I think we can all agree that tonight was bad. A couple thousand rubber ducks didn’t give our football team the luck we needed to escape this disaster.
Unlike peanut butter and jelly, or baseball and cracker jacks, UCF football and homecoming just don’t go together based on the last couple of years. Houston proved that when they came to Bright House Networks field and sent us running back to our dorms in a 58-10 massacre. Temple humiliated us this year when we scored 25 points in the first half, but failed to capitalize in the second, allowing the Owls to score a game-winning touchdown on a 70-yard, 32-second drive.
But what I think we all need to take a step back and remember is that compared to last year, things are looking pretty good. When I came to UCF and sat through 12 games of torture as a freshman fan, all I could say to myself was, “Great. Four more years of terrible football. Guess I wasn’t tortured enough in high school.”
But before this game, we sat in second place of the eastern division of the American Athletic Conference, held a 3-2 overall record, and had witnessed the growing sensation that is Scott Frost and McKenzie Milton. Milton became Orlando’s favorite son and Frost gave people hope that maybe this city had a chance of repairing its football reputation.
And despite this terrible loss and the fact that our winning streak is done, we sit at .500 and we have to deal with the pain that a win was stolen from right under our noses for the second time this season, everything is fine for all of the UCF football fans.
Two plays have made the difference technically between us being 5-1 and 3-3 (Maryland and Temple). We probably won’t win the conference title. The Thanksgiving game against USF certainly won’t be fun for any of us, but once again I remind everyone to think about where we were last year with George O’Leary and where we are now with Frost.
We are heading into next week where we will face UCONN (3-4, 1-3) who will have to recover after suffering a 42-27 to USF on Saturday night. Then after a very tough matchup against Houston, we will face off against Tulane (3-3, 0-2) who should be an easy win if Frost and company can contain an average rushing and passing game.
From Tulane, where I am predicting UCF will sit with an overall record of 5-4 and a conference record of 3-2, UCF will become bowl eligible if they can claim a sixth win. That should come when I see UCF beating Cincinnati (3-3, 0-3), a team that had trouble early on against conference opponents, claiming that sixth win before heading into games against two tough teams — Tulsa and USF.
Now, while many will probably disagree with my opinion of where we will stand in the coming weeks, what you have to understand is that as a New York Mets and Jets fan — as the New York Times wrote — you have to be a little bit demented. I completely agree. Why I put up with the constant misery and torture of being a fan of organizations that make a weekly hobby shooting themselves in the foot, I will never know.
I guess it’s out of loyalty and an inherited dedication to New York sports that my father passed down to me. But, what I am trying to get at, is that when you’re a fan of teams like the Mets, Jets, Rangers and Knicks, you have to believe that for all the misery you put up with, you’ll someday be rewarded. If you can’t do that, what’s even the point of being a sports fan?
As my dad would always tell me, and still does anytime I feel like crying because Brandon Marshall drops a victory-inducing wide open pass or the Mets make the bonehead mistake of letting Daniel Murphy become the new Mets killer (Sorry, Chase Utley), “Where is the fun of being a fan of a team like the Yankees, who win all the time? It’s never a challenge.” And he’s right, I guess, but that might be the demented sports fan in me talking.
I see no reason why after an 0-12 finish from last year, the Knights can’t continue the good work they have been putting in this year, and turn this into a historic season that we can shove into all of our friend’s faces anytime they ever want to bring up the 0-12 mishap of a season ever again. Unless your friends root for FSU or USF. Then we really can’t talk. We are just going to have to deal with that for a couple more years.