September 12, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 9  

Front Page >> Editorial & Opinions > The "real" Homecoming


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The "real" Homecoming

It was a chilly fall day back on Sat., Nov. 2, 2002. The Western Mustangs football team traveled to Kingston to end the season of the Queen's Golden Gaels. However, the football gods did not look kindly on our beloved Mustangs that day.

The Mustangs came back draped in mediocrity. They were completely embarrassed 55-20 in one of two Ontario University Athletics semi-finals.

Fast forward to Sat., Sep. 13, 2003, at 2 p.m.. The Mustangs will welcome their arch nemesis to TD Waterhouse Stadium in what is being billed as the "real" Homecoming football game.

Plot lines are running like Niagara Falls on crack. The obvious is the revenge factor. Throughout the past week the Mustangs players and coaches have focused solely on the importance of this game - clearly pride is a notable virtue.

Even head coach Larry Haylor spent a majority of The Gazette's recent interview speaking about the importance of coming together for a common cause and erasing the sting of last year's defeat.

However, chasing Haylor is the shadow of decisions past. In the off season, the Mustangs coach fired assistant coach and defensive coordinator Bob LaRose. LaRose had been a long-standing cog in the Mustangs machine and had ties with many of the old guard.

If Queen's is able to repeat the shocking offensive exploitation of the Mustangs defense (and clearly, Queen's star quarterback Tommy Dennison will be looking to do so), LaRose's firing will definitely come into question.

The plot is thick. But does anyone really care? Attendance at university athletics has continuously spiraled downward. Football will forever garner the diehard fan who will turn out for every game, but this group cannot sustain the reputation surrounding the team.

Where are the posters or the billboards or various other promotional tools to bring out other segments of the Western population? If The Gazette doesn't publish any stories about Western's most popular team and/or if people don't hear about it through the grapevine, they'll be completely ignorant of the scheduled time and date, as well as the game's importance.

The Mustangs may not be the team they once were, given the emergence of McMaster and Queen's, along with the powerhouses out West, but the team still supplies entertaining football and phenomenal athletes. And there's always the kick ass cheer leading team. But unfortunately, not many people knows these things exist.

Apparently the schedule makers of the OUA were fast asleep when they slotted Queen's-Western into the week before Western's 125th Anniversary (Western will play Ottawa Homecoming weekend). Don't follow their lead; support the Mustangs this weekend - if things go as they did last year, they'll need all the help they can get.



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