Inviting Jerry Pettibone to present the game ball at the Oregon State game shows how far Beaver Nation has come. The gesture is pleasing to maybe 10% of the crowd at Reser stadium. This is the same 10% that the OSU administration caters too. This audience is the older Corvallis community. This is the same audience that continues to reminisce about the 28 year losing streak, Dee Andros, Craig Fertig and still tells stories about bouncing little Mike Riley on their knees when he was a wee kiddo. They live in the past and are not in touch with today. They don’t tweet, blog, or even facebook. They sit around Corvallis Country Club at 4pm eating dinner sipping chardonnay.
The remaining 90% of Reser either doesn’t want to see Jerry Pettibone step foot in Reser, or has no idea who he is or how he is related to OSU. This is the problem. OSU is catering to the wrong audience and has been for some time. OSU needs to understand who their audience is and speak to them by rewarding their passion and faith with alumni, proper highlights, and the present.
Last week James Dockery was invited to be a part of the OSU game during a television timeout. I applaud whoever invited him but, where was the highlight video? He is a NFL player and used his bye week to fly back to Corvallis and all they did was say thanks for coming. Where was the fire, the hype, the bling? Dockery is NOW, He is a winner. Fans can relate to him. He is a product of OSU, a winning product and OSU rewarded him with a 3 minute “Thanks.” That was embarrassing and OSU owes him an apology.
If OSU wants to grow they need to catch up with the rest of the Pac12. They cannot continue catering to the community that doesn’t want to evolve. OSU needs to market outside of Benton County. They are missing a great opportunity to grow their brand and market a strong product. OSU doesn’t need Uncle Phil to bank roll the marketing of a great brand. They need an administration that realizes it is ok to move forward and focus on the now, the recent, and what is in the best interest of OSU and its fan base.
OSU has many opportunities to reach out to former players and invite them to return to OSU to present game balls. Players that made an impact while at OSU and their highlight videos that would fire up the crowd. Recent products of OSU that fans know and love make more sense than an old coach that didn’t win at OSU and was fired. I pray OSU doesn’t dig up highlights to share with an already surly crowd.