When the big name coach arrived to take over their football program the fans hoped that the man whom had been a Coach of the Year could find a way to somehow break the 40 year curse that had their team in an annual death match with their rival for the title of Worst Football Program in the Country. In his first two seasons the team won 16 games and went to two bowl games. The team had only gone to two other bowl games in the previous 37 years. Those two seasons, those 16 wins, did not just represent a marked improvement for their team. It represented the beginning of a change in fortunes for the program.
The next four seasons saw the team return to earth, but even so, the return was to the earth’s surface and not the deep hole below the earth’s surface where the team had been trapped for decades. With a couple of seasons having lived in the penthouse, many fans began to carp about having to live with the little people on the middle floors of the high rise. Forgotten was the generations spent living in the basement, picking through the discards and trash of those above for clothes to wear, and scraps to eat. Those fans had seen life from the top, and had developed a sense of entitlement.
So, going into the season, nothing less than a return to the penthouse would be satisfactory. If their coach and team couldn’t return them to their rightful place, it was time to throw the bums out. The saviors of a few seasons back, were now the anchors around their fan’s necks. Successes were dismissed, and failures were all that mattered. They turned on their onetime hero and began to attack him. The man hailed as a genius a few seasons before was now called clueless and inept. The same man who had breathed life and energy into a program that had spent years in a coma, was now called old and tired. Worse than that, they went as far as to question his character.
This story has been told over and over throughout history. The names and the settings may change, and there are a few different endings, but the lesson is almost always the same.