An Open Letter To Coach Mark Stoops
Dear Coach Stoops,
I should begin by being totally honest ……. I’m no sports writer and certainly no football guru (went to one practice in high school and never returned). I am a fan and like most, I love our football program. The good. The bad. And the ugly. All of it.
While I (as the case with many fans) have been at times very critical of many things this season, I want you to hear that I believe with a whole heart that you are the man for our football program in Lexington. You are exactly what this program needs moving into the future! I love your passion for the game. There’s something very special about you and with time, you’re going to get the job done.
Coach, I will never understand the pressures that come with a job like yours. I can hardly handle the pressure that comes with coaching my Upward basketball team over the years. While many may believe that our football season is over, I am here to challenge all fans that it’s not. While some of us were expecting 7, 8, 9 wins …… 2 more gets us to the post season and when we get there, BOOM game changer. If you had asked 100 fans in August if they’d take 6 wins and a bowl game, 99 would have said absolutely yes (including myself).
Coaches, players and fans this season is not over. As fans, we need to pack CWS the next two weekends and support this program. Coaches and players need the stadium packed and loud the next two Saturdays! As easy as it may be to give up and quit now on this team ….. I am challenging you to not! Let’s cut the negative and keep it positive. Negativity breeds negativity. This team doesn’t need or deserve it. Yes, again I have been very critical at times but I am recommitted to the feeling that I had in August, September and October …. the feeling that we could beat any team on any give night. We have two teams left and I feel we can and will beat them both. Let’s pull together as a fan base and support coaches and players 100%.
I shared this in an open letter I wrote to Coach Cal back a few years ago and I think it’s relevant here as well. As I stated earlier, I have coached an Upward basketball team at my church for the past several years and I always use the following with my players each year. While it’s very simple, I believe it’s relevant to any team.
“We will both win and lose as a team. We are playing a team sport, not an individual sport.”
“Whether we win or lose doesn’t matter. How we respond to winning and losing is what matters.”
“Having fun is part of the experience.”
“Whoever wants the ball the most (grit and determination) usually ends up with the ball. You have to want it more than the other team.”
So #BBN can we rally as fans and “Stand With Stoops” to finish out this season strong and make it to post season play? Can we put aside any doubts we may have and believe again in this coaching staff and players? Can we stop the negative and keep it only positive?
I believe we can and I believe we will. Let’s “STAND WITH STOOPS” and go bowling.
Bradley Stevenson (A Fan)