The date is July 10, 2011.
The day before, the Tiger-Cats had just lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in a listless effort that no one – fan, player or coach – was happy with. The Cats had started the season with much promise, yet they were behind the eight ball – again. The Cats were 0-2, and things were looking bad.
To a man, everyone on the team preached patience; they said that the wins would come. That didn't stop many fans from reacting with anger and hostility towards another slow start. Doom predictions were everywhere, and while there were rational fans calling for the same patience the team was preaching, they were shouted down by the outraged majority.
In case it has been forgotten, back on July 10, 2011 the following was "true" according to many fans:
- Kevin Glenn was a bum and should be replaced by Quinton Porter
- Marcel Bellefeuille was "Marcel Bellefool" and should be fired
- Khari Jones was over his head as Offensive Coordinator and should be fired
- Bob O'Billovich was over the hill and didn't care because he was thinking about his retirement
Well, fast forward three weeks and this is what we have:
- Glenn, who is streaky, is back in top form
- Bellefeuille is showing why he is a good Head Coach
- Jones has gotten the Offense back on track
- Obie is being given major kudos for some shrewd moves he's made, especially the move that landed Receiver Chris Williams
So while those early-season struggles were frustrating, the proof is in the proverbial pudding: being patient pays off.
There will no doubt be a stretch in the future, maybe even again this season, when the team struggles. When that happens, remember the lessons learned in July 2011. Patience is a virtue, and I think we all learned why over the first five weeks of the 2011 CFL season.