POSTED ON JUNE 15, 2011:
Lazy sports organizations are for the birds
Apathy, as defined by some random Internet website, is the absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement. In a loosely related story, there are two types of sports media in T-Town.
The first group strives to eradicate apathy from the sports scene. We want to liven things up a bit. We try to sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on life. Wasaaaaabi.
The other group plays the game. If a ship is sinking, they will casually stroll by and toss a boulder on the deck. It's not their problem as long as Bob Stoops let's them into his press conference.
You know the difference. You can see the leopard's spots from the zoo's entrance. Sometimes it smells like the elephant encounter.
But what happens when an organization shows the same apathy toward their product?
Let's get this out of the way first. Huge Talons supporter here. Love the team, organization, atmosphere, etc.
When you visit their website disappointment ensues. In the age of digital media, social media and Twittermania, it can be easy to forget about old school home pages.
The schedule and subsequent scores on tulsatalons.com was last updated in April. Did the updater lose his or her job? Did the team's plummeting record (5-7) steer the direction? Apathy?
It is hard to toot someone else's horn when they are not blowing themselves. We'll toot anyway.
Here are some notes from a random Talons game earlier this year. The actual game does not matter to be honest.
We are spoiled with winning Talons teams. We took for granted their playoff run last year in the AFL. Now the organization must rely on faithful customers and a boost in the off-the-field product.
A lot was made of the Talons move into the BOK Center and Arena Football League last year. How is the fit holding up for both?
The BOK Center simply does not get old. Every event feels bigger inside. Even Elmo Live takes on epic status, but I digress.
The Convention Center made more sense from a size standpoint. The average Talons crowd hovers around 5,000. Those Convention Center crowds were always packed.
The BOK Center on the other hand always feels half empty. But the noise levels are fantastic. When the going is good, the atmosphere is electric.
So far the Talons appear well equipped to battle the big boys from Philly, Zona and the Windy City. Time will tell if they can add an Arena League Championship to their trophy case.
A motley crew joined me on the evening in question: A couple of first time Talons watchers, two love birds, a few BOK Center virgins and Lou from New York. Fuhgeddaboudit.
It is hard to believe the attendance figures listed. They must use tickets sold not actual attendees. Then again, judging the amount of people in a large arena is a difficult task.
I thought it would be interesting to quiz the group and see how many they thought were actually in the building.
Four thousand, 7,800, 1,200, 1,500 and 3,000 were the official guesses. It was close to four thousand listed so honestly, who knows. That was a serious question. Who knows?
The cheer squad drew plenty of interest from my section. They are a capable bunch. It feels like several have been with the squad for multiple years. Good for them. You can always pick out the new additions.
The AFL definitely is a niche sport. There is something alarming about having the coach stand on the field sending in plays from just behind the line of scrimmage. It screams Pop Warner.
Big bonus for the proximity to the players. You can really give players and coaches the business. Many of them will converse or acknowledge the crowd during down time.
Longtime Talons field general Justin Algood had not yet taken over at quarterback. Of course, his six touchdowns the past weekend sent a message to T-Town and the AFL. He's back baby.
At the time, the offense lacked explosion. Quarterback Matt Bassuener had taken the reigns from the overmatched former OSU Cowboy Bobby Reid. Bassuener hit the targets, but it was a struggle to score.
The wide receivers took heat. In years past, Talons fans were accustomed to Donovan Morgan and Jeff Hughley taking routine completions to the house.
Head Coach Mitch Allner thought heading into the year his young receiving corps would develop along with Reid.
Going into this season he had a plan. The youthful group was catching on during training camp but there had to be a day of recognition. "We are really going to go back to those first four games and see the guys who have progressed in that time and who haven't," he said prior to the first game.
Give the coaching staff and front office credit. Others might have plugged holes and patched leaks to survive.
They pulled the trigger and traded for Algood. In just two games, Algood had thrown for 11 touchdowns.
Maybe we owe receivers Troy McBroom, Brandon Copeland and Trent Shelton an apology. A different triggerman and much different results to date.
Here's hoping the 81-point outbursts this past weekend wasn't an apparition. The "W" was nice too.
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