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That hurt BBN, but it hurt worse to see you quit yet again.

Dear Diary: Post So. Miss Loss
September 4, 2016
Kentucky Football: What’s Next?
September 4, 2016
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That hurt BBN, but it hurt worse to see you quit yet again.

Let’s go ahead and get the obvious out of the way.

 

This is a BIG loss.

 

Not just on a scoreboard, or on a stat sheet, but for the entire morale of the program.

 

We saw the Cats come out with energy in an incredible first half performance that saw UK leading USM by double digits with three interceptions, all at the half.

But then we realized that we were watching a movie we had already seen, and before we knew it all of those excited feelings and thoughts that we so cautiously embraced were slammed back in our faces yet again as Kentucky completely collapsed in the second half to the tune of allowing 34 unanswered points to USM.

As the fans lined out of the “new” Commonwealth Stadium, I couldn’t help but to feel like this was indeed a movie I had seen so many times, but it almost felt like it also could have ended differently.

On The Mills Show Saturday morning Max Godby of the BBN Chalk Toss Podcast (@bbnchalktalk) talked about how it was going to take time, perhaps a much longer time than we all think, to change the culture at UK.

We are a basketball school.

We always have been, we always will be.

But who’s to say we can’t also be a football school?

We are.

We are the ones that say that we can’t, because as the 4th quarter hit the midway point with the Cats only down by a touchdown you could see lines of fans emptying out of their seats and to the parking lot. If you looked over at the student section you saw what was left of the fans that didn’t leave at halftime to whatever party they were going to, also leaving.

I couldn’t help but to ask myself the following –

“If the UK men’s basketball team was playing in Rupp Arena, and they had blown a lead with seven minutes left in the second half, would this be the scene?

Would the eRUPPtion Zone be partially empty? Would fans be going to their cars to beat traffic? Would the fans have left at halftime even with Kentucky winning?

If you seriously asked yourself those questions, you wasted your time. You already know the answer.

There were points in this game where I thought to myself that maybe if the fans just got up and got behind the team, maybe if they just made some noise and roared at every play, it would bring some energy back to this team that looked completely shell shocked for the entire second half.

Sure, it is hard to stay excited when your team gives up 34 unanswered points. I get it.

But if USM scored ten straight points against the basketball Cats, with three minutes left in the game, the energy in Rupp would be off the charts trying to get the Cats back into the game.

We have seen Rupp Arena stand completely on it’s feet and not sit down for an entire half at some basketball games. When was the last time you saw that at Commonwealth with the Cats down?

I’m not suggesting that Kentucky has bad fans, I’m not even saying that we have lazy fans. What I am saying is that if we expect other programs, top recruits, the media, and all of these other things that tend to not be attracted to the idea of UK Football, how can we not take it just as seriously as basketball?

That includes when the Cats make a bad pass, an interception, consecutive unanswered points, and really bad decision making.

With this team, the BBN has to be ALL IN.

ALL IN is not a pretty term.

It requires you to be fully devoted to it when it isn’t easy, when it doesn’t seem like there is a bright spot waiting for us if we stick it out.

ALL IN means that you have to ALWAYS BELIEVE.

Belief in something requires faith, faith requires devotion, and devotion is one of the most simple ways to describe something we do because we love it.

BBN, we have a tough few games coming up, and tonight was not a good indicator of success against these teams, but you can’t quit.

We have to rally behind this team, this program, this coaching staff and be ALL IN.

Imagine how much different a mindset can be with 50,000 roaring fans giving you that energy you need to walk out and make another big defensive play, or one big running play to get to the end zone.

BBN, (especially the students), it’s time to regroup, rededicate, and remember that this program even with it’s flaws, has the potential to be a powerhouse in the SEC at some point. We have the facilities, we have the fan base, we have the blueprint, we just have to put in the work.

It all starts with you.

Come to the games, tailgate, buy a UK Football shirt, tweet out your thoughts on the games as they happen, but most of all, don’t just give up and quit just yet. I’ve seen too much quitting, I want to see something different.

One of my favorite sayings is that “There’s always next year.”

It’s a time-tested phrase in the BBN, but sometimes I wonder just how much more that it would mean if our students and our fans put the same energy into football as they do basketball, and the rest of the country saw us do that, so that if the day ever comes when Kentucky makes it back to a National Championship level in football, we can all say we endured the ride to get there with them, not against them.

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6 Comments

  1. SARAH STACY says:

    Give us something to yell for

    • Dalton Christopher says:

      On field performance has to improve, but I believe we should have a level of enthusiasm and support for all of our teams that represent our University. This is our home and we should support it to an extent no matter what.

  2. John says:

    I was in the stands when Jared Lorenzen yelled at us. He was on the sidelines admonishing the fans that were leaving, something to the effect of “Where y’all going? You’re gonna miss some good football!”. Well, we did end up seeing some good football, but we also saw a defense that couldn’t stop the opposing offense, and we also saw a loss.

    With UK basketball, in a situation where they’ve lost a large lead, the fans stick around at the end because there’s a reasonable chance, based on history, of the Cats coming back and putting another checkmark in the W column. There’s the thrill of the excitement that we may witness yet another chapter written in UK’s legendary history. It’s the things we tell our children and grandchildren about… “I was there when…”

    With UK football, in a situation where they’ve lost a large lead, the fans don’t stick around at the end because there’s a reasonable chance, based on history, of the Cats choking on their own mouthpieces and putting another checkmark in the Unbelievably Ridiculous column. There’s no thrill of the excitement that we may witness Chapter One in building a decent football program. There’s only the expectation, based on previous results, that we’re more likely to tear down the goalposts and drench our coach in Gatorade while the team is loses the game on the field, or that we lose because our quarterback gets twirled around and throws an interception by throwing the ball over his shoulder while looking the wrong way, or that we’re more likely to see a draw play or screen pass on 4th and goal to go from our own 14 for the win with 20 seconds left.

    It’s a pathetic situation when a fan base has to lean on one of the top 10 wins from the last 20 years coming from throwing out an entire season’s worth of practice, planning, and preparation by starting a wide receiver at quarterback on the last game of his career who then goes out and beats a team our coaches couldn’t plan and prepare to beat in the previous 20 years. In fact, based on results, it’s more reasonable that the Wildcats should have just scrapped their whole planning and preparation for the 2nd half against whoever we just played from the C-USA and started Kemp as the Quarterback for the rest of the game once we got the ball back after giving up the 14 unanswered points. As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s certainly more reasonable than expecting a fan base who have given their blind loyalty, spent their own money, and suffered miserably at the hands of this football team for two generations hoping and dreaming of a different outcome while being delivered the same results, and then having the facts of the matter laid at their own feet as a reason that the football program is horrible.

    The football program is indeed horrible. It has always been horrible, and it’s always been horrible for exactly the same reason and it has nothing to do with the fans. The University of Kentucky, until very recently, has spent far less money on football than that of its upper echelon peers in the SEC. The University of Kentucky has cheated their fans over the decades by trying to get by cheap on facilities and coaches. The good news is that the University of Kentucky has now upped their ante with the facilities. It is now time that they do the very same with proven, quality personnel. There’s no way the University of Kentucky goes out and hires a basketball coach who has never coached their first game. When you go out and pull a stunt like that with the football program, why should the fans expect any other result than what we’ve witnessed displayed on the field?

    So, there’s your reason why the fans weren’t there in the end. We may bleed blue, but we’re not stupid. When measured in dollars, the University of Kentucky has never had any real allegiance to the football program. That’s common knowledge. Step up to the plate and do exactly the same for football that the University is willing to do for basketball: go hire the best coach possible with the most likely opportunity to win and win big, and pay whatever it costs. Then, in the 4th quarter, when the chips are down, you will see the fans in the stands jumping up and down and cheering on the team.

    • Dalton Christopher says:

      I couldn’t agree more with most of your response. It’s true, there needs to be a product on the field that warrants praise, I get that. I also get that once that performance is consistent, all of this will change. My point is that this is our team, our city, our university, and our home. We should support this team, this program, and this University in all aspects just as we do in basketball. There’s a certain pride we take in sports, and it is shameful that this pride of the BIG BLUE NATION that is so widely known and praised, should reach all of the student athletes that represent us, even if the team doesn’t do that well. They are going to catch the heat no matter what nationally, they shouldn’t feel that heat from their home base, that’s a heat that should fall on the coaching staff and administration, not that players themselves.

      • John says:

        I can’t speak for anybody else, this is just how I feel about things. It would be one thing if the commitment to success by the University was long-term and clearly evident. It’s quite another thing when the evidence clearly points to the results on the field being a product of the University trying to get by on the cheap. You don’t see Saban trotting 10 guys out to punt, or criss-crossing signals to the quarterback as the play clock expires. He’s a pro, and he produces pro results. The University of Kentucky hired a guy that’s trying really hard to become a pro, and right now it’s still the Keystone Cops. It’s really as simple as that to my mind.

        When speaking of the student athletes, don’t forget the student part. They’re paid to play for the University with a free college education and cart-blanche access to the prettiest girls on the planet. That should be thanks enough. Nobody should be compelled to stand around and pat them on the back for dropped passes, punt blocks, interception drops, and letting C-USA score 34 unanswered points on you because they can’t stop simple dive plays and end runs. They should gratefully enjoy their free college experience, and they are the ones that should say thank you.

        Don’t misunderstand: that’s not to say that everyone on the team, coaches and players alike, don’t work hard. I believe that they do. I just happen to believe that neither the coaches or the players can fix a problem that really doesn’t belong to them. The University owns the problem, has owned the problem for decades, and is reaping the results of their willingness to sell out their fans, their players, and their coaches by putting all of us in a no-win situation with inferior facilities and from the time the contract is signed with a coach that has never coached the first down in his life. We finally have the facilities to attract a real coach. It’s time to go out and buy one.

  3. Rick Edwards says:

    This has been my team since 1960. I was in attendance both times UK beat the #1 team in the country. For me, there is no other team to support. I support the CATS. Win or lose. One Love!

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