“Hope” is something that Tulane football fans hold onto every Summer. But — the hope that fans have, can only last for so long. When September has come around lately however, the hope has turned into the reality of despair, once the ball gets kicked off in the fall. As fate would have it: this coming fall, things will look very different.
There is a clear difference between hope and certainty. Hope is defined by Merriam Webster as “To desire with anticipation of obtainment.” Furthermore, “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”
Tulane fans do have reason to have hope for the 2016 season. Hope is something that movies and fairy tales give, to connect with a desire deep within the human heart.
Hope is also something we strive for on a daily basis. Without hope, many of people or teams lose their focus on the task at hand.
New Tulane head football coach Willie Fritz surely has hope that his team will provide many wins this year. Former head coach Curtis Johnson — the man that Fritz replaces — surely had that hope as well.
The differences between Johnson and Fritz are night and day.New Tulane head coach Willie Fritz (photo courtesy of sportsnola.com)
Willie Fritz has a resume full of winning. In 13 years at Central Missouri Fritz had a 97-47 record. Fritz went on to Sam Houston St. for 4 years and went 40-15.
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That percentage comes to about 73% which is an improvement from Central Missouri’s 67% winning percentage. That includes a 14-1 record and an 11-4 record.
Both in 2011 and 2012, Fritz’s team went to the D2 national championship in each of those years. In 2014 and 2015 the coach went on to Georgia Southern to lead them to a 17-7 record.
Georgia Southern also came within 5 points of knocking off N.C. State and Georgia Tech in his first year. Tulane played Georgia Tech last year and lost 65-10.
Now think about that one score for a minute.
Georgia Southern lost to Georgia Tech 42-38. A mere 4 point defeat from a team like Georgia Tech should give fans certainty that Tulane will be different this year.Tulane football squad at Fall Camp scrimmage at Yulman Stadium, August 15th, 2015 (Photo courtesy of TulaneGreenWave.com)
This box score here should cement why Tulane will begin a new era this year. Georgia Southern was down 35-10 at halftime. If you do the math, that would add up to 70-20 final score if the trend continued. Willie Fritz did something at halftime that would allow the Eagles to score 28 straight points.
For the Eagles to come back like that, is simply staggering. This one game against Georgia Tech was only his third game at Georgia Southern.
I’ve got to believe that most of the crowd thought that the game was over. There surely wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the final score was 70-20, but it did not end up that way.
There had to be a certainty in that locker room that this game was not over. The real game started in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles didn’t win, but they also didn’t give up.
Certainty comes with knowing that preparation and hard work will get results.
Fritz has a system he originally conceived back in 1992:
“This is probably the 16th year I’ve done it. We give positive and negative points based on how they compete. If they set personal records in the weight room, they get points. If they are late to the weight room, they get minus points. If they miss class, they get minus points. If they are early for tutoring, they get bonus points. Each week, the team that wins, we do something fun with them. This isn’t little league where everyone gets a trophy. And if you lose, there’s a price to pay for that, too.”
Willie Fritz has a specific plan that he has used for 16 years.
The plans are like blueprints to a winning team. Fritz has done it over and over again everywhere. Tulane fans will have a reason to hope. The fans will eventually come around to certainty when the W’s start coming.
This is certainty. Fritz winning at Tulane will happen………