I couldn’t help but chuckle. (No pun intended). Actually, “chuckle” is an incorrect representation of the amusement I received Friday when a friend from Raleigh emailed Lee Fowler’s open letter to fans to my Blackberry. I almost wrecked as I tried to park my vehicle.
(By the way…How long did that take? Seriously….did Fowler have to leave the game early to start writing that letter that was released to the public on Friday? Can you tell that good ole Lee was still distraught from his missed opportunity to get quoted earlier in the week?)
NC State’s fearful Athletics Director’s open letter to the NC State community has been discussed and debated since Friday. I’m not going to dissect it to pieces here. What I will say is that this ‘letter’ was inappropriate, premature, and absolutely moronic in every, single, possible manner known to mankind.
To get straight to the point one has to ask — What was the purpose of the letter? Truthfully, what was its purpose and what was the desired result of the letter? In the REAL WORLD (not the one in Fowler’s mind where things exist as they “should be” and not how they actually are), would the composition and public release of this letter actual achieve its desired RESULT? Do you really think that the letter was going to change the way anyone feels? or their behavior towards a public service announcement?
Of course not!! YOU knew that before the letter…and YOU knew that after the letter. Therein lies the difference between you and Lee Fowler.
But, what DID ultimately happen after the letter’s release (in reality) was also no surprise to anyone — Fowler’s letter immediately became a story in every major media outlet in the state of North Carolina; and yesterday it became news that you could see in all national media outlets including ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports. Now, the entire country has quick and easy access to Lee Fowler’s name as he has succeeded in doing exactly what a public letter (in the early part of October) will do — drawn significant attention and PRESSURE to our football program, coaching staff, and fan behavior. Awesome work!!
Of course, the letter came as no real surprise to anyone who has has followed the Mind of Lee Fowler for years. This is an Athletics Director that made a big deal that he shared his cell phone with reporters on his first day on the job so that they could call the ‘big guy’ (aka “Coach Fowler”) whenever their heart desired. For years, Fowler has easily been the most excessively accessible and talkative Athletics Director in the ACC (and probably the country). This is a badge of honor that he wears proudly in the middle of his dozens of “Q&A’s with Lee Fowler” that pop up in every piece of media that exists — from his own television show in the off-season to News & Observer articles, to internet websites.
That’s right…if you are reading this from outside of the NC State community, you heard me right — Our Athletics Director has his OWN TELEVISION SHOW. That may not be a big deal if you are a supporter of Texas or Florida or Notre Dame or Stanford or such; but the NC State Athletics Department is easily one of the worst in the entire ACC, as is evidenced in the annual President’s Cup standings where Fowler’s management philosophy generated a #51 national ranking despite a fund raising organization that easily ranked in the Top Ten (again). Additionally, NC State/Lee Fowler’s Athletic Department:
(1) is the only ACC program to NOT have played in at least one National Championship game or won a team National Championship in any sport in the last five years.
(2) has won fewer ACC Championships in the last 5 years than any other conference program. In fact, Duke, Carolina, and Virginia have all won more ACC titles in a single year (multiple times) than we have won aggregately in five years.
(3) along with Virginia (who has experienced much stronger broad athletic success) and Wake Forest are the only ACC programs to have failed to participate in at least a College World Series, a BCS Bowl, or a National Basketball Championship game since Fowler’s arrival in Raleigh.
Question — Do you think that our football program is the ONLY one having problems right now? Are we the only fans who boo?
Of course not!! Have you looked around? Do you know anything about fans at schools that don’t accept such horrible results from all of its programs yet keep writing ridiculous checks? Have you ever been to a college football game outside of Hayseed, Tennessee? Hell, Ohio State fans booed their friggin starting quarterback this weekend…IN A WIN!!!!
We may not be the only fan base in the country who gets frustrated with poor results…but go take a look on ESPN and Yahoo sports and you will see that we are the ONLY ONE in the country called out by our endearing Athletics Director with a letter plastered all over the national media We may not win a whole lot…but, people sure know who we are!!! Or should I say…they know who Lee Fowler is!!!
You have a right to think that Lee Fowler’s letter was the perfect way to end booing and deflect criticism from Chuck Amato and the NC State football program. Obviously, in light of the way the letter has been (predictably) received by the public and news media, you would be wrong.
What do you think will have more impact on a booing fan come State’s next home game on October 29th – a letter from Lee Fowler or a win this weekend at Wake Forest? In fact, if Fowler is so genuinely concerned about booing, why would he release his letter 15 days prior to the next NC State home game? Why not wait until October 27th or 28th to address the fans concerns in a more appropriately timed release?
In the end, Lee Fowler’s letter has achieved NOTHING other than to get Lee Fowler’s name is in lights…again. Is that really a surprise?
Now that I think about…maybe the letter did achieve EXACTLY what Lee Fowler intended. Maybe he’s not the dumb one after all?