Make up your mind


Javier Cortez, Copy Editor

It’s not a good look. Losing by 20 points in the home opener against an FCS program does not bode well. You can add as many ifs, ands or buts to it. But, the only but is, that the optics on the early return from the 2018 UTEP football team is not good.

So where do we go from here? And by we, I mean you, the UTEP fan base. In specific, those ranging from the die-hards who suffer year in year out watching the football program to the casual come-and-goers. What do you really want to support and why?

Regardless of how the next 11 games go and what Dimel does with this program over the course of his tenure, it doesn’t change what is true: UTEP is not a football school.

It’s a historically bad program. That’s not an opinion, that’s not a hot take nor is it hyperbole. It is an observational fact that has been laid out by the continuous losing seasons since the program’s inception back in 1914.

I won’t mention the dour numbers behind that fact. This column is not written with the intention of hating on this program.  Rather, this column calls on the UTEP fan base to make a choice.

You can support this team, knowing full well that this season is probably going to get harder to watch by the week, or you can look at two options.

Option A: come to grips with loving and supporting a football team that is going to lose on a yearly basis, with exception to some winning seasons from time to time.

Option B: move on to something better and focus your loyalty and support somewhere else.

And by move on, I don’t mean move off of UTEP athletics and the football team altogether, but you can lend your support to a well deserving program. The UTEP track and field and cross country program.

You know the program that has 20 national championships to its name. The program that is nationally ranked year in year out. The program that produces conference champions, All-Americans, and future Olympians all the damn time.

That program.

And to be clear, this doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. You don’t have to totally neglect UTEP football in favor of track and field. Just stop deluding yourself at the start of every new season.

Stop asking “when are we going to get those big-time recruits?”, “when are we going to win that big game?”, and “when are we going to finally hit the big stage?”.

Guess where the big recruits are: out in Kidd Field. Guess who’s winning the big games: those big-time recruits out in Kidd Field. Guess who’s competing on the big stage: those big-time recruits out in Kidd Field.

There is a program with a rich winning tradition, star athletes and a bright future that deserves your fandom. They deserve your loyalty and you should give it to them.

Granted, track and field is not the most fan-friendly sport nor is it the most appealing. It doesn’t have the visceral effect of a wide receiver going over the middle as linebacker or safety meets him at the precipice.

But then again, how entertaining was it watching that 0-12 football team last season? So would it kill you to fill up the seats at Kidd Field twice a year and call on the local media to give more coverage to that program?

If not, you can go back to bitching and complaining about UTEP football for six months out of the year, irrationally getting your hopes up, then getting disappointed again.

My advice, as an impartial bystander: support UTEP football for what it is, and or give some of your time to a program that has earned it over the years and will continue to.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]