015Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb


Husky Blue Blood


Rentschler Field









I have never understood the mentality of folks who only support a winning team. To me, your team is your team; you turn out to back it regardless of the win-loss record. Can it be frustrating? Sure. I’ve mentioned before my dad used to sit with what he called his ‘crying towel’ watching televised Boston Red Sox games at a time when the Sox seemed to be in a perpetual losing streak. Nevertheless, he never faltered in supporting his team – he watched week in and week out, attended games when possible, applauded what they did well and analyzed what they did wrong – but he was always in their corner.

Perhaps allegiance is learned – or, in the blood.

As of mid-week, 3,000 tickets were reportedly still available for the University of Connecticut Homecoming game this Saturday, October 12 against South Florida. UConn Hall of Fame Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, in his own unique way, was appealing for fans to turn out and show the football team some love.

In an article in the Hartford Courant by Desmond Conner, Auriemma was quoted as saying – “Are you waiting for us to give you a reason to be passionate or is your passion going to come every Saturday, every game? And, is your passion going to spill out onto the team? Or are you waiting on the team to spill the passion onto you? Well, why don’t we meet halfway?”

In a tough economy it is understandable that people are tentative about how they spend discretionary money. And college football, in this case UConn football, is not the end all for everyone. Yet given the sell-out crowd for the UConn-Michigan game there clearly is a wide fan base for UConn football; and Connecticut Nutmeggers certainly seem to love wearing the Husky ‘Blue & White’ when UConn brings home national championships, as the men’s and women’s hoops teams have done.

To my way of thinking, it is when the chips are down that support is needed the most.

In the face of a 0-4 season and on the heels of a demoralizing loss to Buffalo, Paul Pasqualoni has been terminated and replaced as head coach of the football Huskies. Former offensive coach T. J. Weist has taken over on an interim basis and has replaced former UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer with 19-year-old Tim Boyle, a 6’4″ true freshman just out Xavier High in Middletown, Connecticut. I have not heard anyone diss Pasqualoni’s character or knowledge of the game. As one observer put it – “sometimes good guys do finish last.” When all is said and done, it appears Pasqualoni simply did not gel with the UConn players.

Tomorrow’s game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford is a chance for a clean slate as UConn enters play in the American Athletic Conference. Cautious optimism is in the air.

No matter what happens, I’ll be rooting for the Huskies. After all, it’s in the blood – Husky Blue Blood.