Monthly Archives: July 2013
Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
– King James Bible
I believe in surrounding myself with minds that think greater than mine and doers who move mountains. The Proverb above essentially states that if you have many different opinions and ideas your goal is more likely to succeed. In other words, in the counsel of many, there is great wisdom. Sometimes these people around me are long time friends, work acquaintances, and some times strangers. I had the pleasure of meeting one of these minds as recently as last year. Caric Martin is a friend of Kennesaw State University in many ways. I believe most importantly as a counselor. He is a brilliant and calculated thinker who recently responded to one of my previous articles about school spirit at Kennesaw State. He agrees the challenge for Kennesaw State students over the next several years is an important one. I wanted to share his words and thank him for his knowledge and dedication to Owl Nation.
There is an old business adage that “Awareness Creates Value”. If you aren’t aware of a company or product you definitely aren’t going to buy. Using this rule for KSU, Awareness of Kennesaw State creates value for students and alumni and the degrees they have earned. You can go to the best school in the world, but if it isn’t well known does it give you an advantage?
One example I have used is the comparison of Stanford University and the University of Chicago. Which one is better known? What is the academic quality of each institution? Ask that question to a regular person and see what answer you get. Most will know Stanford, fewer will know Chicago. What if that person was the hiring manager and has to choose between candidates from the two schools? Why does anyone on the east coast know about Stanford, can we tell one thing about their academics, arts, even who founded it and why? (It has to do with Harvard by the way, a great story of snobbery).
It should be the goal of every student and alumni to increase the awareness of KSU to enhance the value of their degrees. One way to enhance awareness is to assist the athletic program and help them be successful. Students can’t give money, but they can give time and enthusiasm. It is to their advantage for the Athletic Programs be successful in their endeavors. It enhances the value of their degrees. They have the most time to benefit from our rise in prominence. But to break it down, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time., Students need to attend men’s basketball games and be spirited for two reasons. One to encourage the team and secondly to show our football recruits the level of support they will receive starting in 2015.
Seeds planted now with student time and enthusiasm for the athletic program will payoff with increased awareness later and more value for KSU degrees!
By the way, the University of Chicago did all the theoretical work on the atomic bomb and is a great academic institution equal to or better than Stanford. But no one discusses that.
Also, Stanford is officially named Leland Stanford, Jr. University. Mr. & Mrs. Leland Stanford Sr. went to see Dr. Charles Elliott President of Harvard University and offered to give enough money to build a dormitory. They were not as well dressed as Dr. Elliot and he was condescending to them and asked if they knew how much it would cost to build a dorm implying that they couldn’t afford it. The Stanford’s politely left and started their own university!
This article by Caric is absolutely right on! Kennesaw State’s awareness is at a moderate level. The opportunity for the students to increase the notoriety is real. With a full bowl of loud and enthusiastic students at Kennesaw State’s athletic events, the mindset of the Owl players and coaches change. Students can create a winning atmosphere that affect the games. This atmosphere also changes the mindset of the opposing players and coaches. They know that if they make one error, the Owl fans will let them hear it and remind them of it often. It will also give the players an experience that they are not likely to forget. That would translate into creating reputation. What is Kennesaw State’s fan reputation now? Yeah,…that’s what I thought. That is a direct relation to the student’s involvement in the athletic events. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen the fan base double, if not triple, in the last few years. The direction we are going in is the right one. But, the opportunity is here for those KSU14, KSU15, KSU16, and KSU17 to establish a reputation for Owl fans as, loyal, loud, and effective. Kennesaw State adopted the OurTimeKSU hashtag with football, but it is more than that. Our time means, now! There is an old idiom: “Strike while the Iron is Hot.” It means that blacksmiths who wanted to shape iron into swords and armor had to heat the iron to a certain temperature and then act quickly striking the iron with a hammer to form and mold it into the desired piece. Once cooled the iron was hard and unmovable. Our time is now, the iron is hot and the students are the blacksmiths. Strike the iron and lets mold a reputation that Kennesaw State and Owl fans can be proud of…Here’s to the KSU Blacksmiths!
Nothing stirs emotions of sports fans more than their favorite and lest favorite team uniforms. I have heard guys discussing the 3-4 defense versus the 4-3 and whether a”Tampa-Two” style defense has run its course or if it is still effective. I have also heard those same tough guys argue back and forth about who has the best and worst uniforms. Somehow the sports fan that walks out of the house wearing Zubaz pants (photo) and a stain-riddled t-shirt becomes a fashion expert when discussing team uniforms. Well, folks mccrearybroadcasting.com wanted to throw in our two-cents, so here we go. Here are the uniforms that we love to hate.
Throughout the years there have been some glorious football uniforms take the field in the NFL. Lets begin with some of the most controversial uniforms ever to be discussed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL in 1976 and were originally in the AFC West. They made a splash with their Florida Orange uniforms and the Errol Flynn-like pirate clutching a knife in his mouth. Some say the Buccaneer logo was winking, but let’s just assume he lost his eye patch. The Buccaneers Orange “creamesicle” uniforms have made the list of top 10 best and top 10 worst uniforms in football history. So the Buccaneers top the list in the uniforms we love to hate.
The next NFL uniform that makes the list are the current St. Louis Rams uniforms. The biggest problem with the Rams’ current uniforms is that they never needed to be changed. The old blue and yellow Rams of the Eric Dickerson age were classic and bold and had been around since 1954. In 2000, the yellow was replaced with “old gold” and the original blue with a darker “Millennium” blue. The change took the Rams to classic to USFL-like uniforms. It was a bad decision for the Rams and the history of NFL uniforms.
The next blunder to land on the uniforms we love to hate is the New England Patriots. The Patriots entered the AFL in 1959 as the Boston Patriots and introduced the world to Patriot Pat. The scowling Blue-coat with his red tricorn cocked back, his right hand grasping a football on the ground, and his left elbow draped across his left knee preparing for battle. The symbolic red, white, and blue uniforms served the NFL well, but not the Patriots. They struggled mightily only making the playoffs six times in from 1959 to 1993. A change in uniform in 1993 replaced Patriot Pat with a one-dimensional sleek-jawed patriot with flowing head wear. The most unusual aspect of the uniform change was the addition of silver to the red, white, & blue. The change put New England near the top of the list of uniforms we love to hate.
The saying goes “Nobody circles the wagons, like the Buffalo Bills.” That may be, but nobody screws up a football uniform like the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been searching for an identity since O. J. Simpson. They came close with Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Bruce Smith, but the epic four-year run of Super Bowl appearances without a win overshadows those “good years.” Since the Bills have changed their uniforms three times. In 2011, the Bills returned to a more traditional look with the white helmet and the charging buffalo, which was a step in the right direction. But the recent changes don’t change the history of the red helmets with the blue buffalo, which was hideous. Their feeble efforts lands them on the uniforms we love to hate list.
Lastly the NFL uniform that we love to hate wraps up with a uniform that was wrong from the beginning. The Carolina Panthers entered the league in 1995 with the ugliest uniforms in NFL history. Silver has been a contentious color for uniforms. Black and Silver of Oakland is acceptable, but add Royal Blue as the Panthers did and you have violated a rule. The Panthers also introduced a triangular logo that just was a head-scratcher. A panther is a great mascot. It is fierce, quick, and can dominate its prey. The Carolina Panthers, however…not so much. And, even if they did they wouldn’t look good doing it. But to the Panthers credit, they have seen the light and they have been incorporating more black and less silver into their uniform scheme. They also re-tooled their logo, which is marginally better. There may be something with attempting to use the panther as a mascot, because Georgia State Panthers have their own issues with the panther logo. But, we will save that for the NCAA version of uniforms we love to hate.
Tradition and pageantry is what makes college athletics stand apart from any other athletic event. It’s the marching band’s traditional step. It’s coaches and players walking to the stadium along streets lined with cheering fans. It’s the pre-game ceremonies that include bands playing fight songs and mascots parading around the field. It’s the feeling of the stadium shaking beneath your feet as the theme song pounds through the P.A. system. It’s the sound of fans erupting as the players blast onto the field with wild energy staking claim to their home turf. It’s the chants and yells during the game that brings the crowd together. It’s the moment the third quarter ends and the bells toll, the thunder booms, and the players hold up four fingers in acknowledgment that their job is not yet done. It’s the roar of victory and the bitterness of defeat. It’s the team gathering in front of the student section after a game to honor their role in the battle and sing the Alma Mater. It’s college football, and it’s coming to Kennesaw State. What will make our experience unique? What will we recognize as the “Owl Yell?’ How will we gather in victory? How will we gather in defeat? What will be Kennesaw State’s tradition? All these answers lay at the feet of the Kennesaw State students and alumni. It’s time to look at and learn what tradition is all about.
Tradition is usually handed down from generation to generation to build upon, but keep the core idea entact. Kennesaw State is a relatively young university that has exploded onto the academic and athletic scene. October 9, 1963 is the birthday of our Alma Mater, with Horace Sturgis serving as the school’s first president. It officially opened its doors in 1966 as Kennesaw Junior College. That isn’t a lot of time to take an idea and turn it into tradition. Especially since, Kennesaw State didn’t have an athletic department until 1983. Thirty years later, the Owls have won five national championships at the NCAA Division II level and made a grand entrance into Division I. In 2006, the Owls soccer team won the Atlantic Sun Conference in its first year of competition at the NCAA D-1 level and repeated in 2007 earning a trip to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships. Owls Baseball made the stride into D-1 play in 2006 and has an overall record of 235-205 since the move. Head Coach Mike Sansing led the team to back-to-back appearances in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game in 2012, 2013. They also added wins against the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Memphis, and Auburn since moving to D-1. Although the basketball team has struggled recently, they already have notched a storied victory over Georgia Tech in front of the home crowd. In 2013, they are positioned to be much improved and should have a shot at the Atlantic Sun title. But, with 20 years of athletic history behind them, tradition has not had time to really blossom.
In 2011, the real start of tradition began with the unveiling of the Kennesaw State Fight Song. It has yet to be named anything but The KSU Fight Song, but it has the potential to be a cornerstone of a long standing tradition. The composer, Dr. James Sochinsk, built in college pageantry with the lyrics such as “We bring the fight,” and “from the mountain we bring spirit,” as well as, “Kennesaw, it’s on to victory.” The problem is that most students don’t know Kennesaw State has a fight song, and they have no idea what the words are. This lack of spirit leads to awkward moments, like at the announcement of KSU football when the fight song was played and the mumbling of the crowd made it abundantly clear we had a long way to go.
So, with the football program in its infancy, a soccer and baseball program that is already successful, and a basketball program that has as much potential as ever, Kennesaw State is set on the athletes’ side. They just need to perform. After all, winning is still everything. But, now it’s the student and the alumnus that have to take charge and begin what will be tradition at Kennesaw State. To help them out, here are some of the greatest traditions in college athletics.
The most inspiring pregame traditions occur hours before kickoff, sometimes more than 12 hours before. Texas A&M holds cheering practice for students and the band. They call it the Midnight Yell. The night before a home game students and alumni gather at Kyle Field to practice their traditional calls and be introduced to new yells. The practice is led by a select group of students called the Yell Leaders. The Midnight Yell begins at the 24th hour and includes the marching band tuning up for game day and an appearance by Reville, the Aggies live bull mascot. In addition to spirit songs, two fables are told about how Texas A&M is going to beat their next opponent. Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 fans attend the Midnight Yell. With Kennesaw State having an Owl as a mascot, a Midnight Hoot might catch on.
On game day, the tradition of players and coaches walking to the stadium has brought the fan base closer to the team. The Georgia Bulldogs meet their fans on game day as they walk with the Redcoat Band from outside the Tate Student Center as they enter Sanford Stadium. The tradition was started by Vince Dooley, but was discontinued in the Ray Goff era. Head football coach Mark Richt re-introduced the Dawg Walk in 2001. Since this tradition was started by Vince Dooley, who lead KSU’s football exploratory committee, don’t be surprised if the Owls don’t start their game day with The March of the Black & Gold in to Fifth-Third Bank Stadium.
Thankfully, the time honored tradition of tailgating is alive and well on college campuses. There really is nothing better than sitting around a grill with friends and sharing Brats and beer chatting about all aspects off football. There is no better place to tailgate than in Oxford, Mississippi in The Grove. Rebel fans dress up in their “Saturday’s best” to cheer on Ole Miss while surrounded by 10 acres of Oak, Elm, and Magnolia trees. The Grove was named as the “Holy Grail of tailgating” spots by the Sporting News. A place where fans used to park RVs and automobiles has given way to 20,000 pop up tents. The Grove is a place where families for generations come and enjoy great food and Ole Miss football.
In the Stadium
One of the most important aspects of the college football experience occurs inside the stadium. Not the actual game, but the pageantry in the atmosphere. Without question the playing of Enter Sandman at Virginia Tech as 90,000 Hokie fans bounce up and down shaking the foundation of Lane Stadium is the most impressive entrance in college football.
But, there are many others that stir the spirit and passion of their fans and impress other watching. The War Eagle chant of Auburn as the Golden Eagle flies around the stadium is another impressive display of school spirit and tradition. Michigan State’s marching band is solely responsible for setting the tone for Spartans’ games. The band enters the field with a drum core pounding and the entire band in a kick step. The drum majors rush in front of the band and do a back bend touching the plume on their helmet to the ground and rise up right. The band then forms a giant S on the field and move in unison across end-zone to end-zone. It’s an amazing site to see the precision in which they move. Rachel Linsmeier, a drum major for Michigan State, said, “we strive for perfection to intimidate.” The marching band at Michigan State is as much a part of the football game as the players. Kennesaw State should take note as they stand to form a 250-person marching band. The Owls marching band has to be a major part of the game day experience to set the atmosphere for fans.
The Chants, Yells, and Hands
Great game day experiences come as student and alumni sing fight songs, chant in unison, and wave their hands in victory. UCLA is a great example of how a simple cheer can strike the fire of excitement into their fans. The 8-Clap cheer is simple and easy to learn. It begins with counting aloud eight claps then “U-C-L-A, UCLA, fight, fight, fight!” It is a part of Bruins tradition that fans all over the world recognize and will join in when they hear it.
Another great college tradition is at Kansas University. KU took liberty with the traditional wave at football stadiums. They call it the Waving Wheat. Fans move together with their hands in the air simulating the breeze hitting the wheat of the Kansas plains. This easy movement is for Jay Hawk fans to do after a KU touchdown. They also have the Rock-Chalk Jay Hawk chant. There is no mistaking the sound of students and alumni yelling the Rock-Chalk Jay Hawk. Both have created a fun atmosphere at the Kansas Jay Hawks sporting events. The key to the success of these chants and movements is the fans know when to do them. A really interesting tactic for making KU chants and waves a tradition is the release of their spirit YouTube series. Any fan can go to YouTube and find the traditions and chants to be prepared on game day.
A lot goes into college sporting events. Athletic departments all over the country want to make their experience stand out against the others. Many schools have done a great job. Georgia Tech and the 1930 Model A is a classic entrance for a football team. At Tennessee, the playing of Rocky Top builds pride in fans. The cow bells that rattle for 60 minutes during a football game at Mississippi State. The dotting of the I in Ohio by the band at Ohio State is another fine example of tradition. Toledo’s cannon, University of Virginia’s Wah-hoo-wah chant, Hawaii’s Haka Warrior chant, and Purdue’s huge bass drum are all examples of the traditions and pageantry that make college sports feel like no other sporting event. Now it is Kennesaw State’s turn to build on ideas that become tradition and create what many crave, pride in being a Kennesaw State Owl.
The Cape Cod Summer League has named Kennesaw State’s catcher Max Pentecost (Winder, GA) the Coca-Cola Player of the Week after he set the Cape Cod record for reaching base seven times in a single game. His final at bat sealed the game for the Bourne Braves in the 12th inning as he bombed a walk-off home run. The previous game, Max had another exceptional game as he had three extra base hits, including two doubles and a Grand Slam home run. He sits at .370 this summer with five doubles and five home runs. Pentecost warmed up during the Owls’ regular season finishing with a .302 batting average and three home runs, two of which came in the Atlantic Sun Championship Tournament.
Max is one of several Owls that have made bold statements with their play during the summer leagues. Check out http://www.ksuowlhowl.com/baseball/summer-league-2013/ for more on the Owls playing Summer League ball!
Kennesaw State head football coach, Brian Bohannon will feast his eyes on hundreds of young men as he hosts the first football event at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium. A 7-on-7 passing tournament will be held July 10-July 12 as some of the brightest high school talent from around the state take part. In an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, Coach Bohannon said, “We’re going to have nine different teams each day and 27 teams total. Each team will get to play six games and really get to test themselves against some quality opponents.
“This camp was a huge goal of ours,” Bohannon said. “We wanted to get as many of these athletes to campus as we could. We can show them what KSU has to offer.
“With 27 teams, and each of them has about 20 kids per team, that’s a lot of kids. They’ll be playing 7-on-7 games on the stadium field and it will be a unique situation for them. For us, it’s a chance to get them on campus and show off KSU and let them be around our coaches.”
Assistant Coach Liam Klein painted the picture of what Fifth-Third Bank Stadium will look like lined for football. It is a sight that Kennesaw State fans have been aching to become a reality for more than a decade. As the time gets closer to Kennesaw State’s own football team to take the field, the little things will bring abrupt reaction by Owls fans. We watch waiting for ESPN to include Kennesaw State on its football page. For Kennesaw Sate to get a blurb in an Athlon Football magazines. For Kennesaw State to reveal the conference they will call home. For Kennesaw State to have a full roster of players battling for starting positions. And finally, for Kennesaw State to storm Fifth-Third Bank Stadium with a raucous crowd, the sound of a marching band, and the crackling of pads as it is game time for the Owls!
Thanks you Coach Klein for sparking that imagination that will soon, but not soon enough, be a reality, football at Kennesaw State!
On this Fourth of July, we celebrate the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It is a day to recognize the freedom and liberty setforth by our forefathers. It is a day to honor those who have fought to retain the freedom from peril. Please take a moment to watch as Red Skelton discusses the meaning of each word in our Pledge of Allegiance.