Wilson not happy with passing game

Just as Indiana’s running game seems to have shown some signs of life, the passing game seems to be going backward.

The Hoosiers rushed for 223 yards last week and passed for just 64. For the second straight week, the Hoosiers’ starting quarterback completed just six passes and finished with less than 70 yards passing. This comes a year after the Hoosiers led the Big Ten in passing yardage.

Obviously, that comes in large part because the Hoosiers have spent the year shuffling through quarterbacks because of injury in the first year of the post-Ben Chappell era, but IU coach Kevin Wilson said he thinks the passing game has been down across the board, especially at wide receiver.

“Our receiver play’s been very, very poor,” Wilson said. “Going back to Penn State with all the drops. We don’t work with any sense of speed and urgency out there. If you watch our receivers play, we play very fast on routes, but if there’s a run play, we jog off the ball. Our young players are battling, getting better, but we need better receiver play. It’s a collective deal. I don’t think the quarterbacks trust the line. I think the receivers don’t practice or play with the speed so that the quarterback knows where it’s gonna be. We’re just an offense and a passing game that’s completely out of sync. That’s real. How do we fix that? We keep practicing and staying positive.”

The quarterback not trusting the line sounds worse than what Wilson meant. The offensive line actually made some improvements on Saturday and didn’t do as poor a job of protection as they had the week before against Illinois when the Hoosiers surrendered five sacks. That had more to do with Wright-Baker returning from an ankle injury after two games on the bench.

“He hadn’t played in a while,” Wilson said. “He was coming off an injury. Playing against a good opponent. He just had to set his feet. Just gotta trust the protection a little bit. He was all over the place, timing was off. He hadn’t been under fire in a while. He’s playing a team that’s top five in the nation. Maybe made the opponent and the challenge a little bit bigger than it was. But you still gotta play within rhythm, within yourself. He was just out of wack Saturday.”

But the line and the wide receivers both bother him. The line includes two senior starters in left tackle Andrew McDonald and guard/tackle Justin Pagan as well as junior center Will Matte, who hasn’t missed a start in his career. The receiving corps, meanwhile, was expected to be the most talented position group on the squad with senior Damarlo Belcher returning after leading the conference in receptions last season and sophomores Duwyce Wilson and Kofi Hughes backed by a strong group of freshmen.

“It’s all subjective talk, but I had been of the opinion that our receiver crowd and offensive line with three seniors would’ve been the groups that would’ve led us,” Wilson said. “Those were the groups that have been the two most inconsistent groups. … A couple of the groups that I thought were going to be good have been pretty disappointing.”

Said co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rod Smith: “I think they’re probably the most talented group on our team, and that’s probably what disappoints you a little bit is you want more production from those guys. You want more effort, you want more catches, less drops, when they have the opportunity. That’s not pinning anything on just the wideouts. We’ve got more problems than just the wideouts. When you look at it, it’s a pretty athletic group. It’s probably the most experienced group we have.”

Other notes from Tuesday’s press conference:

— Smith and Wilson both said they expected to continue to use sophomore wide receiver Kofi Hughes as a quarterback in a wildcat formation. Hughes, who was a quarterback at Cathedral, rushed seven times for 31 yards against Wisconsin on Saturday, mostly on runs when he took the snap.

“We’ll expand that, absolutely,” Smith said. “How much we see it Saturday, I don’t know. That depends on how the defense plays. How they match up, how they plays us. But we’ll definitely expand that because I think Kofi’s a good athlete, it’s good to get the ball in his hands.”

— Wilson said freshman defensive end Bobby Richardson, junior center Will Matte and senior wide receiver Damarlo Belcher all have a chance to play in Saturday’s game at Iowa.

Richardson missed Saturday’s game with a concussion suffered in Wednesday’s practice. Wilson said he was close to playing Saturday and he did practice Monday. Belcher, who tweaked his knee and came out before halftime of Saturday’s game at Wisconsin, also practiced somewhat Monday. Matte did not practice Monday with a sprained knee, but Wilson said he hasn’t been ruled out.

Wilson said that redshirt sophomore quarterback Dusty Kiel remains out with a high ankle sprain. Senior safety Chris Adkins, Wilson said, won’t play because of a knee sprain. Senior safety Donnell Jones is also out with an ankle injury and senior safety Jarrell Drane is still out.

— Co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler was disappointed with the effort Saturday after believing the squad had made progress in previous weeks, especially since the second half of the North Texas game.

“I look at our season so far, we’ve made progress each and every week defensively until last week,” Ekeler said. “We took a huge step back. I’d say that in the last four weeks. I’d felt as though we’d been making progress. Last week, we just laid an egg and came out, guys played uninspired. They played undisciplined. It was like we were a little bit scared to be out there.”

Ekeler was asked if he was afraid some of the older players, especially the seniors, had checked out because of the 1-6 start. He said there have been instances when senior leaders have not been practicing as hard as need be, and he’s been trying to nip it in the bud.

“I told a lot of those guys, ‘Invite your family to the next game if you’re gonna play like that,'” Ekeler said. “‘Because that’s gonna be senior day for you.'”

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 1

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 2

AUDIO: Rod Smith

AUDIO: Mike Ekeler

AUDIO: Kofi Hughes



  1. Dustin, I don’t remember this much feedback from the coaches in recent years but what I know is what I see in print or online. Are the coaches providing more content than in the past? I like what they are putting out there.

  2. Every time I’ve read KW’s commentary I’ve found it analytical, frank and instructive. It really does make it clear why we are losing games, where we should be improving and what we should be expecting from the Hoosiers over the next 2-3 years. Winning is important, but for now, I’m happy we are developing an idea of what we should expect to call good football. And that, is making this season enjoyable despite the losses.

  3. DD I really enjoy your reporting of the KW’s conferences and the detail you include of his analysis. It is very complete, quptes very well selected, answers questions clearly and gives me (and I suspect most other readers)a good idea of what is being achieved and KW’s vision of what he wants to accomplish with IU football.

    I also think (please grab onto your chair as you read this) you’ve done a great job of carrying on the blog. It’s as good as anytime since I’ve been reading it. The depth of some of the conversations here should tell you about the impact you’ve had on the bloggers and the interest in IU sports. We (readers) agree, disagree, get rowdy and, lord knows, testy…but you’ve got all of us interested and involved.

    This report today is an excellent example of what I’ve gradually appreciated more and more. At times I have wacked you pretty good- sometimes unfairly-, and probably owe you an apology for it. Please accept it. You are an a really accomplished sports writer and have shown growth with every story . You’ve earned the respect many readers have for you. You have mine.

  4. Can I assume that the mystery senior WR missing from the below paragraph is Belcher as he is mentioned later in the story?

    Wilson said freshman defensive end Bobby Richardson, junior center Will Matte and senior wide receiver all have a chance to play in Saturday’s game at Iowa.

  5. Tsao, thank you very much, sir.
    Chet. They are definitely providing more interesting content. That mostly is because they’re not afraid to call players out. I’m sure the Lynch administration could’ve provided us more, but Lynch especially was deeply opposed to anything that came within 100 miles of throwing players under the bus. Better or worse is sort of eye of the beholder that way.
    The press conference dynamic is also a little different and that’s been significant. This year, Wilson and a coordinator from each side take the podium every Tuesday. Last year, the coordinators were available upon request, and they were always good for whatever you’d want to know, but they aren’t up in front of everyone. Facing the firing squad for the podium always makes for a different dynamic. When you’re dealing with players, it usually freaks them out and it takes away from the interview, so I hate putting players in a press conference setting. But with coaches, it does turn it into something professorial, and it allows the reporters in the room to play off each other and build off the answers to each other’s questions.
    That being said, these guys are especially frank to begin with, and my copy appreciates that anyway.

  6. DD- You may recall that during the pre-season, in response to a question about whether he was trying to light a competitive fire under his QBs by criticizing their performances to the media, Wilson denied such as a motiviational strategy, saying that “players don’t read the papers.” So as has been asked about the sound of a tree falling in the forest, is anyone thrown under a bus if they don’t read about it in the paper? That is, could it be that KW feels that criticizing players to the press does not = throwing them under the bus becasue they don’t read the papers (or this blog), and thus will never know that they have been “thrown under the bus?” Or maybe KW hasn’t thrown anyone anywhere. My understanding of that term is that it means that someone is avoiding an undesireable situation by shoving someone else (usually innocent) into the path of said undesireable situation. Criticizing someone is not the same as offering them up as a scapegoat for one’s own problems.

  7. Possibly. Let me apologize for my wording, because I didn’t necessarily mean that Wilson was throwing his players under the bus. I was more so saying that Lynch was very, very much conscious of not doing it, so he wouldn’t even step near the gray area. Those made for some stilted and dull press conferences, but you sort of had to admire how closely he stuck to that principle.
    Wilson has taken responsibility for his own shortcomings at times, so obviously, he’s not pinning all the failures on the players. I can’t say for certain whether Wilson is too critical of his players in the media or if Lynch was not critical enough, because at the end of the day, I’m not at practice or in meetings and I’m not privy to their discussions. I guess really what I’m trying to say is it’s hard to know which approach to these is better than the other without knowing all of its effects. But from an entirely self-interested perspective — and this is more true now that we’ve learned that Wilson’s “I don’t talk about injuries” policy apparently doesn’t apply to guys who were seeing significant time before they were hurt — this is at least better for press conference copy.

  8. Of course he’s down on the passing game, I don’t think they have a D1 QB to legitimately execute it.

    In the meantime, I would say it’s about time the WRs are called out. They should be the best position on the team, but they are consistently never open and look nonchalant to me.

    On the other hand, what motivation is there when your QB can’t deliver an on-target throw consistently.

  9. I think, as Dustin stated, he’s just being frank. It almost sounds like a mechanic telling you what problems your car has. I work with special needs children. A piece of advice I always give my co-workers when discussing situations with parents is, “Just be honest, you’ll never have to explain yourself later”.
    Coach is just being honest.

  10. This is a total guess, but I would imagine that Oklahoma fans would expect this level of detail from an OC because they are following the team much in the same way we follow IU basketball. If Wilson had not given this level of detail back in Nornan, he probably would’ve been viewed as a bit suspect.

  11. cin, I think you’re on target. I’ve heard that the OC and the DC have their own TV and/or radio shows in places like Norman.

  12. It will be really interesting to see how this team develops in the next two or three years as Wilson brings in “his kind of players.”

    It’s no secret our quarterbacks leave plenty to be desired…but I haven’t been too impressed with our receivers either. It’s nice to hear the blame not being placed squarely on the QBs. I’d be interested to know if there’s some discontent among our receivers because of a lack of perceived ability by our QBs. I mean Belcher could be a beast, but he looks terrible. Are they even targeting him that much? Does he lack motivation? You’d think with a guy like Belcher if we just throw him a few more decnt passes, he’s big enough to outmuscle defenders and make a few big plays for us.

  13. Just saw a segment on the Today Show about mechanics from national shops running up charges for unnecessary repairs…sometimes charging in excess of $1000 for a simple $100 repair. Finding an “honest” mechanic is like finding a politician in a Republican debate that doesn’t want to throw Obama under a bus.

    I’m a bit on the fence when it comes to calling out players at a press conference. Sounds like Dustin was also a bit hesitant to completely soul search where he stands on the issue..I remember when Dustin took a ton of heat for perceptions his pointing out a potential scholarship situation to recruits at an AAU event was a completely out of line gotcha moment. Looking back, I was one of the guilty that dished out more criticism than he deserved. We threw Dustin under the bus because of our natural instinct to defend our new coach. I totally understand his pulling back on a topic that could once again place him staring at the exhaust system of a Greyhound.

    Wilson is the coach so I guess either suck it up or hit the road?

    I still have a bit of empathy for players that find ties to coaches that recruited them severed in the middle of their college careers. We tend to give little notice how a coach can become a father figure when so much time is invested in the relationships. We are hesitant to put blame on a first year coach for a team he didn’t build when they are not playing up to snuff, yet we forget how defensive and faithful players can remain to coaches when fans and media take easy cheap shots of blame at the figurehead for all the teams’ woes. Sometimes a great motivator for players is when they believe their coach is being unfairly scrutinized. There is quite the interplay of psychology when it comes to motivation and devotion between players and coach. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to play the role of villain, deflect blame from your players, and let yourself be thrown under the Jerome Bettis occasionally….give the troops a chance to rally behind the new leader in town rather than put them on the defensive by using the podium to obsess over shortcomings found in the players the previous general brought to battle.

  14. Nothing Coach Wilson and staff express about players at the podium of their PC’s has not already been told to this player and that player or a group of players during practice and meetings(like a Prof telling a student why his grade is such). The players know the analysis of their performance long before we are told. That is why we see improvement even if in incrementally small, periodic steps. Wilson has it just about right(on).

  15. The upperclassmen probably do have an affinity for BL but any freshman that signed thinking they would be playing for Bill Lynch didn’t do their homework. That’s pretty much true for the sophs, as well, as BL was given one more season for no apparent reason.

  16. I think most of us on here are fairly astute with what is going on with the football team. Enough to say Kevin Wilson and coaches are not lying. They are only stating what is pretty obvious. These are areas that the team needs to continue to work on to improve. I always try and watch KW’s body language and how he treats players on the sidelines. It seems to me, he has great patience, and is always willing to teach or point something out. It is also clear to me he expects the team to expect more out of themselves. Remember, you can do more than what you think you can. Some of the players don’t seem to understand that. But many are starting to show that they do.

  17. I do feel as if Wilson is sacrificing the careers of many of the players . He still says they are not practicing hard which is beginning to sound like a broken record. I think the players are so tired of the total chaos of his coaching decisions, that many are unsure of their roles. Wilson seems totally disorganized and uses his bad-boy image to intimidate rather than to actually instruct and coach.

  18. Dustin, your apology for using the words is hallow. You make your living by using words, it is hard to imagine you did not know what you were doing. The press wants coaches to be honest and straight, and when they are, the press throws them under the bus. Over the years Kevin will learn, then his press conferences will be just like all the others.

  19. “total chaos”?

    The past 4 years were ‘total chaos’. What I’m seeing is a BCS level football coach. As Mass.Hoosier noted, when a player comes off the field after making a mistake KW calmly explains what should have been done in that situation, pats them on the butt, and turns back to the game. I’ve never seen him try to intimidate anyone. BL wanted to make sure their feelings weren’t hurt.

  20. How the hell could anyone perceive the players to be unsure of their roles? Coach Wilson and staff are honest and tremendously good communicators. Every player knows what role he has, some are disappointed with it and others refuse to accept it. But they are both told their plight just the same. Both get as little PT as can be schemed and their future for the same is not bright.

    With IU, PUke, NW and Minny looking to end up at the bottom of the list for the season has me thinking about the W/L for the the remainder of it. I believe IU could finish out 2-3, PUke 0-6, Minny 0-6 and NW 3-3. Take a close look at the games left.

  21. CW,
    I know this is a stunning revelation, but as much as I work with words, there are times when I still screw up with them. Shocking, right? I didn’t actually say Wilson threw his guys under the bus, I said Lynch didn’t want to go anywhere near that. Wilson’s press conferences are more insightful in large part because he points out where his players screw up. I didn’t say that what he does amounts to throwing his players under the bus, but I can see how one could think that I did, so I apologized.

  22. Two things trouble me. First the lackadaisical attitude by the receivers. Sounds like they just want to put out an effort when it’s an actual pass play, otherwise they give a halfhearted effort. I speculated that this could be the reason why Bolser hasn’t been as great an impact as he was last year. In this offense a TE has to block, but it appears that all he wants to do is go out for passes.

    Secondly, Wilson’s statement that he was disappointed with the performance of the offensive line because he thought they were going to be good. I haven’t been impressed with this groups OL play for a couple of seasons. Yeah they didn’t give up many sacks last year, but that was more a product of a senior QB standing in the shotgun and getting rid of the ball quickly before a defender could get close. They were terrible at run blocking last year and that hasn’t changed much this year. Either these players are simply practice field players or Wilson isn’t as strong at evaluating offensive line talent as I had given him credit.

  23. While Belcher is a physical freak who often wrestles passes away from defenders you don’t want to count on it. He’s just not getting separation from the defenders. When he does he’ll get thrown to more.

  24. Honest, direct feedback is essential to improving performance. Mixed messages have a tendency to be interpreted to the subordinate’s false assurance and is unfair to them. It’s also essential to building mental toughness required to perform at a high level.

    I have only heard/read Wilson say one thing about a player in the press that I thought was inappropriate and that was a comment about the former running back who had been chronically injured. And that was a minor offense. Since then, I think his comments have been honest, fair and accurate. His comments about the players are generally collective and do not include personal malice or ridicule.

    Does anyone remember Bob Knight’s comments about his players? They were far more harsh in expressing his constructive criticism of players’ to the press than anything Wilson has said so far. I don’t recall too many people wringing their hands or worrying about Knight hurting his players’ feelings when Knight criticized one of his player’s performance? I guess when your teams win, you get the benefit of the doubt.

    Good coaches set the bar high and they don’t let their players settle for less than the best the players can be, both individually and collectively. My perception is that there is a huge gap between Wilson’s expectation of performance and Lynch’s previous expectations. It takes time to adjust to the the new, higher expectations. Any adult that has had a soft boss, then got a new very demanding boss, understands that the adjustment is difficult.

    I think Wilson is simply being honest, but at the same time using the media to reinforce the messages that he has already made directly to his players. If that offends any young man’s sensibilities or bruises their delicate egos, they probably aren’t cut out for Big Ten football. I have no doubt that some of IU’s current players are not and will decide to move on to a situation they perceive as being less arduous and less demanding. I wish them well.

  25. DD- I reread your “bus” comment again after I sent my response to (and before I read your response ot my response) it and I did misread it somewhat- your comment was about Lynch’s policy, not Wilson’s, even if it was inaptly described (and who among us has not done the same on occasion?) A policy of not calling out players’ faults in the media is just one way of handling things; like a lot of policies, it has its advantages and disadvantages. I can see how BL’s policy made for less material for the press corps.

  26. Podunker comment #28 is spot on. The measures Coach Wilson and staff are taking together with their rhetoric are all focussed on moving a lower level D1 program to the B10. This is a very big (audacious) transition. It has not been easy and it will be a lot harder in the years ahead. Every aspect of the program is under performing at present. Until now, a major reason for underperformance has been under investment. The administration has demonstrably committed to changing that which is why they have invested so heavily in facilities and coaching.

    IU is till very much on the investment curve. In fact, we are at the lower end of the curve. The lower end can be summed up in one word: infrastructure. We now have it and that’s good. Next step: talent acquisition. No sense trying to attract top talent when we did not have facilities and no one to coach that talent. As part of the talent acquisition strategy, the professional coaching staff will retain those players who they think can perform and will systematically “coach out” those who would be better off elsewhere. This is exactly the behavior all of us should expect from this staff and this is exactly what we are witnessing.

    Now we have facilities and coaching and we hopefully will acquire talent which will then allow us to put a competitive product on the field. Then, we’ll work on some of the “game day” experience aspects which need revamping and updating such as school colors, mascot, band performances etc.

    The strategy is obvious and is being executed. All we have to do is continue to support the people who we have chosen to lead the process.

  27. First, what a great discussion! If nothing else it proves as Hoosier fans we are evolving into a much more demanding, realistic, high aspiration>objectives bunch. Most of the comments seem to be appreciative and encouraging about Kevin Wilson’s setting high standards, expecting players to expect themselves to meet them, demanding their performance play to the standards of the expectations and being completely frank and direct about his/their evaluations of their performances.

    We asked for a ‘new culture’ for IU football. After two decades we were fed up to the weekly fall ritual of coming to Bloomington, seeing the stadium 1/2 full, seeing the team run out in uniforms that some times looked like IU, sometimes like Santa Claus at the Mall; fans put more passion into their tailgate chorizo hotdogs and everyone run around singing “We’re Big Ten…la, la, la.”

    Now, we are getting it and…yeah, beginning to sound like it (with the exception of a couple trying to stick their heads into the big gun by the entrance to Memorial Stadium crying ‘I just wanna win now….’. It’s not comfortable. No one said it would be.

    I believe there have been two opposite philosophies of how you make a team. One was clearly Bob Knight’s and, likely, Wilson’s. Demand character and competitive hardness as a base from each individual, uncompromising development of their fundamental skills, focus on each player’s individual performance, intelligent game planning based on matching our strength, selfless team play and defending to force the opponent to play to his third fourth level of weakness.

    This, by the way, was the way our society built itself into the envy of the world until the 1970’s. Achieving was a reward for a work ethic that existed in itself. No one had to tell you when you did a good job, you knew. Conversely, you knew the consequences of posturing.

    On the other hand, there’s been a philosophy typified by Bill Lynch- and, generally child raising- since the 1970’s. Never say anything ‘discouraging’ (how the definition was used is still a mystery). Be positive, accept failure and encourage improvement. “It’s not whether you win or lose …but…”, even when the result of expecting to lose became the very definition of a loser. The crisis of confidence and the challenge to ‘American exceptionalism’ we now face in this country has, I believe, a lot to do with the dominance of this philosophy.

    It’s reflected in all our institutions. Many teacher’s are trained to accept what once was unacceptable work. Parents want to be ‘buddies’ with their kids, at their kid’s level. ‘C’s have nearly the same value as A’s. Team’s award 6 to 10 Most Something Awards. (My kid once called the team’s Most Improved Award the Up-From Sucky Award).

    And here, at Indiana, having a half-filled stadium, scheduling to ‘build/pad the record’ became an ethos (not just in football), while losing three-fourths of our Big Ten games became a ‘normal’ experience.

    We asked for the change in culture. We don’t want to wine the Big Ten’s Up From Sucky Award. We are now beginning to understand what it takes to winn and that it is not always as effortless, pleasant as ‘tailgating’. Some fans will not like it; the comfort even ‘glory’ of ‘losing’ is no longer available nor acceptable. But winning is achievable. For the rest of us, under Kevin Wilson, Hoosier is beginning (emphasis on beginning)to take on its intended meaning.

    It’s more than about a football game. It really is about who we are.

  28. NO KIDDING….How could he be happy about anything football except his salary….MacIU looks like an undercooked big mac trying to play in the big ten…they are not even competitive at all except for a few minutes this entire season.

  29. I tend to think that Coach Wilson is displeased with more than the passing game–add in the running game, blocking, tackling, pass defense, run defense, special teams, fan support, etc, etc. How can you be happy with anything when you can’t beat Ball St or North Texas??

    When is signing day for basketball? That’s the next thing I can think of to look forward to in IU athletics.

  30. Earlier this year, I made the comment that there seem to be a conflict between Kevin Wilson’s approach to coaching- frank evaluations, high demands, blunt evaluations, expectation of 100% commitment in part of the player and frankness in sharing his criticism with players.

    Nearly always Coach Wilson has done so in private and merely gave a summary (sometimes by position) of his evaluation. That, is one school of thought in coaching, a school that believes in candid criticism and a public airing of evaluations.

    Other’s felt and frankly prefer a different approach, one that is much more dependent on encouragement, downplays criticism and seldom airs the negative in public. Bill Lynch represented this more laid back, supportive approach.

    I really do believe DD was open in his preference for this last group. And, I sincerely think he was just simply honest in showing some discomfort with Wilson’s pointing out those players (though seldom by name) who were not playing up to what he saw as their potential and expectations.

    When he did so, DD used the expression ‘throwing (the player/players) under the bus’; an expression that I understood to include some degree of violation of the player’s confidence, a near-betrayal of trust. AS I saw it used again, it became clear to me that perhaps the expression had a different meaning for Dustin, one that did not include the negative’s in my usage.

    After seeing today’s comments and looking at earlier use of this same expression, I am convinced that DD was using it in a different, more along the lines of a mirror sentence “to calling a player/players out”; same general meaning without the negative intent.

    It may even be that the change in culture is having an impact on the interpretation of the very language we use to distinguish results and expectations, from expectations and results.

  31. “The crisis of confidence and the challenge to ‘American exceptionalism’ we now face in this country has, I believe, a lot to do with the dominance of this philosophy.”

    I think that sums it quite nicely.

    My best teachers (and I include coaches in that too) as a youth were the one’s that were hardest on me and refused to accept excuses or allow me to settle for less than my best effort. My best bosses as a young adult were the most demanding and the most straightforward in providing feedback on my performance. I did not always appreciate them at the time, but in looking back, I realized those people expanded my capacity and made me better. I appreciate them a lot now.

    We’re doing a terrible disservice to our children when we allow them to slouch toward mediocrity.

  32. A mouthful and thoughtful, Podunker. Parents today, it seem, want to be ‘buddies’ with their children, even if it means neglecting their responsibility as parents. Teacher’s want to be ‘liked’ and ‘accepted’ rather than meet their obligation to instruct and ‘shape’ their charges (think about the meaning of ‘charges’), bosses want to be liked as ‘pals’, commanding officers ‘one of the men’ and public officials want to Be ‘the people’. The only ones who know what they want to be, are the politicians and they know they want to be …well’politicians’ …and that’s how we’ve ended up in this mess.

    Stay hard Coach Wilson. Mediocrity (seeking the average) has never led to winning or success.

  33. t-

    You’re funny…”undercooked big mac”.

    Where’s JPat? Lazy bum is likely slouching on a cheap vinyl La-Z-Boy recliner stuffing his gluttonous face with microwavable pancakes topped with Cheetos. He’s part of that Hoosier revolving door younger crowd that thinks every TV dinner should be removed from its foil tray and served to them on fine china. I bet he just went to games to stare at cheerleaders or maybe to get his kids off his back and send them to the playground in the end zone…Probably chugged beer he sneaked into the game through his coffee thermos. Damn loser like the rest of them…before Wilson, Tsao, Chet, and Podunker came riding into town(mind you on every type of motor sickle except those damn obnoxious Harley Davidsons).

    Welcome to Harvard for Hillbillies meets Pollyanna Pansies. Where we blame the bankrupted lazy younger generation of the squeezed middle class for the civilization in decline…Feed those generously honest corporate execs and robber barons, the baby boomers that reaped the benefits of the “Greatest Generation,” booming stock markets artificially inflated, and invested those benefits in assets and a higher standard of living when a dollar actually went somewhere) more bailout money and parachute packages to pay for their kids’ trips to Europe. Give me a break. Kids don’t expect diddlysquat today. Most are in 20 years of debt when they graduate with a four year degree and find themselves fortunate to be working at Macy’s to earn just enough cash to fill their gas tank to get back and forth. Shut the hell up about the “spoiled” younger generation while your fat blogging butt sits in a chair because you so honorably and rightfully earned it. What a bunch of stereotyping hogwash from bloating ego-tripping hypocrites.

  34. While your anger kinda distorts your message I know where you’re coming from. My oldest has $100,000 in student loans to pay back and he’s not a doctor or lawyer. He did find a good job…after looking for six months. We made just barely enough for him not to get squat in financial aid. Got another at an Ivy League school. She gets about $4000/year in aid. That almost covers breakfast. I don’t see a bunch of pampered kids, either. I mean, those CEOs certainly produced a bunch of Paris’s and Lindsey’s to keep us all nauseated but the average family is barely getting by trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
    Don’t let a perfectly valid message get misinterpreted because you lash out at people you don’t know.

  35. Chet-

    You’re right. My apologies. Just didn’t like the direction and the tone. Don’t like it very often on here. The continual beating of an old drum piped into your ears on a daily basis in 500 word dissertations can get very old….possibly a much more harmful form of polarization, stripping of dignity, and dehumanizing behavior rooted in old repeated stereotypes than a bit of a misplaced verbal “lashing out.” This generation may have it more difficult than any preceding the last 100 years. I’m not saying they should roll over and play dead..Let’s just have some damn balance in the conversation. I don’t think every football player Wilson didn’t recruit, or college student that used to sit in the Hoosier stands and cheer for a Hoosier team coached by Bill Lynch, is a lazy loser.

    Again, my apologies. I shouldn’t take cheap shots when I don’t know anyone on here personally.

  36. Stick around, it’s worth the effort…but you might want to change your screen name. I’m often guilty of pushing my agenda but I try to stay on topic. Politically, I’m probably not in the majority around here but most of the people are respectful and honor your opinion. If you’re respectful of others they will probably listen to what you have to say. At least, that has been my experience…and it beats the heck out of pounding your head against the wall.
    Hang around and tell us what you think about the Hoosiers. You wouldn’t have been here in the first place if you didn’t care.

  37. I was about to send a response to yours and something campe up that negated the operation. (Something about ‘cookies’ needed…something). By the time I worked my way through it, your second entry to Chet had posted and, after reading it, I decided to abort mine. It was probably for the best.

    We don’t agree. I don’t think the present generation has it “more difficult than any preceding the last 100 years”, and some of the men and women that I’ve met or stories I’ve heard their contemporaries tell about them are just plain inspirational.

    But if that is the case, join the conversation, say your piece. Add to the balance. I’ll sit my bloated a** down and say mine.

  38. Dear Harvard for Hillbillies: Harley Davidson makes motorcycles? One can learn a lot on this blog; I thought that he just made t-shirts, cigarette lighters, beanie babies, and stuff like that!

  39. P.S. I agree with Chet about the screen name. Even after Yale grad school, I still feel by far the best education I received was at IU.

  40. Short on time tonight…Have to get my lazy but to a midnight shift. I believe this menial labor loser said this generation “may” have it more difficult than any preceding the last 100 years. The expert at dancing with words left mine at the ball. Judge me…Begrudge me.

  41. You did say “may”. I understood that as well. Re-reading my response I said “the last 100 years”, and some of the men… ” but meant to say “the last 100 years”, WHILE some of the men and women…(of this generation).”

    Some of them make incredible sacrifices, I think of the men and women in the services and their sacrifice and sense of nobility towards the rest of us leaves me in awe. Nevertheless,I’ll (generally) stand with my point. It should have no bearing on yours.

  42. Did I log on to the wrong site or has this one been converted to cover topics such as economics, political science, and 20th Century American History.

    “This generation may have it more difficult than any preceding the last 100 years.” NOT EVEN CLOSE. Let’s see, just off the top of my head, in the last 100 years young Americans have overcome WWI, WWII, Prohibition, The Great Depression, Korean War, Vietnam “conflict,” polio, strep throat (which could kill you 100 years ago), etc. In relative terms, these are the good old days.

    When I was 18, I once made the mistake of whining in front of my Dad about how tough things were and how difficult I had it. My Dad literally laughed in my face. Then he said, “you should be embarrassed saying something that stupid to me. Think about what I was doing when I was your age. You think these are hard times, boy? You don’t know what hard times are, son.” He walked away in disgust. Surprised by the passion in his tone, it took me a minute to realize that at the same age I was at that time, my Dad had jumped out of “a perfectly good airplane” into some of the most intense combat ever experienced by American forces in WWII. I later apologized and made a pint not to say such things in front of my father again.

  43. In all fairness, the Iraq war recently became the longest war in US history. There are people over there that are 28 years old that have been in combat since they graduated from high school a decade ago. The Depression, WWII, etc., are incredible hardships but we’ve never had young people at war for a decade.
    I’m not comparing. I agree with you about the sacrifices of that generation. It was far more than I ever had to endure. But, vets came back to a comprehensive GI Bill and plentiful jobs. I’ve watched my highly educated, super motivated , Type A kids spend 6 months looking for jobs. It’s hard now. Really, really hard. Don’t disregard the hardships that people are facing today. I’m lucky and I hope you are as well. But, for a lot of people, this is just like the Great Depression.

  44. My father was also a WW II vet. He never made me feel like his hardships and suffering verified my existence.

  45. Mine either. My experiences with WWII vets was that they just wanted to move on.
    I’m a vet. I understand the contribution. I have always been a little uncomfortable with people who want to define their entire lives by something they did 20 years for 18 months. I feel the same way about the 45 year old who wants you to forgive all their sins because they were molested when they were 4. Sometimes you just need to cowboy up and move on.

  46. Harvard for Hillbillies. Please, as a public service, change your screen name. You’re just kind of spitting in our faces.

  47. I think you are talking apples and oranges. Podunker’s, (truthfully, it was also my generation… was one of shared sacrifice for everyone. Not only for the ‘boys over there’, but thefamilies who rationed, the wives knit sweaters and socks, people saved invested in bonds. The entire country lived it and actually wanted it that way.

    And, personally, I’m more than proud of this generation. I’ve had the honor of meeting a number of them, (men and women) including my own son who is one who has spent nearly ten of his last twenty years in places like the Sinai, the Balkans, Iraq (three full tours and one 18 month tour), Afghanistan. He got to meet his one-year-old when he was already three months old; he saw his three year old when he was 1+ and missed his entire second year before he saw him again. And his wife…thank God for his wife (she was a Captain herself before they married).

    But, Podunker is also very right about the generation of WW II. The biggest difference is not in the ones who sacrifice, and the families who wait and jump out of their skin every time the phone rings or when they see an officer in uniform walking towards them.

    The difference is/was in the ones who stay here today and chose to ignore someone else is doing the sacrificing and rarely even have it acknowledged; or never met an iron lung . Other than that, life goes on just as it always does at Nicks. Your both right, they are not prone to share their experience, most of us would have great difficulty understanding.

    There is a difference, however and Podunker has a valid point. Not necessarily about the ones who carried the weight, they are always the same…heroes and they may be much more along the lines of Harvard for Hillbillies’ dad. I find sometimes their silence is their best common communication.

    The difference may be more along the lines of the majority of those (please, I emphasize the majority not all) who stayed here and, generally appear distant, removed and uninvolved except for the ‘rumor’ we’re at war somewhere (and where in the h**l are Zabul province or Adamiyah anyway); and rarely even think about it…, except for the rare occasion when they see a sign somewhere that says “I Support Our Troops”.

    And, you know what?…they think it’s a da*n ******* shame and unjust as h*ll that Chet’s kid (or anyone else with a similar experience today) saved, sacrificed and worked so hard and still has had a hard time getting a job that reflects his/her talent because it’s part of the reason they’re glad and believe they’re making their own sacrifice.

    But, as we sit hear waxing about how hard it must be to be a scholarship athlete, let’s not question who takes pride they are partially defined by the sacrifice they made for 2 or 4 or 20 years. They earned their right to do so in 1944, 1953, 1970’s or in 2011. I’ve had the honor of meeting him…they’re the same guy.

  48. Chet, a point if I may. Now is tough…no doubt, tougher than we’ve known it but (in my mind)it is not the Great Depression. Please, if you get a chance dial up to the song “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime”, and think about the lyrics and who’s singing it. I’ve got to keep myself believing we will begin to solve this one … and can’t allow myself to believe otherwise because you and your kids and my kids’ kids can’t afford for me or you or HarvardFH (can’t even say his call name anymore) to begin to believe it. We’ll just have to go from the blog to an Occupy…Occupy What??

    (Why in the h*ll are they Occupying Bloomington anyway? Occupy the dam* Business School or the Department of Economics! That’s where the mess begins!)

  49. Tsao-

    I truly respect your son’s service to his country and his putting himself in harms way to protect what most of us take for granted. I can understand how the “Occupy” movements can make a father that has his boy overseas risking his life on a daily basis could generate conflicting feelings. There is a certain betrayal in all things.

    I’ve always felt a great sense of pride in my dad when he talks to me about his Navy experiences when he was in WWII. He worked in the engine rooms of a heavy cruiser..a lot of time in the Pacific. He dropped out of high school shortly after Pearl Harbor and enlisted. He had scholarships to play football in the Big 10. He was an All-State tight end for Gary Emerson. He has a wonderful old football scrapbook his late sister made for him many years ago..He never went on to college after the war. He dreamed of being an architect. You are right. We too often ignore the sacrifice and don’t realize how fortunate we truly are. I have no idea the sacrifice. I benefited from a pretty comfortable childhood. My dad has a lot of sorrow these days. My mom passed and he lost the love of his life for over 60 years of marriage. He mostly stares at pictures of her all day…forever faithful. He still always there for me. He calls me more than I call him. He’s frightened how tough the future may be for his kids and grandchildren. I often feel I let him down because I have not been very successful.

    I hope your son comes home safely.

  50. Don’t think for an instant you’ve let him down or that you are not ‘successful’. From the little you’ve said about him, and from your feelings for him you are exactly who he wanted to raise…a dutiful, proud and loving man who respects the way your dad lives his life. I can’t tell you how important that is to him. And, you are exactly what he needs now, as he misses your mom. You are the closest and most meaningful link to her. Just give him a hug…he’ll appreciate you, his love for your mom will grow and he’ll be able to honor himself through you.

    Don’t sell yourself short, either. You are obviously much more than you’re giving yourself credit for. Give yourself time and patience. Do and pursue those things you love and the rest will fall into place, smoothly. Believe me, you’re not the first one and will not be the last one to walk a few circles before you figure out the straight line is the hardest labyrinth to figure out. And you are your own true and straight line.

    Thank you for your statement. It really is appreciated. Stay with us.

  51. My father was not making “me feel like his hardships and suffering verified my existence,” he was trying to give me a perspective and shaming me for whining. He did not tolerate whining. He never spoke of his combat experiences (EVER), aside from acknowledging that he had served. I deserved this rebuke that day because, even at that time, I realized that my concerns/complaints were ridiculous and born out of immaturity. He made me think, and from that I learned and gained perspective. No matter how difficult things ever got for me as a young man, they never approached the challenges my father faced in his first 20 years of life. NOT EVEN CLOSE!

    Yes, we’ve been in Iraq and Afghanistan for a long time and many young men and women have been killed or wounded in both wars. It has been very difficult and expensive and I am one who tries to show my support and honor their service and sacrifice at every opportunity. But let’s keep things in perspective. We’ve had about 4,500 people killed in Iraq in ten years. We lost more than that in the 24 hours of D-day. Google Iwo Jima and Okinawa if you want to learn about severe casualties during a war. Today’s military, God bless them, are an all-volunteer service. WWII, Korea, Vietnam involved the draft, so a large portion of the men and women getting killed and wounded had no choice in the matter.

    From the perspective of health care and life expectancy, in spite of our problems now, our society has never had it so good. We don’t have to worry about a sore throat killing us or contracting polio and being crippled for life. Back in the 20’s, 30’s, common infections often killed people and starvation was a real threat. Now, one of our great threats is that we eat too much. 80 years ago people worried about getting enough to eat.

    Things are difficult right now and I also have two adult children with college degrees who graduated into this terrible economy. My wife and I provide a lot more support than we ever thought we’d need to. But not for one second do I believe that this is the most challenging period in American society in the last 100 years. If we’re not careful, it could get a lot worse, but it will have to get much, much worse before it matches what previous generations had to endure.

  52. If it is so damn important that I wave the white flag on the 100 years statement, then I shall wave it.

    And until recently you could go to the top of a damn high-rise with your kids and gaze at a beautiful city without knowing they have images forever burned into their young minds of a 747 being flown into it. Please stop. Please stop holding a gun to my thoughts. I surrender. Each generation has its nightmares to overcome and its challenges to build a place we can all coexist in peace. Disease? AIDS? And I don’t think the horrors of war should be measured in numbers.

    Tsao- Thank you for your kind words. I’m still searching and hoping one day to find that straight line you so beautifully described.

  53. Dustin-

    Thanks. I know you’re getting concerned. I’ll give it a rest. Hope you guys keep involving the new kid from Michigan. He seems like a decent young man. I’ve also really enjoyed Andy’s thoughts in the ScoopTalk sessions.

  54. Podunker, Harvard… please guys…let me say it differently, hoping we all come together in meaning. What makes WWII (or WWI) or Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan a scar inside us is not the total number of fallen, it’s the value and sacrifice of each one of those who sacrificed to each son, daughter, wife, husband, father, mother and friend who mourn them.

    We can argue football, the forward pass, short basketball pants, medicine, technology, politics…but we can’t argue the value of ‘each’. Please friends…

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