BY LEONARD LANG
I couldn't help but notice the Cheers and Jeers column of Dec. 31 and feel compelled to respond to rather derogatory comments concerning UPEI athletics.
Your criticism of the department promoting ticket sales for the second half of the hockey season is totally uncalled for. You make mention of the team's poor record as if a winning record is the only reason one should support the program. You and your sport colleagues at the Guardian have been around long enough to know that the Atlantic Conference is most likely the toughest in the nation and wins don't come easily.
We knew that, due to injury, the hockey Panther's defensive core would be in trouble; yet they played hard, competitive hockey with most of their losses being close games. One game they travelled to UNB with only three defensemen, but to their credit they did show up.
Coach Forbie MacPherson's teams are noted for their 100 per cent effort, and in spite of their record have been very competitive in many of the games they lost.
Your Guardian sport's reporters should be encouraging support instead of criticizing the department for its efforts to recruit fan participation - after all isn't that part of their job? Whether the team is winning or losing, seeking adequate funding from the community is always a big part of the picture. Giving up on a team is not.
As to the pointed comment of the men's basketball record 0 – 7 (now 0-12), does your staff make any reference to the fact that Coach Darryl Glenn has nine freshmen on the team? Anyone with any knowledge of basketball knows that you can't win in the AUS with nine freshmen. Coach Glenn has a proven record, knows the game, and will no doubt see success once he lands his own recruits. Yes, this will be a long, lean season, and fans will have to be patient.
Anyone of your 'Cheers and Jeers' sections by itself is no big deal, but one has to notice the excessive number of shots the Guardian has delivered over the past year. I certainly have. I hope that your paper will make a greater effort to be supportive, or at least if you have concerns voice them to the appropriate parties. I know you can do better.
- Leonard Lang, Charlottetown, UPEI Panther supporter