren't by any means extraordinary, but most of them have 2-3 years of starting experience under they're belt. The amount of returning talent CMU has is why, as the writers of that article have stated, that pre-season publications have a "love affair" with CMU. Come next year when we lose a lot of these players, we'll probably be rated very poorly, just like BSU is now.

Sorry BSU fans, but one great year doesn't automatically qualify you to be the tops of the MAC. Maybe if your team posts 6-8 win seasons regularly (meaning more than 2 years in a row) then you may have some justification for all your crying and whining about not being rated very high in these magazines pre-season rankings.

RV said...

Eric,

Feel free to defend your Chips as having the 'best fans in the MAC', I have no dog in this fight since BSU fans haven't done their teams any favors...uhh, ever? Bottom line, Ray Ray makes all other MAC teams hate CMU's fans. He's an idiot and shouldn't be representing your fanbase but he does.

And if you're going to 'state facts' and not be a troll, realize that while the Cards lost some experience they return just as much talent, if not more, as a result of recruiting coming to fruition paired with the success of the team as a whole.

When Dante Love got hurt, did you, Eric, think that Ball State had a freshman WR who would catch 59 passes over the rest of the season? Is there anyone behind BJ Hill or Darius Hill who can play or was there no one else who got PT at DB/TE that might see the field this year? If only we had a talented, young QB coming in who has established himself as the starter, or a RB who led the NCAA in touchdowns last year. You're right, the more I think about it we'll be lucky to even field at team next year, as thin as this team will be.

I'm not sure what your basis is for all of the losses you claim, but I'll certainly agree with a multitude of them. What I don't understand is how you can just throw BSU away as a 'one hit wonder' when sometimes a successful season is all that is needed to show the younger guys that they can win. But that's a whole different conversation.

Preseason magazines constantly give teams higher rankings just because they had a good season the previous year...ALL the time. It's as common as teams being ranked too high because they just return a lot of the same players as they did the previous year. We both know that neither of these situations are the ultimate say in how a team will end up over the course of a season.

Your definition of crying and whining must be different than ours, because it doesn't seem like OTP as a whole has taken issue with the rankings as you would make it seem. I'd say crying and whining would be complaining about the officiating in a game that was a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is Balls Tate is a poser when it comes to football. They got lucky last year, and they won't even be remotely relevant this season.

RV said...

Anon -

You get zero points for creativity and negative points for content. Balls Taint would've been much more entertaining and while luck is certainly involved, luck was not the determining factor to the Cards season...otherwise, Buffalo and Tulsa wouldn't have been so bad. But, I'll give you a C- for effort.

Eric said...

RV,

Let me change around my wording a little bit.

There's no doubt that BSU is losing a lot of talent, but the issue that I'm seeing with your team is that the new starters likely have little to no starting experience.

Kelly Page was a very highly ranked QB coming ut of HS, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will translate into a great starting QB. The Same goes with all your other new starters. Considering that BSU has A LOT of new faces in key positions, I find it very hard to see them being as much of a threat as last year. Bottom line, the new starters have to prove that they can step up when it counts.

Ragarding the players returning, I agree that they are all very good. Orsbon was a big suprise and could very well be all MAC this year. Lewis was phenominal, your returning DL is pretty good, as are your safeties. I'm not denying that the returning starters aren't talented, but I still see too much inexperience in your new starters. You don't replace that many key starters without some growing pains.

I agree that sometimes it does only take one year to start a chain reaction of winning seasons (that's how it happened with CMU), but until the last 2 years there was a lot of inconsistency with BSU.

Regarding pre-season magazines and rankings, I agree that they give teams higher rankings based on the previous ears performance. However, more often than not those teams are from big name BCS conferences who consistently bring in the best of the best in terms of recruits. There's a HUGE difference in comparing the depth of BCS teams and the depth of mid-major teams.

Regarding Ray Bentley, I agree that his commentating is very subject. I'm not defending him by any means.

And as far as last year's game goes, I'm not complaining about any calls that happened to be missed. Could some have been made differently? Of course, but CMU had their chances to win and didn't capitalize. Remember the last 30 seconds? We drove from our 10 yard line down to your 40 or 35 I think and Dan threw a pick. We had our chances and lost, plain and simple.

RV said...

Eric,

Well put. I appreciate you following up with your previous commentary in a intelligent manner. You're right on all accounts, for the most part. The only thing I disagree with is that experience will be as big of a factor with this team. Granted, this is more of me being a BSU homer than anything else, but I'd like to think that the kids who are still on the team (especially the key returners) simply will not put up with a mediocre season. The fact that Our Savior (Phil Steele) has BSU as the 119th ranked experienced team is very troubling. Especially with as much respect as I give to his new experience chart. Troubling, yes, but not nearly enough to write off a team that is dangerous in the kind of positions that you don't want a team to be dangerous (WR/RB/DL/DB). Ask Auburn after the Cards expose how poor of a hire they made. Yeah. I said it.

Papa Lou BSU said...

"Best fans in the MAC?"

Really? Is that why CMU had plenty of empty seats in their stadium for the biggest game of the year, and your fans were reduced to throwing snowballs at our receivers in the end zone during a live play?

FYI, two of the three keys to our offense in our win in Mount Pleasant last year return (Quale and Orsbon). As does the guy who got the game-clinching INT. Along with ten other starters.

We'll be okay. More importantly, it's pretty clear we're in the Chips' heads now (along with their fans).

Eric said...

Well Papa, you are aware that CMU has led the MAC in attendance the past 2 years right? CMU had the average highest home game attendance in the MAC with 22,659 per game. In 5 home games CMU pulled in 113,294 fans, only 1,910 less than BSU, who by the way had 6home games. It's pretty sad that we pulled in almost as many fans throughout the season as BSU and we had one less home game. Sorry papa, but facts speak for themselves.

As far as the game itself goes, yeah there were a few knuckleheads throwing snowballs and what not, but are you implying that there aren't idiot fans at other schools as well? I went to the EMU game and there were plenty of a**holes to deal with there. I drove down to WMU 2 years ago and was met with more hostility than I've experienced anywhere. My point is that every team, BSU included, has fans that will act like a**holes.

Yes you return Orsob and Lewis, but you lose Davis, your team's best player, 4 starters on the OL, etc, etc. I don't think I need to once again get into the amount of talent your losing.

I assure you papa, Nutsack U is not in our heads. We have been the most consistent team in the MC for 3 years now and if anything, we're in the heads of the rest of the MAC. CMU has only 4 MAC losses in 3 years. We're returning the most dangerous player in the MAC in LeFevour, the 9th ranked recieving unit in the country (according to athlon sports) and ouir entire defense (which was bad last year, but is made up of predominantly seniors). CMU and it's fans are as confident as ever and have no reason to be concerned over a loss to BSU last year.

RV said...

Nutsack U? What are we, 12? Childish name-calling aside, are you just trying to taunt us? We get it, you don't respect the Cardinals because players left.

I know I schooled you earlier and you probably don't deserve it again, but here goes:

From the numbers I pulled from ESPN's website of the past year, BSU had a higher % of attendence than CMU. Kelly/Shorts Stadium has 4895 more seats than Scheumann Stadium, so when you look at the percentage of seats that were filled...shocking, Ball State had better attendance. BSU filled 75.59% of their seats while CMU came up a little short with 74.79% filled seats. So, you can take the arbitrary 'highest attendance in the MAC' stats and enjoy your CZ diamonds. Sorry, Eric, but the real stats speak for themselves.

I find it hard to believe that you are trying to justify the throwing of snowballs at players on the field by shifting the blame to other teams' fans. It's one thing to treat other fans like crap, it's a whole other thing to endanger the kids playing on the field. And if you don't think that a situation like that can...ahem...snowball into an extremely dangerous situation, I'll point you in the direction of the football they play overseas.

While at this point, I would certainly sell on a BSU win over CMU, but we haven't seen what this team will look like. We know we can score 25-30 points on your defense, even with the losses that you continue to point out (while glossing over the returning components). But who knows what this team will look like, the talent certainly is there.

Jason Axel said...

RV...

Please find me a highly regarded writer or sportscaster in this great nation who would look at the attendance numbers and say "Oh yes, Ball State has better attendance because they filled their stadium 75% of the time, where as Central Michigan only filled it 74%".

First off, no one in the world looks at attendance figures like that, besides it is 1% and as pointed out before, Ball State had one more home game. I could pull up article after article about any sport you want that when talking about highest attendances, it is overall total of patrons through the gate and average attendance for games...percentages mean nothing.

As for the throwing snowballs thing...I dare you to search the internet and not find numerous articles of other schools or sports fans throwing snowballs or any other object onto the field. This isn't some isolated incident that happened in the middle of Michigan on some random November evening. It's a heated game between the two best teams in the conference and some drunk students throw a SNOWBALL...this isn't a rock, or something heavy that could kill a person, its SNOW...welcome to the Midwest.

Secondly, as stated again previous to your comment...every school has idiot fans who chant swear words, who throw things, who belittle other fans...it happens everywhere.

I'll tell you straight up...I am one of the two founding members of what was Sneed's Creed at CMU. We were front row every home game, and many away games. We would talk some smack to opposing teams during warm-ups, usually play on words of guys last names, or getting on them about screwing up while warming up...many times the guys we were ragging on would smirk back at us, some would talk a little trash, but many of them would end up chatting with us and it was all in good fun.

Just because some people from other schools are here voicing their opinions intelligently does not give you or anyone else the right to just belittle them on account of a few bad apples. Many of us enjoy a good debate or just hearing each side of the story. I respect BSU and all MAC teams for their programs and what they bring to the table for the conference. But going out and trying to belittle and bring down a whole community of CMU fans because of a couple snowballs and what a few isolated people have said in nasty words is no reason to get bent out of shape.

Ball State lost a lot of key players, but as other BSU fans have stated, there is a lot of talent behind them that will push hard to keep this team at the top of the MAC West. I fully expect the BSU/CMU game to be for the shot to the MAC Championship this year.

Jason Axel said...

Also for the record...I can't stand Ray Bentley...he is one of the worst announcers ESPN has, but they use him for MAC games because he played at Central. I'd much rather have a higher up announcing crew who doesn't have a clue who half the players are but they can at least call a game well and correctly.

RV said...

Jason,

I need you to define 'highly regarded writer or sportscaster' as 90% of these journalists are an absolute joke. I'm sure you'd agree with me on that note, as if you can assess that Bentley is a joke, you probably agree that so is everyone else. But, my point is...to hold the total attendance record over our heads like BSU didn't have a great year is unfair. The fact that whoever decided that the mark of the highest attendance numbers should be based off of total attendance rather than how full the stadium is certainly didn't take any stats classes. I'd say that most schools in the MAC have better fans than Illinois but considering they have twice the capacity of most MAC stadiums it'd be impossible to make a claim of having better attendance because their total numbers will be higher.

Once again, just because someone else does it doesn't make it ok. I don't understand the justification by using the age old tactic of "but they did it too!!" Does. Not. Compute. I can understand that drunken students can ruin things for the whole fanbase, but I dare you to go Neyland Stadium to see what the best fans in CFB act like. I have multiple people who went to CMU who can vouch for the disrespect shown towards other fans. I'll assume you're a Piston's fan...can you kill someone with a plastic cup of beer? That is the fundamental difference between taking things too far and just playful banter. Hell, I've talked shit to Ron Artest when I lived in Indy and he did exactly as you said, turns and laughs it off. But if you think that physically interacting with players as a taunt is an innocent act, we'll just have to disagree.

Who is here presenting an intelligent discussion that I have belittled? So far YOU are the only one who's stepped up and had an intelligent discussion, everyone else feels the need to throw in some kind of insult that is far from needed. Trust me, OTP loves to have other fans come and tell us where we are wrong. But you can't expect us to just have people come in and make comments without return fire. The same way you won't let any team come into Kelly/Shorts without hearing from you.

Jason Axel said...

Rv...

I understand where you are coming from comparing all of us to Illinois and knowing they will out draw us all the time. But at the same time, they are Big Ten where the level of play and the traditions are quicker, longer and more revered. Not saying that the MAC does not have its fair share of fantastic history, but simply the sheer amounts of fans watching Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, etc. over MAC teams just shows what they have over us in talent, number of fans and the backing of the NCAA and the BCS (which for the record is a joke).

I do also agree that while some drunken idiots can ruin things, that there are some schools that do seem to have horrible fans, but most of that comes from opinion, sometimes fact.

I would say that fans at Ohio State, Western Michigan, Michigan, anywhere in the state of New York and University of Florida fans are all some of the worst in college sports. Pro sports is a whole other entity.

The physically between fans and athletes is truly unacceptable and I completely understand your point and I actually agree. There is no reason for any fan to physically engage with an opposing player, whether malicious or not, but I also feel it unfair for fans of the opposing school or any other person to judge the entire fan base or student body on the actions of single people. But unfortunately in the world we live in, judgment is something that occurs every second.

Essentially when it comes down to it, we all hold our own opinions in high regards because we all have our own sources of information for what we believe is an informed opinion. Others do not share the same views, even if on the same side of the coin and many of us as humans take it as a threat to our knowledge and information and feel the need to attack back.

Back to the original idea at hand...Ball State is being looked down upon the pre-season magazines because of the loss of many starters AND IMO, the fact that most of these writers could give two shits about the Mid American Conference and where any of us end up. It is all about the money and the conferences that play into the BCS. Once in a while a wild card from the non-BCS conferences comes into play and its a "cinderella story" because they aren't a BCS team, when in reality, it is the fact that we are not in a conference named SEC, Big 12, Pac 10 or which ever that makes the media believe we are inferior teams.

This season more than likely will turn out to be one of the best seasons this conference has ever seen. CMU brings Dan, Antonio Brown and others as seniors to the forefront of the MAC West race. Western brings Tim Hiller and good coaching. Ball State is bringing youth that has seen what the seniors did last year and they know what they can accomplish. Buffalo is rising out of the MAC East to be a team not to take lightly. Not to mention Eastern now has a new staff, Akron has a new stadium, and pretty much every team in the conference is getting better by the year.

I look forward to the season and especially a great game when Central travels down to Muncie.

sman said...

I will just repeat what I wrote on insider... I don't know enough about BSU to say how good or bad they will be next year, I see the guys they are loosing, and would think they will be in a rebuilding year, but I would trust the word of someone who is around the program much more then my own.

That's what it is all about, having a little fun, going back and forth, people who have pride and are proud of their schools. Fall will be here before we know it. And for the record.... drunking a$$holes throwing snow balls in no way ressembles a true fan.. anywhere. It has no place, and should not be defended by anyone. Yeah there are bad fans everywhere... our job is to stop them, and to make sure the rest of our guests know that is not what we are about, and we do not support that in any way. Proud to be a chippewa