Charlie Frye said the chip on his shoulder is a big part of who he is.
The origin of this chip? The local sports coverage, it would seem.
Here is what he said in Len Pasquarelli's story a few days ago:
"At Akron, we could upset some bigger team, and I knew that when I opened the Sunday newspaper, it was going to be Ohio State on the front, no matter what they had done, and we'd be buried on some inside page. So, definitely, you develop a little bit of a chip on your shoulder. And to tell you the truth, I always want that chip to be there, just as long as it doesn't get too big. That's a motivator for me. It's part of who I am."
This confirms what I had suspected. The Zips, like many teams, use the media for motivation. Although the Buchtelite covers the Zips exclusively, a player told me that at least one of my less flattering columns has turned into bulletin-board material.
- The clock is ticking: Just when you think Akron makes strides in football, there is a reminder of where the program has come and where it still must go. The NCAA pegged Akron as one of 12 Division I-A teams that needs to meet the home attendance average of 15,000 or be placed on a 10-year probation. During that probation, Akron would lose bowl eligibility each year it misses the the 15,000 mark. Home attendance was 10,893 last season -- fifth worst in the country.
- When I spoke to Hunter Yurachek, he mentioned that getting people to the Rubber Bowl is the first priority -- far higher than taking fans to road games. It seems clear that he knows the NCAA is breathing down the athletic department's back.
- Last season, Akron had few big-time home games. Sure, Northern Illinois came to town, but the Zips played Kent State -- a game that is usually close to a sellout -- on a snowy, frigid Thanksgiving morning. Other opponents included Army, Central Michigan and Ohio.
- Attracting fans with this season's schedule might be even more of a challenge, however. With a grueling first three games in which the Zips conceivably could return to Akron at 0-3, rustling up fan support will be difficult. Also, Akron plays two home games on weekdays: Buffalo on a Thursday evening and Western Michigan on a Friday afternoon. The other home opponents are Miami, Bowling Green and North Texas.
- Regardless of all that, I think this is a stupid rule. Obviously having big crowds is nice, but where does the NCAA get off thinking that should be a condition for keeping a school bowl eligible. In the case of Akron (or any other rising team), it may take years for the community to provide support, especially when Ohio State is the only team in this state (or so their fans want everyone to believe).
- 10 things to do at Kent: For Flashes fans, I always thought that list included drug use, drug use, drug use, drug use, etc. However, a writer at the Daily Kent Stater says you can go out to a Flashes game to yell "You suck, Akron" and "Akron girls are ugly."
- In the understatement of the century, the writer says, "So maybe we didn't have the greatest season last year." Tell the proud players at Southeast Missouri State that. The Flashes stomped the 2-9 Division I-AA team, 33-12.
- Speaking of rivals: Ohio University is really struggling in all aspects. Frank Solich's no-contest plea to a DUI is one issue.
- Getsy to the NFL: ESPN.com featured Luke Getsy in a pretty good article. It says the Zips quarterback should get a shot in the pros.
- Rapper and Kent alum fears the roo: Here is a special message from Internet celebrity Denny "Blazin'" Hazen. The Buchtelite will have a huge package about this guy's 15 minutes of fame on Monday. If you don't know D. Blaze, here are some videos from YouTube.