Open Mouth, Insert Football: An open letter to Seth Davis

Ben Morrow
Sports Columnist

Dear Seth,

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I am as I sit to write this. I was all set to spend my column space remarking on our men’s basketball team and the pressures involved in their run for an undefeated season. I was ready to remind our team not to get so caught up in their quest for perfection that they wear themselves out or forget to save themselves for the OVC tournament. I was about to mention that an automatic tournament bid is more important than finishing with zero losses.

Scratch that. All of that.

Why? Because I want to hear you sing.

In case you’ve already forgotten, this is what you wrote on SI.com last week:

“Yes, you heard correctly. On Twitter Wednesday night I promised that if Murray State entered the NCAA tournament undefeated, I will sing the national anthem at one of the Racers’ home games next season (if they’ll have me, that is). Fortunately for the United States of America, that will not come to pass. It’s only a matter of time before the Racers either lose or will remain the only unbeaten team in the country – in which case the attention, the pressure and the law of averages will catch up to them. Still, I’m a big fan of this team…”

If we’ll have you? Seth, in which hotel would you like a room reserved?

As someone without any authority inside the Racer athletic department, I’m not able to extend a formal invitation; however, on behalf of the Murray State students, local media and Racer fans, I officially invite you to screech, croon and serenade us Racer fans to your heart’s content.

By doing so, you can join a long list of people who have comically murdered our national anthem in the past (see Carl Lewis, Roseanne, Christina Aguilera, etc…).

You see, Seth, we appreciate (sort of) your attempts to bring attention to a stellar Racer season by saying “I’m a big fan of this team.” But “big” Racer fans don’t call out a small program on a national level and imply they have as much chance at success as Ron Paul becoming the next Chinese chairman.

“Big” Racer fans enjoy the thought of Seth Davis publically humiliating himself for not believing in the little guy.

As a Kentucky resident and a Duke fan from childhood, I tend to be an underrepresented and occasionally persecuted minority here in the Bluegrass State. When Seth Davis accusers arise, I often find myself the lone voice of reason saying, “No, he doesn’t always blindly pick Duke to win it all,” or “No, he doesn’t constantly hate on the University of Kentucky.” Your affinity for Duke – your alma mater – is forgiven in my eyes because, if for no other reason, I like them too.

But now you’ve picked on Racer Nation. If anything could motivate Bluegrass hoops fans to collectively ditch our UK and Duke hoodies and unite under the banner of blue and gold, it was the comments above.

I suppose I should be thanking you.

Thank you for the bulletin board material. If Isaiah Canaan isn’t feeling it on a given night, all he has to do is remember, “Seth Davis wants to sing.”

If Ivan Aska finds it difficult to rehab his injured hand and get back into the lineup, he can remember, “Seth Davis wants to sing.”

That’s all the motivation I would need.

Thank you, too, for the reminder that your prognostications aren’t exactly foregone conclusions. Has there been an analyst out there with as bad a record at picking tournament games as you in recent years? Just asking.

By the way, we haven’t forgotten that at the beginning of the season the national media picked the Racers to finish third in the OVC; so underwhelming predictions for this team do not faze us.

In case you meant your comments as a tool to inspire a mid-major team, you succeeded, if not in the way you might have meant. Allow me to offer Racer Head Coach Steve Prohm’s open letter to fans on Jan. 13 before the Tennessee Tech game as a way to motivate support in a positive way.

Prohm wrote:

“The 2011-2012 season has been a milestone year for Murray State Men’s Basketball. We now have the best starting record in our team’s history, at 17-0, and are celebrating our fifth week as a nationally ranked team. Tomorrow’s game is not only very important for our team, but for the entire Racer nation. It will be our first game at home to reach a national audience this season, and possibly our first opportunity to have more than 8,000 fans in the CFSB Center since 1999. In addition to the United Way ‘White Out’ promotion, the stage is set for an electric atmosphere. On behalf of our players and coaches, I’d like to say how truly grateful we are for all of the support we have received from you this season. Hearing your cheers and seeing the stands packed with blue and gold makes a difference. As we move deeper into the regular season, each game becomes more important than the last. We need our fans behind us to keep pushing us through the regular season. I’ll see you at the game!”

Seth, we’ll see you at the game. If we’ll have you? Please! We’ve got a set of blue and gold pom-poms waiting with your name on it.

This makes me positively giddy.

Contact Morrow.