Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Keeping U.C. Football Healthy

Somebody get the Lindner family on the phone and convince them to shower Brian Kelly with multiple UDF stores, Great American Insurance annuities, and maybe throw in a banana farm in South America. Cincinnati, not just U.C., needs to get even more creative to make sure Kelly and his merry band of assistants continue to rob from the collegiate football rich and give to the poor, long-suffering, football fans of Cincinnati. The man is a treasure, an asset to the local community, bringing cheer and good publicity to an area sometimes lacking in both. U.C. football is enjoying a kind of success and popularity that hasn't been experienced in over 50 years, if ever. So how can U.C. keep the ball rolling into the future? We all know the answer is to keep Brian Kelly. If Washington and Tennessee made runs at BK last year, you better believe more teams will come knocking at the end of this season, and they'll be holding bigger and better offers. Mark my words. Sure, if Kelly leaves, U.C. might catch lightning in a bottle again and find a great coach. But why take the chance?
In the past coaches have done some of the things needed, but not all. This current regime is the total package. Check-off all of the following on the U.C. football to-do list:

1. selling the program to recruits and parents
2. maximizing the talent on hand
3. playing an exciting brand of football on offense and defense
4. engaging the administration, alums and students
5. getting the greater Cincinnati area to actually pay attention
6. making U.C. football relevant on a national scale

Coaches in the past have made some inroads on some of the above points, but not all. Kelly and his staff had a major leg-up on point six because of the Big East conference. As much as the national pundits continue to try and ignore what is happening in Cincinnati, Kelly is grabbing their attention once again. Monday's butt-stomping at Rutgers put to rest the prevailing national attitude that U.C. was a one-hit wonder in 2008 and merely the product of 10 seniors starting on defense. Once again, Kelly and his very capable staff have shown an ability to take their 22 best players and beat you, or take your 22 best players and beat you. So why gamble on losing a good thing? Just make sure Kelly goes nowhere. Give him a huge balloon payment if he stays 5 years, 10 years, whatever it takes. I realize most fans don't have the money to make that happen, but somewhere among U.C. alums and local fat-cats there has to be a collegiate football fan that loves winning. Right? Meanwhile I suggest the rest of U.C. football fans follow these steps to help ensure Kelly remains past 2009:

1. Sell out Nippert Stadium every game
2. Root very hard for Notre Dame and a 10 win season for big Charlie
3. Do the same for Boston College, just in case
4. Eat lots of ice-cream and hope the Lindner family likes winning football too.

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