According to this story from the Buffalo News, the Buffalo Bulls are going to get a field house to practice football indoors, like the vast majority of division one football teams. It makes perfect sense, because they are in Buffalo and the weather sucks. It also makes sense if you are trying to get recruits and compete at the highest level. 10 of the 12 MAC teams have one, so on the surface, we really shouldn’t begrudge Buffalo for getting one.
However, most of us bloggers at Hustle Belt do exactly that. To be fair, Buffalo is the new guy, both to the conference and to division 1 football. There is already a natural bias. It’s compounded since they aren’t actually in the Midwest. I’ll be frank, there would probably be a negative side to the story anyway. It’s a stage in becoming blood brothers. Haze, fight, lifelong friends.
Lucky for us, Buffalo made it easy to hate this move. To a man, we all agree it makes perfect sense to build this facility. But to understand where our venom comes from, you have to understand the very essence of a MAC fan. We aren’t mainstream. We like the niche’. The underdog rules our very existence. In this case, we feel for the underdog that got thrown to the curb to make this field house a reality.
Four “non-revenue” sports were cut in early April by the Buffalo athletic department. Quite frankly, every athlete who lost their sport should receive a brick in the new building with their name on it, at the very least. Their sacrifice was great, and it matters not if they were willing participants.
Of course Buffalo isn’t going to acknowledge their loss was the football team’s gain. They’ll spin it like a sleazy two-bit politician. The money came from private donations, and loans and all that good stuff. The trimming of 2 million per year has nothing to do with maintaining this new facility, or so they will say, because they don’t want to put a personal cost to it.
But there is a personal cost, and failing to acknowledge it is the horrible part of this deal.
Football is king. I completely understand that. Money is money, and it makes the world go around. I understand that, too. There are going to be growing pains when a program goes from division 3 to division 1 in 20 years. Here is where my problem is. The used car lot that dropped a 10k donation for the new field house will get a plaque somewhere. The roughly 120 kids who had their college years drastically altered don’t even get a simple “thank you for your sacrifice.”