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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Don’t be “This Fan”

Watching the NBA Draft a couple weeks back, and seeing the amount of middle aged men who attended the draft, dressed in their teams jersey (which is lame), made me think of the fans that we love to hate.  The problem often with these fans though is that they can not recognize how ridiculous they are acting.  So, below I give you 4 of my least favorite fans, all with a UK spin.  Tell me which ones I am missing:

1) Former Player Fan

-I never understood this guy.  The guy who played in high school, and never made it off the bench at that.  And yet, when it comes to being critical of the other players and coaches, this guy turns into Jerry West.  The guy who struggled to understand the Veer Offense on the JV football team, but thinks he knows how to run the UK offense better than Joker.  The guy who scored 29 points in his career, but knows that John Calipari needs to play Liggins more. 

The big problem with this guy is that he actually takes no joy in his teams successes.  What he takes some kind of sick joy in is the teams failure, because then he can use his “expertise” to be critical.  This is the same guy who thinks dominating the WKU Intramural B League is just about the same as being the 6th man on the actual team. 

But the WORST thing about this type of fan is his arrogance over other fans.  You can only argue with this guy for all of 30 seconds before he brings up his days playing backup cornerback for Centre.  Because that is basically the same level of play as the SEC.  Funny thing is, I never see Jeff Sheppard or Wayne Turner on the message boards mixing it up with fans.  It’s interesting how its always the guy who played at Newport Catholic or Brescia.  What does that tell you?  It tells me that as much as we would like to think so, players at the highest level know what is going on the best, and the rest of us are left to argue what we THINK we know, rather than what may actually be the truth. 

Perfect current example: Most fans feel that Mike Hartline is not the best option at QB for Kentucky.  Former Breathitt County QB from 1983 thinks Hartline doesn’t have the arm for the position.  Yet, Hartline continues to be the favorite for the job, which tells me there might be things that we don’t see or understand that keeps him in the lead.  I would much rather take Joker’s word on the subject than Dilbert Jackson from Paducah Tilghman fame.

2) Tailgate Fan 

-This actually has 2 parts: massively drunk fan and tailgate only fan.  First of all, the massively drunk fan.  I can NOT understand why a person buys tickets to a game, for likely a high price, and then gets so smashed before the game ever starts, they actually never enjoy the game itself.  I love tailgating, and generally partake in a beverage or three during my tailgate.  But, to get vomit-inducing drunk (looking at you Drew Franklin) doesn’t make sense to me.  Not only does this person never actually remember the game, but they usually act like a jackass during the game.  They don’t know which team to cheer for, and couldn’t see straight enough to know who was winning if they wanted to.  This is the guy or girl who you just had a blast tailgating with, but end up hating by the end of the day because they ruined your game watching experience too.

Second is the person who comes for the tailgate and the tailgate only.  Generally, and not to discriminate, this applies most often to the female sex.  For me, the tailgate is just the preview show for the actual game.  For the ladies, the tailgate is the show itself.  It’s an event for them.  A chance to show off their dresses (and thank you for that) and get blitzed.  But if you quizzed this person on who UK was playing, 75% of them couldn’t even give you the correct conference.  That’s a problem for me, because they wouldn’t even have the opportunity to partake in an event like this without the GAME ITSELF.  At least know which two teams are playing.  If all you want to do is get smashed, then just stay at the frat/sorority/dorm and do that, and let the REAL tailgaters enjoy the pregame and the game. 

3) Blue Hairs 

-Obviously this is a UK-centric fan, but much like most of the fanbase, I can not stand most of our lower section fans at Rupp Arena.  I often thought that part of the reason that those fans never seemed to get out of their seats was because Tubby Smith’s style of play was not very exciting.  But, this season was no different than the rest.  Go back and watch John Wall’s dunk against North Carolina, and you will see parts of the lower section NOT stand after that amazing play.  Those people would argue they paid good money for those seats and they can do what they want.  I would argue they need a good ass kicking.  Why go to sporting events if not to be excited?  Well, the reason in this case is because those seats are a status symbol.  It screams that those people are successful financially, and the game is second.  They simply want to be seen. 

My problem is this: go to any other major college basketball arena (sans North Carolina), and the lower section seats are still reserved for the wealthy.  And yet those fans find a way to get their pampered butts out of the seats during exciting moments of the game.  I have said this before and will say it again:  I FIND IT VERY EMBARRASSING THAT RUPP ARENA HOLDS MORE PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL ARENA YET IS NEVER CONSIDERED A LOUD PLACE TO PLAY.  Camerron Indoor and Allen Fieldhouse are always considered tougher places to play.  And blame rests at one place: the lower section.

4) Sources Fan

-“Did you hear about the problems between Demarcus Cousins and his nephew’s girlfriend?  I am hearing that is affecting his play.”  Everybody knows this person.  The guy who is just a typical goober, working 9-5 at the local warehouse.  Yet somehow, he acts like he knows the ins and outs of the UK program.  Look, I love Beisner like the rest of you, and I respect his opinion, but if he tells me “insider” info about the program, I am more than likely gonna roll my eyes.  Because he is just a newly married father of one who loves the Tampa Rays.  How good can his sense be?  Point being, if you asked me which people I would trust with inside information, the number is 16.  That would be the 12 UK players and the 4 UK coaches.  Beyond that, I am not taking anyone’s opinion of what they think/know is going on with the program with 100% trust. 

Note to all these fans: just because you saw the UK trainer at the bar last weekend, or you know somebody who is in John Calipari’s wife’s book club doesn’t make you an insider.

Article written by Bryan the Intern