These are not the conditions for optimism--starting the season 0-5, experiencing light attendance, losing star players before the season started, losing a starting quarterback for weeks and losing a player to a tragic injury.
Perseverance is a necessary virtue for those who seek to be successful. At Tulane, it is essential.
Fortunately, Tulane football has persevered and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.
Curtis Johnson remains upbeat, steadfast in his belief that he can succeed at Tulane.
Earlier in the season, he mentioned that Tulane could eventually be like Miami, as in the Hurricanes that Johnson coached for previously. This past Tuesday, he equated Tulane to Boise State.
Dreamers dream big. Believers are hard to jar, hard to move from their bedrock foundation. Johnson believes that he can win at Tulane.
The Green Wave got Ryan Griffin back and he has put together three superb performances in succession. His most recent performance in a 55-45 win over UAB was both record setting and recognized by Conference USA and the Louisiana Sportswriters for its excellence.
Griffin deserves all good things coming to him. He has had to persevere through a lack of support, numerous injuries, coaching changes and philosophy changes.
I have always maintained that given a supporting cast and good health that Griffin could be a good Division I quarterback. He is proving it.
Optimism over winning two of the last three games reigns at Tulane and why not? In addition to the offense stepping up, young players with local ties have stepped up as well.
Lorenzo Doss of St. Augustine had two interceptions in the win over UAB. Darion Monroe of East St. John has special athletic ability and his punt return against the Blazers was special. Jordan Batiste of Lutcher has been consistently good. Todd Jacquet of Jesuit is earning his stripes. Ditto for Alex Paul of Newman, Robert Kelly of O. Perry Walker, Dante Butler of Brother Martin and others.
Then, there is the matter of the football stadium.
While it is not the panacea to make Tulane a winning program, it can help. It certainly will not hurt.
Most importantly, the money is in place to finance the stadium. An announcement Thursday will make that abundantly clear.
Johnson's ties to the New Orleans Saints have proven beneficial, very beneficial to the Green Wave. When Tulane needs to practice indoors due to inclement weather, more often than not, Johnson's ties to the Saints get the Green Wave the opportunity to work at the indoor facility on Airline Drive. Saints officials support his team and even attend games. Johnson's experience with the Saints certainly helps on the recruiting trail.
Now, it certainly appears that C.J.'s ties to the Black and Gold will result in a significant windfall for the Olive and Blue, based upon Johnson's comments at his Tuesday press conference.
Many of us remember with great fondness going to Tulane Stadium to see the Green Wave and Saints play. It is nice to know that the ties between the two entities will again emerge on the Tulane campus. We will discover the degree of the marriage on Thursday.
For a program and loyal fan base that has suffered for a significant period of time, this is, well, significant. Dream the dream. Think big. Strive to be the best. Believe. Expect a positive result by having a positive outlook. Perhaps the winds of change will begin blowing through the Wilson Center and the sun will appear. There is finally a break in the dark clouds which have hovered over Tulane football for the last decade. That is a good thing.
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