Right or wrong, the tenure of a leader is often boiled down to moments encapsulated by soundbites and headline worthy phrases.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Leaders are made, they are not born.
Failures are expected by losers, ignored by winners.
Often times these quotes came at a pivotal moment, when a call to arms of sorts was necessary to get things going in the right direction. And, more often than not, they worked to do just that.
Newest Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith stepped to the mic yesterday at the end of Minicamp Day One and addressed several things for the reporters on hand.
Lovie Smith says he expects rookies Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green to be “full speed, ready to go” for Training Camp.— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) June 14, 2022
“Everybody is exactly where we thought they would be, John Metchie too. All of the players that have had injuries.” pic.twitter.com/jJ4TrNxSeQ
While he did talk Davis Mills, Derek Stingley Jr., etc., his key talking point was aimed at you and me. Of the things Smith took on when he accepted the big man in charge role, a dwindling season ticket base and historically low fan support was chief among them. Sure, Lovie has a roster mess, new schemes, coaching changes, systems implementation and outlasting all the newness to overcome, but getting the fan base reconnected is something he’s taking quite seriously.
Here’s Lovie’s message to Houston football fans of all sorts. pic.twitter.com/x2rZOr0n4e— Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) June 14, 2022
Houston is a football town. And there’s tradition that we have here. In order for us to accomplish our goals we can’t do it without our fans. Since I’ve become head football coach here, I’ve talked about that four phase, the fans being a part of this. So, I’m looking forward to answering their questions. If they’re part of the team I want them to be able to know, to get some inside scoop on what’s going on.
Could this mean deeper fan access to the team than ever before? Might it be possible the Texans organization would open up to more than just a handful of media folks and payrolled journalists they trust to allow them to control their narrative? Could this lead to someone from Battle Red Blog actually getting an invite to the team facilities, camps or other events? Well, that would have never happened under Amy Palcic’s watch, but maybe, just maybe, times they are a changing. If the team truly wants to reconnect with the fans, though, they’re definitely going to need to do more than the same-old, same-old covered in lip service.
We’re going to expect them to come, in their colors, and support their football team.
Lovie Smith will be meeting with #Texans season ticket holders at a town hall, eager to answer to their questions: “Houston is a football town…it’s our responsibility to put a better product on the football field, which we plan on doing.” pic.twitter.com/wyPNt7qMHf— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) June 14, 2022
Meeting with the season ticket holders is definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully that will also lead to the everyday fan, the ones who can’t afford to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for eight home games, getting some form of ‘insider access’ as well - and not just what they show on Texans TV. Nothing against Mark Vandermeer, Deepi Sidhu and John Harris, but more team propaganda isn’t an ‘inside scoop’.
It’s Our Responsibility to Put A Better Product On the Football Field.
Is this the quote that people will cite when Smith’s tenure is over in H-Town? Will he, general manager Nick Caserio and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton achieve that? Can those three men clear the site and rebuild the team that Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby destroyed? So far, they seem to be headed in the right direction.
Only time will tell, but in the meantime, it’s a lot easier to believe when you have a coach like Lovie Smith versus the last two guys who wore that hat. He might not steer this team all the way to a Super Bowl, but he probably won’t drive it off a cliff, either.