Sept. 26, 2005
Solid Orange shows a sense of pride and spirit. When we say it is about pride, it is not just about wearing a color. Although wearing orange reflects an individual’s pride and sense of unity and spirit, it also a reminder of what the definition of pride is. Pride is simply our actions honoring our university, traditions, team’s performance, people and each other. We need to keep that foremost in our minds as we gather in the parking lots, gather downtown and throughout the stadium at all of our venues.
Using the first two games as an example, I think we have seen that we can play wth great intensity, play tough, play hard and still exhibit great sportsmanship by our teams and our people in the parking lots. I have heard many positive comments from Texas A&M and Miami people who have visited our campus. I have not heard one negative comment about our people in the parking lots and downtown. I have only heard about how gracious our people were to visitors.
As a matter of fact, a gentleman – who obviously follows Miami football – walked up as I walked out of the stadium. He said, “Boy, ya’ll have a great place here.” I told him I was glad he was enjoying it. He said, “Great game. I am going to tell you this. When Miami comes to town, we are usually not treated very well. Of course, I can understand that. The way we were treated coming through parking lots and coming into the stadium just shocked me. People were very gracious toward us.”
I thought that was a tremendous compliment. The fact that he felt compelled to say “we’re usually not treated this way” says a great deal about our people.
When you are talking about good sportsmanship, supporting your team and not demeaning the other team, it goes to show that your team can play with a significant degree of toughness and hard-nosed determination. There was some great hitting in the Miami game. They were getting after one another. But, there were very few penalties. I was on the sidelines for most of the game and I did not see much mouthing. From our first two games, it shows that you can get after people and do it in a class fashion.
Our people really need to be complimented – our team, our coaches, our fans – on how they have taken President Jim Barker’s leadership on being gracious hosts. We intend to win. We are going to play to win, but we are going to do it with class and dignity.
We also want to continue to work to enhance our tradition after the game of Gathering at the Paw by allowing the players to shake hands. We want to continue to work by honoring our tradition of standing for the alma mater. I know everyone wants to get back to the parking lots, but it does not take a lot of time and keeps us mindful of the great traditions that we have.
What we have is good. There is not a better environment than what we had against Miami. We have to keep it at that level. It gave us an opportunity to win the game. We did not win, but it put us in a position to win. We want to be a tough place to play in. We want to be as loud as we can be. We want to have the environment we have had in our first two games.
That’s the challenge before us.
In Solid Orange,Terry Don Phillips
Past ColumnsSeptember 21, 2005September 5, 2005August 23, 2005August 4, 2005July 26, 2005June 28, 2005May 23, 2005April 25, 2005April 4, 2005March 16, 2005February 23, 2005February 15, 2005February 9, 2005February 1, 2005January 25, 2005January 18, 2005January 11, 2005January 6, 2005December 15, 2004December 7, 2004November 30, 2004November 17, 2004November 10, 2004November 3, 2004October 26, 2004October 21, 2004October 11, 2004October 4, 2004
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