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Josh Hopkins On the Two Types of UK Fans

Editor’s Note: The picture above is from the night of the national championship on Bourbon Street. As you know, Josh Hopkins occasionally joins us to provide UK fan commentary from a Hollywood perspective. As “Cougartown” gets ready for its TBS debut, Josh lets us know about the two types of UK fans and which one he is.

I am going to tell you something that you already know. Kentucky fans are the best and it isn’t even close. We are unrivaled in our passion and undaunted in our quest to support all things BBN. We take it personally because we bleed it, we tweet it, we travel to show it all over the land. But while our passion is the same, our ways of expressing it are often very different. Actually, expressing it is not the right way to put it. I should say, our ways of “dealing with it” is very different because this isn’t a blog entry about classy fans vs jackasses, the civil or the vs the embarrassing. No, instead this is about the happy go lucky positive fan and the “sky is falling” negative fan. Neither is more admirable than the other and we in the Big Blue Nation have tons of examples of both. Both are equally obsessed with our team and, for the most part, you don’t have a choice as to which fan you are, as it is ingrained in you at birth. In my life the two archetypes of this UK fan dichotomy are two sets of brothers; The Robertsons and The Powells.

The OPTIMISTS: Scotty and Manny Robertson are at every game. They travel. They cheer,holler and yell at the ref and read KSR twenty times a day. They are hardcore to the core. If we have a big game against a tough team I may call and ask how they feel and inevitably it’s the same. “I feel great. We’ve got this. No way we lose. They shouldn’t be on the court with us.” It’s not a ruse either, they really think that way. Kentucky’s the best, not just at basketball, but at everything. We won’t lose. It’s all skittles and rainbows and unicorns. I get off the phone thinking, “man, it’d be fun to live where you live”.

On the other hand there’s the GLOOM AND DOOM Powell brothers, Huston and Griggs. They are big blue lifers that bleed it 24/7 and wear it on their sleeves. Check KSR twenty times a day. Maniacs. If we have a game, I don’t need to call and get their opinions because they’ve both called me ten times with the same pessimistic message. “I have a bad feeling about this. We can’t score. They’re stronger than us. I can’t sleep”. They don’t mean to be so negative but that’s how they were built. They live in a world of angst and fear. I get off the phone thinking, “Good Lord man, cheer up, you are exhausting”.

I love all four of them. I need them. We’ve been doing this dance for thirty years and it’s part of my big game ritual. I need to hear both sides. I need to talk it through because, truthfully, I skew much more Powell than Robertson. If Manny is a one, Scotty a two and Griggs a nine with Huston a ten I probably fall in at about a seven. Mine is a world of tension and worry. When I See 859 pop up on my phone my mind goes immediately to torn ACL’s and potential DUI’s. I periodically panic at the possibility of transfers when I perceive a kid isn’t happy. When I read one of our recruits is visiting another school I’m haunted by visions of the hottest coeds fawning over him, “He Got Game” style (I immediately want to say, “we have hot women too!!!”). I panic when I see one of our players’ tweets from Tolly Ho comes in too late at night. Get to bed!

Because of my worrying tendencies, even the best UK moments can be hard to get through. 1996 and 2012 were torture for me. Don’t get me wrong, they were the best years of my life but the pressure of being the best and fearing the one game scenario was brutal. Ulcer years. The came 98, which was a great feeling as we won and maybe weren’t the best team. It was all cinnamon and gravy. And while the arrival of Cal has helped immensely I still can’t shake that 2010 West Virginia 2-2-1 zone where we go ice cold 4 for 32 from three point and that damn Mazzula kid…

I digress. Anyway, I’m trying to be better. I am trying to learn to breathe, to smell the flowers if you will. Its a process but I’m learning and growing as a fan. So, a little advice, whatever fan you are, Robertson or Powell, try and enjoy this team in particular. They are so fun to watch and so very young. They will grow every game and trust me, they are also great kids that make it easy to cheer for them. Deal how you’re going to deal, whether in a Robertson or Powell way, but be sure and take a deep breath and enjoy. This team will be fun and next year will be even better.

Admit it, there’s nothing better than being a UK fan.

Article written by Josh Hopkins

41 Comments for Josh Hopkins On the Two Types of UK Fans

  1. UK
    10:05 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, great stuff from Mr. Hopkins. That should put everything into perspective for us all.

  2. SuperTroy
    10:07 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Damn. I am the same way. “Nervous Nellie.” It’s tough loving something so much. This year I had impossible standards for this team, so it’s gonna be rough for me. It’s tough being a UK fan.

  3. KC
    10:09 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    On the Robertson-Powell scale, I am little closer to Powell.

  4. Kelly
    10:09 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Enjoy this run while Cal is here. We may never have this kind of run again. Cal very well may be this generations Rupp.

  5. Experience
    10:14 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I like my team.

  6. Krispy Kreme
    10:20 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    If I had Zeller’s nose full of quarters I’d never have to work another day in my life.

  7. Cpacat
    10:20 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I used to trend 7-8 Powell, (lost a lot of sleep after the 93 loss to Michigan!) but a few years in the USAF away from Kentucky helped me back away from it a bit and calm down a bit (age may have had something to do with it too, but I will deny that). Since Al Gore hadn’t invented (public) access to the Internet yet, it was much harder to follow then. Now I am a safe, happy 5. Nervous as hell during the game, estatic when we win, but not sick to my stomach any more when we lose!! (Except for maybe the WVU game!!)

  8. Kelly
    10:21 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I tend to lean more Robertson.

  9. kymash
    10:22 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Admitted, it is great!! Thanks for the post, Josh!

  10. Kelly
    10:24 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    The Gillespie era made me appreciate what we have now. When Pitino was here I took for granted what we had.

  11. Cowboy
    10:25 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    True Dat..

  12. I can’t believe I’m reading a post from the guy from “CougarTown” and the banner add from the Mail-Order Cougar website didn’t even pop up on the side.

  13. Hal
    10:33 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    those who put UK fans into 2 categories and those who dont

  14. bluezzzzz
    10:36 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Great post, Josh.

  15. Hal
    10:36 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    IU isnt comfortable tonight without peter jurkin on the bench

  16. new coach!
    10:40 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    love BBN!

  17. Dookie V
    10:42 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    I salivate over Peter Jurkin!

  18. kentuckyjoe
    10:42 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Relax and enjoy the ride Josh; we’re winning the NCAA championship this year. And I agree with Kelly above; Cal is this generation’s Rupp. Another one like him will never come along again.

  19. @jhighley4uk
    10:46 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    lmao,he hit the nail on the head with that.i would fall under robertson category.

  20. Jon
    10:53 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Just heard Ryan cut his flattop! guys that what was making him weak it was weighing Him down. Now it is gone he is fine and as Healthy as ever . It’s a miracle lol.

  21. Kelly
    10:55 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    By the way Go Chaminade!

  22. Some Guy in Kentucky
    11:01 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Would someone let DickyV know that UK was willing to play IU 2 games in Indy, and IU turned it down because it was to far for their fans to travel.

  23. UKBlue
    11:04 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    Hopkins never fails to bring it; this kid can write.

  24. Hh
    11:12 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink

    He he

  25. Theory
    11:20 pm November 20, 2012 Permalink


  26. Dude
    12:16 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Ha 24 that kid is > 40yrs old dude.

  27. KSR Fan
    5:29 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’m with the gloom and doom side for sure….always nervous we’re going to lose. I need a 30 point lead to feel comfortable, and I can’t even watch when it’s close!

  28. Bout Time
    6:12 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Man, I was starting to worry that you had fallen off the blog map, Josh. I was thinking about writing the crew and telling them to put you back to work. C’mon man, once a week whether we need it or not!

  29. catsinfla
    7:11 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Haha. Great post. Wasn’t WVU’s zone a 1-3-1, though? That’s how my nightmares replay it, at least.

  30. DrJason
    7:56 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Team Robertson

  31. Dee
    8:04 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    7. OMG….I have the same story….after a few years overseas in the USAF….I have a much different look at the Cayts….

  32. Big Whoop
    8:06 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Great post! I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. At the age of 67, I’ve seen a lot of UK basketball and had lower level seats (inherited) at Rupp. One thing I’ve learned is that I am fairly confident going into each game and don’t usually start worrying until about the 10 minute mark of the second half. With five minutes to go, I always believe we are going to win if the game is close because I’ve seen the Cats pull it out miracously in so many ways over the years. At the three minute mark, I begin to have doubt and become a Nervous Nellie. Our ability to hit shots is the driving factor for me. That WVU game was a nightmare for me. Losing to Indiana insulted me because of the way IU’s fans behaved in the aftermath. I expect that from UL fans, but didn’t from the IU fans. I thought they should’ve had more self-esteem.

    I always appreciated the job that Hall did considering he had to follow a true legend. The Sutton and Gillespie years were the most painful in my UK Basketball life. I disliked Pitino’s BS personality so much I sold my tickets while he was at UK, but watched the Cats on TV. With Cal at the helm, I’m sorry I gave up my ticket rights when I moved to Florida. So go the days of our lives as UK fans.

  33. Better
    8:21 am November 21, 2012 Permalink


  34. Topical Pseudonym
    8:38 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    As someone who is also a Bengals fan, I’m definitely in the Powell camp

  35. Drew
    8:54 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    WVU played a 1-3-1.

  36. BigBlueBear
    9:11 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    So… as soon as all of the Blue hairs die we’re going to rename Rupp after Cal right? Oh come on dammit, i’m not the only one thinking it.

  37. Joe
    9:20 am November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Good post, just a little long

  38. beezer
    1:07 pm November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Great post. Definitely in the Powell camp. Hell, during the UL final four game I actually passed out from nervousness. I came back to it quickly and I sure as hell wasn’t going to leave the game as I was sitting 3 rows behind Jay-Z due to getting tickets from a pretty famous person in the New Orleans sports scene.

    This year i’ve been feeling Jimmy Dykesish because we are playing with house money because of last year’s title but now the Harrow news today has me right back in anxiety mode.

  39. Huston
    4:22 pm November 21, 2012 Permalink

    This post by Josh just jinxed the whole season. Coach K has his hooks in the Dominican kid and we have over-recruited and have no shot at Wiggins. Goodwin never signed up to play the point and Jeffrey Taylor is starting to get MKG’s minutes. Has anyone actually seen the Harrison’s signed letter? Help!!

  40. LoganBleedsBlue
    5:49 pm November 21, 2012 Permalink

    Josh I really enjoy reading your posts. I just wish you would write on this site more often.