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An emotional Joker Phillips encourages fans to “Get behind this team.”

Joker Phillips was VERY emotional at this afternoon’s football kickoff luncheon in Lexington. He preached to fans in attendance, “Get behind this team. It’s your team.” I’ve heard from some friends who were there that he was near tears when talking about needing Big Blue Nation to step up the support for UK football.

“These players don’t need everybody to believe in them but they damn sure need someone to,” he said. “They need you. I expect you to get behind this team.”

One person who is already supportive of Joker Phillips and his team is Eli Capilouto. The UK President said, “We stand behind him,” when talking about his university’s head football coach.


Other notes from the luncheon:

— Defensive coordinator Rick Minter is excited to get his young defense out on the field. He said his guys are starting to look like an SEC frontline.

— Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders acknowledged his team’s brutal offense last season and he’s already seen improvements across the board. “I feel way better about this offensive team than I did last season at this point.”

— Sanders added, “Last year left me with a bad taste in my mouth for about six months.”

— Joker said he will continue to sell the program’s fans to recruits. He tells recruits that UK has rapid fans who expect to win.

37 days until kickoff…


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

63 Comments for An emotional Joker Phillips encourages fans to “Get behind this team.”

  1. Jessdogky
    2:05 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    AMEN Joker!! It’s time to support the TEAM!! Even if that means going to the games, because if you don’t, then you aren’t a fan.

  2. CTBlue32
    2:07 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    We are with you coach! Good luck! Hope we have a breakout season! GBB!!!

  3. Big Daddy
    2:08 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Rapid fans? Yes, they are rapidly leaving. No typo I guess.

  4. Bob Sugar
    2:09 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    This is a new low. Blubbering at a public forum, have a little dignity, man! And you call yourself a football coach! Poor babies whose fnas no that they suck.. that’s what’s wrong with this country too many babies sulking in the corner crying “poor me, poor me”. If we had a true leader, and not Eli Castrado, we would ride this pathetic cry baby out of Lexington on a rail. I’m ashamed to call myself a UK football fan after that sorry display. You have no sympathy from me joker as you only brought this on yourself.

  5. #Rise
    2:12 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Big Blue Nation isn’t just about basketball, it is all UK athletics. Stop being whiny snatches and support the team.

  6. UK Wildcat
    2:12 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink


  7. win what?
    2:12 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    what will we win? the game against Samford and maybe the Kent St and WKU games?

  8. So what?
    2:15 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    He’s getting all huffy and puffy during a kick-off luncheon? Where there’s a ton of season ticket holders and people with money? Alumni? They are not the ones he needs to sell this program. It’s the rest of the fan base. This team has steadily declined under this regime. We no longer look competitive. How many remember when Brooks was here that ranked teams either left with an L or a very, very hard earned W. We weren’t a complete joke anymore. We’re almost back to being a joke (no pun intended). Joker to needs to fire us up and soon.

  9. dsg
    2:17 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Beat Louisville, be 3-0 going into Florida, and everything will take care of itself. This team is better than some of the “fans” are giving it credit for.

  10. #Rise
    2:19 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    8) Do you even remember Rich Brooks first few years? They were worse than Jokers. If UK fires Joker, who the hell are they going to hire? Everyone is quick to wanting to fire someone but never thinks about the aftermath. I am starting to feel embarrassed to be part of BBN because of fair weather fans around here.

  11. LoyalFan
    2:23 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Part of me is starting to grow a hatred of negative fans. Luckily I wont have to see them in the fall when I go to Commonwealth to show some support!

  12. Rommy Goodman
    2:23 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Mike Leach

  13. A.M.S
    2:25 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I support UK Football! Our football program will never be our Basketball. We do, however, have great guys on our squad who want to prove themselves. Let’s play our hearts out this season! GO CATS

  14. Blue4ever
    2:26 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #8 you make me chuckle. I guarantee half way into the Coach Brooks era you were screaming for Rich’s head on a platter. Now you’re singing Coach Brooks’ praises. I’ll make a prediction if Joker does get this turned around, you and about 1,000 others will be hitching you pants and saying “OH I knew it all the time. It was just a matter of time before Joker got it turned around” Yeah right!

  15. Rommy Goodman
    2:27 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    The true fans are the ones who don’t support a sinking ship and don’t settle for having a 4-8 football team… There is no reason for the AD to demand or expect more if people pay for a bad product…

  16. CatGrad7072
    2:28 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Joker knows the writing is on the wall; it says. ‘the fat lady is getting ready to sing’. It also says, ‘you should have hired Mike Leach last year’.

  17. Bob Sugar
    2:29 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Will you lemmings figure it out? Rich Brooks accomplished very little while at UK.. an abysmal early record.. and a string of mid-level bowl games. Yes he did have a big win against an unranked Georgia team in 2006, and entertaining bowl win against Clemson.. Yes he had a magical couple of weeks against an overrated Louisville team, Arkansas, and an upset against #1 and National champion LSU in overtime at home to earn a top ten overrating ourselves, and a good strategy season with randall Cobb. But let’s face it on of his bowl wins was against a skeleton crew of a Florida St. squad that was not that good, and another was against EAST CAROLINA!! Wake up people and realize UK football has not been successful, even under Rich brooks era. Rich NEVER beat Tennessee, tried to win with the poorest kicker known in the history of football making us pine for ray finkle, and generally had a bunch of “ah, shucks” games where we played well but came up just short.

    THe idea behind the coach in waiting was to seamlessly continue this mediocrity disguised as success but not even that has happened!

  18. Must be nice
    2:32 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #3 & 4 (we’ll say bob pours sugar on Daddy’s D***) let m guess, yours fans of UK Basketball, NY Yankees, Bama Football, Steelers, and Barcelona FC.

  19. jp123
    2:34 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Joker needs to shut his yap and put some offense on the field. People can tolerate losses but not when the team loses and doesn’t score. Last year UK scored 14 points or less 7 times. Ole Miss was the only non cupcake where UK scored more that 14 points and Ole Miss was terrible last year. If he marches out that vannila offense and loses games 30-7, he will be gone for sure. His teams are boring to watch. UK fans know it is virtually impossible to become a football power house. All UK fans want is something to root for and losing the South Carolina 54-3 is nothing to root for.

  20. LoyalFan
    2:36 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    15. Keep calling yourself a true fan and maybe one day you will believe yourself.

  21. Bob Sugar
    2:36 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    18) you forgot America, nut I’d expect that form some Commie loving give everyone a chance p**** like you

  22. LaRod
    2:43 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Throw me the f’n ball!! I’m wide open!!

  23. Bob's sugar is actually crack
    2:44 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Please, KSR, do us all a favor and block all of Bob Sugar’s comments. Is there anyone besides Bob who appreciates them?

  24. Orlando Josh
    2:46 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    All these true fans on here talking crap about “their team”. You know what We Are Kentucky, real fans support no matter what. You dont grow complacent with mediocrity but when your team takes the field or court no matter what you root for them. Even if you don’t agree with what’s going on when it’s time to play you support that team. Till the battle is won.

  25. LoyalFan
    2:49 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    24. Could not have said it better myself

  26. TheBear
    2:50 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Hey! Anybody happen to see the AD there supporting things today???

  27. A big ole' sack pf poop
    2:52 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Boo hoo, Joker. How many games did the fans lose again? Nut up or shut up. There’s no freaking crying in football!

  28. ktmiln2
    2:53 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #24 Nailed it on the head.

  29. ktmiln2
    2:53 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder if Bob’s Sugar (or one of his alts) can make a post without any typos.

  30. So what?
    2:56 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    10 & 14 – reading comprehension must not be your cup of tea. where did i say joker should be fired? i didn’t. i want joker to fire up the fan base, not a small portion by getting emotional. i want a hellfire-brimstone-rah-rah-rah-agressive coach. also, 10, F you. i clearly state brooks took us from a joke to competitive. again, reading comprehension.

  31. So what?
    2:57 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    14 – I forgot. F you too. I still bought my season tickets.

  32. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    2:59 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    24- UK football fans wish they had to deal with mediocrity. It’s the really, really sucks thing that I think bothers them the most. You may think supporting this team thru thick & thin makes you a great fan, but to me, it just makes you gullible and easily ammused. And as for the folks that say that BBN isn’t just about basketball, you’re crazy!

  33. Scott in Tally
    2:59 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I do support the team, it is Joker and his coaching staff I can’t get behind. We have seen his failures for 2 years running, why do I need to see an implosion for the third year?

  34. Common Sense
    3:02 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    No coach should ever have to preach this, but when you have TERRIBLE FAIR-WEATHER FANS LIKE UK, then I guess it has to happen. It is just said that Joker has to even say this, SAD!!!!!! SUPPORT YOUR TEAM NO MATTER WHO THE COACH IS!!!

  35. Chicago Chris
    3:02 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Unlike Bob Sugar, always criticizing America, always going on about “what is wrong with this country,” THIS patriot knows that America is the best country in the world! Why don’t you move to CANADA or FRANCE if you hate this country so much, Bob!?!

  36. UKBlue
    3:05 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Being the UK football coach has got to be a frustrating & at times what must seem like a hopeless job. I don’t doubt Joker love for UK, hell if that love is enough to bring you to tears, you know you’ve gotta love it.

    UK football has lets admit it sucked for years; if we keep Joker a couple more years & give his recruits a chance, if we have sucked for years, there isn’t much down side to allowing Joker this chance. People might be pissed now, but we are taking a chance on one of our own. People can blah blah blah, we need to get whatever coach, that coach isn’t coming to UK, which is even more reason to take a risk on one of our own.

  37. jimtown catfan
    3:06 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Just bought me a minipack to UK football. Im going to support this team. I have a feeling the product is going to be better than what most of you “fair weather fans” expect. Im going to be at Commwealth on Saturdays! I appreciate Jokers passion. He cares about the team, the university and the state. He is a KY product and damn well deserves our support.
    Ill let the administration decide if coaches stick around after season. Until then I am 100% behind these guys. Some of you that claim to be UK fans I hope you decide to stay at home, don’t want to hear you all running your mouths anyway. Go Cats!!!

  38. Rockfield, KY
    3:11 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    24. Amen. I’m not a fan of Joker, but I’ll sure as hell drive my a$$ up 4 hrs. from Chattanooga for game day and sit in the season ticket seats I bought and support the players on the field. Win or Lose, I’m still Blue.

  39. Hokey Pete
    3:13 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    UK football fans support the team when it’s competitive, and ridiculously so given the tepid success we’ve had. We all remember Coach Brooks so fondly, even though his best season wasn’t all that great, because he made us competitive. Last season we looked like an FCS team in multiple games. I can’t blame fans for staying home when the team is beaten before the coin is flipped.

  40. Greg
    3:16 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    . Sadly, this season starts & ends with the City School. Lose there & the wheels will fall off the wagon. Win (miraculously) and the storm clouds part (just a bit). The trouble is that regardless of the 1st game’s outcome….there is a constant…Joker! And my suspicions are that with water seeking it own level….we are looking at a Max of 4 wins. As a Samford graduate my mixed emotions kinna hope for Three. .

  41. Bob Sugar
    3:19 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, I will concede that Brooks did make us competitive. But, that is not enough sometimes for even the most loyal season ticket holder. We are all really impressed that you all true blue fans camped out for madness tickets and all that happy horse**** but the fact reamins competitive doesn’t put you in the BCS. Coffee is for closers.

  42. Cuba
    3:29 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Bob Sugar, with all these accusations of communism and anti american bluster, you must surely be aware of sugar’s deep ties with Cuba and Russia(the staple of communism in the early 90’s). But that’s neither here nor there now is it? Go CATS, all CATS!!!

  43. SgtEusmc
    3:33 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is in desperation. 27% loss on season ticket renewal. That’s a lot of lost revenue. I like joker just fine but our anemic 15.6 ppg average last season rated around 115/120? Was pathetic. He’s simply not the man for the job. I don’t think any sec team is a place to try out a first year head coach. This leagues just way too competitive. Hope things turn around this year but I only see four wins five at best. Just hope the losses aren’t blow outs like last years
    Go big blue

  44. TheBear
    3:38 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Rich Brooks never made us competitive. You’d need a winning conference record some years (I’d say half on avg) to be that. He NEVER had a winning conf record. Power to the 27%! Get this school and admin off their behinds and get something on the field to be proud of. Stop giving them your money to flush down the drain of mismanagement.

  45. Jim
    3:38 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    77 days until Big Blue Madness. Enough said…

  46. SexnNursinHomes
    3:39 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I haven’t gone all the way back, but UK has two 9+ win seasons in 52 years. At point does accountability come into place? Just asking.

  47. Kaptain Kat!
    3:45 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Give Joker a chance. I am behind the Cats and Joker! I was really quick in calling for Rich Brooks head in his first few seasons. I am glad Lee Todd and Mitch Brooks stayed the course and kept him around. We should do the same with Joker. Joker is a five times better coach than Bill Curry and we kept Curry around about ten years.

  48. Orlando Josh
    3:53 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    32- I’m not gullible nor amused by a losing record. In my previous comment please tell me where I said that I enjoy where the program is headed. I just said that I will always support my team no matter what because a true fan can disagree but still not bash and whine and make a group of college kids feel useless. Yes we love our basketball but I for one am a fan of the University of Kentucky in every sport win or lose. I can be upset with abandoning my team.

  49. Hokey Pete
    3:56 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Bear, by “competitive”, I mean we had a legit chance to win every time we stepped on the field. We were simply brutal in several games last year. I totally agree that UK needs to do something to fight the perception (which I believe is the reality) that UK football lacks the funding and facilities to compete in the SEC. I could stomach a poor on-field product if I had hope that things will get better.

  50. mores
    3:58 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #44 the idea that starving the athletics department of money is somehow going to make things better is one of the funnier jokes I’ve heard today. Got any more?

  51. TrueBlueFan
    3:58 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    24 & 48- deserves a writing job, couldn’t agree more.

  52. Big Blue Coming at You
    4:00 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    So, Joker nearly cries at the luncheon for support while he gives scholarships to recruits that only have offers from Middle Tennessee St. and you idiots that support this have the nerve to call out the ones who don’t? Enjoy your Curry ball and 4 win season. At this point, i’d even rather have Brooks back. At least he had us respectable and could get us to a bowl. Joker is just a train wreck that doesn’t realize poor performance on the field which is directly his fault equates to no butts in the seats. People won’t show up just because he’s crying for support. It will take him resigning for that to happen.

  53. Explorer
    4:18 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #52 and others like you please go a find another team to be a “fan” for. We don’t want or need you in fan base.

  54. jacob
    4:19 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    uk has never been good at football it took rich brooks 2-3 year to become not to bad or ok in football its been about tht amount of time for joker rich brooks first few season were 3-9 and 4-8 jokers was 6-7 and 5-7 id rather have that

  55. Big Blue Coming at You
    4:51 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    53. Same goes for you. Keep piling more sand over your head. You accept mediocrity and are part of the problem instead of the solution. You are the ones that aren’t true fans. You probably supported Tubby and BCG till the bitter end too. Let us so called “negative” fans do what’s right for the program and put pressure on the administration to pull their heads out of their butts and get a real coach for the football team. Keep Joker around another year or two and UK football will be giving away tickets at your local gas station.

    54. Brooks took over a program on probation with post season ban and scholarship reductions. Even i give him a pass on his first 3 years. Joker on the other hand took over a program with a solid foundation, a respectable reputation and ready to take the next step in the SEC. In just two years he’s destroyed all of that. There was no reason for Joker to lose a bowl game where the other team had no head coach and for us not to even make a bowl last year. Poor coaching, poor player development and poor recruiting are all problems with Joker.

  56. Mark Liptak
    5:06 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I say this with all due respect. I am not trying to be sarcastic. If Joker wants support for his team try winning some games.

    Seriously….getting humiliated by the likes of schools like LSU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Florida. Barely beating mediocre smaller schools like Western Kentucky and Central Michigan is not the way to earn the backing of the fans paying the freight is it? That’s the same fan base by the way that has seen UK sit at the tail end of the SEC for basically the last 60 years.

    Calling a five yard out pass play when it’s 3rd and 12 won’t get it done. Spending the least amount of money on the football program in the SEC isn’t the answer. And having a department that seems oblivious to the calls for change from the same said fan base appears to be biting the hand that feeds them.

    The fan base is speaking Joker. Open your ears and listen to them. They’ll hop on board faster than another 30 win season for Coach Cal if you’ll “JUST WIN BABY!”

    GIVE the fan base something to actually be proud of and you’ll get all the respect and support (as well as a contract extension) that you could ever want.

    Mark Liptak

  57. Hokey Pete
    5:27 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Well said, Mark. I’d simply add that it’ll take more than Coach Phillips doing his part. The administration has to step up as well.

  58. Kelly
    6:12 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #53 I feel your frustration with these fans that only serve to hurt the program even more with their negativity.

    #52 and #55…no one is accepting mediocrity…it’s called accepting reality. The reality is UK has never been a football powerhouse. We all want that to change but most understand change takes time. Joker lost a couple of players early to the NFL and a couple of them hadn’t developed in the manner we had all hoped. He is a solid recruiter especially considering what the is up against. And part of the problem is fans like you that seem to make the most noise putting down the coach. I bet you been putting him down since day one and have never accepted him as UK’s head coach!

    We all want a winner but it’s going to take some time and I don’t think Joker has been given enough time to see what he can do with the program…

  59. Katdaddy
    8:47 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is just like obama the fall! This FB program SUCKED before joker and it will suck after him! You guys can keep talking about firing him all you want! Theres not a better coach out there that would take this crumie job and put up with fans like #4! Aint enough whiskey in the world to get mike leach drunk enough to take the job at uk!

  60. Onendone
    9:19 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I stand behind my cats and will buy season tickets. I dont care what it is chess or football I am a kentucky fan and thats enough for me.. Support the whole university not just a sport, thats why we should be feared as a fan base. WE ARE UK the BIG BLUE NATION the countries biggest loudest most obnoxious fans there is or ever will be.

  61. Shorts
    10:07 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I really think the Louisville, Kent State, Western Kentucky, Samford, Missouri, and Tennessee games are winnable. A win against Vanderbilt and a 7-5 record are attainable. 7-5 is Rich Brooks average record but I still think people would be gunning for Joker with that record. The people on here pretending to be true UK fans make me sick. Support your team! The 2013 recruiting class is already looking promising with all of those Florida commits.

  62. NL
    10:23 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Support defined: (especially for you redneck “fans”)

    sup·port   [suh-pawrt, -pohrt] Show IPA
    verb (used with object)
    to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation for.
    to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
    to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
    to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
    to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.

  63. Scarsnbars
    11:46 am July 28, 2012 Permalink

    Lotta m*****f****rs on this board that I wouldn’t want in a foxhole with me…It’s easy to love Cats basketball, ain’t it?…I’ve been around this program since Charlie Bradshaw coached, and one thing I’ve never done is turn my back on the kids that CHOOSE to wear Blue…Do any one of you doing all the bitching have any idea what it is like to bust your ass for a group of “fans” who spend a good portion of their time putting your every effort down? And before you get up on your soapbox and tell me that you are only talking about Joker, get real…Football requires as much morale and emotion as athletic ability…When you keep pounding on one brick you tear down the entire structure…