You’ve earned this. You showed up last night, and made yourselves heard. Everyone knew where you were, before, during, and after the game. The team knew, the opposing fans knew, and the media knew. You deserved that beat down.
And when you got it, you deserved the fun times that came after.
You deserved the selfies with Fleck
Coach Fleck with the Bronco students! pic.twitter.com/2N0FPGoWE6— WMU Football (@WMU_Football) October 2, 2016
You deserved all the handshakes from the players and President Dunn. You deserved the few touches of the Victory Cannon trophy that you got. You were a 12th man, on the road no less.
But we have to talk about the rest of the season. There are 4 more home games, and 3 away games. Let’s start with the away games. They’re at Akron, at Ball State, and at Kent State (on Election Night). I don’t expect you to be at any of them. If you do make it, that’s a huge plus. But asking for a 5-hour drive for Akron, or long drives on Tuesday night for Ball State or Kent State is a lot.
However, the home games? They’re all on weekends*. You were mostly there for NC Central. You weren’t there for Georgia Southern. You earn a pass for those. But it’s MAC play now. It’s time to show up in full colors.
First up? Northern Illinois. They’ve won the MAC West the last six years. They’ve beaten WMU every year since I started my schooling in Kalamazoo. There have been some close calls, but no wins. It’s Homecoming, so there’s no excuse. Out of all the home games left, this is the one where I most expect you to be there.
What about the next one? That’s Eastern Michigan, two weeks after the NIU game. It’s the weekend before Halloween, so it’s perfect for football. It’s also a trophy game, with the Michigan MAC Trophy on the line. Oh, and the Eagles are actually decent this year! They’re 4-1 (the 2nd best record in the MAC), and they’re currently tied with us and NIU for the MAC West lead. They also got a vote in the Coaches Poll this week, so someone is taking notice of them as well.
After that, there’s some time off. Mid-November sees Buffalo come to town, and it’s the last Saturday game of the year. If you’re going home for Thanksgiving, it could be your last home game of the year. Show up, be loud. It should be a blow-out, so party the hell out of it!
And lastly, there’s Toledo. On Black Friday. On national TV. If you’re even remotely able to be at this game, do it. Take a break from shopping (where you could get hurt), and come be loud. The Rockets will likely be the only thing standing between the Broncos and a MAC Championship Game appearance (against a weak East foe). Both teams could be ranked. This is the biggest game left on the schedule, and the 12th man will be needed.
I know it’s hard to come out to all these games, but this team is worth it. They are ranked for the first time EVER. They are 5-0 for the first time in 22 years, with the chance to become 6-0 for the first time since WWII was a thing that the US wanted to stay out of (Pearl Harbor’s bombing occurred two weeks later to unfortunately change that). They have the MAC’s all-time leading receiver. And they have a coach that if you don’t show up, might decide that he wants to go somewhere that actually does have rabid fans over this next off-season.
Show up, keep cheering, and this team will pay you back with wins. This coach will be inclined to stay and build a powerhouse. And this program might break through ceilings previously thought to be untouchable (*cough cough* Group of Five bid *cough*).
Extremely Proud WMU Alumnus
P.S. It’s gonna be a nice week now that those CMU trolls are shut up around here, isn’t it?