FROM THE DESK OF BOBBY WILDER: Exceeding Expectations
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 1, 2011
On behalf of the Old Dominion Football Team, I would like to say thank you for your performance Saturday.
In the eyes of our players and coaches, you deserve a game ball for your enthusiasm during our 35-18 victory vs. Norfolk State in the first round of the FCS playoffs. That was clearly the loudest you have been in our 21 home games over the past three years, and that is saying a lot considering how loud S.B. Ballard stadium has been in the past! Twelve of Norfolk State's penalties were contributed to the difficulty they had communicating on offense due to the crowd noise.
As we move on to the round of 16 in the tournament, we will carry your spirit with us to Georgia as we take on Georgia Southern, the #2 ranked team in the country on Saturday. We are hopeful that as many 12th Monarchs as possible will make the trip. We always look forward to thanking our section of fans that travel with us after the game. Your spirit and love of our team is an inspiration to us all. I have been coaching for 24 years and have never seen anything like it in FCS Football.
We talk often as a team about our "attitude of gratitude". We are grateful for the tremendous support we receive from our 12th Monarchs wherever we play our games. I am humbled by how you react to our players before, during, and after the game. Good or bad, win or lose, you applaud their efforts and encourage them to perform their best. You make the coach's job easier as we do not have to motivate them to perform, they perform for you!
Our goal as a team on Saturday vs. Georgia Southern is to play fast for 60 minutes and return to Norfolk with a win. We are in this tournament to win this tournament. I was recently asked by a reporter if I was pleased with our performance. Was making the playoffs and winning a game enough? I reminded the reporter we have eight seniors that will not play another game for the University they love if we lose. I told the reporter that we have 25 juniors that are not guaranteed a return trip to the national championship tournament next year. We are "in it to win it".
In closing, what your Old Dominion Monarch football team did this year exceeded the expectations of many football experts. Obviously, your team did not listen to the experts. They believed in each other, their coaches and played the game they love with passion. We will play with passion on Saturday vs. Georgia Southern.
Aim High in Everything You Do,