So you've all heard. NYBI is dead. I think this is at best a lost opportunity and at worst something that could set the school back a bit. I'm a bit pissed about the decision so I need to turn down my filter at bit.
I'm not totally off the leash - this is still only a PG rant - but some things have to be said. My support for the players, coaches, administrators, and fans is as rock solid as ever. You guys are awesome and you have and will continue to represent my Alma Mater with honor, THANK YOU! I speak for the whole Bull Run staff (ed note: he does) when I say we are so thrilled that you come to this city and this school for your careers.
First understand that by tearing into this I am not attacking UB, at all, because other than a brand *nothing* has changed.
I think this is a very poor decision being foisted on the leaders by a loud group of nattering nabobs of negativism and the sheep who hang on their every word.
What pisses me off is that NYBI was never an actual slap in the face to Buffalo. Some clown car editorialist decided to up their page clicks by making it a "thing." They were still sore over Reggie Witherspoon being let go and led their lemmings into an anti "New York" state of mind.
If you were charged with writing the team preview in 2013, would you talk about likely first-round NFL draft pick Khalil Mack or the respective font sizes of "New York" and "Buffalo" on the UB uniforms?
Because the most prominent sports outlets in our region talked about the font sizes. Ironically several years later they would say Khalil Mack played "in relative obscurity" as they tried to justify their stupid view that UB should drop to FCS and criticized UB for failing on the PR front. Yes, the people who could have told Buffalo about Khalil Mack, but didn't, whined that not enough people in Buffalo knew about him at the time.
Those are the clowns who drove the undercurrent you saw in The Buffalo News.
Or we can look at our illustrious County Executive, a UB alumnus, whose undergarments got so twisted about the name he actually tweeted #HornsDown when UB was struggling in 2014.
While alumni of other SUNY schools and even private New York universities in state politics are lobbying for support of their alma mater's athletics programs the most prominent one in Erie County takes stabs at his.
My #UBBulls football on road to football mediocrity this year. Barely beat Duquesne, getting beat down at Army. Bring on Baylor! #HornsDown— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) September 6, 2014
I hope it was a one-off thing. He should have been strongly supporting UB publicly even if he did not like the brand. But now, maybe, he will be an advocate for UB Athletics among state politicians. Because the font of "Buffalo" is bigger than "New York." Successful athletics is one of the best ways to attract more a bigger pool of students, as evidenced by the applications surge in the wake of UB's 2015 hoops title.
I'm not going to dive deeply into all the reasons why branding New York was not only advantageous but also consistent with what UB has become. We've done it dozens of times. I do, however, feel that they warrant mention.
At the highest possible level
(1) more kids from downstate come to UB than from WNY
(2) We are the largest most comprehensive school in the state
(3) We compete at a higher level than any state school in NY.
None of that mattered to the naysayers, and the naysayers played the media and politics better than we did. UB was too busy winning more MAC titles in three years of NYBI then 13 previous seasons. UB was too busy setting attendance records. UB was too busy increasing not only the scope but the depth of their media presence.
If I allowed the changing of a brand to sour my view of UB I would be as shallow as people who tweeted #HornsDown or spent years wasting print on uniforms and instead of talking Khalil Mack.
It's time for the people who swore up and down that NYBI was holding back support from the people of Buffalo to put up or shut up. I'd expect better press coverage, more season ticket sales, an in general an end to the incessant hand wringing I have to watch over the last couple of years perpetrated by people who were not season ticket holders on Saturdays before NYBI.
Now that I've gotten it out of my system..