For friends and trolls of Kentucky Sports Radio, we know the above statement to be true by UK wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord. He isn’t the first to say that Kentucky has the greatest fan base on the internet, but I think he may be the first to make the claim exclusively regarding the FOOTBALL fan base at UK. Some of our SEC brethren may laugh at such a suggestion, but I think Mainord is right in his comments to the Courier-Journal about UK’s internet fan base. In terms of activity on social media, message boards, internet poll domination and lively comment sections like the ones we have right here at KSR regarding the football team, I don’t think there is a more active fan base online than the Big Blue Nation.
Here’s what Mainord said:
“A lot of that credit goes to the fan base. We’ve got the greatest fan base in the country on the Internet, via Twitter, Facebook. It’s incredible. I’ve been at other universities. … They just want to be a part of this, and that’s their way of doing it.”
It started out as such a simple thing by @CoachMainordUK to tweet out when the staff landed a big commitment, but it has turned into a Twitter phenomenon. Without the strong presence of Big Blue Nation on Twitter, there’s no way #Yahtzee could have turned into such a big thing that is drawing positive attention and excitement to UK football (and recruits are noticing).
Remember the EA Sports NCAA Football Cover Vote? UK football had no business leading this, but Big Blue Nation somehow was on pace to beat out football powerhouses such as Texas and Ohio State for the top spot on the cover. The vote was getting so out of control in favor of 2-9 Kentucky that EA Sports had to step in and add other categories to judge the teams other than popular vote. There was simply no way they were going to allow a 2-10 team to be on the nationwide cover of their popular video game, but nevertheless, the power of Big Blue Nation’s online presence was on display.
Mark Stoops hasn’t even coached a game yet and didn’t even have a twitter account before coming to Kentucky, but he is already 11th in the country in twitter followers among head coaches. Will Muschamp at Florida is 13th, Mack Brown at Texas is 17th and USC’s Lane Kiffin is 18th. The reason Les Miles and Brian Kelly are more followed is because their followers aren’t as limited to just their own fan bases. They’ve been around as head coaches for a while and have been to BCS Bowls. I follow Les Miles and Brian Kelly on twitter, for example, but I’m not a fan of either LSU or Notre Dame. People who follow Stoops and his staff (his assistants too have a ton of followers) at this point are primarily UK fans. Given the lack of success at UK and Stoops being a rookie head coach, the number of people who follow him and his staff is more impressive than any other coach’s number of followers and it’s a result of the Big Blue Nation.
The perception of the UK fan base is wrong. We care about football as much as anything else, and on the internet, there’s not a stronger fan base. So pat yourselves on the back, UK football fans on the internet.