Are Boise State fans defensive?

First, a bit of context. I think every fan base has certain unique characteristics that distinguish it from other fan bases.

When I covered Georgia Tech, I thought the fan base had something of an inferiority complex when it came to Georgia, which is far more popular in the state. The more I thought about it, however, I came to believe that the Yellow Jackets faithful had an elitist attitude.

The fans felt that their school was far superior academically to Georgia, that the ACC was a much “cleaner” conference than the SEC and that its program was not a win-at-all-costs outfit like the Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia.

North Carolina fans, as I learned from growing up in the state and attending the school, developed a reputation as a “whine and cheese” crowd, thanks to an all-time quote from former Florida State guard Sam Cassell.

The Tar Heel fans, especially older ones, expected success and treated victories as a ho-hum experience. At times the Dean Smith Center, where basketball games are held, was extremely quiet. The school has done some things, notably moving students closer to the court, to change that perception.

Which brings me (finally) to Boise State. I think the Broncos fans have a right to be defensive.

1. The university began as a junior college in 1932 and fans, especially those at Idaho, will never let Boise State fans forget it.

2. The Broncos have worked their way up — athletically and academically — from those roots. Boise State has proven itself in football at the junior college level, at Division II, in the Football Championship Subdivision and, now, in the Football Bowl Subdivision. It is not the path of some of the traditional football powers.

3. Boise State is often criticized for its conference affiliation and its lack of aggressive non-conference scheduling. There is nothing the Broncos can do about their conference. And, to their credit, the Broncos have begun scheduling better in the non-conference.

4. The football team is often derided as gimmicky — for its blue turf, for its use of trick plays.

5. The school’s greatest victory — the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win against Oklahoma — is recognized for the Broncos’ use trickery in the final minute and overtime. Few, if any, opposing fans recognize that Boise State was in control of that game for three-plus quarters.

6. Boise State’s victory against Oregon — another milestone win for the program — has been dismissed for a year because the Ducks were down to their fifth-string quarterback, Boise State knocked out one of their top players and, in the latest excuse, Boise State had an easier schedule leading up to the game and thus didn’t have to reveal as much.

Those are six pretty good reasons for Boise State fans to be defensive when defending the program to outsiders.

But perceptions are changing — and Boise State fans might have to change with them. It’s hard to play that underdog, disrespected card when ESPN and Sports Illustrated analysts predict a 13-0 season and Fiesta Bowl appearance for the 2009 season.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen isn’t ready to change the Broncos’ underdog status, saying earlier this month that Oregon should be the favorite in this game despite the Broncos being at home.

What do you think? Is the Bronco fan base defensive? Does it have the right to be?

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.


defensiveness shows up in the fan base when it perceives that it's team is not getting the respect it deserves....a normal reaction. and yes...although respect for the program is growing, the fans still feel that it is still not getting the respect it deserves.

I would say that some of the 'overconfident' attitude and smack the Broncos fans display at times feeds into the disrespect....kind of like a new kid in town (even though he has talent) shooting his mouth off about how good he is irking the kids who have been around for a long time and have a reputation based on years of success. just let your actions speak for themselves....respect is slow to come and should be hard earned.....but it will come.

BSU gets more respect than

BSU gets more respect than they desereve..WAY more. #14 preseason? What has BSU ever done? A one point victory against Oklahoma? OU can't win a bowl game..a good victory though. They lost to a mid-major in their bowl last year exposing them..yet they're still ranked that high.

Boise State is a great program, but their AD and fans ruin any respect I even try to give. BSU should be more than happy to be where they are. They aren't the best team ever. They aren't the best team even in the northwest. Yet they believe that, no matter what, they will beat anyone. Could they win on any given day? Yes. So could any team. Until BSU can beat more than one BCS team a year consistantly..and until they schedule more than one BCS team consistantly, there shouldn't be much respect.

Nice circular logic

Boise State isn't the best team ever. They're just better than Oregon.

I love this prevailing logic that people have... Boise State is a mid-major, which all suck, and you can tell they suck, because they lost to TCU, who sucks, because they're a mid-major! They were a top ten team last year, Quackhead. The Duck's weren't, which explains how Boise State scored on the Ducks so easily and struggled against TCU.

Try some linear logic instead: Boise State beat their only Pac-10 opponent last year, Oregon, but lost to one of the MWC opponents, the first time they lost to someone in that conference. The MWC, in the meantime, MOPPED THE FLOOR with Pac-10 teams all year long. Of course, Pac-10 did very well against the bottom half of the WAC, but Boise State did do. So tell me, what exactly is it about that big-shot BCS conference that's supposed to impress me?


I like this article and can already hear the responses from some. My take is simple. BSU isn't the little boy down the street anymore. They have grown into a teenager, not quite yet an adult or "big-time" but desperately wants to be older than they truely are. Only time will make BSU older, bigger, more recognized. Defensive???? I'll say this more and more people are starting to realize that BSU is someone that they have to take serious.

Defensive? How about "Apprehensive"?

Born in Boise, raised going to Broncos games, and I don't feel defensive about Boise State. My response is that that their record speaks for itself. But does that translate into a victory over the Ducks Thursday? Well, my lunch budget hopes so. But this is a solid team coming in, and I just hope the smack talk isn't a reflection of over-confidence, because those kids are going to bring it.

I'd say more protective and proud

Not so much defensive, which implies reactivity to pain...something that I have not seen exhibited in BSU fans over the last 19 years. BSU fans enjoy a more national platform recently than in earlier years, so maybe learning the appropriate level of rhetoric and banter may be on the up-swing, but saying 'defensive' is too far at this time. Hearing BSU fan enthusiasm reflected back to Bronco Nation will take some time to absorb and define, or cultivate within the population. However, I do not agree that we are born from 'pain', as it were. Economic struggle? Yes! Game-deciding set-backs? Yes! But this team continues to have higher character development each year, maturing out of gutter-mindedness, false-sense of entitlement, or the spoiledness of some elite clubs. I think we epitomize attainment of the what America is founded upon, striving from the depths to the heights for your dreams and being successful in that acheivement!! What a great program!


People might be defensive to you because, many of your articles are attacking the Boise State program and/or the way they chose to go about their business. Stop trying to put it on the fans, and take a hard look at what you are writing. You need to look in the mirror pal, your making your own bed with some of your less than well thought out articles. If you can't figure out which ones than maybe you should head on back to North Carolina. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Allow me to introduce you to...

A few of the non-consenters re: appropriate assessment of BSU fans. You'll hear a lot from them and you should know that thier intellect relegates them to immature blogging, but if you will...(be warned) then, BDuck2009, uses mainly three descriptors, all having to do with bodily'll understand immediately when he arrives here. Also, Macygirl, starved for attention, but doesn't really like men, no put-down is ever too low for her , so beware! Next are a supporting cast to the above, but developing their own negative blog invasion styles...qwackhead503(?), duckduckduck (why the repitition?), and couple of other minor/juniors rising on the local scene. They will all have very colorful descriptions of BSU fans, however inaccurate they may be, yet still very colorful. So, if this is what you really wanted to ask, two days before the game.... or if you just wanted to provide another section of sensless duck invasive blogging, well, now you'll see what caliber the UO fans sport. Post that in SI.

Majorbronc, 503 is the original area code for Oregon...

A few years ago it was split into the new 541 code and gradually a new code in the eastern half will overlay our 541.

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...


The Broncos never played in the Football Championship Series, they played 1-AA. Merely a name change, yes, but still ...

oops ...

Subdivision, not Series ... it's like I write for the Statesman or something.

I've heard the 5th string

I've heard the 5th string QB/cheap shot excuse.. but never once have I heard this, "in the latest excuse, Boise State had an easier schedule leading up to the game and thus didn’t have to reveal as much."

An easier schedule? C'mon man, what did you interview some 5 year old duck fan or something? Get real dude, no duck fans I know have said something like this.

As for the cheap shots, hey, its football, that's gonna happen. It may or may not have produced a different outcome. I'll give you this though, Masoli didn't give up 386 yards passing to a rs freshman while continuously being out of position.

Anyway... I'm looking forward to a helluva game on Thursday!

A new excuse

Here is the quote from


For the Ducks, Boise week came in week four, right after the trip to West Lafayette, Ind., and the overtime win at Purdue. For the Broncos, it was the third game, after home games against Idaho State and Bowling Green. Teams generally watch video of their first three opponents in the offseason, and it was obvious the Broncos did their homework.

"We weren't focused enough, caught off guard with some things possibly," Aliotti said. "They were moving and shifting a little bit more than we thought -- we knew it was coming, but it got us confused. Substitution packages were difficult to recognize -- that was on me."



You're talking about a fan base that considers the Idaho Statesman to be hostile to BSU football. The word isn't defensive; it's delusional.

Not Delusional

The fan base is not well represented here. I don't think that many fans think that the Statesman is hostile to BSU. However, the ones that do are over-represented in these letters.

On the contrary...

...I find Boise State fans quite offensive.

blueturfdeath comment

now that comment doesn't wreak of defensiveness does it! lol

I think the first two comments hit the nail on the head. The programs success has been recent, and in football, tradition usually plays a big role in respect and recognition. Just keep doing what you have been doing, and it will come. Once a program starts to get national attention, they can usually ride it out over a few down years here and there. Neighing to other teams and their fans that you demand it, only triggers them to push more buttons.

Majorbronc, the article is about Boise State fans being defensive, not Oregon fans who are flooding the blogs just to put you on the defensive.

Thanks for watching my back

I remember years back though, attending one home game; as my four year old son and I returned towards the zoo park after the game (BSU lost that one...'89?), out of nowhere a passing vandal lady heckled my boy about who the better team who won was...he didn't know why an older person whom he didn't know was yelling at him or why we didn't stick around to talk to them. He and I, being new to the campus, both learned a new routine that day...something about "Idahooooo (or Boise) ....'soooocks' (instead of sucks)". Ha!! Later, his mother (a Vandal) and I laughed at it at the time, but we felt we had to re-interpret for him a word he could say without insulting anyone, unknowingly. Well, I guess what my story is trying to say is that there has been bait for just about anyone to pick-up on, but it's up to the morals of the individual to act on it as they see fit. Coming in from the outside, but owning it now for 20, I have seen many views, sure some of the more banal come from the younger crowd, but the older crowd is not immune from direct and indirect methods of support or attack. The issue is very emotional for some and sometimes beyond their ability to manage it well. Ducks, Vandals, Broncos, whomever...I'd like to focus on showing the most admirable appreciation to who earned respect the hard way.

I know you...

...wernt' yu my Englosh perferser at UofI? Yu dew talk reel good tho. Evun used werds I haddent ever herd befor like "banal". Shur whish I cud be so eligent a speker.

You DID learn to use BANAL in the correct context though.

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

I've heard it before

Oregon played a double OT game at Purdue the following Saturday and had some travel glitches getting home, whereas BSU played a cupcake at home the following Saturday.

There's not much to the excuse as far as I'm concerned. The bigger problem was Oregon really had no viable options at QB, which made running the offense very challenging. People point to Masoli's injury, but seem to forget BSU was the kid's first start ever and he'd been in the Oregon program all of about 6 weeks at that point.

Fans Will Not Win the Game Thursday

This Thursday evening, two very good football teams will battle it out on a blue football field. The fans, defensive or offensive, will not take one snap of the ball. The fans will not catch one pass or tackle one ball carrier. comes down to the teams on the field. Be defensive and talk trash all you want, but the moment of reality is almost here.

Both teams have a number of questions that will be answered. However, this will not be the same Oregon team that BSU beat last year. You should not conclude that what happened last year has any bearing on this game, except that it has motivated this Duck team. They are coming to win and to erase the memory of last year. The Ducks play in a lot of tough venues and this one is tough. Just like the Big House a couple of years ago when they went in and demolished Michigan.

The Ducks are coming and they coming to win.

Coming to Win

Even if you beat my Broncos, you still won't beat USC! Roasted Duck on Halloween -- Fight On!

USC Law '05

Yep, Oregon and FCS Appalachian State "demolished" Michigan

Woo hoo! Oregon is right up there with App State in how they "demolished" Michigan. Okay, so App State is no cupcake, but come on! Michigan has not been the same Michigan for some time now.

And I disagree with you that the fans won't win this game. Bronco Stadium will completely get into the psyche of the Oregon players that their heads will be spinning for a week and in about 3 days after the game Oregon will be posterized the same as Oregon State was posterized (a way cool poster, that I own, by the way).


I would say a portion of BSU's fan base has been hyper sensitive. Also, the whole "BSU didn't have to reveal as much due to schedule..." I've never heard that until I read it in this paper.

RA Hamilton

Some advice for .....

Fans (regardless of school), and players:

1. Keep your mouth shut
2. Just win baby

Opinions are like ........, everybody has one!


There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

It's true

I don't care what Brian Murphy, Mike Prater, Vandal fans, Duck fans, or any other hater wants to say about Boise State because it's true. Boise State fans are defensive. I say this as a huge Boise State fan. We all have a right to defend our team against ridiculous excuses of why Boise State won or lost a game. Don't kid yourselves Bronco fans. We're defensive. Look at any Boise State message board. I enjoy looking around the message boards for other people's opinions but sometimes it's unbearable how defensive Bronco fans do get.
Go ahead, rip me a new one. I know you will.


This is Oregon State whining all over again. For years OSU would complain that it was the winningest program in the state yet didn't get the respect it thought it deserved. Perhaps because it was because they would go on the road to get beaten by a Boise State and then blown out by a Cincinnati. Then we beat them 65-38 last year and finally shut them up...for a while at least. No west coast school not named U$C gets east coast respect. It's just a fact. But you won't hear Duck fans whining about respect of any kind because we don't need to. We've had our share of mediocrity over the years, but expectations are higher here. We don't whine (Duck haters will debate this!) because we know who we are and the actual margin between where we are and where we want to be, which is a Rose Bowl or playing for a national title. Almost every day I read or here about Phil Knight's money from OSU fans and now BSU fans. The truth is, Phil Knight started nike practically out of the trunk of his car with the help of people like Nelson Ferris on a (pardon the pun) shoestring budget. Bill Gates and Paul Allen? Same deal! If your school's alumni and AD aren't getting you what you need to succeed, I'd say it's time for a new AD with a bigger vision instead of throughing sour grapes at programs that have larger endowments or deeper pockets. The sad part is you have supposedly college educated people acting as though they're still in high school. My two cents...GO DUCKS!!!


Oregon fans are defensive.

They weren't the fans. They were TROLLS, all but a few...

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

No Whining by Duck fans????

That's all we've listened to for the last year is Duck whining. For the 30+ years I was in Corvallis, that's what we heard as well, Duck whine. Phil Knight has done great things for Oregon. I applaud what he has done. There are some great Oregon fans. There are some really bad ones. Respect the Oregon Ducks??? A few yes. Most of them- no.

Oregon may have been playing

Oregon may have been playing with their 5th string qb, but BSU was playing with a freshman qb. Shoudn't a 5th string qb from a "big time" program like Oregon be better than a freshman qb from a non-bcs program???

Murphy-defensive, you bet!

I love Bronco football and I come to this blog to read what you have to say Murph. Some of it is crap, but some is awesome like your newest on trash talking. Speaking of trash talking some of our not so friendly Duck and Idaho people are getting a bad rap, like BDuck for example. Sure that one gets out of line but not any more so then the foreign Oregonian blogger. That one is constantly running off the mouth even to Bronco fans. Frankly BDuck doesn't bother me half as much as that clown.

The quest for validation

Parity has truly arrived. Many of the traditional powers wish it weren't so, and many in the media have been slow to fully embrace the new reality; and every program and conference is digging in to protect their turf, while the fans cling to dreams and claims of being legitimate D-1 power players. Every new kid on the block is a threat to everyone else, as well as a challenge to the comfortable status quo. Teams like Boise and Oregon, that are on the rise, get a lot of push back--because there can only be so many at the top, right? So the validation we seek may not be coming soon, or even worth obsessing about. Both Oregon and Boise St. are damn good football programs--and that remains true whether the rest of the world notices or cares.

Is Oregon better than Boise State? They weren't when they played in Autzen. Did Boise St. get Oregon's best shot? No one in Eugene thinks so, but that's beside the point. Oregon fans think their Ducks will put up a better fight this year, and that their talent will shine. As a Ducks fan, I hope so, but I expect a fierce game either way.

This has all the makings of a great rivalry. I hope Bellotti sees this and makes this an annual battle.

Big games like this are what college football such fun. Enjoy the drama, but don't let the outcome of a spectator sport, or the approval from others, determine your happiness.

True, BSU had a Freshman QB, but...

Oregon recruited Harper to play as a Running back. You saw him. Was he a QB? Of course not. Don't be silly. So finally at the end of the 3rd qtr, we put in Thomas. Game may have been different had he played from first half who knows.

I am a die hard Duck, but I think even with a healthy Masoli playing the whole game last year, Boise most likely would have beat us. Masoli was green and not very good those first few games he started. Different story with him now, as he is widely seen as the best QB in the Pac-0 this year. Look at Sports Illustrated and read what they say about him.

Broncos are tough. I feel you need to ditch the BUSH LEAGUE BLUE TURF THOUGH. Should the Huskies play on purple turf? OSU on neon Orange? The Ducks on neon Yellow? That is not football, but Arena league crap by weak teams trying to gain advantage over better teams.


"That is not football, but Arena league crap by weak teams trying to gain advantage over better teams."

What? Please explain.

If you play for it, we won't tell you to be quiet. SHOO

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

Same thing, different

Same thing, different decade. U of I was the pompous team with the obnoxious fanbase with over the top delusions of gradure. Now, it is BSU turn.... Every human has the need to feel special and this BSU's best shot at being "at least in the conversation". Both programs are pathetic. If you put that blue turf in the kibbie dome, it would set the record as being the most horrible sports arena in the history of man kind but some idiot would be bragging about it... Don't start Duck fans, your uniforms look like Jabba the Hut's PJ's after he puked all over them...

That just happened.

Murphy's at it again.....

At first I thought Murphy was writing an article defending Bronco fans; then I realized he was only using this article to take another shot at Boise State, way to list the top reasons why you (Murphy) and other "experts" think the Broncos don't compare to those big "traditional" powers. The old saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" is perfect for Murphy. Obviously Murphy's boss has told him he needs to write a certain number of articles this week leading up to the Oregon game, but that does not mean he has to say anything positive about Boise State.

If Murphy ever writes a positive article about the Broncos I'll buy a subscription to the Statesman.


Who the hell said the Ducks schedule was tougher than BSU's to start the season? Haven't heard that one at all. Leave it to the BSU media to write an article asking if they're the little man...Then making stuff up to sound more the part.


Time to throw this tool into the Boise River!

Fill the moat, and raise the drawbridge!

Defensive, you bet. When we can't even get love from our (not-so)hometown newspaper. I don't know if Murphy and Prater are using Boise State athletics as a punching bag to vent because they are the ones not in a big-time sports market, or for some other reason. Have you run out of real sports news and now seek to make yourselves the center of the news story? I'm sure there's a word for that...
I love my Broncos, and have since my grandpa took us to games and we got splinters in our butts if we didn't bring a blanket to sit on.
There's your tradition.
Looking forward to the game,


Do us all a favor and go back to the east coast.


Respect is earned. This is quite possibly the most jaded community, university, and fan base of all that exist. It's a bit beyond defensive...

Heck, Yes I'm defensive

All the trash-talking duck fans come over here and litter the pages with pixel-rhetoric. They deserve to hear all the defensiveness we can garner.

petersen might get his wish

the spread on the game keeps dropping. everyone wants action on the ducks. by kickoff, ducks might be favored, then the broncos really are officially underdogs again. nice to get back to reality. i thought i was losing my mind for a couple weeks. i kept looking at the spread and then outside to see if the sky fell or if pigs were flying around outside.

Swine in an Immelman Roll.

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

More Invasive Duck Comments

Most quality programs in small media markets, especially in the west, get short-changed in the media. So, yeah, a lot BSU fans are defensive. Just keep scheduling "major" colleges, keep kicking the snot out of them, and enjoy the victories. And ignore the over-compensating flamers on these blogs: big talk, little...jock. They're embarrassing their own teams.

One Game Wonders

To all the BSU people,
BSU would have had a tougher time with the DUCKS at the end of last season. I think the DUCKS would have crushed the geldings at the end of the season. Injuries do matter in a game and the DUCKS had plenty, including Walter Thurmond III at DB. Bottom line is that the DUCKS lost the game and this is a new season. For BSU it is a one game season, so sorry for you. To many BSU fans have been critical of DUCK fans. Whatever!! You will find out what a healthy DUCKS team can do on Thursday. Let me ask you this, how is BSU going to stop the spread offense??? BSU defense is not anywhere close to what Okl. St. or OSU brings to the table and look what happened. And somebody even went on to post that BSU little stadium was as loud as Autzen. What a joke! Those are BSU fans for ya.