Coaching is a mean profession, and it often gets the best of even the strongest men, but this week was an especially tough week for the coaching fraternity.
Whether it was Steve Sarkisian’s ousting from USC or Steve Spurrier’s resignation (“not” retirement) from the University of South Carolina, these last few days have demonstrated that being a coach extends far past the field; the same is true when it comes to the University of Colorado’s head coach, Mike MacIntyre.
After two straight losses that have quickly erased the Buffaloes’ winning record, the criticism surrounding MacInytre and his team has begun to rise once again. And after three years of losing football, rightfully so.
But as hard as it may be, I’d like to remind everyone that, yes, coaches are people, too. And the head coach of your University of Colorado Buffaloes just so happens to be making an enormous sacrifice.
“I found out an hour before the Oregon kickoff that my dad got put in the hospital and my mother-in-law got put in the hospital,” MacIntyre said on Tuesday. “I didn’t know if either one of them would get out. My wife’s been in Nashville at Vanderbilt Hospital, going back and forth between my dad’s room and my mother-in-law’s room, but I don’t have time to get there. My dad is doing OK now. My mother-in-law has had a small miracle, but she still has cancer all over her body, and I don’t know how long she’ll last.”
This isn’t to say that the Buffaloes should be immune to criticism; sports is a zero-sum proposition; losing is and always will be an unacceptable outcome.
What I’m saying is that there are two ways CU fans can respond to the first six games of the season: (a) Buffs fans can turn on their coach and their team, calling for the fourth regime change in the last decade; or (b) Buffs fans can rise up, stand behind their team and push them towards success in the second half of the season.
There’s no doubt that the Buffs’ turnaround hasn’t been as speedy as most hoped, but to give up now would only hurt more. When MacIntyre came to Boulder in 2013, he was being asked to transform a dumpster fire into a flower patch; that takes time.
As fans, we tend to say whatever comes to our mind, good or bad, with no expectations of consequence, but after the events of this week, it’s clear that words, expectations and disappointment can weigh heavy on a coach’s mind.
Not only is MacIntyre in need of our support in his personal life right now, but he needs our support on the field, too.
There are seven games left on the Buffaloes’ schedule — plenty of time for a turnaround — and now is the perfect opportunity to double down on your support for the CU football team.