Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman

This Facebook page has generated over 43,000 fans and is still growing at a rapid rate. Bronco fans and Boise State students have already forgiven Kyle Brotzman despite missing two field goals, inside of 30 yards, against rival Nevada. Either of these two field goals would've kept Boise's undefeated season alive, as well as their aspirations of playing in the BCS championship game.

Brotzman received so many nasty Facebook messages that he was forced to deactivate his account,t and his family began receiving so many angry phone calls to the point where the police were notified. But this page is flooded with words of appreciation towards Brotzman. This shows the type of support and fan base Boise has. Any chance of being in the BCS championship game, an undefeated season, and millions of dollars all disappeared when Kyle Brotzman missed early Saturday morning. But despite all this, 40,000 + people are showing their support for this wonderful athlete.

After being red-shirted in 2006, Brotzman lead the WAC in field goals, field goal percentage, and PATs during his freshman season in 2007, and he was a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza award in addition to being an honorable mention for the freshman All-American team. In 2008 he lead Boise in scoring with 101 points (17 field goals and 50 extra points), while also leading the WAC confrence in field goals per game and handling a bulk of the punting duties. In 2009 he was the leading scorer on the team again and in the WAC with 117 points. He also lead the conference in field goals and averaged an outstanding 44 yards per punt. This season he was kicking field goals at a rate of over 82%. He has been one of the most consistent and reliable kickers in college football since 2007, and Brotzman has been a part of these legendary Bronco teams and victories. Who could forget his fake punt pass to help beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl season? He is a finalist this year for the Lou Groza award and is just nine points away from breaking the scoring record for Division I kickers. Unfortunately, he will be remembered for his game against Nevada, and it's sad that we don't look to blame the defense for allowing Nevada to rally back or even the offense for not bolstering the lead after halftime and putting the game away in overtime. When it comes down to the end, most close games are decided by the foot of the kicker. It is a huge burden to rest the fate of a team's season on a college athlete and sometimes we forget that athletes, especially college ones, feel the worst when they make a mistake. I am okay with hammering a pro-athlete for messing up in the clutch; it's their job to perform and live up to million dollar contracts. But I draw the line at going on vicious rants condemning a college athlete for an on-the-field mistake; these players are still kids and sometimes we forget that. Death threats, vicious emails, and menacing phone calls should not occur not matter how big the game is.

Fans of all sports, both pro and college, can learn from the Bronco Nation on how to deal with a bad situation. The fans came together to support their team and express their gratitude for a wonderful run. Fans frequently lose their cool during bad times and call out players which in turn only lowers player morale and diminishes team chemistry. In times of adversity, it is difficult, yet necessary to come together and be supportive in hopes to learn and grow for the future.

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