Earlier today, I ran an extremely informal poll on Twitter. I asked, “In September, the beginning of football season, which do you as a UK fan care more about: football or basketball?” Here are the results:
First off, let me say this: I get you, KSR readers. I know that on the giant scale of UK sports media, we will always lean a little more toward basketball than football. I also understand why: we’re more successful in basketball. We have a history with it. We’re a “basketball school,” if you will. Screw lullabies — Cawood Ledford sang us to sleep.
Which is why I always feel like I’m betraying my kind in September when I flip into “football mode.” I can’t help it–I’m a football fan. The game, the rat-tat-tat of a snare drum, the tailgating, the beauty of a night game in October in Commonwealth Stadium…I love it all. SEC Media Days got me so excited that I spent a good chunk of my morning searching for a new UK football shirt online. My requisite viewing before the first game of the season? Rudy. On Saturday mornings, I take my eggs with a side of “College Football Gameday,” please.
But, Tyler, you say, we don’t care about football because we’re not good at it. Okay, fine. I know that being a UK football fan is frustrating. And I know you’ll roll your eyes when I say this, but it has gotten better. Good lord, it’s gotten better. My most vivid memories of the Bill Curry era? The “Bill Curry Farewell Tour” t-shirts. Hal Mumme and his air raid siren injected some major excitement into the program, but it turns out all of that was just chicken scratches in the dust. Call me crazy, but I’ve never been so proud of a fat man as I was of Jared Lorenzen. I could watch those silly “Who’s the QB?” CBS clips with him standing next to Florida offensive linemen all day. And sure, most of you may sniff at our “D-list” bowls like the Music City and BBVA Compass, but at least we got to bowls. Trust me, some schools (cough, Vandy) were actually jealous.
I guess what I’m getting to is this: as a football fan, I will take it any way I can. Six wins? That’s fine, just get me to a bowl. Any more is icing on the cake. Would I like more? Of course, but as we long-suffering UK football fans know, that’s not always realistic. Hell, as a Kentucky football fan, I’ve even learned to see the silver lining in just about anything (other team scores? That’s okay, we get the ball back!). Should I feel bad about caring more about football than basketball for the two months in the fall when it has center stage? I think not.
Some of you obviously think otherwise though. So, I ask you: why? Is it that you just love the sport of basketball more than football? You crave hardwood more than turf? Or is it winning you care about?
I don’t like to pit one sport versus the other, especially since it’s pretty obvious with this fan base who would win. But in my heart of hearts, for September and October and yes, part of November, give me six or give me death (no really, Morgan, give me six). Basketball can have me the rest of the year.
How about you? On September 1st, which will you care more about: Kentucky’s game against Western or basketball recruiting? Can you love the two sports equally?