How far are you willing to go to make Black Bear Football consistently successful? Even cut programs?

“Couldn’t be more proud of @BlackBearsFB. Tough one today, but we will be back!”

@javelhoff makes three points in his Tweet. I agree with the first two. I am “proud”. And it was a “tough one”. But how is he so sure “we will be back?” Prior to this amazing run, it had been 5 years since Maine sniffed the post season.

And until Maine whooped Jacksonville State this November, the Black Bears had not recorded a post season win since 2011. Before that, 2002.

So, I guess @javelhoff is right. They will be back. But how soon?

What if there was a way to help the Black Bears be CAA title contenders every season? And show up in the playoffs with some frequency?

Perhaps the University of Maine Athletic Department needs to find a way to make this happen.

@robkennedy70 makes a good point in this tweet:

It was fun to see tons of Mainers who usually only casually follow the program (like me) or maybe even rarely watch at all gathered around TVs to root for our state’s flagship school.

Many Mainers were united in our excitement for this Black Bear season.

Im sure the TV ratings for ESPN 2 in this part of the Pine Tree State were pretty darn high. Sports bars were packed. This was “Must See TV” for Maine.

So how do we avoid going back to the land of 5 and 6 win seasons? How do we get 9000 people per game in Orono instead of 6000?

It can be done. UNH has done it. So can we.

It will take more money. Yup, thats a major hurdle. But if you want to play, you have to pay.

Better facilities. Upgraded training rooms. Pay all of the coaches more. Maybe more charter flights and fewer bus rides. The list is long.

Where can the money come from? More sponsors? Bigger sponsors? New fundraising opportunties?

Football is a program that can compete on the national level. Most UMaine teams can’t. How bad do you want to see them in the Final Four again?

Would you be willing to cut women’s ice hockey? And baseball? To pump money into building the best FCS program in the northeast? It would be more than a million dollars a year. Bet that would help.

Do you have an idea? I’d love to hear it. I bet Maine Athletic Director Ken Ralph would too.

Because I really liked this football season.

And I’m not ready to wait 7 or 8 years for another playoff win.

Jeff Solari

About Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari is the president and founder of the Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports e mail newsletter. Recently, the Mount Desert Island native was the co-host of "The Drive" on 92.9 FM in Bangor.