Or his fat keyboard, as the case may be when he relays his ever-so-insightful wisdom to Texas A&M fans in his column released each Wednesday, appropriately named, “Weekly Wednesday”. You see lately Bill Byrne has been doing a lot of talking. He’s been quick on the trigger to demand patience and even quicker to discount the opinions of the Aggie “not-as-faithful-as-they-once-were” when they shed anything but a positive light on the football program. But there’s one small problem with the message Mr. Byrne has been spewing each time he opens that fat pie-hole of his:
His comments are completely without merit and are substantively fictional in the face of heavily supported fact.
Let me start by saying that I am not a Bill Byrne hater. At least in regards to his overall ability as an Athletic Director. He has performed admirably in improving many of the programs at Texas A&M during his tenure. Women’s soccer, track & field, men’s baseball and both men and women’s basketball have taken huge steps forward under his leadership, and the facilities at Texas A&M have been undeniably improved. Now the bad news.
All of that combined does not matter as much as one victory in football.
It doesn’t. Period. End of discussion. Basketball is fun to follow and almost nothing rivals March madness in terms of pure excitement. Track & Field is a cool sport that defines athleticism and competition. Men’s baseball can serve as a nice filler to pass the time during a boring off-season. But none of them hold a candle to the wind that is college football. It’s not even close. And when it comes to finding improvement in Texas A&M football under Bill Byrne, it’s just not there. The program has actually taken dramatic steps backward from the final lackluster days of RC Slocum. For those of you that can’t read between the lines, I’m actually longing for the days when RC was fielding offensively barren 7-5 teams. At least we had a defense that could stop a middle school reverse.
For six years now, Bill Byrne has spoken condescendingly to the fans that pay his salary and the athletic department’s bills. The theme of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” has been beaten like a whore on crack. With each and every humiliating loss, Bill Byrne has shrugged off criticism and cast very valid opinions to the side as uninformed garbage, all the while demanding monetary support and trust. He’s pointed towards meaningless milestones and embraced Aggie traditions in an effort to mask the massive failure he’s amassed when it comes to improving the football program. Let’s use this week’s column as an example. It’s incredibly simple for anyone who’s paying attention to rebut.
He starts by talking about how disappointed he was after Baylor annihilated A&M a week after he claimed the team was taking “steps in the right direction”. He then pointed to a meaningless intangible that he’s hoping people will take solace in:
“While talking with our staff and players there, I kept hearing the same theme. Each person talked of how they were embarrassed with the outcome, and how we must work even harder so this doesn’t happen again.”
Um, that’s great, Bill, but you’ve been saying such conversations have been occurring for the last six years. Next.
“Away from the actual playing of the game, for those of you who immerse yourselves in following every word appearing on recruiting websites and are questioning our coaching staff’s ability to recruit quality athletes; allow me to reiterate that I believe Coach Mike Sherman and his staff are doing a good job of recruiting quality athletes to Texas A&M.”
Notice the subtle jab at the recruiting services in an attempt to both discredit them and substantiate the job Mike Sherman has done in recruiting. Here’s the problem, you big, old, silly goofball, you: Mike Sherman agreed with the recruiting services. He targeted and offered the exact same players the recruiting services rated very highly as his first choices. He just didn’t get them. Well, he didn’t get all of them. He did, however, target, offer and secure a commitment from a 4-star player in Ivory Wade. It was one of the first players Sherman went after, so you know he really wanted him, right? Ivory Wade has since de-committed and committed to none other than Baylor, a team that is much more talent-strapped than A&M, yet managed to crush us on the field in their coach’s first year at the helm. Most of the other early targets of Mike Sherman can now be found on the commitment lists of Texas, OU, and LSU as well. Stop with the charades, Bill. Mike Sherman may be identifying talent well, but he’s not gaining commitments from the players he identifies. He’s getting the players in his second and third tiers of offers. NEXT.
Another common theme of Bill Byrne: time
“However, I know that with any coaching change, it takes time. It takes time in basketball, it takes time in baseball, it takes time in track and field, and it takes time in football too. Rarely does a turn-around happen at the speed we would all wish.”
Hmmm…this seems like a reasonable assertion. I can believe that it takes time to turn a football program around. There’s no reason not to have faith that we’re on schedule, right? Nope.
Here’s a comment from Bill from 2003, after we were beaten 77-0 in Norman by the Sooners (pay attention to the bolded section and get ready to puke):
“We have the right leadership and staff in place to build a successful football program, and to create the same blueprint for success in building champions throughout our athletic department. We didn’t get to where we are today overnight, and it won’t be fully repaired overnight. But many people are working late at night on these repairs every night.”
Here’s a comment from Bill 5 years later after the Sooners scored more points in Kyle Field than any other team in history has and had to resort to running the clock out to keep from humiliating us more than they already had:
“I’m not going to make excuses. With that said, we did not get in this position overnight, and we won’t be able to get out of it overnight either. But, under the leadership of Coach Mike Sherman, we are taking steps in the right direction and I’m confident in the future of our program.”
If you go back and read all of Bill Byrne’s Weekly Wednesday columns since his arrival in 2003, you’ll notice a common theme. He just needs time. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen.
He doesn’t deserve more time. He doesn’t deserve the luxury of claiming the easy response in deferring to Mike Sherman’s knowledge or expertise. He hasn’t shown even the slightest ability to improve the football program at Texas A&M. Rather, he’s demonstrated a remarkable ability to make excuses and demand more time and money from the fans. He’s pointed the finger at those paying the bills, and he’s discounted and insulted the recruiting services as less knowledgeable than his coaches.
One last comment before I sign off:
If Bill Byrne is going to claim on one hand that he needs time to turn a program around, he has no justification when his program loses to teams like Baylor that were in far worse shape than Texas A&M when they hired their new coach. It’s faulty logic. Furthermore, if you need to spend 5 years asking your fan base for more time and continuously follow it up with a lame fucking “throw in the towel” comment like,
“We did not get in this position overnight, and we won’t be able to get out of it overnight either.”
…then you’re not the right man for the job. Shut your fat fucking mouth and do your damn job, wind bag.