I came across a post on Facebook today (yes, after a lengthy absence from the social media platform, I’ve selectively returned). It was on one of the groups that I follow called Pokes Nation, which concentrates on information about the University of Wyoming Cowboy athletic programs, and as you can see by my profile pic, I don the Pokes Gear often. After reading it, I was inspired to assemble my thoughts here.
Some background here before I continue. For most of my adult life, radio was my vocation, specifically, behind the microphone, hosting morning shows, and also holding the title of Program Director . One of those many stops in nearly 40 years, was in Casper, Wyoming, arriving as the Cowboy faithful was still dealing with a head coach who came to Laramie, pledged his commitment to the program, then pulled up stakes for an enhanced paycheck offered by Washington State University after just one season on the Wyo sidelines. This would be Dennis Erickson’s M.O. throughout his career, as is the case for many in that profession today.
As the Program Director and morning personality at this 50,000 watt AM station, I became a Wyoming Cowboy fan, observing the football team under Paul Roach, who brought the program to new heights, while instilling the pride their faithful has exhibited over the years since my departure forced by an ownership change at KTWO.
The current head coach for the Pokes, Craig Bohl, has revived this program after a number of disappointing seasons under several coaches who succeeded Paul Roach, instilling “Cowboy Tough” as the moniker his players strive to achieve. The NFL has plenty of former Cowboys on their rosters including quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills
That all said, the Facebook post I referenced at the beginning, linked to a blog written by Tyler Vander Waal, the young man who was selected to succeed Josh Allen after he moved on to the pros. In many cases, replacing the face of the franchise or the star of the team, and living up to the generally unreasonable expectations from the fan base is an impossible task. As Tyler explains in his blog, after his first start, resulting in a WYO victory, the “Bully On Steroids” showed up, and over the course of that season, and the next, broke him.
Bullies have been an blight on society probably forever, and during my formative years, they were at least visible to the target. That obviously changed for the worse with today’s technology, and what I believe to be eroded morals, and lack of accountability thrust upon the perpetrators of this hate filled practice.
We all want to be liked, respected, even admired. It’s sad to witness the unconscionable behavior of insecure, jealous lowlifes who try to bolster their own ego, while destroying others through anonymous character assassinations and threats. While we have a number of initiatives and programs with the goal of eliminating this despicable activity, I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle. Not everyone can shield themselves from hearing or seeing the product spewed by the bullies on steroids, but we can all condemn those cowardly attempts to destroy another, and provide the victims with the support and encouragement they deserve.