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All I want for Christmas is…

Who wants to play a game? Last year I wrote a similar post, based off an Oscar Combs tweet, which asked Kentucky fans what they would rather have as their one holiday wish: A National Championship in basketball, an SEC East title in football, wins over Louisville in football and basketball, or a win over Florida in football.

I thought the question was a little too obvious, so I upped the ante. It’s a give and take to find out where your priorities lie. What you get and what you lose is a guarantee, whatever path you take to get there is up to you to decide. Would you be willing to sacrifice for a major athletic accomplishment in 2013? Or would you rather void your holiday wish and keep on the current track?

— Hang banner No. 9 in 2013… in exchange for three more losing seasons in football as fans call for Mark Stoops firing and Mitch Barnhart’s head.

Back-to-back national championships for Kentucky sacrifices a lot. Fans have regained an incredible amount of passion for the UK football brand, and there is huge excitement surrounding the program. Would you be willing to lose it all for a second banner right now? This wish doesn’t say Kentucky can’t win No. 9 (or No. 10 if you take this option) in 2014, or any time after that. But you can guarantee back-to-back championships at the expense of Mark Stoops and the football program.

— Add Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle to the monster 2013 recruiting class… in exchange for the 2012 team collapsing and having one of the worst teams John Calipari has ever coached.

The 2012 season isn’t a lost cause by any means, but if you want to put all your eggs in one basket, would you do it? This holiday wish guarantees Wiggins and Randle pick Kentucky, and join the Harrison twins, Marcus Lee, James Young and Derek Willis, along with anyone you want to speculate will return. It would be the greatest recruiting class of all time, and make the Cats the overwhelming favorite to win the National Title. But to have this, the 2012 team will struggle through the remainder of this season, and become a bubble team by March. Critics jump down Calipari’s throat about his one-and-done system and rival fans are relentless in their mocking. Do you suffer through that to guarantee what lies ahead?

— A National Championship in football as gridiron prominence builds… in exchange for no longer being a “basketball school” — giving way to Duke, UNC, IU or UofL as top dog in college hoops, losing games more often, and generally being an average team.

It would be one of the most shocking turnarounds ever. Mark Stoops is Kentucky’s savior and he builds a losing team into the No. 1 team in the country. As farfetched as it sounds, this holiday wish can guarantee it. But you give up all the basketball fame. The hoops program doesn’t turn into a loser, but it is nothing like it was. UK is now a middle-of-the-road SEC team with its ups and downs. But football takes over as king in the bluegrass. Recruiting four- and five-stars in football becomes the norm. Would you flip the scripts on Kentucky athletics if you could?

— Football team winning the SEC East and a berth to the SEC Championship game… in exchange for a losing season of basketball.

If going all-in on Kentucky as football school, in exchange for losing the basketball doesn’t suit your fancy, would you take the basketball wins and give them to football? This holiday wish guarantees an SEC East title and a trip to the SEC Championship game and the possibility of a BCS Bowl. But the basketball team will suffer greatly. Do you give the football team an opportunity to build something big, as the basketball team takes a huge step back?

— Football program blossoming under Mark Stoops over next two seasons; growing into a contender in the SEC East… in exchange for basketball program regressing over next two seasons; limping into March and busting out early.

Finally, a third option for the football team’s advancement is a subtle climb to the top. With this wish, you can guarantee the next two seasons sees dramatic improvement on the gridiron and recruits take notice. Stoops builds a winning tradition and the SEC is on high alert of a new conference foe. But basketball slides and John Calipari is beside himself. It appears talent doesn’t solve all the problems, as attitudes and will to win fail to take hold with his youngsters. Would you give up a dominating run in basketball for a new found sense of dominance in football?

So where do your priorities lie? Are you only focused on basketball and would be willing to sacrifice anything football-related to see Calipari’s Cats win? Or have you taken notice of what Mark Stoops has, and can do, and are willing to see it grow at the expense of basketball? Does coming off a championship season in basketball change your mind at all?

What is your one Christmas wish?

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

45 Comments for All I want for Christmas is…



  1. This is Kentucky
    11:36 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll take #9 with football futility, but think we can do better than these options. Football championship would be nice, but I remember how fast our 1998 national championship in bball got old. Would hate to lose bball and have to hang our hats on one football year a la Auburn.



  2. tdogg40330
    11:39 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    My Christmas wish list :

    Spank UL Saturday
    Timmons picks the CATS



  3. Jus Sayin
    11:40 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I would take a losing season this year in exchange for Wiggins and Randle



  4. UKGrad83
    11:44 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    None of the above. I’m selfish and I want it all – championships in both sports.



  5. Archie Ballhog
    11:48 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Definitely hang #9 and #10 for more losing in football

    Wouldn’t trade a collapse in this season to guarantee Wiggins and Randle, because team is already going to get Wiggins and Randle.

    As for the last three….NO WAY NO HOW. Let’s not turn UK into Auburn or Arkansas or South Carolina, where every once in awhile the football team has good seasons but stink up the joint during basketball season. Sorry Stoops.

    Go Cats.



  6. coach
    11:52 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Hang #9 over football ANYDAY! Cause football wins ain’t going to happen at UK anyway



  7. Travi
    11:55 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares about football? Basketball winning #9 and #10 would be way better!



  8. John
    11:55 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Why can’t there be both titles in both sports, ala Flawda? They proven it can be done by an SEC school, why not UK?? #BBN



  9. Echo 1
    11:57 am December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Banner. Not even close.



  10. Sexington
    12:01 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    A big booty ho



  11. steve
    12:06 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    This is nonsense. No reason that we cannot have success in both football and basketball.



  12. This is Kentucky
    12:12 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Okay, #11 wins. Unfortunately this years team probably agrees with all the cuffing going on.



  13. Catlogic15
    12:13 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I hate it when my wife tries to play this stupid game, like “If you positively had to choose one, would it be to do Joan Rivers, or fall out of a tree”. Very frustrating.



  14. bmt22033
    12:17 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d also take a losing season this year to add Wiggins and Randle next year. If that losing season resulted in lower draft stock for Noel, Goodwin or Poythress and any of them opted to return, all the better. 🙂



  15. UKloyal
    12:17 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    what 14 said



  16. Kind of silly
    12:22 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I think this is dumb. Kentucky will always be a contender in basketball with a half way decent coach. I know this is all for hypothetical lulz, but Kentucky will always be a basketball school. It would probably take 3 national title in football over the next 4-5 years to even think about considering Kentucky a “football” school. Even then, we’d probably be the opposite of Florida. A great basketball school with a successful football team. Like Florida is a great football school, with a successful basketball team.



  17. Stoopstroops
    12:28 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    National championship in football !!!!!!!



  18. BBN,4Ever
    12:34 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with #2 & #12. Live in the present, compete at all levels all the time. If you don’t believe, then you can’t. Excellence begins in the mindset of the leader. Go Mark and Go Cal. Let the unbeliever catch up at their own pace.



  19. redbird
    12:36 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    HOOPS ove STOOPS! 9 will be fine!



  20. BernieSadori
    12:39 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    To never have to read another “either/or” article again.



  21. Bud Weisser
    12:43 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Swapping Hammer Time for Miller Time.



  22. Sammydog
    12:44 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    My wish would be to beat the Cards in a packed chicken bucket with the eyes of the nation watching on CBS. I also want them to wear those chicken buckets on their heads like last time. Probably not going to happen as Rick finally has a team like his KY teams of old and UK simply isn’t ready to face that kind of defensive pressure. For the first time in 4 yrs they have much better guard play than we do. But I can wish…



  23. Bald Guy
    12:47 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Settling for success in basketball or football alone is for the weak and small minded. We can be competitive in both and I believe that we will. We can be the best… any other attitude is unacceptable and pathetic.



  24. Bald Guy
    12:51 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    You fairweather basketball only fans should go get your UofL Sugar Bowl tattoos and hold your breath for the sky to fall.



  25. Basketball sucks
    12:53 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I would joyfully watch Rupp Arena torn down and the space turned into a parking lot if it meant UK won the SEC East. You mongoloids need to understand what brings the money and respect in athletics.



  26. Tennesse Wildcat
    1:06 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I say, win number 9 this year, get better at football and win #10 next season.



  27. KidCody
    1:21 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d tear down Commonwealth and build a Starbucks there if it meant winning Number 9.



  28. Raymond White
    1:22 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I am not willing to give up either sport for the other to succeed, recruiting is the answer in football, hopefully UK can latch onto a few more really good players this year.I believe the offense for next year will produce more wins and excitement thus bringing in better players.



  29. Rothchild
    1:23 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t care if we never win another Football gamel as long as we remain dominant in Basketball.



  30. Jeff Garlin
    1:46 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’m selfish and want both good football and basketball! On another note I don’t consider UofL or Indian in the same class as UNC or Duke basketball.



  31. FeedMeSeymour
    1:52 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’d take football title anyday. I’d trade the bball titles for football titles, for sure.



  32. the Big Dog
    1:57 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Fortunately, we don’t have to sacrifice one program for the benefit of the other or one season for good things to happen for the next season. I don’t think it is very constructive to bait fans into trashing the football program for the sake of basketball just as we start with the enthusiasm of a new coaching staff.



  33. ColoradoCat
    3:26 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    All these options suck! I’d stay with the status quo….meaning we’ll probably go sweet 16 this year, get at least one between Wiggins and Randle, win the title next season, and watch the football team steadily improve to a consistent 6-6 to 8-4 program on a yearly basis. I’ll pass on all those and stick with my chances.



  34. PennsylvaniaWildcat
    3:28 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Well said, #33. Go Cats!



  35. mudcreekmark
    3:32 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    We not only can be successful in both but I feel that we will be good at both. I believe in this new staff that we have brought in. Just imagine if Mumme had a great defense with the offense he had in those years he was here. Well, that is about to happen. We all know it will not happen next year, but I can see in 3 or 4 years competing for the SEC East.Brooks almost had us there and Joker Phillips was not Neal Brown on the Offensive side and Steve Brown was not in the same league as Stoops or Eliot on the defensive side.



  36. Air Raid
    3:46 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Screw that. I want the football team to DOMINATE. I would gladly trade our basketball tradition and titles to the football team in an instant. Of course, Im in the minority to say the least.



  37. c-a-t-s
    3:50 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Every single one of this kid’s posts has something so absurdly stupid in it it makes my head hurt. You WANT us to collapse? What does it say to our players that KSR published an article by one of our “biggest fans” wanting us to lose for Christmas..



  38. Dolphus
    7:11 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I love football… I truly do. I love Kentucky football. That being said, we could hire Nick Saban with Les Miles as DC and Urban Meyer as OC, with all guaranteed contracts for 15 years and football still plays second fiddle for me. I’d rather cut football as a program from the school then see any negative effects for the basketball team for this year or the future.



  39. Dolphus
    7:21 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I also still have the same hopes for this years team as I did at the beginning of the season and have no reason to doubt Cal’s ability to coach the players we have right now to #9. They’ll eventually hit their stride and make a hell of a run at being back in the final four… we’ll have something as a fanbase to cheer about before its over.



  40. SweetWm
    9:57 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    I didn’t know Alabama and LSU were leaving the SEC ……



  41. JB4UK
    10:12 pm December 23, 2012 Permalink

    Would take national championship in football any day! Outside of folks in the states of KY, IN, NC and KS, hardly anyone even cares about college basketball. I want the nation to CARE when UK wins a championship.



  42. Blue on Blew
    2:01 am December 24, 2012 Permalink

    Lets call the football team a team with a losing record, not a “losing team”. There’s 105 players that worked their behinds off last season. They didn’t coach the team. They aren’t a losing team, they are players that can use better coaching. Lets respect them when we write in the future!



  43. Basketball is Dead
    3:38 am December 24, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares about basketball. How about never win another basketball title and be a contender in the dominate sport in college athletics.



  44. JLivermore
    4:19 pm December 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’d give up making the Final Four for 15 years for a run at a football national championship. If we could leverage football even half as much as traditional powers are able to financially, we’d be one of the top overall athletic programs in the country.



  45. J Jones
    6:52 pm December 24, 2012 Permalink

    Hang banner #9 who really cares that much about football in this state. A lot of uk basketball fans don!t even know that we have a football team.