Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Open Letter to Bob Kraft

Let's add an Ivy championship trophy to that hardware!

I don't know how this letter will ever actually get in front of Mr. Kraft's eyes. But anyone reading this blog, perhaps some members of the FOOTBALL COMMITTEE, that can get this to his attention would be providing Columbia football fans a great service!

Dear Mr. Kraft:

First off, let me give you my most sincere thanks for all your generosity to Columbia and Columbia football over the years. Your help has been invaluable in everything from athletics to the improvement of Jewish life on campus, both of which I have been the direct beneficiary of many times.

Secondly, let me extend my condolences to you once again for the loss of your lovely wife Myra. As you continue through this mourning period and recite the Kaddish for her every day, I cannot possibly expect to offer any kind of real comfort to you. I do hope it gives you some encouragement to know that so many people in the Columbia community are praying for you.

We all know that you are an extremely busy, hands on owner for the New England Patriots. What you've been able to accomplish with that franchise is nothing short of stunning, but also inspiring. It's hard to remain too downtrodden about one's favorite team, or even personal career, when you remember how much the Patriots have overcome and where they are today compared to 20 years ago.

And so that brings us to Columbia football. The team that proudly plays on the field that bears your name badly needs your help at this time. Specifically, your acumen when it comes to identifying and securing excellent coaching talent.

The search for a new head coach at Columbia begins now, and I know I speak for the entire alumni and fan community when I say we all hope you will somehow find the time to become personally involved. This need not be a serious time commitment. For example, identifying some good candidates perhaps in the NFL ranks, or simply evaluating the candidates Columbia eventually considers would be a great help. We simply believe your input and guidance at key moments will be essential and beneficial.

This is not intended to be a knock on Bill Campbell and the current administration. Choosing winning coaches is hard and no one in their right mind could say otherwise. But you have a proven track record in this area. Combine that with your already very established commitment to Columbia football and this is a perfect role for you at this time. Anyone from President Lee Bollinger to Dianne Murphy would surely be infinitely grateful for your help.

And yes, we need absolutely need your help. Columbia's football players and fans are a very special breed. We all deserve to be a part of a winning program, even if just to beat back the ever clanging chorus of naysayers who refuse to stop saying that football can never be successful at Columbia.

I refuse to believe that.

And I refuse to believe that the man who made a three-time Super Bowl champion out of a franchise everyone had written off believes that either.

Thank you,

Jake Novak '92

Roar Lions Roar


At Sat Oct 29, 03:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, what a sincere and from the heart letter you've written. I cannot tell you how much I wish I knew Mr.Kraft.Hope someone can help you with this.

At Sat Oct 29, 04:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you say you don't intend to knock Campbell, Murphy et al. and then you knock them. Man up. If you're going to throw sand in the faces of the AD, the Chairman of the Board, the University President and the current coach, say so and stick by it.

At Sat Oct 29, 05:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Einstein, if you read any of Jake's previous posts, he has been more than vocal on that front. "Man up", that's funny. Do you realize that we are getting all of these coaching changes BECAUSE of Jake. Otherwise, we'd be 0-10 with more empty promises next year. Wen you see him at the game tomorrow, a simple "thank you" will suffice!

At Sat Oct 29, 05:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you should have asked Bob Kraft if he can do anything about that HORRIFICALLY designed BC Center. What happens when the people from Inwood (and Inwood Dave) try to swipe their subway cards to enter? I mean it's easy to mistake that building for a subway terminal. No offense to the subway stops in Manhattan.

At Sat Oct 29, 05:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forecast for Saturday...44 degrees and rainy.

Reminiscent of October, 1988...Columbia vs Princeton.

Upset of the year...Columbia over Yale 24-23

At Sat Oct 29, 05:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Campbell Center will be an outstanding facility. I do not understand the criticism of the design.

At Sat Oct 29, 06:22:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

This, uh, "open letter" was a bush league move, an occasion for public whingeing. Very sad, and a new low for, to borrow an old term from the Daily News' sport section when Dick Young was around, the "boo birds" who've lately rallied here around the mantra of 'Fire Norries.' (And also to at the very least excoriate Dianne Murphy and Bill Campbell for their perceived weaknesses as leaders and administrators.)

I foolishly thought your hubris, so like Mike Francesa in its sheer gall, in even suggesting your own favorite new head coach candidates was the ultimate "offense" of this nature. Obviously, I was wrong.

Honestly, Jake, I expected better for you. Meaning not this sort of public, childish ploy, a sort of "look at me, mommy" move I'd expect from playground brats rather than someone who's previously been of such great service to Columbia football.

And I'm not trying to say that you yourself bear some of the onus for our bad showing in football this season, but surely, even the most distanced observer can note that you overrated the talent level of this team in pre-season posts. So many of those you praised can't block or tackle, for example. At least they haven't when put to the test of actual games. As several others have pointed out, their on-field seeming lack of playing skills isn't all Norries's fault.

But this open letter to Kraft was a very, very, very bad move. Suggests that you're taking yourself way too seriously lately, Jake.

What, I wonder will you try and eke out for those 100 best moments of the season or whatever it's called?

At Sat Oct 29, 06:47:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You couldn't be more wrong and personally insulting in your last post. Let me walk you through each of your misstatements:

1) You accuse Jake of "taking himself too seriously" even though he opens the preamble to the letter acknowldeging that he has no way of getting the letter to Kraft himself and he asks for help from the football committee. You accusing Jake of meglomania is an irritatingly offensive accusation you've made several times when he has consistently written about his lack of real power and influence in the program. This letter is Jake asking Kraft for HELP, which is something people with high opinions of themselves and inflated images of their own power do not do. Also, if Jake were such a meglomaniac, why would he publish EVERY negative comment against him that you and the other cowards who never state your names often make?

2) I don't agree that Jake overestimated the team that much. He picked them for 6th after all.

3) Norries is not good. Just face it, I don't remember you complaining 6 years ago when Jake sent an open letter to him on this blog wishing him well and pledging to do all he could to help him. For some reason, you think Norries is a good or great guy. Fine. Jake disagreeing with you after we've now lost 11 of 12 doesn't make Jake a baby. It makes you a nasty person and a baby for not being able to respectfully disagree. I mean, I never see Jake taking you to task personally for the non-sensical silliness you write and he published for you regularly.

At Sat Oct 29, 06:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I really need to echo the last poster's defense. Hey Cathar, how is Jake a baby if he is the ONLY one here who makes statements and signs his name to them, let's everyone disagree publicly disagree with him? What's YOUR name Cathar? Where's YOUR blog? Oh, and Jake writing about his wish list for coaches is fine. I guess you also hold it against him for writing letters to Santa? The only person who needs to get over himself here is YOU Cathar, you who seem to think that you can pass judgment on Jake and others for having the audacity to call for a coach to be fired for actually failing. And you do it all from behind a craven curtain of anonymous nicknames!

At Sat Oct 29, 07:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, but I don't think Jake ever wrote a letter to Santa. :)

At Sat Oct 29, 07:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read all Cathar's posts the last few weeks. Ridiculous. It is clear he has some interest other than building a winning CU program.

I don't know if he's an employee of the current regime or what, but "c'mon man" everything he says is completely ridiculous and polemic.

Jake is a better man than I for posting anything he says.

At Sat Oct 29, 07:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get what Cathar's real objection is. Is he saying we shouldn't want a new coach? Is he saying we just shouldn't be saying that publicly? Does he think not saying that or anything publicly will accomplish anything? Look, I've talked extensively with some people in the administration lately and it seems like they're in a total bubble; shutting out all dissent and much more concerned with who their critics are than finding out how to win. I don't know if Jake helps to rattle their cage or not, I notice that on its best day, this blog only gets 1,000 readers, so it's not that pervasive even for Columbia, but why begrudge Jake for trying? Has he personally insulted anyone? I think he's indicted some people professionally, but since when is that out of bounds? He also regularly admits he's wrong about stuff. When does Francessa ever do that? Sadly, the worst thing about you Cathar isn't your anonymous attack on Jake, its your clear acceptance of Columbia mediocrity, "on to basketball" stuff that annoys me most. Your EXACTLY the embodiment of what Jake has accurately diagnosed as the true and enduring cause of our losing programs: lowered expectations. I too don't know Cathar if you are a former or current AD employee, but you should definitely try to get a job with those guys now before they're gone too!

At Sat Oct 29, 07:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very eager to note the equipment of both teams on the sidelines for tomorrow's game. With forecasts for very wet, cold and windy weather I hope we do not see the Columbia players uncovered, cold and wet while the Yale players all covered in rain proof hoods and shells with a big "Y" on them! If our players are comparitively under equipped then that would be the "coup de grace" for the entire athletic department. I know that I will be watching and I hope many other bloggers will be "on watch". Go Lions, let this be our kind of game!

At Sat Oct 29, 07:48:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, This is the correct way to lead this program forward. Who can question Bob Kraft's committment and talent in this regard? He's the best in the business. Any supporter of this concept can forward this blog site and reference to Mr Kraft by forwarding this to and enter the "contact us" area under "fan zone". He can be reached via the "webmaster" or directly to the "front office". They read every piece of email sent to them. This is exciting! We need a "Moses" to lead us out of this athletic desert! Go Lions!

At Sat Oct 29, 07:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, very good comment about the sideline equipment. The players need the big jackets that go over the pads. Let's see tomorrow. As a former CU player, I was always envious of the others teams that had those jackets and were warmer than us. Good thing to watch out for tomorrow.

At Sat Oct 29, 08:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Cathar- Not to worry, I forwarded Jake's post to Bob so let's see what he says. Go back to holding hands with Norries and his incompetent staff that you support and sing sans souci. Oh, I forgot to add Diane and her communication minions to your sing-a-long. You deserve each other. They couldn't silence him, nor will your childish remarks.

Jake, I thank you, the true football alums thank you, and the University thanks you.

At Sat Oct 29, 09:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough -- more than enough --- of circling the firing squad. Four football games remain to be played.


At Sat Oct 29, 09:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

0-6. You are what you are as Parcells once said. Let's shoot the coaches, AD, etc. It's all NW and Campbell's fault? It's time players step up, make a play, beat your man from the first snap. I could care less what bad weather gear is worn. It ain't a fashion show. Suck it up and leave it on the field

At Sat Oct 29, 09:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster who wanted to know why there was so much criticism over the design of the Campbell Center... Steven Holl prolaimed that he designed this building on a paper napkin. In actual fact, it should have been designed on a roll of two ply Charmin. THAT Is the only utility for the design and appropriately enough, it looks like a latrine.

At Sat Oct 29, 10:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Mitch '68 said...

I want to add my two cents and repeat that imho this blog has been the most proactive development I've seen in 40+ years of following CU football. It really gives me hope! If feathers are ruffled, so be it!

I would also love to see Bob Kraft -- former CU lightweight player like myself -- take a hands on role in moving forward.


At Sat Oct 29, 10:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Norries should not be brought back for at least one more year is an idiot. One more year would be best thing to do. If they don't having a winning record in league play next year, then let him go. If they let him go now it just shows how clueless the people making these decisions are.

At Sat Oct 29, 10:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What if there is no coaching change at the end of the season? What is your next step? Boycotting the football team that you love so much?

At Sat Oct 29, 12:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to 5:28pm, NW and staff believe preparing for the cold/wet is a "Wimpy" move

At Sat Oct 29, 06:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster who proclaims that anyone who does NOT want Norries back is an "idiot"...  Over the years I have played for, and watched, several types of coaches architect this game.  The two most common are:  the "in your face" coach, and the soft spoken "lead by example" coach.  Unfortunately, Norries is neither.  He is searching for his identity at the expense of these kids.  You can either watch previous game tapes (Versus, online, etc), or simply watch today's game on the YES network, he is absolutely lost.  He has shown no game management skills (evidenced at Princeton and the debacle at Homecoming), his LOSING percentage is in the 75th percentile, and the program has been in steady decline (even with six home games over the past couple of years, seven games in NYC when we play Fordham). I endured the Fordham, Princeton, Penn, and Dartmouth games in person, and caught the SH game online.  Do I call Diane for a refund for fraud, or Chip Kelly?  I'm sorry, you want to retain him exactly WHY again?  Because the kids dress alike?  Or maybe because of their keen personnel decisions?  Gerst has been under utilized and now he's out for the season (hint, running him between the tackles on sort yardage, not a good idea).  Thank goodness we got a 6'4", 280 lb transfer from Texas A&M who is thriving on the JV squad.  Let me see, if we are getting blown out at Dartmouth, or need some sort of spark to stop the Princeton and Penn running backs, we don't put him in to see what he can do?  And why is that?  Are you saving him for the Monmouth game next year?  Also, the play calling by Marino could not be more predictable and ineffective.  That just shows a grave lack of preparation and command of the system.  And a note to Coach Nugai...  Beyond the fact that you cannot manage the running back talent that you have (FAILED with Gerst and McHugh hasn't carried the ball for a down yet), your special teams "coaching" is last in the Ivies.  Yes, we are the "idiots" because we want to see this staff go????

At Sat Oct 29, 06:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very simply, thank you Jake. I support you 100%!

- Greg Abbruzzese
CC '91

P.s. No keys in pocket John Alex!

At Sat Oct 29, 06:59:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

There is probably a point - a tipping pont, if you will - where criticism of a coach (and of those who hired him) becomes so concentrated and constant that retention of the coach is impossible. I realize that.

But for so many posters above to back up Jake's current spate of whining is appalling. This is hardly a dignified way to conduct, uh, "negotiations." And while I really did think that Jake's handy-just-happen-to-have-it-here short list of his own fave candidates was the ultimate in nerve, he's proven me wrong with his letter to Kraft. It smacks of Zola writing 'J'accuse," but of a very minor league Zola indeed.

As to the someone who posited above that I have some sort of vested interest in retaning Norries, perhaps as a (low-level, to be sure) member of the administration, that was just silly, really. Such frothing is unseemly and unfounded.

I don't know what should be done re the football program. I'm as hungry for another winning season as ayone else and for years I've particularly felt the offensive play calling was unimaginative. But I also seem to remember how much hope was attached to the coming of Naso, to the coming of McElreavy, Garrett, Tellier, Shoop, even to the long-ago coming of Campbell. All of these guys were supposedly carefully selected, no?

Does anyone out there even know how much we'd pay a new head coach? (Less, I suspect, than most of Belichick's assistants get, but I could be mistaken.) Does anyone know how hard it might prove to put together a new financial package for an incoming coach, his new staff and whatever new demands he might make?

Instead, some stamp their feet and simply demand that Norries and his cronies go. Okay, fine, he's likely gone. But silly-ass "open letters" probably haven't played any real sort of role in his departure. And now we're going to have to give whoever replaces him the requisite 4-5 seasons, if only because Columbia football never quite seems a "the future is now" kind of situation.

It's getting way too nasty on this site. A few victories might help. Since they don't seem likely in football, as I've said before, on to basketball season. (And that poster of some days ago who claimed it was "easy" to win an Ivy hoops title truly had no idea what he was talking about, especially in a league with so much seeming basketball parity.)

Lastly, as an exceptional display of childishness, I thought that poster of a few days ago who said he would be withdrawing his financial support ($4K or $40K) was totally wrong-headed, if only because the costs of a coaching change will certainly call for increased financial support for the football program.

It's not going to be an easy upcoming set of years. It may prove worthwhile in terms of eventual onfield success. But it's going to call for more unity than generally in display on this site lately, and probably not for such desperate stunting as an open letter to Robert Kraft.

At Sat Oct 29, 07:13:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Please stop posting here. Jake has a lot of humility to keep publishing your comments, but they make no sense. You're also a massive hypocrite. You attack Jake for asking for Norries' ouster and call it "disrespectful" then you attack him personally and make non-sensical comments about how no one has the right to publicly call for a coach to go when he's 16-40!

And worse, you keep bringing in history as a subtle way of saying: "hey all our other coaches sucked so we better just take it."

I'm sick of that argument, that's probably what Ghaddafy told his people for 40 years. We want better, we demand better, and we HAVE to keep trying. How DARE YOU personally attack Jake for asking for better?

Based on your posts, there are a few things we know about you:

1) You never had kids

2) You aren't married and probably never were

3) You don't get out much

Only a quirky shut-in would be so clueless as to not see how respectful, restrained, and fair Jake has been for years.

I disagree with the poster last night who said you were in the admin or a big supporter of Norries. What I really think is that you are angry at Jake not because you support Norries, but because you are jealous that Jake has some influence that you wish YOU had.

As much as I like Jake, and I think he would agree with me here, you should get over yourself because Jake KNOWS he isn't so influential.

At Sat Oct 29, 07:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Cathar thinks Jake is in the athletic dept and doesn't know he's just a fan and an alum. That's the only thing that makes sense because he seems to think that Jake is someone who could negotiate with new coaches in a better way, but isn't. I think Cathar is just honestly mistaken.

One thing I do take him to task for is his complaint that "things are getting too nasty" when he is the one who started all the nastiness, at least in the last couple of days.

I guess he's just generally confused and maybe a little disturbed.

At Sat Oct 29, 07:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personal attacks on Cathar are counterproductive. Forgive the secular undertone here, but as the saying goes, “if you believe, no explanation is necessary. If you don’t believe, no explanation will suffice…” In a nutshell (pun intended), that is Cathar. Yes, I realize that I just stated not to make a personal attack on Cathar, but that was just a tongue and cheek remark.

You see Cathar, the reason why we will have a new head football coach is because of Jake and his dedication to the kid’s. Don’t kid yourself that he hasn’t made a significant contribution here. Coming up with a short list of qualified candidates is like coming up with a Presidential list for the GOP for goodness sakes; especially identifying a coach with the skill set to work within the Ivy League system.

By the way, your Zola/“J’accuse” references are really getting old. After the 3rd time, we get it, thanks! So for YOU, I say:
Zoal a été trouvé coupable de diffamation, Jake fera hardle est jugé en conséquence. Zola a fui aussi à Angleterre pour échapper l'emprisonnement, donc pourquoi vous ne vous échappez pas au Blog de Dartmoth et trouve une nouvelle maison ? Bonne chance !

Also, I believe that the poster who said that he would not make further donations to the program ($4K-$40K, whatever), I believe was simply supporting the notion of not sending money to a department that supports Wilson, NOT to say that his/her contribution would buy out Norries. The fact that you need that explained (again) concerns me. Do you often need things repeated twice/thrice? I also noticed that a follow-up poster commented on the fact that several young (football) alums have contributed over $100K to the Bill Campbell Center (which is more of an endorsement of Bill than Norries). I actually inquired about that to several administrators and he was (is) correct. So your point is what? That you don’t believe a statement that was proven correct? That people actually DO care about the program?

As far as I am concerned, I consider Jake a Football Alum, not an active fan, so he has more credibility than most!

At Sat Oct 29, 08:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathar makes some good points, if a bit subtle for the general tenor of this board.

The Columbia football karma is heavy. Can it change? Maybe, maybe not. A coach who is dynamic, brilliant, and sensitive to the unique situation at CU can help. We'll need the good fortune to find him. In this respect Cathar is right about 'unity.' Let's all pray for success.

At Sat Oct 29, 08:50:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the 5:59 poster said: “if you believe, no explanation is necessary. If you don’t believe, no explanation will suffice…”

Do the players still believe in this coaching staff? I think not. I hope as young men they put forth their maximum effort regardless of what they may think will happen after the season. Some adversity has only made us stronger. Believe you will win!

At Sat Oct 29, 09:03:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog consensus appears to be that NW is a great recruiter of talented football players for CU. Why not retain him as the recruiting coach? He has developed numerous connections with high school coaches over his tenure as head coach, and his talent in this area could help the entire organization as it goes forward.

At Sat Oct 29, 10:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roar, Lions, Roar! May that become a fact once more before I die. Let's cut the crap. I've been a Lion fanatic for 60 years. Yes, Lou Little was the coach, and I met him and he was a no-nonsense guy who gave the impression of being in command and running a tight ship. Looking back, the program was starting to decline in his final years. All the whys and wherefores can be debated forever. The fact is that it has kept sliding ever since except for a very slight, very brief rally now and then that every dying patient has.
From my perspective, I may never see a winning program. Those of you 20 years younger will be where I am in 20 years and young men 40 years younger will get there soon enough--and Lion football will still be futile unless there is a sea change.
I used to think Jake was too easy about this issue, going along with things because of his loyalty to CU and hoping maybe they'll change.
I'm glad he's reached his tipping point because he's correct. He now realizes that hoping something will change is a fantasy unless the people in charge want it to change.
Thank you, Jake. You're out there taking the heat as well as the praise. Thanks for trying to restore the pride. I'm sure the players have it, but the fans need it too. And without the fans, no program, good or bad, will survive.

At Sat Oct 29, 10:19:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In defense of Cathar, the argument isn't between people who care about winning and those who do not. It is between two different approaches to getting there. You cannot fully critique Wilson as a coach without attending his practices and prep sessions, because you cannot see what and how he is teaching the athletes. The record and performance this year has been terrible overall but good at times (Penn and Fordham), and no one - pro or con re Wilson- is satisfied with it. But the record, and even the game day performances, cannot be diagnosed simply by viewing the games from the stands or, worse, from the web. The discussion here has been high on heat and low on light. People make assumptions, for example on how Wilson coaches a game without knowing anything about his ongoing conversation with his OC and DC - what he is directing them to do and to tell the players in the off-field huddles, and why he chooses to focus so much attention on what is happening on the field. Between UConn and the NFL, the guy has had a lot of training. Has anyone asked him about his philosophy - why he does what you arequestioning?

I know enough about football, Columbia's history since the Domres years, and Wilson to know that I don't know enough to fully understand this season's problems. They are out of character for both the players and the coaches. They were on the rght curve: 1-9, 2-8, 4-6, 4-6 - and then this. So why not let the people with access to the necessary information do their thing? The AD has people observing practices. Murphy has confidential access to both players and coaches. The football committee has access to all that info. Why assume that anyone who is pro or deliberating doesn't care or is "naive"? Actually, it's naive for an outsider to think he can make a better decision than trained and informed professionals.
And as far as Campbell goes, if you think Jake is above reproach for all he's done for Columbia football (and I for one have really appreciated his blog, and think it has become destructive), then you have to place Campbell on the heights of Mount Olympus. You guys have no idea about the blood and sweat he put into his CU teams, and that's not to mention his millions of dollars of financial contributions, and invaluable hours of management advice. If anyone is NOT naive about the situation, it's Billy.

At Sat Oct 29, 10:40:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, 8:19 says it all.


At Sat Oct 29, 10:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 7:03:

I would love to see NW stay on as recruiter and manager of operations, however, I think he is too proud for that. One of his coaching flaws as well!

Enough of this, to todays game!

At Sun Oct 30, 01:39:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster in defense of Cathar. You opened Pandora’s box, not us… regarding attending his practices, pre-game sessions, etc. I have been at the practices, games, spoken with players (more in depth with parents), and the medical and training staff, so I speak ffrom an informed perspective. The fact is that Norries and his staff belittle, demean, and use foul language on a consistent level while trying to drive home their mission, is deplorable. I’m not talking about once in a while; I’m talking about week in and week out. I also know for a FACT that Jake has more information about this (and other abuses) than you would care to know about. You NEVER heard McElreavy or Tellier (or any of their staff members) take it to this extreme. Now for all of you tough guys out there who may say “suck it up, it’s football”. Well, until you’ve strapped it up for this team, this University, for four years, then keep your opinions to yourself. Yes, I am also sure that there were select coaches that may have lowered themselves to this staff’s level, but this type of “communication” is the norm, rather than the exception. THAT is a problem!

Not sure that you CANNOT diagnose a problem by viewing the games in person, on TV (YES, VERSUS), and even online. To me, that speaks volumes about game day preparation, personnel usage, and in-game management. What assumptions are being made? Look at Norries on the sidelines. His head is on a swivel and he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going? Nothing was more evident when the Versus cameras watched Bagnoli’s game management versus Norries. It was apples versus oranges. I’m glad that Norries has all of that training at UCONN and the NFL. Hopefully, it won’t be difficult for him to get another job.

By the way, they were NOT on the right trajectory with a 5-5 start (you neglected to mention that in your recap). We then fell to 1-9, 2-8, 4-6, and an extremely disappointing 4-6 last year (with several All-Ivy Players). So if you are going to cite statistics, please try and be fair…

The fact that you think Murphy, or the Football Committee have ANY say in what goes on is laughable. They are both in charge of budgets, that’s it. Diane will have to wait and see what Bill says before she forms her own opinion. She’s afraid of Uncle Bill and Robert Kraft as well. The football committee wanted Norries gone last year, but when I broached this topic with several current and former members, they always responded by saying that they function purely in an advisory role. They have no power, just something to add to their resume when their children apply to the school. Oh, and they decide if we use Ball Park, or Hebrew National franks at the Golf Outing. So keep thinking that these “trained and informed” professionals can make any difference.

Regarding ANYTHING that I have stated above… go ahead and check on it and see if I am wrong. Ask the players, ask the parents (of kids who play and who do not), ask the training and medical staffs. They are around it daily. See if I’m wrong. I would expect an apology when you peel back the onion and see that I am right!

If Bill Campbell were coaching, with these kids, we would win. It’s as simple as that! I look at all of the players that he’s coached and every one of them loves the guy, even though they lost. Why? Because he built character. Even if the they lost, the kids would run through walls for him. You don’t get that with Norries. I’m sure that there are a few, but overall, Norries and his staff are a disappointment to these kids! If Bill is not naive to the situation, he would have done something about this guy (and staff) last year! I hope he does the right thing now.

At Sun Oct 30, 03:35:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 11:39, I did "suck it up" at CU for 4 years under Billy, was a 3 year starter so forgive me if I decline your offer to keep my opinions to myself. Didn't know coaches were hurting players' feelings so much (how many boys quit this year?). But somehow they managed to play hard today in a blizzard and didn't quit. We're a little shy on skill positions. CU will win when we get some play makers

At Sun Oct 30, 03:43:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What good is a head coach who is a good recruiter but does not train, assess and assign the talent properly, nor direct the team correctly during the games? Logically, he's a waster of talent
with the W-L to prove it.

At Sun Oct 30, 04:32:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud of he guys today, they never gave up. Hopefully, they can surprise Harvard next week. Nice job to the Maintenance crew for the job that they did on the field today!

At Sun Oct 30, 06:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed Columbia football from the 60s. I also root for Vanderbilt and the Cubs. I like when the underdog wins. All of the above have one thing in common, they have close games but some how only know how to lose. It's a mind set. They don't believe they can win so they don,t. Its like golf. If you are afraid you will hit it in the water you probably will. It's what the coaching staff instills in the players, losers. Many years ago Columbia could have gotten the Garret bothers from Princton with their father as coach but Columbia did not want them for they would be too demanding with a win at all cost approach.What a mistake. Good teams know how to win and bad teams know how to lose even if the ability of the players are the same.

At Sun Oct 30, 07:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garrett brothers were all at Columbia my friend when their Dad was coach.Judd was stud RB on freshman team, John was a very mediocre receiver on the Varsity before getting hurt and Jason( QB) was red-shirting as he transferred in from Princeton. We went 0-10, Garrett fired, all the boys went back to Princeton where they won the title.

Let's cut to the chase and get Gilmore-he is a motivator and will turn this around in 2 years. Let's not go the usual CU way and hire some no name d3 coach or some assistant who has never been a HC

At Sun Oct 30, 07:51:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the 11:39 post, belittle, demean and use foul language with these youg men, really disgusts me. How many times have we as parents used that form of discipline or as a learning tool and can say it actually got you somewhere. You loose ALL credability and worse than that you've turned into a "Bully". And please don't tell me they need to "suck it up" it's football.I'll never believe that that form of teaching will get you anywhere but fired!!!

At Sun Oct 30, 08:16:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fire everyone at columbia. They are all incompetent

At Sun Oct 30, 11:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the team was motivated today, but we need to go out and hire a motivator. Really?

At Sun Oct 30, 09:27:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

were they motivated against Princeton and Dartmouth??? they need to be motivated( and execute a meaningful game plan) against every opponent,not spot duty in front of a home crowd. We have the worst away stats of any of the 250 plus teams Sagarin rates--is that acceptable to you???

At Sun Oct 30, 11:10:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Jim said...

I won't take sides in the Cathar controversy, but telling him to stop posting seems very unlike Columbia. Would we have told someone to shut up if we disagreed with him or her in a Con Civ discussion group?

Jake decides and I give him credit for letting a dissenting voice be heard.

At Sun Oct 30, 11:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the rant that follows, but I am compelled to come out of lurk mode. Things are so bad, I decided to watch yesterday's game on TV due to the weather and interrupted my streak of cheering on our Lions in person. Having read the many postings, I decided to do some digging and learned:

The players get out of practice so late, they can't get to the dining halls. In fact, NUMEROUS players have lost over a dozen pounds because they don't have time to eat! What happened to the promise that meals would be provided because of the late practices?

There are no cloaks for cold weather games and some players are denied hand warmers because there are not enough to go around. Apparently, they were not given MOST of the promised equipment when the season began.

The team practices or has a football commitment EVERY day of the week often as early as 6:30am even after getting in late from a previous days' game. How can they play well if they are tired? Could their fatigue exacerbate their injuries?

Is the above done as an attempt to motivate them? Or is it a perverse way to discipline them for not winning? Are the food and equipment shortages due to poor management? Or it is plain and simple pilfering? Where is our ticket money going? I'd pay more for a hot dog if you need it.

The parents I spoke to say they are afraid of retribution against their sons. That sickens me! If I were a parent of one of those kids, I'd be at Bollinger's door demanding answers. If I didn't get them, my next move would be to alert the NCAA via the NY Times.

At Mon Oct 31, 08:40:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough about parkas and handwarmers. Put together a group and target your contributions to buy them. Or better yet, buy them and donate them instead of money. One guy said he would pay for them. He should. It would be a great gesture of support for the players.


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