One of the things I'm proudest of in WaP's coverage of the team this season is that almost at the same time, we got a couple of pieces of opinion from people complaining about said coverage. One was an e-mail that accused us of being a "cheerleader" for the team. The other was a tweet lambasting our "negative" coverage and questioning our loyalty.
That pretty much sealed it for me right then and there - we were getting it right. When those two criticisms came down in succession, I knew that our quest to be bluntly honest was getting it absolutely right.
Let there be no confusion at all. We're fans. All of us here are RPI fans - through thick and thin.
My favorite tweet of the year, I wrote the morning after the Freakout! was over. The weekend after the gut punch that was getting swept by Brown on the season and having Yale suck the energy out of a packed house early.
Frustration is six losses in a row. Dedication is throwing your RPI hockey hat back on your head the next day. Ride or die. #EngineerPrideThe frustration was destined to mount just a little bit more as the winless streak extended a further three games, but there we were throughout, hoping for the best, even as we criticized uneven play. That's all we've ever wanted to do here. We didn't want to be cheerleaders. We didn't want to be strictly dour, either.
— Without a Peer (@without_a_peer) February 15, 2015
And here we stand - on the other side of a season that at times was a long slog, on the precipice of a series no one thinks we're going to win.
That's why I want to take this opportunity to go out on a limb here.
We're going to go back to Lake Placid. If it's not next week, it's going to be soon, and we're going to win it all there.
We're going back to the NCAA Tournament. Probably not this year. But eventually.
That third national championship? It's coming someday.
I don't have any proof. I can point to Union winning it last year as proof that we (that is, anyone) can win it all, but it doesn't mean we're going to.
So how do I know? Because I'm a fan. I believe. Do you? If the answer's no... why are you a fan? What are you hoping for?
I've been blessed to be a part of this family called RPI Hockey for basically my entire life. I was too young to remember the '85 championship, but I remember the '95 title well. We have high expectations on our team because we know where they've been and what they're capable of.
Never forget that the team places high expectations on itself, and that every player in that locker room has the same hopes and dreams that their fans do. They want it even more, trust me.