Just so we're clear about where I stand on some issues:
1. No one tells me what to write or what not to write. Opinions are my own. (It's OK for people to have differing opinions from your own). I write how much and how often I choose.
2. Practice is closed because fans abused the privilege of going. It is my opinion that fans don't belong. They just provide distractions. If you want that policy changed, I'd suggest you meet with Athletic Director Chris Peterson and try to convince him otherwise.
3. The fact that a "fan" "doesn't care for the tone in that article" is laughable. This is the same guy who at the 2011 Senior Night Ceremony stood up and clapped for all seniors except Solomon Bozeman. He then sat down and crossed his arms when Solo was introduced (eyes don't lie). He then vowed he wouldn't attend UALR's Sun Belt Tournament games. Karma then bit him in the ass when the Trojans won four consecutive games. Those were quite possibly the four most enjoyable sports nights of my life. If something really made me as miserable as it does you, I'd do something else.
4. I support UALR for a number of reasons. First, it's my alma mater. Second, I like basketball. Third, I like and support Coach Steve Shields. If that makes me a homer, so be it. Go Trojans!!!
5. I support Coach Steve Shields because I think he's a good coach, a good person and someone who deeply cares about the players on his team. That means more to me than any win or loss.
6. I like to watch a winning team. I even like division championships. Sometimes I think people believe Coach Shields invented the division title to make himself look good. Would I like UALR to win the NCAA bid ever year? Absolutely. But in a one-bid league that's not a reasonable expectation. I like having the team I root for near the top of the league most years. And UALR has been near the top in the majority of seasons.I'm OK with that.
7. I think Chris Peterson has done a great job raising money as athletic director. However, I wish he would embrace marketing and promotion quite a bit more. I love to watch basketball so I don't need the other stuff to keep me interested. But my kids don't really care. And when they come to UALR games their heads are buried in iPads. They are bored to death. It's not just about basketball. UALR needs to do better in this area.
8. Attendance is crappy nearly everywhere. It should be a concern for every program in America. It should be a bigger priority at UALR.
9. I don't care about style of play. I realize some do. And that's OK. I don't. As long as the team I root for ends up with more points than the other team I'm satisfied.
10. UALR is much, much more respected and appreciated outside the state than it is inside the state. I used to travel quite a bit. This has been the case for years. Not really sure how to change that perception.
11. I think Mike Newell was a great coach, the best in UALR history. But he couldn't sustain it. He is responsible for the crash and burn that occurred in the early 1990s. And Newell got a number of other opportunities to coach and never got the magic back that he had at UALR when he was operating with a blank check.
12. My favorite Trojans to cover include: Jake Yancey, Brandon Freeman, Nick Jones, Zack Graber, Zack Wright, John Fowler, Shane Edwards, Solomon Bozeman, Matt Mouzy, D'Andre Williams and Will Neighbour. EDIT. I knew I'd forget some. Alex Garcia-Mendoza and Rashad Jones-Jennings are tremendously high up on my list. Both were great to cover.
13. Not everyone is negative about everything. I prefer to see the glass half full.