Havre Daily News - News you can use

George Ferguson Column: Lights haven't turned the corner, but they've reached the intersection

From The Fringe...


October 22, 2018

When you’re rebuilding a football program, like the job being done by Andrew Rolin and the coaching staff at Montana State University-Northern, a lot of cliches are going to be used.

But cliches are also true many times, and in the case of rebuilding, the cliches being tossed around at Northern right now are fully justified.

After Saturday’s 42-13 loss to the No. 18 UM-Western Bulldogs at Blue Pony Stadium, there were plenty of cliche’s that came to my mind from what I saw.

Call me an optimist, call me a homer, but you can also consider me someone who has watched, in one form or another, just about every live snap the Lights have had in the last decade, so I do feel like I know what I'm talking about when I am optimist about where the Lights are going.

And while the scoreboard may not agree with me, the Lights are indeed getting better. Now, getting better isn’t a cliche per se, but the use of the term “turning a corner” is, and that’s where the Lights almost are right now.

The fact that Northern completely outplayed Western for the first 30 minutes of Saturday’s game has to be taken into account. No matter how the game turned out, with where the Lights have been the last three or four years, to just dismiss the way they played in the first half Saturday would not just be wrong, it would be ridiculous.

That brings me back to the whole turning the corner cliche.

The Lights didn’t turn a corner Saturday, and they probably haven’t at any point this season, at least not in Frontier Conference play. Coach Rolin would be the first to say Northern still has a way to go in that department. But the cliche that came to my mind Saturday is this: You can’t turn the corner if you never make it to the turn. You can’t take the turn if you haven’t even arrived at the intersection yet.

How’s that for some serious cliches?

But as cliche or as optimistic as that sounds, it’s nonetheless true.

Saturday, against the best team in the Frontier Conference, and perhaps the hottest team in the NAIA right now, the Lights got to the intersection. They made it to the turn. In fact, Northern even had its blinker on.

Now, did they get all the way there? Did they make that turn? No. I don’t think anyone could say that.

But given where the Lights have been in the recent past and given where they started back when Rolin was hired in December, Northern has come a long, long way. In fact, they’ve come so far, they’re ready to make that turn. They’re so close. All they have to do now is do it. It’s a grueling and sometimes agonizing turn, and it’s one that may not even happen this season, with only three games left to do it.

Yet all those cliches I just said in the last paragraph are no less true, either. Northern is getting close. They’re getting there. I know because I’ve seen it happen before. I know what to look for, and the signs are there. The Lights are about to turn the corner, and I believe, under Rolin, they will.

And if I may be cliche, right now, the Lights are at the intersection. The blinker is on. And they are going to make that turn. Give it some more time, but they’re going to do it. There’s no going back.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018