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The Worst Side Effect of the Season’s Downward Spiral? Fan Apathy


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Big Blue Nation has been a sad place to reside in the past couple of weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, the entirety of the season has been a bit of a bummer, with fans hoping for a magic traveling circus of ass-kickings and instead receiving a never-ending helping of tedious corporate training sessions. Each game has been hard to watch and at no point has it felt like the team has ever really “hit its stride.” The possible “turn the corner” performances have been many, (Louisville, Arkansas comeback attempt, at Missouri, at Ole Miss, the Randle game winner vs LSU) but at no point has the team come anywhere close to finding its groove. However we continued to have hope that the moment was quickly approaching when all the hype would become reality and UK would be a monster. It was only a matter of time.

Well somewhere between the last minute of the Arkansas loss at Rupp and Calipari getting tossed in Columbia, a large part of the fan base finally gave up. While some members of the BBN continue to hope for a final postseason miracle turnaround (and I do respect those folks and their dedication), it is clear that for many/most fans the belief in the magic of the 2014 team has completely disappeared. For a while, this disappointment manifested itself in anger. Message boards, comment sections, KSR Radio and more showcased a fan base baffled by the team’s complete inability to win against even the bottom feeders of the SEC. While some (maybe a lot) of the anger was over the top (with a few lost souls even wanting to get rid of Calipari), it still showcased a group of fans who cared and wanted to let off steam from a year that had been so greatly anticipated. The anger bothered me, especially when directed at the players, but the sentiment behind it is something that makes this fan base so special. We really care about this team and the program, and this time of year, which sometimes has the feel like a month-long state holiday in Kentucky, has been ruined for two years in a row. This can’t help but hurt and expressing that pain makes perfect sense to me.

But now as we get ready for SEC Tournament week, a time that is usually the UK fan base’s time to be at its absolute best, a feeling is creeping in that is even worse than anger. I get the sense that a significant portion of the Big Blue Nation has now turned off the season completely and has become apathetic. What is usually Cats’ fans best quality, a dedication to the program and its successes/failures through thick and thin, now seems to be waning this March in ways that while not without precedent, are extremely rare. This apathy is manifesting itself through all types of fan behavior. For the first time that I can ever remember, UK announced last week that it still had SEC Tournament ticket books for sale thanks to cancellations in the last two weeks. Think about that for a minute…the SEC Tournament tickets, once so hot a commodity that fans would buy SEASON TICKETS from other schools to be able to buy them at the end of the season, now aren’t even sold out in Lexington. Even just two years ago, that would have been unfathomable. It showcases itself in everything from web traffic, to twitter Retweets to radio show calls, all of which have seen a small downturn from normal numbers in the last 10 days. I am told by a retail source that sales of UK gear are “as low as I can remember” for this time of year. I can’t get over how many people have said to me, just in the last few days, that they have given up on the season and are either not going to the Tournament or making other plans during these March weekends. Even last year, with all the team’s struggles, UK beat Florida in the final game of the regular season and Nashville was rocking before the Cats threw up a stinker versus Vandy in the SEC Tournament. This year just feels different. What was once a time to be the Bluest of Blue is this year, just another option on the entertainment schedule.

I expect we will see the lowest Kentucky attendance at the SEC Tournament since Gillispie’s swan song in Tampa (a truly depressing affair). Many regulars of SEC Tournament trips for years are bowing out, thinking there is no chance for a positive outcome. While the KSR crew is still making the journey (with 14 people, our largest group ever), I expect less Blue, at least on Friday, than at any point in my memory. It will still be a majority Kentucky contingent and if you go, the most fun you can have with fellow Kentucky fans…but it will be slightly different. If you ever wanted to go to a SEC Tournament and were worried about tickets or expenses, this is the year to go.

The effect is also showcasing itself on conversation about next year’s team. Hype, which is something the BBN has mastered for decades (no program in all of basketball, maybe all of sports, talks more about the future than we do), is at an all-time low for next year’s team. Even though the Cats will once again have the #1 or #2 recruiting class, fans are not nearly as energized about the future players. For understandable reasons, UK backers are taking a “wait and see” attitude that could make this a very boring Spring and Summer around Lexington. After two straight years of awful football and disappointing basketball, Kentucky fans want to see happiness and success before they get their hopes up again. The fun of anticipation has been sucked out of Lexington, at least for the foreseeable future.

All of this can of course change on a dime. Win the SEC Tournament and most of Big Blue Nation will be “all in” when the brackets come out. If the Cats make the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, I know that the Regional will be filled with Blue as fans think the light has turned on and we all get set up for what Aaron Harrison called “a great comeback story.” But until that happens, the feeling around here is not a good one. Kentucky fandom is, as of today, really depressing. While there is no place better when it is going well, and no place angrier when it is going badly, the feeling that exists now may be the worst of all. BBN with apathy is no good whatsoever and all I can hope is that whatever happens in Atlanta this week, it will be enough to get rid of this foreign, painful feeling.

Article written by Matt Jones

169 responses to “The Worst Side Effect of the Season’s Downward Spiral? Fan Apathy”

  1. Chicago Chris

    And yet this team IS going to the NCAA tournament and actually has a better chance to win the SEC tourny than last year. Why would it be worse?

    1. shot

      i am not replying to chicago chris, i am replying because it is the beginning of the comments.
      i hope the uk players do not read this post/article. i find it hard to believe this was written. sure we did not
      play well at times, but a starting 5 of 5 freshman won 22 games. thats pretty damn good.

    2. Bill Brasky

      Apathetic is exactly how I would describe my friends’ and family’s attitudes at this point. Regardless of who is starting, “pretty damn good” doesn’t meet BBN’s standards, it doesn’t meet the Program’s standards, it doesn’t meet Cal’s standards, and I would hope it doesn’t meet the players’ standards. The truth hurts, shot, because people don’t like to have their illusions destroyed; but not saying it doesn’t make it not so. This article isn’t telling the team anything they shouldn’t have realized on their own. Perhaps fan apathy will be a catalyst for the epiphany the players need to have, although I won’t bet on it…but I’ll be watching and hoping.

    3. Blue Jesus

      I’m not one to rag on the one-and-done system like some, as we know it can work in the right situation. But I think part of the apathy comes from this system, as fans aren’t as invested in these kids as when we had Miller or Patterson (or especially before Cal when the whole team was well established). It was different with big personalities like Wall, Cousins, MKG, but these guys seem pretty quiet. And of course the back-to-back bad seasons don’t help…

  2. mocha

    anyone who is apathetic or doesn’t care anymore can leave the bandwagon immediately. I have not given up and neither should any fans.

    1. Yeah

      Enjoy! The bandwagon is all yours. Please carry it on the players and Cal’s mojo.

    2. abba

      You’ll go crazy from having to pick a seat on the bandwagon.. so many choices..

    3. bo

      You guys are idiots. This is the University of Kentucky. We shouldn’t have a down year. We’ve had 2 back to back. If we dont win a national championship, its a bad year. You guys gotta be dumb Democrats.

    4. Dave

      Mocha, you can’t expect us to believe that you expect anything from this team. I’m the truest of the blue, and have been for 37 of my 49 years, but reality has to set in. I still love my Cats and always will, and everytime that ball goes up I have hope, but what you are categorizing as “bandwagon” fans is actually a large group of sad, depressed Blue Misters that have been smacked in the face by reality. Matt calls it apathy. I call it depressed.

    5. UKAlum

      Bo is obviously a troll. Despite what we may think, we are really no different than any other high caliber basketball team. We have good years, great years, mediocre years and sometimes even terrible years. College basketball is over 100 years old and we’ve only been the best 8 times. That should put your comment into perspective.

    6. catsfan4life

      I’m not giving up on this team and neither should any other fan. If you do, don’t even call yourself a fan.

    7. Blue

      As a life long Cat fan I feel I have every right to be disappointed. And in doing so it doesn’t mean I have jumped off the bandwagon. I don’t expect a title or FF every year either unlike some. But I did expect better from a team that supposedly had one of the best recruiting classes ever. As long as Cal is all in with one and done’s,it’s going to be hit and miss. He has 3 hits and 2 misses in his 5 years.

  3. ShepKat

    Yep, so apathetic that I’m looking for shopping malls to visit once we’re out of the SEC tourny.

  4. James S

    I think this is true Matt. I think the fans were expecting a lot, expecially after the pain of last season, and then the air gradually went out of the balloon. Now, many of us are just tired. Tired of the un-met hype, tired of the detractors (Forde, Dougie G., Louisville turds, to name a few) and tired of the same old song and dance from Cal. As much as I love him, the message is tired and old. We are sick of hearing about the process, sick of hearing about freshmen mistakes, sick of hearing about the NBA.

    It also doesn’t help that this team hasn’t really endeared themselves to the fans. Not saying they aren’t good kids, I think they are, they just aren’t very engaging. There isn’t a John Wall, a Nerlens, a Jorts, a Knight, a Davis or a MKG. A lot of talent, a little substance.

    I’m still on board and I want my team to win, but honestly, I’m not very optimistic, nor am I very excited.

    Good post, Matt.

    1. Korean Tacos

      This is a great point. I was just thinking about that myself. That this team hasn’t really connected with fans on any level. Even last year Nerlens gave us something to cheer about when things were going bad, because we felt like we knew him to some extent. Every team up until this one has had at least one player like that.

      I don’t feel like I know anyone on this team in any sense of the word.

    2. BigBlueAces

      Great response, James.

      I agree with all those statements. I’d also like to add another of Cal’s over-used lines to this discussion–Players’ First Program. I understand the concept and how it affects recruiting, etc. However, I also consider it a slap to the face of life-long Cats’ fans. I’m sick of hearing that phrase. The program is about the program. If you are truly a “players’ first” program, then you shouldn’t have to continue to remind everyone of that fact. The kids taking advantage of the “players’ first” program should in turn want to fight for it.

    3. 8generationsblue

      Well said James S. I think you nailed it. And it should not be a shock that we are not excited about a new heralded bunch of freshmen coming in. The results of the last two years has been nothing to brag about. Hey, I’m a CATS fan for life and I like Cal, but it’s time to tweak the philosophy.

    4. UKRN

      JamesS well said. I would like to add how I hate hearing how the experience has been so bad they want to leave for the NBA rather than stay regardless of talent. We all face adversity that gives us a gut check to become stronger or better. I hate hearing they are going to be a great NBA players when I think they haven’t done well for us. As I watched the Fl game, I thought what would Julius look like on that team? Or the twins on a Wichita St team? Would they be better, happier? The NBA is ruining my beloved UK.

    5. UK1983

      well said. We as fans didn’t want to hear the truth – that is, that we are dealing with 18 year old boys who are away from home for the first time and trying to figure things out. It is just a little unfair to expect so much physically and mentally from these young kids. i thought much of the excitement about this recruiting class was that it did consist of kids who would stick around and give Cal some veterans in the years to come – and if it does, then ” this too shall pass”.

    6. WildcatFan

      Extremely well said, James S! I love my Cats more than anyone, but I have to admit that going from National Champs in 2012 to the NIT within a year hurt my pride (as a fan.) My pride is also hurt THIS year. It’s difficult to NOT be apathetic after having the season that we’ve had. How does a team go from a pre-season ranking of #1 to out of the Top 25 by the end of regular season play? I understand that Cal is all about ‘branding’. Branding this program, branding his players and more than anything branding himself. While I have been one of Cal’s most ardent supporters, I, too, am growing weary of the ‘one and done’ system. I believe in the long run, all this does is benefit Calipari. He gets to add to his resume, how many athletes he’s catapulted into the NBA. So, if (when) he leaves UK for the NBA, he’ll more than likely be coaching multiple former Kentucky players. I believe he’s laying that foundation at UK’s expense which is frustrating as a lifelong fan and supporter.

  5. DavidP19

    Amen, Matt

  6. The Loco Pollo

    I wouldn’t say it’s apathy as it certainly seems people are still very much occupied with the team and games, but more a much lower expectation level. I’m still very interested in the season and how it turns out, but I’m not talking smack to anyone or allowing myself to expect greatness knowing that will likely only bring disappointment. I’d love to be wrong, but will still follow every minute of games closely and it will still hurt when/if they lose like always.

  7. Sarah White

    Just as we do every year, my family is travelling from Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado to gather for our annual SEC Blue-White Family reunion. I hate losing, but we will never give up hope until the very end of our games. I don’t think they can or will turn this around, but I will be there supporting them anyway.

    I think another reason for extra tickets is the cost of this additional day. I will have 4 additional hotel room nights plus the cost of the tickets (thanks to the addition of Missouri and Texas A & M) have made me think twice about the cost.

    Go Big Blue!

  8. FearTheBrow

    For the true blue, legitimate fan I think it comes down to this – I think we have lost faith in the Calipari system. Last year it was easier to take coming off the mass exodus from the championship year. But it looked bright with what was coming in. Yet, it is ending about like last season, with us wondering just who we can win against. Some, like myself, see several leaving that will surprise us, and we are once again back to trying to win again with mostly freshmen. We want to see a bright spot but our confidence is shaken to the core. It’s not that the sensible fan expects to cut down the nets every year. The crazies do that. But two straight years we have come down the stretch and instead of improvement the wheels have come off and the team has fallen apart. Sooner or later you have to question things you had rather not question.

    1. theWilkman

      The “true blue, legitimate fans” that wants to jump ship from a coach with Cal’s success is, again, not a “true blue, legitimate fan”

    2. Sensible

      thewilkman…what did Fearthebrow say that isn’t true and sensible? I think as fans who have supported and continue to support UK have the right to question a system that appears to not be working. I do believe Cal has actually changed more than we realize with his recruiting with guys like Willis, Lee, Ulis etc but that change will take time. I think fans are just tired of Cal’s continuous bs of players first nonsense when things are going bad. Coming out today and saying he won’t hold players back if they want to be drafted in the 2nd round is just not the thing to say right now with the way things are going. I love Cal and don’t want anybody else in that seat but he brings most of this on himself with that ego of his.

    3. Cats2020

      I’ll cheer them from my living room. I’ll look at my UK degree that most of you will never smell. I’m not wasting money to Atlanta. Nor am I wasting my money to cheer these group of scrubs in the NCAA. Maybe they’ll lose the first SEC tourney game so they can go to the NIT again. 10 loss Cal. I’m tired of his hype machine and want my senior leaders that care about the name on the jersey. Not their paycheck next year.

    4. bluebloodtoo

      People need to stop using historical data from Cal’s previous years. Cal has never had the player turnover he’s been able to achieve while recruiting from UK. It isn’t his coaching ability, his mentoring, or his personality that has changed at UK. It’s his timeline for development that has changed.

    5. theWilkman

      Sensible –
      I was merely pointing out that the “Sky is Falling!” crowd, the ones who call for the job of the coach when there is no possible better alternative, aren’t “true blue, legitimate fans” to begin with. I would venture to say that 75%+ of the “Cal needs to go” crowd were no where to be found during the BCG years.

  9. Jeremy

    The current team is “Apathetic” in everything they do. From playing defense to shooting free throws. Apathy is really the only way to cope with the current state of the program that will not ruin your life. Fans want a team that plays like it gives a crap about the tradition of our program. The last two teams have been full of players who do not. So why should fans exert the energy to act like we care about them? We shouldn’t be spending our hard earned money to watch what is an “apathetic” team that doesn’t really care. Next years class is ranked #2. But it lacks a superstar that will be a superstar from Day 1. Cal’s system has major cracks in it when he doesn’t have at least 2 out of this world talents like John Wall/Demarcus Cousins and Davis/Gilchrist. Those two guys are going to Duke next year. And Emmanuel Mudiay is the PG we need and he’s going to SMU. And if you want anger instead of apathy then wait to see what you get if 4-6 players leave from this current debacle of a a team.

    1. ShepKat

      Which is why I say, Players 1st = me 1st. These last 2 years have certainly seemed that way.

    2. Jeremy

      I don’t think it necessarily has to = me first. We have had plenty of guys in the past 5 years that have busted their tails to get better and win big for the university. You won’t find better players than Wall/Knight/Gilchrist/Davis. But all those teams bought in. These last two teams have not bought into anything but waiting to declare for the draft. This is on Cal. He recruited these guys and should be able to tell if a player has work ethic.

    3. stevem

      It is correct fans have become apathetic. They have a right to be….their team has become apathetic and appear to have none of the enthusiasm you’d expect for a UK team this time of year. These guys don’t like each and/or they don’t like Cal. Either way it doesn’t matter. They have given the UK fanbase no reason to enthusiastically support them. They have gotten out of this season what they put into it…very little. The sooner this debacle is over, the better…it shouldn’t be long..

  10. theWilkman

    It’s understandable to be reserved at this point in the season, but to completely give up is absurd. Chances are they won’t “turn that corner” and go on a run, but if you are a true fan, you still watch, root, and support the team, hoping that run is coming. If you don’t, you’re no better than every other bandwagon fan from fanbases across the country.

    Have you bought your Seahawks jersey yet?

    1. Carmine

      So a real fan is supposed to ignore signs that his program is going downhill !! I actually think it takes more guts to say maybe Cals sytem needs a tweek!! Cause u have crazies calling u “not a real UK fan”

    2. theWilkman

      Not at all, re-read my post. My point is that tuning out and not watching, and even worse, not supporting the incoming players, is the behavior of “not a real UK fan”.

  11. bda6115

    Until the final buzzer sounds on our final game…I will maintain hope. Through thick and thin…that is our job as fans…the real fans anyway.

    1. Bledsoe's Biceps

      You’re a cheerleader. Fans have every right to question poor performance and become apathetic. I think it displays they actually care more than just blindly cheering, regardless of the results.

    2. Mwah

      He may be a cheerleader but your wife and/or mother is a giant whore, Bledsoe’s Bieceps.

    3. Carmine

      Bledsoes Bicep is right some people on here are UK fans , Uk Cheerleaders, UK fanboys , and even some U of L fans posing as UK fans!! But yes real fans can be fed up with a season or a direction of program!!

    4. Bledsoe's Biceps

      Mwah – They both died from cancer in the past two years. Thanks for the mature reply.

    5. Yeppp

      I got in on Bledsoe’s Bieceps wife before she passed. It was great.

    6. Blue

      Well said Bledsoe.

    7. WTF KSR?

      How can Mwah get that comment past “moderation” while other reasonable and non-insulting comments get rejected all the time? You all need to address your filtering system. Have it look for certain words and let everything else in. Moderation should censor language, not opinions, even the unreasonable ones.

  12. UK Fan

    My friends have bailed, but I am heading to ATL alone. Go Cats

    1. Cats2020

      Why don’t you spend your money on the mortgage, or car, or electric, a new toy for your kids, a vacation to the beach, bottle of pappy, a new gun? Something you can actually enjoy for a few years. After they lose to Arky or Vandy what are you going to do in Atlanta. These kids could give three shits if you’re there.

  13. Nope

    If this is Matt’s ploy of making me buy SEC tickets, I pass. Fans have every right to show disappointment by not wasting money. If they win, good. If not, I will have at least saved some money for next year, hopefully!

  14. Ugly muffin

    I admit that I’ve become apathetic. I came into this year truly excited to see this team play. I never bought in to the “40-0″ talk but I expected this to be the team that returned Big Blue to the top. I was ok with early season losses because I looked at them as learning experiences and I fully expected this team to gel and be an absolute nightmare by tourney time. Unfortunately this team team plays the exact same now as they did in November. Same inconsistent effort, same lack of ball movement, same confused looks and crying to refs. In short, this team with so much “potential” is no better 4 months later. I don’t know how to pinpoint the problem. The players are big and talented. The coach is a hall of famer who specializes in teams just like this one. I really don’t know what to say except I hate watching this team and it breaks my heart. The offense is laughable, the defense is sporadic, the rebounding is amazing but doesn’t seem to help as much as it should. I can’t remember being more disappointed in a UK team.

    1. colonelcat

      I honestly think Cal was one step ahead of you. No one expected the dissappointment of this years team but Cal has already been preparing for the future. We have 4 year players, Hawkins and Willis already on the roster another 4 year pg, Ulis, and multi-year Booker coming in next year. Regardless of who stays or goes he’s already solidified the PG position for the next 4 years and has other multi-years guys already here to sprinkle in with the future crops of one and dones. I think he’s already tweaked his strategy and we will see fewer one and dones per year and more multi-year players to balance the roster. The process is already in motion.

    2. colonelcat

      ^ responded to the wrong comment

  15. NIT

    Matt, I think your “lack of excitement about future players” as a basis for an explanation is misplaced. It’s a lack of excitement about CURRENT players, unless of course by “future players” you are simply referring to the future roster. Fans, myself included, find it hard to get excited about the postseason prospects of an underwhelming disappointment of a team made up of players who are likely gone after this season. There is a considerable chance many if not most return, but history shows that lower draft prospects/a disappointing W-L ratio doesn’t necessarily prevent players from leaving, meaning that the prospect of cheering for the same team for a second year might not be worth the substantial financial/time investment of the tournament.

    I firmly believe that no matter how a season turns out, fans would be much open to putting forth the kind of support we’ve seen in the past for a team that shows it too can weather the storm i.e. return for another year and bust their ass for the program. It’s the basic “team” or “in the trenches together” sentiment that feels like its being exploited by early departures, whether that feeling is accurate or not.

    1. Sensible

      Couldn’t have said it better! I think what happens after this season will be huge for Cal going forward. If we get bounced early in the tourney and yet there is another max exodus of players to the NBA I believe that will be a big turning point for Cal’s future here as our coach. I hope Cal retires here because I think he is great for UK but if these kids don’t return than fans are going to put that on Cal b/c of all his nonsense he spills everyday about players first etc. Players leaving two years in a row after disappointing seasons will be the last straw for many UK fans and will tell us that these kids aren’t here for UK or winning yet rather they’re here just to go to the NBA. There’s a reason the Unforgetables jerseys are hanging from the rafters.

  16. beavis606

    MJ nailed it. The fanbase as a whole is just shaking their head saying “who cares”.

    Cal needs to take his responsibility in the hype machine. He feed BBN by not dodging the 40-0 talk. Hopefully he makes some of these kids (Twins, Young, WCS) realize that going pro this year means riding a bus in Iowa for a D-League team next year.

    The players have fallen stunningly short on talent. Many commentators have noted that the freshman class as a whole was terribly overrated. How in the world did someone not watch the Twins play AAU and say “damn, they are slow” or watch Young and say “damn, that guy cannot play D”

    Lastly, there is zero personality on this team. Fans want to feel like they know the players and like them. This team has absolutely no personality which makes it easier to turn the channel.

    1. UKAlum

      The players are brought here to play not to be a personality so you will like them better. I would take a team of ten douchebags if that mean’t we would win games.

  17. Bledsoe's Biceps

    JMO, but I think the apathy is a result of two things. Sure there’s disappointment in the team’s results versus the expectations. But I think this is magnified because there has been no real glimmer of hope that it will change. ie. Cal has been stubborn to a fault and has refused to make any significant changes. He simply keeps waiting and waiting for the light to go on and his way to work. Cal has many positive qualities, unfortunately game time coaching and adjusting his approach/schemes to better fit the personnel aren’t some of them. People have given up waiting for him to demonstrate he will change and offer a glimmer of hope the team’s performance has a chance to improve.

    1. bmt22033

      I started to write this myself and then I read your post. You summarized my feelings precisely.

    2. sue

      I agree.

    3. Cal's Coaching

      Fitting scheme to fit personnel is one of Cal’s strongest attributes as a coach. His X’s and O’s game and his in-game adjustments aren’t on the Coach K level, but Cal knows what he’s doing and he has excellent asst coaches that make up for what he lacks. Robic is a prime example.

    4. Bledsoe's Biceps

      Cal’s Coaching – Please tell me that was meant as sarcasm. If not, you may want to rethink that, since a short time ago Cal admitted he has been blinded by pride and now realizes he needed to change the offense. I’m pleased he FINALLY did, but why did it take him and his assistants so long, if they are the excellent coaches you claim them to be?

  18. abba

    This team has not developed at all. Cal has to take some blame for that..

    If he runs a system that depends on just one kind of PG who must also be a sure-fire lottery pick, then that system is flawed

  19. NostraWoods

    Sean Woods said it best a couple of years ago and took major heat. After attending a telethon with some of the incoming freshman (Goodwin-AP-Wiltjer) he said he felt they had an entitlement air about them. I can’t see how this group would not be exactly the same or worse. Cal must instill what it means to put the jersey on. That is if he truly understands it himself?? Until then, the “Player First” philosophy will produce more of the same.

  20. Alcohol

    They sell it in ATL, and there will be at least one UK bball game, reason enough for me to get out of town for a weekend. Win or lose, we’re going to booze.

    1. AtlResident

      If and/or when we lose, please exit the city as quickly as possible. We don’t need or want any rednecks clogging our streets up. We all live in Atlanta because it is our safe haven tucked away from the rest of the south.

    2. bo

      Atlanta safe? Ur drunk! Freaking Harlem of the South! !

    3. Uptown Baby

      You been to Harlem lately? It’s much nicer & safer than any part of Atlanta not in the burbs or named Buckhead.

    4. Jayone

      I live in Georgia and there is nothing safe about Atlanta. Don’t dare enter that city unarmed. If you don’t believe me, take a little stroll down Auburn Ave after dark. What is that you want on your tombstone. A little lamb? OK.

    5. Blue

      The Braves love downtown Atlanta…..

  21. Willis talkin bout..

    Can we schedule a “Big Blue Sadness” in Rupp before they leave for the NCAA? 24K Pep rally for the players, Cal and fans! Be like a pre-post season Madness. I think everyone needs something to help create some positive energy.

  22. KMan24

    Man,it’s tough being a UK fan now. I’m a letter winner and still have to remind myself not to be apathetic. Two straight years of losing in football and basketball and realizing ticket prices probably increasing. Brighter days ahead?

    1. El Guapo

      But LUXURY BOXES, we will have LUXURY BOXES. Because that’s what matters!

  23. catlogic 15

    ” If you ever wanted to go to a SEC tournament and were worried about tickets or expenses, this is the year to go”.

    Expenses would be the same or more expensive. Tickets are always the least cost of the trip.

    Julius said, “I don’t know what it is, but we’ve got to get it going” or some quote close to that.

    Doesn’t exactly make me feel all warm and fuzzy to take five days out of my life to the tune of $2000 minimum for two.

    1. ProspectMike

      I’ll be there, but because of the expense, I would sell my tickets due to the lack of team energy. I hope Cal takes a look around the dome and does the math on what it’s costing us. Maybe that will turn his light on.

  24. Agreed

    I agree with everything you said, but the question is why would the fans care at this point? The team appears to be regressing, at least with respect to other teams. I mean we are 12-6 in the 7th best league in America and most fans believe that the core of the team is gone next year. If the core of the team was likely returning, the fans would be excited for the tournament, because (a) this team could conceivably turn the corner, even if that chance is very low; and, more importantly, (b) even if they don’t, the tournaments would essentially be a preview to next year. However, I believe everyone feels that Randle, Young, and WCS are all gone. There was an article today suggesting that we could lose some guys to the second round of the draft. I will watch every game and cheer as always, but an emotional investment in what amounts to a lame duck team seems pointless.

  25. Carmine

    Most Important thing is WHY? If in 2 years the excitement has dropped off the cliff like that,, to me thats a real bad sign!! And a sign of something heading in the wrong direction!!

  26. Confucius Say

    Bad seasons define good fans.

    1. lol!

      It’s ok. I prefer to be a bad fan.

    2. El Guapo

      How many bad seasons did Billy G get?

  27. Fattie mattie

    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Matt you need to donate all the money you have made from this basketball season to the school. Because you are clearly THE problem with this season, with your 40and0 and Alfa Dog crap. Are you a Dukie for real? Looks like it.

    1. AtlResident

      The word you were trying to spell is “alpha”.

    2. Fattie mattie

      Love you grammar police, what a bunch of freakin nerds, but I guess being a nerd, that you really don’t have anything else to do, try and get a life nerd! Go ahead and search this post for incorrect grammer, nerd!

    3. Aol

      Almost none of those commas were necessary, idiot. Don’t be stupid if you’re trying to make a point.

    4. grammer Is fuN

      I, like to, use commas, in my sentences because, it makes me look smart and i think I,m supposed to,?, Did i do, that right,?

    5. Fattie Mattie

      Fxck!,,,you!,,,nerdy!,,,little!,,,Baztards,,,, you? Are~all; nerdy! Little”pricks%l
      That…can?never:ever/get?a date. Grade that professor NERD! Stupid a$$’…,,,,,$))));///CZ…,,::;;

    6. Frederick "Ogre" Polawaski

      Nerds…NERDS!!!

  28. Josh Roberts

    The same hype Matt was stirring up this spring, has backfired now he wants to discuss the mess he partly caused. Fans not excited about future Cats will hurt his business this spring/summer. Better fire up those highlight videos Matt, get the buzz back up, hype these kids up some. That worked well for all of us this season.

    1. Mwah

      Josh Roberts likes big dicks in his mouth.

    2. Jayone

      No way this team produces a highlight video. Highlight of what?

    3. Carmine

      Really?? Mwahs reply here is OK? Ive had post removed when i just disagreed with a point Matt made!! Its been up a while too!!

    4. grammer Is fuN

      Mwah swallows cumquat.

  29. Scott

    Highly unlikely that this team does anything over the next 2 weekends. My expectation is a Friday night loss at SEC and an early exit the following week in NCAA.

  30. UKBlue

    I’m tired of my head hurting from banging against the wall of reality. Fact is these kids for whatever reason haven’t & aren’t going to get it. Honestly just want the season to be over so none of us have to watch or hear about this train wreck anymore.

  31. WildcatByTheGraceOfGod

    2013-14(Where will we be)
    22-9 12-6 16-2 5-5 1-2

    2012-13(NIT)
    21-12 12-6 16-2 4-7 1-3

    All the BS and opinions aside….when the committee see’s this product…without a title in the SEC tourney what is that much different than the results posted from last season??? Those are the numbers….as my accountant says…numbers don’t lie.

  32. bung

    if we had a great rebounding team we would smoke other teams with our fast break….oh, wait…we do have a great rebounding team…well…I guess we don’t run because we are so effective with our half court offense…no?…ok…it must be all the minutes our deep bench has played looking for someone to perform better…so…never mind…

  33. McKat

    To quote from Remember the Titans: “Attitude reflects leadership…captain”

    After dealing with last years product: the shallow bench, the inconsistent play, and the costly injury to Nerlens. The expectation was that this year would show a fix to those issues and those remedies would be seen on the court. Those expectations came along side a promise from Cal, that the horrors of the 2013 team would not be repeated. While some areas have been corrected (thank the lord we’re not looking at the NIT) other areas have not only not improved, they’ve regressed. Point the blame to pressure, to false expectations, to overblown recruiting, or the way AAU ball kills elite player development (those kids play 100’s of games where winning and losing don’t matter). What we have is the basketball equivalent of the Hindenburg (minus the death and destruction). This was supposed to be the greatest collection of young talent ever assembled. Nothing in the world had ever come close to potential of this group. Yet here we are in the smoldering wreck of the 2014 season. Where teams in the past have shown progressive development and assimilation to the college game, this team has not only backed down from challenge after challenge, they seem to be in full on retreat mode. Speculation can only point to the fact that so many of them came in with the sole aspiration of playing in the league. UK was not their “team” nor was it their “home” it was a speed bump on the fast track to the NBA. As an 18 year old, why would you put any time, energy, or effort into developing a relationship with a fan base that you’ll know for 6 months tops? It’s not in their developmental programming at that age. Why play for the name on the front of your jersey when the name on the back is what’s going to get you paid? Losses don’t hurt when your draft stock is all you’re concerned with. Go out and get yours. If any of you have watched this team this year, when adversity strikes, every players first instinct is to play their own game. Cal had to make them huddle at the line or in dead ball situations. Cal had to make them cheer for their teammates.

    My conclusion is simple: We as a fan base are led by players on the court making plays and wearing the uniform that represents the school/state that we love. Our attitude (which should come as no surprise) reflects their leadership. This is only compounded by the result of last years squad. So in my opinion (I’ll probably get crucified for this) our apathy is justified as is our speculation.

    1. Carmine

      Good post i agree with u and yes i bet u get attacked!!

    2. Blue

      I think you nailed it McKat so I won’t crucify you. No pun intended. Well maybe a little.

  34. Jeremy

    Fans are mirroring what they have seen on the court for the last 4 months. Can anyone say that the players on this team are not apathetic?????

  35. Big Blue Coming At You

    I’ve missed or slept through more games this season than i can ever remember and i’m never like that. I just don’t care much about Kentucky basketball this season because it’s now been two straight years of crap basketball that shouldn’t happen with a coach making almost 4 million dollars and can recruit like nobody ever has before.

    Like many other fans, i’m growing tired of Cal’s philosophy. That’s great that he wants to help these kids reach their dreams but that’s not what he’s really paid to do. He’s paid to win ball games and championships. If his formula isn’t working then he needs to adjust it. Trying to get a freshmen team full of 5 stars to win a championship just doesn’t happen no matter how talented they are. It never has and it never will. For both Final Fours and the Championship in 2012, it was the returning players and veterans that made the difference in those runs. We haven’t had that for the past two years and it’s hurting the program. Recruit 2 or 3 high profile guys and get some other less high profile guys that will stay another year or two and then you will have a healthy rotation of fresh talent and returning players to guide them. If all Cal wants to do is try to make millionaires out of these kids then he’s at the wrong place.

  36. Brow

    Not only am I not going, I’m not watching either. Quit watching about four games ago. If they don’t care, I do t care. The sheep fans are part of the problem. I choose to be part of the solution.

  37. bluecat

    That is without doubt the most dissappointing article I have ever read on KSR, and by Matt Jones in particular. My how we have fallen in such a short time.

    1. Carmine

      Matt being the one posting this should say alot !!! Im actually impressed !! It helps Matts job to have people be excited about UK !! So if he is writing this , IT IS THIS BAD!!!

  38. cristoforoUK

    Serious NBA question: If the twins weren’t so overhyped before the season and were just say normal 4 star players coming into college, what exactly would their NBA prospects be like right now? I would say very low. The only reason their names are linked to the NBA is because of the high school overhype they received. They have done nothing in their first year of college to earn any kind of draft pick in this year’s draft. At least Randle, Young, and WCS have shown some glimpses of NBA potential, although I think both Young and WCS will struggle mightily for a few years. If the twins wouldn’t have been (wrongly) rated so highly out of high school, most would look at them as 3 or 4 year players.

    1. El Guapo

      The unfortunate part is that they’re big, and your build and “potential” matter far more to the NBA scouts than how you actually PLAY.

      If you ever doubt this, remember: Daniel Orton was a first-round draft pick. DANIEL. ORTON. One of the worst big men EVER. He averaged more goaltends than points his last season at UK. And STILL got drafted.

  39. Svabodafor3!

    The thing that bothers me the most is the lack of fire with this team, specifically the Harrison’s. I don’t know if they just never had to try or are just shell shocked. James Young couldn’t pass the ball into the ocean and Randle, while competitive and closest thing we have to a leader, lacks vision and timing on passing out of double triple teams. There are a lot of issues with this team and highly doubt these issues will be solved in this weekend or next. With that being said, I don’t think we can blame Cal as we’ve had many players throughout the years that were deemed by us as “not caring” about our tradition, university, legacy, whatever. I remember Deandre Liggins having multiple episodes in his first couple years and he turned out to be great for us. Jodie Meeks and even Rajon Rondo are a couple more as well. Facts are they are freshman and would all be much better served to stay in school. Eventually they would turn the corner, but the sad part is we will most likely never see it in a Kentucky uniform.

  40. John

    It’s hard to have hope, when none of these guys have the ability to put the ball in the basket. Even Gillispie’s worst team could do that.

  41. catdog

    Matt,
    You are right. Many of the BBN have checked out.
    We will still watch as it is an addiction, but we are apathetic.
    Are you too?
    Where have you been the last few weeks?
    If we were rolling to a #1 seed like you predicted, you would have not missed a game.
    There was no one greater than you in creating the “hype” for this team of NBA first rounders.
    It is ok to be wrong, but you seem oblivious to accepting any of the “hype” responsibility.

  42. George Carlin

    Scientists think they’ve found a cure for apathy. Sadly, no one cares.

    1. Blue

      Haha!! That’s brilliant.

  43. Topical Pseudonym

    There’s a BIG difference between “jumping ship” and decided not to spend hundreds/thousands of dollars on an SEC tournament trip when they haven’t shown they can make a run.

    I’m still supporting them but I’m also protecting my bank account.

  44. Fattie mattie

    Make a negative comment about matt the dukie, and get deleted. I really believe Matt has inferiority complex. Overcompensation in exaggerated aggressiveness.

    1. Aol

      Why do you make fun of him for getting the best education he could? Just because you couldn’t get into any college doesn’t mean you should take shots at someone who got a Juris Doctor from duke.

    2. Dave

      Fattie, apparently you spell as good as you read, since your previous post is #27 on this thread (unless someone above you gets moderated, which is possible, because I saw some stong cuss words in other posts).

  45. ShepKat

    Player 1st = me 1st

  46. bung

    I think if players have to take themselves out then the bench should be allowed to put themselves in…

  47. Fattie mattie

    Free Orney!! He tells the truth!

    1. Jason

      I wish Matt could find a way to keep you off this blog Fattie Mattie. You are annnoying idiot.

  48. Korean Tacos

    One thing I do find interesting in Cal’s “preparing them for the NBA” and how the dribble drive does that is the fact most teams in the NBA now run a pick-n-roll based offense. An offense these team would probably excel at if it was instilled.

    Also one has to wonder if these past two seasons won’t force Cal to change his recruiting regardless if he wants to or not. Are other coaches going to point out that they can really go anywhere and get drafted, since the draft now seems more based on HS rankings and not actually college play. Not to say kids can’t play they’re way into the league. But this illusion that UK/Cal increases your draft stock seems to be going the way of the dodo

    1. Jeremy

      You are making the assertion that someone on this team can set an effective pick.

    2. Korean Tacos

      I’m saying in general. Had they started learning it earlier, I think most of the big guys could have learned how to set one.

  49. bmt22033

    Certainly, we’ve been spoiled by the teams that Calipari has had since coming here. 2009 and 2012, in particular. Even the Brandon Knight-led team had a good deal of post-season success. Everybody wanted to write last year off as an anomaly. After a dismal NIT appearance, Cal had learned his lesson and no one would be allowed to “hijack” the team ever again. Flash forward a year and he’s brought in what is, on paper, the best recruiting class ever. College basketball should just cancel the season and give us #9 right now! Lots of hype brought to you directly and indirectly by Calipari himself as well as the media (including KSR). All of which was ravenously consumed by a fan base who wanted nothing more than to forgot the previous season (it was an anomaly) and look forward to basking in the ass-kicking that UK was about to unleash on college basketball. In retrospect, this has pretty much turned out to be a disasterous combination. If these kids were going to be around for 3 or 4 years, I think people would still be disappointed but the talk would be more along the lines of “just wait until next year!”. But with a player roster that is essentially a revolving door, we’ll never get a chance to see what “could have been”. I don’t blame a kid who can get drafted after one year for leaving. But that pressure to perform in that one year is going to be very great. And if you’re primarily going to recruit those kinds of players and run the risk of them not performing well, then you have to deal with the consequences of a disheartened and disenfranchised fan base, too.

  50. Hoot

    No more wins this year folks. The players can’t wIt to get out from under this microscope and make money. They’ve never cared about winning or the school. Their only thought is the league sans Dakari.

  51. Big Brother

    Hey Matt, when we see an earlier article about how Cal says he wont hold kids back who are projected to go in the second round, on top of our current team who is arguable the most overrate

  52. The Loco Pollo

    I think another point of contention with this year’s team is that they really haven’t connected with fans at all. They haven’t had any off court issues that we know about, but we really don’t know anything about them. There’s no empathy for them because they don’t seem to have much of a personality. There’s no Boogie, Wall, Jorts, Knight, MKG, Lamb or Nerlens kind of guys. Even in the great video UK Athletics put out of the Make A Wish kid, only Hood & Polson seemed to give him any time of day other than a high five. Everyone will look back and say, “Julius Randle was a very good player,” but will he be beloved?

    1. Issel's two front teeth

      The fact that it took until the late summer for the twins and Young(Three headed monster) to arrive on campus should have been a red flag about how close this bunch of individuals were going to be. If Andrew Harrison doesn’t feed Randle in the sec tourney and ncaa tourney, it will be over quick! AH is not Brandon Knight. A lead guard knows when to drive, when to dish and when to pull up and shoot! AH just wants to hold the ball until the clock runs down and drive to the basket hoping the refs bail him out.

  53. @JLScarbroughJD

    There is a good chance that the NCAA Tournament will be won by a team who has struggled at some point this year. It could be won by a team with as many as 7-9 losses…Florida looks great but even Florida flirted with disaster vs. Auburn and Vandy during the last two weeks of the season.

    I personally want to see more three point shots taken by someone other than Alex P. I want to see fewer players penetrating into a sunk-in zone defense only to shoot 20% from the paint. However, this team on a neutral floor should revert to the team that was top-5 all season in offensive efficiency and should demonstrate the solid switch-everything defense that we have seen at times this season…including vs. Louisville and Florida.

    There is every reason to be excited for postseason! Go Cats!

    1. Dave

      I want some of what JL is drinking.

  54. BlueRedNeck

    Sad to say it, but for the second year in a row I simply do not have the heart or desire to fill out any NCAA Tourney brackets.

  55. Pamola

    I will be in CATLANTA to cheer on the team. I’m not a happy fan, but I haven’t missed the SEC tournament in well over 20 years and it won’t start this year. I’ll cheer them on until the last game of the season. GO CATS!!!!!!!!!

  56. bung

    I think Coach may have given up…he plays the same players and runs the same offense and gets the same results…

  57. Big Brother

    Hey Matt, when we see an earlier article about how Cal says he won’t hold kids back who are projected to go in the second round, on top of our current team who is arguably the most overrated preseason #1 team in the history of college basketball, how are we supposed to react??? Hearing Cal say he won’t try and convince kids to come back if they are a second round pic is a JOKE!!! How is that benefiting a kid to let him turn pro, get drafted in the 2nd round, go to the D league, and then flame out of the league after a few years? Is that good for the player???
    I’m sorry but I have major, MAJOR Cal fatigue. MAJOR!

  58. UK

    u have all the rights to be mad, upset, frustrated, angry, furious, etc. and etc. Be negative all you want, but attacking those kids are just “so mature”

    Turn off your TV, be angry, but admit to yourself that you do still care very much. when ppl start mention about basketball, about Randle, the twins, lob city, those highlights clips, and the emotions started flowing.

    You just don’t want to be positive cos you are too afraid they will fail again… complicated relationship but fanship is, in some way a one-way relationship.

    You are more than welcome to leave, but if you stay, try to not be so negative, cos you know you don’t have control of how they play. You can only support them on and off the court by your cheer and your spirit.

    I followed this team for only about a year now, and maybe i was angry, disappointed, mad, and frustrated on how they played. I almost broke my TV throwing the remote control across the room in that Florida game that we had control over and lost. Then I realize, I can’t change how they play, they have to, but I decided to stick around for the season and see where these kids would be 5 years from now because this season doesn’t define who they are, it will be part of the journey to get to where they want to be… And wherever they end up, UK will still be the the start of everything for them.

  59. paducahfan

    “Wait and see” in the future will be a good thing. Let’s let the team develop while we set our expectations in sync with the team.

  60. jimp

    I started following UK basketball when I was a young kid in 1958. Have never given up on any team for any reason since then. Did not give up when Eddie Sutton put us on probation. Hell, did not even ever give up when Gillespie was the coach. I am not giving up now because I still love UK. I am just tired of Calipari recruiting a whole team of guys who think they are one and done and leave for the NBA. I know that is the rule and he takes advantage of it. God knows we have heard that over and over. I also can understand now the younger UK fans will not agree with me since this is a newer thing and they don’t remember all the great past and tradition of UK basketball. I have talked to many older friends and family members that agree with me. This just does not seem like UK basketball. It feels like these kids are only here because the rules say they have to be and not because they want to be. It feels like they are only here to attend a NBA try out camp.We are tired of having almost a brand new team of freshmen every year and hearing the same old stuff of the team is young, mistakes is what a young team does, I’m waiting for the light to finally come on, and on and on. We hear it every year. Recruit one or two of these so called high school All-Americans and fill in the rest of the team with players that are still very good and you know are going to be here for two, three or four years.

    Calipari has proven before he ever came to UK that he is a very good coach with recruiting this way. Even his best teams at Memphis would only have one or two of these one or done players and he went to the final four there and had some very good teams. At UMass, he beat our 1996 championship team during the regular season and almost beat us in the semi finals of the NCAA tournament with a team that had one future NBA player and a bunch of players that no one had ever heard of. He came very close to beating UK in the tournament in 1992. The team that lost to Duke. So he has proven he can coach. Many of us enjoy feeling connected to the team and pulling for the players that are going to at least be here for awhile. And watch them grow and develope. This team just has to many players who seem to only play well when they take a notion. Some of them seem to not even care and just seem to be sleep walking. I only expect them to hustle and give it their all. Then if they lose I can deal with it.

    I know the way message boards and comment sections are, there will be many people take shots at me for what I have said. That’s ok though. There are many, many fans that feel the same way I do. UK basketball has always been more than just having players who only care about being here for one year and leaving for the NBA.

  61. bda6115

    The hype for this team came from every direction possible…not just Cal and this website. USA Today, ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, etc….they all billed this team as the best ever assembled.

    Look at this as a blessing. Other than the fact that our freshman team still has a better record than most…the hype machine that had these guys riding so high pre-season stripped its own gears. People won’t buy into this as easily anymore, and I for one see that as a good thing.

  62. bigbluecoop

    I think many fans are just tired of seeing the same mistakes committed over and over. Against UF they fight back to get into it and then resort to the drive to the basket against all odds strategy. James Young can only drive to his left (how many years has he played basketball?) Willie drives me nuts! 7′ tall and athletic, but at times allows guys a foot shorter to drive in for lay-ups. And, of course, the lazy passing. Very frustrating season.

  63. TrueBlue

    The biggest problem I see is the fact we have very few good players that hang around. With this type of recruiting class you would think its not going to get any better, and this is the end result. No one wants to look to next year cause we have no idea what where going to have or what we are going to get. Some guy that the media says is a 5 star ?????? that dont really mean anything based on the talent that they are going to be playing against that year. I feel people would be in a much better place if we had two maybe three guys every year that would hang around, that way if the class coming is weak that at least we would have some leadership on the court. I think this is the same reason that the fans are jumping off the Cal bandwagon. This is the type of players he wants and this is what he gets. The said part is that if some of the guys stay im not sure that we would improve much as a team next year, they been raddled most of the year, not sure they could shake that off……

  64. Greg

    To me, it comes back to the “Players First” concept. I used to be OK with that philosophy based on the fact that the player’s actually make the program. And from a marketing standpoint, it helps attract top quality players, which in turn should lead to program success. Ideally, I believe the player’s should come first. But that is assuming the player’s put the program first. But if the player’s don’t put the program first and they put themselves first, there is nothing appealing from a fan’s perspective because we care about the program as a whole. It just feeds in to the culture of narcissism. And we, as a society as a whole, are seeing the dangers of a me first attitude (see the 2008 financial crisis).

    Having said that though, in most places today, the me first attitude is not a very successful one. In most companies, teams, and in most institutions (marriage, family etc.) if the greater good is not at the heart of one’s focus, then the individual is most of the time not successful either. So I have changed to think that the message of “players first” is harmful as a whole. I think the kids come in with a self centered mindset and the program’s goals are secondary. If they come in with a humbleness and willingness to sacrifice for the team (which Cal teaches once they get here), they will gain far more than they sacrifice. And the program will succeed as well.

    But we haven’t had that in the past two years, so their is little appeal to a fan that has his/her main focus on program success.

    1. BlueRedNeck

      Excellent point. Can anyone remember exactly when Cal started with his “Players First” line? I seem to recall it being at the beginning of last year, and if that is the case, then it is pretty amazing that it coincides with the slide of the basketball program. It also coincides with the posh new locker room the basketball players got, which to me is a lesser thing than the “Players first” mantra.

    2. bmt22033

      Amen. Double amen. If KSR supported sticky posts, this one should be!!!

  65. bo

    How many top 10 plays uk got on sports center? 2? Youngs screw up and wcs dunking. Thats 2x folks! 2x! Youngs was a blooper play. Lmfao!

  66. Jim Bob Pooter

    If this post had less than 10 comments, then I’d say apathy was the correct word. But, we’re still here and still commenting so by definition I don’t think the fan base is apathetic.

  67. Heres a thought

    I think fan apathy has happened quicker than it normally would at UK right now. One of the reasons I believe that it is happening quicker is player turnover. Fans are really not as connected with the players as they used to be. I am not knocking the one and done system, the program, or the players, I am just attempting to rationalize why it is so easy to give up at the first sign of trouble. I myself have not, or will not give up on this team. I am with them till the end, no matter what that may be. Here are the reasons I think it is easy for the average BBN fan to be apathetic.

    1. Like I said earlier player turnover. How many players have come and gone in Cal’s tenure? People have not had a chance to fall in love with the players that represent the UK program. Sure there’s a romance, but there is a difference between love and romance (of course figuratively speaking)

    2. Hype…Everybody is guilty of this including me. All everyone has heard ever since the class was assembled is how great they are. All of the talking heads bought in and built the fanbase up so much that at the night of the 1st game of the season we were ready to explode. As the season has progressed the fan base has deflated.

    3. Like Billy D said, sometimes when players come in they have unfair expectations placed upon them. Guilty as charged! With the greatest assembly of talent (on paper) ever known to man, of course we expected great things! Its just not always realistic. MKG and Davis were exceptions, not the norm. Because Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Noel, MKG, and Davis performed well beyond the means of a normal Freshman, we accepted it as the norm, and that forced the fanbase to place unrealistic expectations on a class that had the most highly rated assembly of talent in history!

    How many fans have said I wish we wouldn’t get all one and dones? Guess what….You’ve got your wish!! Since many are probably going to stay we will have the highest rated Sophomores in the country, along with a great crop of freshmen coming in.

    So its still a great day to be a cat fan!!!!
    Whats worse than losing the last 4 of 7 games? Being a Louisville Fan!!!!

  68. Ronnie James Dio

    BRING BACK TUBBY!
    BRING BACK SAUL!
    BRING BACK DONNA!
    AND WE’LL WIN THEM ALL!

  69. Coach Cal

    I know some of you might be upset, but I really like my team!

  70. kramer

    I am very disappointed with the way this year has gone, does that mean I am not cheering for the Cats, heck no, I still put on my blue and cheer every time they play. I would say I have decided to not get my hopes up or expect victory anymore. I don’t think it is Cal’s fault, I believe people who say UK could not find a better coach. I do think that a lot of the problem this year is the hype this team was given before the season, and maybe players just aren’t very mature. I think it is a bad idea to anoint a team NCAA champs before the season even starts, you are really setting yourself up to fail or not live up to the expectations. I hope this team comes around and I do think they could make a little run starting this week, am I expecting it to happen …NO, but you never know.

  71. Drew

    Maybe some ‘apathy’ is what these kids need. Less hype, less demands, less ridiculous expectations, etc. it’s basketball, folks, not real life hunger Games. Get a life, and support the kids without all the insane self-entitlements you think we should get every year. It’s not just fans faults, either, it’s media who continually rank us pre-season #1 after a first loss NIT season based in kids they’ve never seen play together before, much less in college. So stupid.

  72. Panda and Wienies

    McDonalds All Americans doesn’t mean you play with HEART.
    Same as football.
    Matt Jones you hype up all of these players.
    Hype up the players that are from Kentucky that play their a$$es off for Kentucky.
    KSR makes incoming freshman kings before they touch a ball in any sport.
    My group has gone to the SEC tournament for 14 straight years. We are going golfing this year.

  73. klassact32

    I am not very excited because this team is not very good. They remind me a little of the 78 team and the amount of pressure that was on that team to win, with the difference being this team really isn’t winning. Yes we have won 22 games, yes we have five freshmen, yes expectations were high. Just because I don’t have high expectations now doesn’t change the fact that won’t be cheering for the Cats. I just expect them to lose.

    As far as SEC Tourney and tickets still available…… did it ever occur that people are tired of Atlanta? I was never a fan of the tourney being played in Atlanta but no one asked me. It is what it is, little expectations from a team that is average to below average and reality is we probably won’t make it past the Friday. Does that mean I don’t like the team? Nope, just means I am not going to travel to watch them lose.

    Everyone says we are going to the NCAA, I am not convinced we belong in the NCAA and don’t know why people say we are a lock…. just my opinion.

  74. inlinefor9

    “Worst side effect”*

    *For my businesss.

    Fan apathy has to be the worst nightmare.

  75. Them

    Life is like toilet paper? Sometimes your on a roll ; and sometimes you take crap from an asshole.
    Just sayiin’.

  76. SoCalCat

    Liked the thoughtful responses by people. In general, most people would think it absurd that 5 freshmen could be put together and win the NCAA in one year, but the koolaid was just too strong when they were envisioned to be the ‘best’ at their position. Each player on the team is still very much a work in progress. I would be wary of a top NBA pick on any of them without further data. Randle will still go high as his double/double average will not reduce the ‘potential’ he has and a team worrying that he may reach heights and they would look foolish by not picking him.

    If the players have shed a tear, as it appears they have on a few occaisions, then I doubt the tears were over their draft stock falling. While it may not be tears for each person on a message board that is disappointed in them, I think it does enlighten us about their cores and the competitive desire they may have.

  77. Bluegrass Ky

    To hell with this team. Period. End of story. Every damn player could leaveand id be happy. Hate this team

    1. Shimmer

      Hell yeah, Bluegrass. For that matter, I’m done with this hype-spewing comment-deleting website. F you Matt!

  78. Go Cats

    If you are basing apathy on UK tickets being available after cancellations – which who knew you could cancel them – then I think you underestimate how many people did buy from other schools earlier in the year when they first went on sale before the UK section had tickets available. I know I did as I always do.

  79. BlueWhitetoo

    For the poster who said the team doesn’t care about the fans, I agree. I was at South Carolina and stayed at the same hotel. As the team made their way through the lobby to the bus, only P olson acknowledged the 50-60 fans greeting the team. At least he understands what it means to be a Wildcat.

    1. Fan Negativity

      Think about all the negativity directed at the players this year. People yell everything under the sun at the freshmen. People are on message boards like this one criticizing them. They are getting blasted by people on twitter. Do you really wonder why they are ignoring people? They have to block all this BS out and they have to maintain that mentality all the time. Unfortunately for the positive fans, and especially the kids, the idiotic minority of fans ruin things for the rest. Poison doesn’t get treated that way, as he’s a white Kentucky kid who’s been on the team for years, so he can associate with the fans without all the hatred. The freshmen don’t have that luxury.

  80. Buckets

    I NEVER miss a game but I work nights so I sleep late. Saturday, I didn’t even bother getting up for the Florida game. Why get up to watch the team get blown out? I’ll just be glad when this season’s over so we can put it behind us.

  81. UK Student from Cincinnati

    My favorite sports team will always be the Cats, but followed closely by the Reds and Bengals. I have invested so much emotion and energy in the past 12 months because all three teams had pre-season expectations to be championship-caliber teams, albeit to different extents. The Reds broke my heart with the end of season 6-game collapse that ended with a terrible wildcard loss in Pittsburgh, a week before the division was in reach. The Bengals were a 3 seed and the most heavily favorited wild-card team in recent memory, only to go down to a mediocre chargers team at home, a game I saw in person.

    Now set up for my third sportsfan-heartbreak in less than 6 months, I simply cannot invest any more emotion or energy in this Kentucky team, because I don’t think I can handle yet another disappointment. Leaving Rupp after the Florida game was when I realized I can’t afford to invest so much emotion into this season.

    I’ll still passively root for them and hope they can make a magical final four run (think Brandon Knight’s shot against OSU). But after 5 months yelling at my TV and shaking my head leaving Rupp and PBS, I simply don’t have the energy to display the passion you alluded to in this article.

  82. Just_Mike

    The one and done system doesn’t give the fans an opportunity to see players develop.

    They’re here,…they’re gone.

    Of course, it’s fun when the team makes a deep run in the tourney, but that’s not going to happen very often when virtually the entire team is brand new out of high school every year.

    How can the fan base *not* feel disconnected from a team that they hardly know, year after year?

    It just doesn’t feel like *my* team any longer. The players are a group of transient basketball players who briefly pause in Kentucky during their journey to the NBA.

    It’s not entertaining,…bottom line.

    1. Bledsoe's Biceps

      Well said and I think this is a major factor. Like you said, when they’re playing well and making deep runs in the tourney, it’s OK. But when we have seasons like the past two, people lose interest and disconnect. There is no sense of “my team” with the revolving door system.

    2. Hoops

      Everyone pile on Bledsoe’s wife.

  83. Farty & ohhhhh!

    Smells bad anyway you slice it.

    1. Fattie Mattie

      Would have been better to have said CUT IT, instead of slice, just sayin…

  84. Truth

    UK Football Fans make UK basketball fans look like little wussies. Pound per pound/Wins to Losses….the best there is. Basketball historically wins on the court vs. field…but the fans in the stands at Commonwealth win the fan contest.

    1. El Guapo

      Well, in all honesty, it’s WAY easier to drink a lot of alcohol before a football game. You can’t really tailgate a basketball game; it’s just not the same.

  85. Blue To The Bone ...

    Guess I picked a hell of a time to drop almost 2K to attend my first sec tournament???…Oh, Well I am going to have a good time regardless and hopefully the CATS shock us all…

  86. stevieb

    For the record, when UK was on Probation and had nothing to play for but pride, I never stopped watching and rooting. A true fan never gives up. The players have not given up. And the coaches have not given up.

    Remember, the bar is so high because Cal raised it!!!

    Before Cal, the bar was low.

    We need to stand by our team and Cal.

    1. Tradition

      The bar was set high by Rupp.

    2. El Guapo

      Pretty sure the bar was set at least seven times before Calipari ever set foot in Lexington.