By Luke Eggers Twitter/Instagram: @Leggers15
“Because he’s the voice Amherst deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector-
Before I begin writing my first article for Mr. LaBelle I would like to clear the air regarding my relationship with UMass Athletics. I am a lifelong UMass fan hands down no questions asked. Not exactly surprising as both of my parents graduated from here. Although I would say that I am a militia member, I have to use my emotions to react to the good, bad, and ugly of UMass athletics. I will state the facts and let you decide what’s wrong (or right) with UMass athletics. With that being said, I would like to introduce my first UMass sports commentary:
UMASS WON A FOOTBALL GAME YESTERDAY
The University of Massachusetts Amherst won a football game against the only other FBS football team that might be worse. In modern sports culture, this is of course known as the “toilet bowl”.
Let’s take a look at UMass football in recent years and see how we got here.
My goal for this piece is to demonstrate the absolutely preposterous development of UMass football in recent years. From competing toe to toe with top SEC opponents to losing to FCS schools- UMass football follows no logic or correct order of thinking. Let’s get something straight, SEC football is BIG time football. These games featured NFL caliber football players who UMass had no business even touching the same grass that these guys were on.
They were not worthy.
That being said, UMass seemed to get up for some very specific, very random big-time games. Shall we take a trip down memory lane for diehard UMass football fans?
UMass Amherst VS Tennessee 9/23/17
UMass 13 – 17 Tennessee
On this day in history, UMass football waltzed into Neyland Stadium in Knoxville Tennessee and lost a nail biter to the Tennessee Vols in front of 102,455 THOUSAND PEOPLE (I’d say it’s a bit of a different environment compared to McGuirk stadium). In a game where the UMass defense refused to let up a single point in the first 25 minutes of play, the Minutemen kept it close.
UMass Amherst VS Mississippi State 11/4/17
UMass 23 – 34 Mississippi State
Yep, UMass football lost by just 11 points to Mississippi State only TWO years ago. On a day in which coach Whipple lead the Minuteman charge straight down the teeth of an SEC opponent, the boys were rolling. Let me remind you that this is the same Mississippi State program that will be playing the best Alabama team of all time later in the season. On the contrary, this is the same UMass program that went on to play, and lose, to the Old Dominion Monarchs. With Miss. State being a 31 point favorite on the books that day, one might ask “how does this make sense?”. It makes zero sense and I refuse to credit UMass football for this. I am confident that this game was staged because UMass football is not this good (especially in 2017).
UMass Amherst VS Florida 9/3/16
UMass 7 – 24 Florida
At this point, I am finding it difficult to even imagine UMass playing in these games. In this one, UMass went head to head with the 14th ranked college football team in the entire country. Like, you have to be kidding me! This game should’ve ended in an absolute bloodbath. Florida by 80! Nope, UMass said not so fast and lost by a little over two scores. This was a VERY competitive football game.
Although I have only written about losses thus far, these were impressive given the circumstances. However, my next game example will blow all of your minds. It is possibly the most ridiculous game result in UMass football history. And no, it isn’t a competitive November tilt against an SEC opponent. Rather a stunning blowout loss to an FCS football program. FCS!!!!!????
UMass Amherst Football VS Southern Illinois (FCS)
UMass 45 – Southern Illinois 20
Where do I start folks? Should I rant as a UMass fan or should I calmly reflect on this disaster from the perspective of a UMass sports reporter? I think I’ll do a little bit of both. Let me remind you of a few components regarding this game. This was the home opener for UMass football. Considering the current state of the Minutemen football program, this was possibly the biggest game of the year for them because when students go to the first game for the sake of going to the first game, you better win or else NOBODY will be stumbling in from the tailgate next week. It’s pretty apparent that the athletic department wanted to schedule a sure-fire win for the boys.
Not exactly how it ended up.
As I reflect upon the game, I would reckon that this was the worst possible outcome for UMass football. I think that the militia and myself would’ve rather seen them get blown out at home by a respectable FBS opponent. At least then we could go to sleep at night. (Wow, this was certainly all rant and little reporting… but I’m ok with that)
All of these game results are here for a reason. I want UMass fans to be able to grasp what our football program has become. What would happen if we put the 2019 UMass football team up against Florida this year? I genuinely would like to see the result of that. Would UMass lose by 200? 300? Maybe they would be the first-ever football team to lose by 1,000 points. What a sight that would be.
With that being said, I didn’t forget about the big win yesterday.
Let’s get into it:
UMass Amherst (0-4) VS Akron (0-4)
UMass 37 – 24 Akron
I apologize but this game was such a disaster that I couldn’t even recover a single highlight tape from all of the internet.
The absolute definition of a “toilet bowl”. This is a familiar term to many of us millennials. However, in our minds, a “toilet bowl” was simply a figure of speech. Well, I am proud to announce that I have witnessed the true “toilet bowl”. Yesterday, I watched UMass squeak by the absolute worst team in all of college football. Literally, the sole purpose of this game was to pronounce one of these two teams as the worst of the worst.
130th out of 130 teams baby.
As I sat at the top of an empty UMass student section, I thought of some interesting things. I would bet that an SEC fan would be interested to witness a game like this. The game was so preposterous and pathetic that a high-end college football fan would probably want to watch it just to see how it looks, feels, and sounds.
Let me tell you; it doesn’t look good, feel good, or sound good.
It is the most desperate sporting event that you will ever attend. As a student, they funnel you into the stadium from a widespread UMass endorsed party. Next up, you have to use your ID as a ticket (which is free of course). That’s right, it costs $0 to attend these games. After this, they give you a plate of the best barbecue that you will ever have. You find yourself sitting in the stands with a gourmet meal in front of you. Aside from the game, there’s really not much else to do besides yelling at the Minutemen to stop fucking around and do something productive. All that I think about after all this fanfare is just how desperate the scene is. Free game, free food, and free t-shirts.
What’s next, free tuition for anyone who comes out to cheer on the maroon and black?
From close games with the likes of Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Florida, to blowout loses against FCS teams and close wins over the worst team in the league. If I could describe the entire football program in one word?
UMass is a big university with PLENTY of school spirit. If you are a student here, odds are you enjoy it and would be more than willing to cheer on a competitive college football team. Let me point out one very specific man that doesn’t get enough shit. Whatever athletic director is sitting in their comfy UMass branded chair and is responsible for the last five years is SWEATING right about now. Does anyone have an idea of how this person should be punished? This one person who has been calling the shots for UMass football has caused so many people so much pain and anguish. I want revenge! Throw ’em in the pond!
I have one last thing to discuss. My friends and I sat directly behind the UMass men’s hockey team for the entire game. When I say that these kids were shitting on the football team, I am NOT embellishing whatsoever. These kids were laughing with us the whole game anytime some dumbass UMass safety let up an 80-yard post down the middle of the field. Thought I had to share this interesting development.
I hope you all enjoyed my first piece for the site. Let UMass hockey start so I can stop being so cynical and depressed. Those boys are going to be a WAGON. Till next time…
UMass Athletics Aficionado