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ESPN gives UK and its record Spring Game crowd some love

Photo by Regina Rickert

Kentucky’s record attendance of 50,831 fans at the Spring Game Saturday definitely opened some of the national media’s eyes to what’s happening with the UK football program. ESPN’s SEC Blog headlines part of their SEC Spring Game roundup with the attendance numbers, which they say is the BBN’s way of showing their approval thus far for Mark Stoops:

Only a few months on the job, Stoops watched as a record 50,831 fans showed up to watch Wildcats’ Blue/White Spring Game inside Commonwealth Stadium Saturday night. Even with all the questions still remaining for this football team, Big Blue Nation clearly likes the change going on under Stoops and came out in full force for the Blue team’s 24-23 win over the White squad.

“Thought it was a great night for the program,” Stoops said. “Really appreciate the fan support, just an unbelievable atmosphere. I thought the players played hard. Made some mistakes, but overall, pretty clean game. So, very excited.”

According to Cats Illustrated’s Ben Jones, UK’s Spring Game attendance was second in the country behind Nebraska, who had 60,000 in the stands.

The sleeping giant is awake.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

29 Comments for ESPN gives UK and its record Spring Game crowd some love

  1. catfandan
    11:24 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Sleeping giant may be a stretch.

  2. Big Mike In the Wood
    11:26 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I had a great time at the Spring Game. Really impressive turnout. Never thought Id see that.

    Side note: Alabama and Florida’s spring game is next weekend I believe

  3. DH
    11:29 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    If the sleeping giant is the fan base, then yes, it has been awakened. As for the team, football is a different beast than basketball. We’re not going to show a ton of improvement in the win column this year (I sure hope I’m wrong…)but it should be much more exciting brand of football to watch. With the progress the coaching staff seems to have made so far, I really hope our fanbase gives them a good 4 years before we judge them on wins and losses. GBB

  4. Cat Fan in Georgia
    11:32 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    That would be “its record”. “Its” is a possessive pronoun. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is”. At least that’s what Sister Blandina told me in 1958.

  5. macsauce13
    11:37 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    They didn’t show us any love at all…On Sunday morning they did a “Top Spring Games” segment where they talked about a bunch of schools that had 20-30k fans. UK and our 50k weren’t even mentioned as a sidebar.

  6. roydillard
    11:43 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    who cares.. mid-oct. we will all be looking forward to basketball season..mark my words..and the next season as well..UK football is cursed just like the cubs in baseball..

  7. caliborne_field
    11:43 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll say it again, we are in the SEC and we are a FOOTBALL school. Yes, we have a really good basketball program and tradition but the bottom line is put a good football product on the field and watch out…

  8. roydillard
    11:44 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    And if the football team does win 8 games probation is the nexst thing to come.. 1976-77 1996-97 tell me im wrong..

  9. roydillard
    11:45 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    We are a football school i wont what ur taking #7

  10. caliborne_field
    11:45 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    6- obviously you care enough to comment.

  11. roydillard
    11:47 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I do care about basketball uk football has broke my heart for 30 years never know it and everybody knows it..

  12. caliborne_field
    11:51 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    What I mean by “a football school” is our athletic department, conference affiliation, fanbase, culture, state, etc. all are all in line to support football to the fullest. Take the spring game for example.

  13. Marketing Idiots
    11:53 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    What strikes me about the turnout to the Blue/White game is the failure of the university to take advantage of a starving fanbase. Yes, we are a BB school but obviously there is a huge opportunity in FB that has not been exploited. I don’t know much about business but it seems to me that in the business world, when there is a strong demand for something you have, you do whatever it takes to meet the demand. Regardless of whether this new regime is successful or not, I think its been demonstrated that the issue is not building a fanbase it’s providing a good product. If you made sponges that didn’t absorb water, what would be the liklihood that people would keep buying your sponges hoping they might, over and over again. UK football has historically sold non-absorbant sponges to us and we keep buying them. If you’ve got a bounch of people who will buy these sponges regardless, imagine how many will buy them if they actually work.

  14. roydillard
    11:53 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I undrestand claiborne..I love football played in college but even if stoops does rebuild uk he would be gone to a “football school”….just like bear bryant..

  15. caliborne_field
    11:53 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I seriously doubt if Stoops starts winning you’ll continue with your broken heart charade

  16. roydillard
    11:55 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    what is that 5 games 8 games what hell if you go 6 and 6 thats a great season at uk..

  17. caliborne_field
    11:55 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Perhaps he goes but maybe not. Again, if he wins at UK, he’ll get the support he needs. The only reason he would leave would be money and I wouldn’t count Mitch out on that…

  18. caliborne_field
    11:57 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    If South Carolina can do it- Kentucky can do it.

  19. roydillard
    12:00 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    the great motto of uk football wait until next year…

  20. Jpo
    12:04 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    1. Stop linking your name to nothing
    2. Stfu sad sack

  21. ThankfulCat
    12:24 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink


    Florida cancelled spring game because of lack of healthy OL.

    25,000 at final practice

  22. roydillard
    12:25 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Go f yourself #20..freedom of speech

  23. RUPPS_rhetoric
    12:34 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that if we have success Stoops will leave. Look at Charlie Strong and Louisville. I would have never imagined UL could keep him away from Tennessee, but they paid him and he stayed. Look at guys like Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart. They’re waiting for THE job. Maybe Stoops would take an Alabama or an Ohio State or a Texas job if it was offered. But if Louisville can keep Strong from the likes of Tennessee, why cant UK keep Stoops from an Ole Miss or Wisconsin or Clemson?

  24. Earache
    12:35 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    What a GREAT day at CWS!

  25. tyson
    1:13 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Once again, i feel like i need to admit i was wrong about the turnout for the spring game. i expected about 25,000, which would still have been a great turnout. the atmosphere was pretty good there. makes me want to make the trip to nashville to watch the WKU game. it will be CRAZY!

  26. STEVE!
    1:27 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Unfortunately, record fan attendance doesn’t equate to record on-the-field performnce. We are making such a big deal out of this that some rival fan base will start a rumor that we are going to raise a banner celebrating being number 2 in the country for Spring Game Attendance. I hope we don’t turn on Stoops if he doesn’t go 8-5 the first season. With what he has to work with, if he wins more than four games, he should be Coach of the Year.

  27. Hey old man
    1:47 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    #22 Roy Dillard can I get your season tickets? Sounds like you’re giving up on these kids and coaches. I on the other hand will show up pumped to all the games.

  28. Brink
    2:58 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    23 Not saying Stoops will go anywhere if he wins here, but Strong stayed at UL because he was scared shitless of playing a SEC schedule. Especially at UT where they will fire you in a heartbeat.

  29. Truth
    9:36 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    What ole’ RoyDillard fails to see–is that if Stoops wins here and gets us to the BCS level (and he’s sure acting like he’s trying with these great Jimmies and Joes he’s grabbing)–there’s no reason for him to jump ship to a “football school” (whatever that means). He’d already be at a school where football is king, in the SEC–and with a fanbase that would stop at nothing to make sure he stays for life. Keep caring about basketball, Roy. UK’s 8 NC’s won’t go away..but when football takes will be the talk year round. Don’t think for a moment it won’t.