FanPost

What a fan wants. What a fan needs.

In Ron Wellman’s most recent interview with Dan Collins of the Winston-Salem Journal, the Wake Forest Athletic Director prattles on about the great virtues and strengths that he sees within the players, coaching staff, and men's basketball program in general. Mr. Wellman states that there are fans that are able to see these strengths as well. However, he also acknowledges the fans who are "disgruntled." Well yes Ron, there are fans who are disgruntled. There are fans that are begging and pleading sports journalists on the national level to investigate, to call-out, to bash our once-proud program in the hope that something will change. Alumni are shutting their wallets and checkbooks and refusing even to attend games. There are students who manage to attend a game just because the allure of one (or three) $1 hot dog beats whatever was being served in the Pit for dinner that night. Finally we have a coach praised (by you, and you alone) for changing the culture of the program to better reflect Wake Forest’s values; the same coach who cussed at a University of Miami fan and refuses to engage in the Wake Forest "community." In his interview, Wellman again and again returns to the idea that "winning will solve all of this."

I disagree Ron. You have this strange way of treating your fan base like they are uneducated and disinterested. You make statements like a President campaigning. Statements that in the moment sound strong, but, when run through factchecker.org, turn out to be completely inaccurate. Do your research Ron. For example, check the Duke Basketball Report article before making sweeping statements about our attendance figures. Or at least understand that a poor draw during December might be related to the students being on break. Yes, students, those young men and women who used to be excited to see games. Smart students who graduate and become smart alumni and smart fans. You are the Athletic Director at an academically rigorous school yet you expect fans to swallow your ramblings mindlessly.

In addition, your smugness and ingratitude are vile and sickening. You claim to know what is best for the program and for the fans. Meanwhile you continue to shut down venues for communication. You comment on attendance without thanking the fans who do continue to show up. And say, with great certainly, that those who are disgruntled "will be back." You brush off the importance of a connection between fan base and coach like we’re at some large, public institution. For someone who has been at Wake Forest for so long, it’s incredible that you have such a naïve concept of Wake Forest fans, what they want, and what they can do.

At this point Mr. Wellman, it is clear that you don’t possess an inkling of an idea of what Wake Forest fans want. There are fans who would like to see 10 or more wins. There are fans who would be content with player progression. There are fans who would be happy with consistent, open, and honest conversations and communications. There are also many fans who simply would be happy with your resignation. I’m not so sure many of these people will be born-again believers in this program (and you, Ron, by extension) because of a few more wins. Why? You’ve shown your inability to communicate, manage, and make difficult decisions during a down time. It’s likely you’d downplay these fans as people who just don’t understand the situation. I bet they understand better than you think. Wake Forest fans can be empathetic and loyal. They are also extremely savvy. They are successful because they ride the highs of their wins and smartly navigate the low times. They know when patience turns from virtue to vice. It becomes more and more evident to me that you do not. The time for patience and waiting for wins to solve the multitude of other problems is gone. Act or continue to be acted upon.

The content of FanPosts is not necessarily the opinions, thoughts or beliefs of Blogger So Dear.

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