Optimism is the Best Policy

2 Apr

Google "Kansas State basketball," and you will see the front page of the website dedicated to new coach Bruce Weber.

“Give me a chance.”

With that statement, Bruce Weber dared Kansas State fans to have some faith.

Weber began his coaching career back in 1979, so he has extensive experience in the business. In 2003 he had the difficult distinction of being Bill Self’s replacement, so this move to Kansas State will not be the first time Weber walks into a situation where many fans really wish the last coach was still there.

Widespread disappointment about the departure of Frank Martin is ironic in a sense, considering many fans were rather unhappy when the Wildcats made a head coach of the unproven coach five years ago.

If anything, Martin’s success should be a reason for fans to support Weber, at least until he gives them a reason to do otherwise. Another example of unexpected success has to be Frank Haith at Missouri; many were skeptical of him, and the Tigers went on to win the Big 12 tournament.

I understand being upset when a team is not winning, but no games have been played yet with Weber at the helm, so he should have a window of several months before any legitimate complaining by fans can occur.

Certainly it is a possible that Weber will be a flop. Maybe players will leave. Maybe he will not be able to recruit. Maybe the team will lose a dozen games or more.

On the other hand, maybe Weber will be a breath of fresh air after Martin. I will not say one is better than the other; I do not know either well enough to make any declarations on that. What is clear is that the two of them have vastly different styles. Their personalities are different. Maybe Weber’s personality facilitates better interaction and communication between coaches and players this season. Maybe that change translates into more wins than anyone would expect.

All I am saying is this: “I told you so!” is much more fun when the outcome you guessed was positive rather than negative.

Before last football season, I predicted eight wins. Obviously I undershot; the Wildcats won 10 games and went to the Cotton Bowl. However, other media members and fans were saying that seven wins would be optimistic; six would be realistic; and eight, well, that was the stuff of dreams. See how that season turned out? It was beyond the stuff of dreams, and it was pretty darn incredible.


Negativity is more interesting. It is more sensational. It draws more hits for a website, more views for a video. It sells.

What do you gain by being negative?

What do you lose by being positive?

Which sounds like the better choice to you?

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