Living Up To The Absence of Hype



It's never an easy task living up to hype. You can either roll with the punches or fall through the cracks. It's an age-old situation that no one seems to have the answer for. Movies, video games, sports teams, politics, you name it - hype has poisoned the minds of every major player in anything done for the public's approval.

In this day and age, hype is a runaway train. Some believe that hype is a good thing; without hype, we lose a needed excitement for life and something unique. Others believe hype can destroy us as a nation. Examples of hype going too far have claimed the lives of many influential people, including Princess Diana.

Our constant need for information and gossip has seemingly clouded our judgment. Instead of wanting to know something relevant about a celebrity or political figure - something that details that person's occupation - we crave a peek into the window of that person's private life. We can't live without knowing that celebrities make mistakes and don't use their judgment, yet we fault them for doing so. The very thing that makes us human can just as easily destroy us.

We can't begin to think how many consecutive weeks UB Stadium would sell out if the football team won a bit more and gave us a reason to watch them as a college community. In fact, only a handful of our athletic teams are successful, and that's unfortunate. As we see week in and week out on television, the success of a university's athletic program greatly determines their chances of academic recruitment. If the team is good, people will come to support them: hype them up. If they are not that good, less people will show up to games. If they stink like a freshman's month-old laundry, well, you get the picture.

Like I said before, finding a solution isn't simple. UB definitely won't be great overnight. That's where the problem lies. Many students are so restless and eager for success their hopes run higher than they should. This applies to more than athletics as well. If all our lives we get "A's" and "B's," we've been conditioned to strive for "A's" and "B's" all the time; if we receive a "C" for the first time ever, it's automatically perceived as failure. On the flip side, if all you've ever received were "C's" and "D's," and suddenly get an "A," you'd wonder if the teacher gave you the right exam. How people perceive greatness in themselves determine their greatness in life.

It applies to all facets of life. If Al Pacino or Denzel Washington made movies that automatically flop, it tarnishes their other accomplishments. If Sony and Nintendo made a string of sub-par videogames, their reputation for quality will be diminished. However, if our football team comes into a game 1-7 and ends up beating a team so handily (UB's first shutout since the '98 season), our hopes may be restored? Wishful thinking. But all it takes is time.

We have a leader in President William Greiner who genuinely cares for his faculty, staff and students. The sole weapon Greiner has to attract new students and teachers is publicizing a great product. That's why we've seen three new apartment complexes in the past three years. That's why we've seen our athletics program jump to Division I-A status. Greiner and the administrative staff do things for the long-term. It may not make sense now, but come back in five or six years and you'll realize that you were part of something special. All Greiner can do now is hype the University at Buffalo. Then the fruits of his (and our) labor will come back tenfold. I just wish all of us here at UB would realize that good things come to those who wait.