January 9, 2013 Edition

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Someone's gotta win,
someone's gotta lose

Gretchen Hunt

For the second year in a row, Jason, Conley, Colter and I loaded up as a family and headed to Mobile to be on hand to cheer on our Arkansas State University Red Wolves in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

The obvious difference in this year's experience was that ASU registered the big "W." Parts of the game had us on our feet in excitement and parts of the game had us shaking our heads in dismay, but in the end the Red Wolves held on for the victory.

It was obviously more enjoyable to be on the winning end, but I can't say that I'm any prouder of this year's team than I was of last year's team, who came up short against Northern Illinois.

I think sometimes fans go to games expecting players to "win for them," and then when they fail the fans feel like they have somehow been let down by their team. I guess I approach it a little differently, I feel like my job as a fan is to be there to support my team - to be excited for them when they win and to encourage them when they lose.

Both Arkansas State and Kent State had a huge fan base on hand for the game, which added to the excitement of a close game.

I was thrilled to watch the ASU players surrounded by fans, coaches, parents and fellow students as the trophy was presented and player honors were announced. But, I felt a twinge of sadness as I glanced across the field and realized the Kent State side had quietly been vacated.

The year before, that was us. After every loss suffered by my husband's high school basketball team, his Aunt Helen would say, "Someone's gotta win, someone's gotta lose."

It is a simple truth, but sometimes we lose sight of the fact that if our team is winning, someone else's team is losing ... if our players are seeing the fruits of their efforts, the other players are feeling the frustration of not being able to finish what they started out to do.

I have been attending ASU football games since I was "knee high to a grasshopper" and I've seen more losses than wins. I am excited to see our program growing, but even in the biggest games in college football the simple truth remains - "Someone's gotta win, someone's gotta lose."

As I listened to Monday night's BCS championship game on the radio, I couldn't help but feel for those Notre Dame players. I thought to myself, I hope there is someone waiting to console them, I hope there is someone ready to lift them up.

We live in a world of fair-weather fans, which is a tradition I do not want to see take hold at my university. So far, I have been proud of ASU's fan base as we have been on a bit of a roller coaster as of late, with successes and new coaches and shortfalls and loss of coaches.

As ASU's program continues to move forward, I will be there to cheer on my team, to share in the excitement of the wins and to encourage them after the losses. I hope my fellow Red Wolf fans will be right there with me. I know Aunt Helen will be, and when we come up short, she will just shake her head and say, "Someone's gotta win, someone's gotta lose."

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