Sometimes, "fans" make me laugh.

In fact, it happens a lot.  I'll read things posted on message boards and scratch my slick dome in amazement at the perception that some people have of the Cajuns' athletic department.

Everyone has opinions.  And everyone is entitled to them.  Message boards give fans a chance to voice opinions and they get to do it anonymously.  Which is a good thing, because sometimes you don't want folks to know how, um, uninformed is a polite way to say it, you might be.  You see, most folks use data in the formation of opinions.  But some do not.  And that's when it's a good thing to be anonymous.

Yesterday, the latest opinion of me is that I'm a cheerleader for UL.  I really don't have the legs for that.  And, I'd really look silly in one of those skirts.  But hey, I'm okay with it. 

I've never made any bones about it.  I want the Cajuns to win.  Every time they play.  In every sport.  Heck, I started going to volleyball matches this year.  And you know what ?  I enjoyed it.  Gonna go back again. 

And, call me a cheerleader if you like, but I've never been more excited about the prospects of Ragin' Cajun Athletics as I am right now.

Our administration (I say "our" because I've taken ownership..more on that later) has made the commitment.  It's not lip service.  They're not only talking the talk, they're walking now.  The commitment is there in coaches salaries, both head coaches and the assistant packages.  Did you ever think you'd see the day when the UL football assistants' salary package is the HIGHEST in the Sun Belt?  Frankly, I didn't.  But it's there.

That's commitment.  We pay our head coaches competitive salaries in the league.  In some cases, we pay the most.  Ever think you'd be able to say that?  Yeah, me neither.  But that's where we are.

The Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility was the beginning of facility improvements.  But just the beginning.  Better housing is being built for not only our student athletes, but the general population as well.  The new softball facility is in progress and will be ready soon.  It will be in the top 25 ballparks in the nation, very fitting for our nationally ranked program.  Soccer/track are getting new locker rooms.  The announcement of the upgrade to M. L. Tigue Moore Field should be announced in the spring and hopefully will be ready when the Cajuns host the Sun Belt Tournament in 2013.

There's actually a drawing for the upgrade to Cajun Field, which will take our football program to another level.  It's still in the planning stages and will be a while before we see the fruits, but it's coming.

Commitment.  Don't say the administration doesn't have it.  They're already showing it.  And, if you open your eyes, you'll see it.

But you know, it takes more than talking about it, if you're a part of the fan base.

It's getting involved and taking ownership of it.

There has never been a more important time than now to do that.  And, the best way is through the Ragin' Cajun Athletic Foundation.

Fans clamored for years that we needed a separate foundation for our athletic programs.  Well, it's getting ready to start it's third year.  Are you a member?  If you are, perhaps it's time to see if this year your gift can be upgraded.  If you aren't, why the hell aren't you?

Please don't say you can't afford it.  You can be a member of the RCAF for a hundred bucks.  Don't have a hundred in your pocket?  No problem.  You can get it charged to your credit or debit card over twelve months.  Do the math.  That's $8.50 a month.  Yep, you gotta sacrifice one drive thru at your favorite burger joint each month in order to be an RCAF member.  Not much to ask, is it.

But maybe, now that you've got an idea of how little it is per month, maybe you can give a little more.  If you're a season ticket holder, you can get a preferred parking pass for a $250 commitment to the RCAF.  Works for both football and basketball.  Your total cost?  $20.83 per month.  That's about the cost of a case of beer.  Instead of buying one case a week, make it three per month.  Easy enough.  And, it hasn't strained your budget a bit.

Now, I wouldn't ask you to do anything that I'm not willing to do.  I am an RCAF member.  And, I don't donate at the minimum level.  I made a commitmemt the first year to be a part of the future of UL athletics.  I never attended at class at UL.  But it's MY school, and MY athletic department.  I have season tickets to football, seven of them.  This year, I'm going to try and make it ten if I can.  My family uses four.  I give the rest away to friends, hoping that they'll enjoy Cajuns football and buy season tickets in the future.  I've also decided to upgrade my RCAF donation by 20% for 2011.  If you are a member, I hope you'll consider an upgrade as well.

There are so many "fans" who have said "I'll give when......".  The problem is, for them, "when" never arrives.  When the first "when" is done, they find another one

.  And another one. Well, here's a message for you "when" folks. 

"When" has arrived.

 We have a President who gets it.  We have an athletics administration that is committed and is showing it more and more every day.  The leadership is in place and doing it right.  They have a plan.  They've unveiled the plan.  It's a plan that can and will work.

But we must do our part.  And, that includes you skeptics.  There's a worn out cliche' that applies here.  You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.  The first of the year is upon us, and there's no better time to become a part of the solution, or a bigger part than you have been. 

That's it folks.  If my passion for the present and the future of UL Athletics makes me a cheerleader, that's fine.

But I'm not wearing the damn skirt.