1987 A Year of Infamy
Consider if you will the world of 1987. The USSR occupied Afghanistan. Iran and Iraq were at war with each other. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2000 for the first time ever. The Princess Bride (one of the best movies ever) hit theaters. Platoon won best picture. The first episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aired. Pat Cash defeated Ivan Lendl to win Wimbledon and Guns N’ Roses released the superb “Appetite For Destruction”. Aaron Carter, Lil’ Bow Wow, Darren McFadden, Maria Sharapova, (that pic is for you BTI)
Hilary Duff, and…Tim Tebow, were all born in 1987. Andy Warhol, Liberace, and Fred Astaire all died in 1987. In 1987 President Reagan demanded that Gorby, “Tear down this wall”, Florida won game one of a twenty-two game win streak against the Cats, and I was in the second grade for the second time. While I thank you 1987 for giving us Maria Sharapova, I hate you for giving us the losing streak. Yes you gave us a hot tennis player, but what have you done for me lately? I curse you 1987! I despise you. As the French say, “I fart in your general direction”.
Florida’s winning streak, or losing streak as is the case if you are a Kentucky fan, now stands at 22 games. Of course, you already knew that. The television announcers remind you every time they play each other. It’s the proverbial stick it to you statement; the dagger they twist every year, just as CBS twists that dagger every March when they show “that shot” in their NCAA tourney promos.
Which reminds me; I hate Florida. I hate the constant media coverage. I hate Florida’s overall dominance the past three years. I hate their All-American-boy quarterback who is the Tyler Hansbrough of football. “He’s the hardest working player in basket-er football”. I hate that he’s so inspiring to his team. He doesn’t inspire me at all. His hyperbolic speech was so painful it sucked “one year of [my] life away”. I hate that Florida students can wear flip flops on campus year round. I hate that Obama nominated their defensive coordinator for Homeland Security. I hate Gator-ade. I drink Powerade, Kool-Aid, anything else-aid. I hate Florida because I hate Florida. I hate that between football and basketball, Florida has taken four of the last eight national championships. I hate that they have that “swagger”. I hate that Sam Robey grew up in Kentucky and chose Florida over his father’s alma mater. Come on Rick, talk to the kid. I hate that my cousins went to Florida. I hate that Gator flag hanging limply in that window on my jogging route in Ashland. I hate those stupid alligator shaped hats. I hate how that stupid “gator chop” looks like a baby learning to clap. I hate babies because I now associate them with the gator chop. I hate that “damn alligator” that bit Chubs’ hand off, but I love that Chubs tore his eye out. I hate that Urban Meyer left Utah and went to Florida. He should have stayed there and worked at that call center with Teddy Dupay. I hate that Urban Meyer is a disgustingly cunning coach. I hate that this woman stood up on the house floor to pay tribute to Florida (though the video is magnificent in its hilarity). I hate that I can’t rationally come up with some reason why Kentucky should win this game. I hate the David and Goliath comparisons. I want Fezzick and Goliath and I want Fezzick to tear Tim Tebow’s arms off. And while we’re on the subject, I hate hate hate beets. Vile weed!
Saturday’s performance by Tennessee against Florida gave me some hope. Somehow against all my Tennessee hatred, I found myself rooting for Tennessee to win a football game even though they are the essence of evil; sort of like when I just hated Andre the Giant when he wrestled Hulk Hogan, “a real American” who fought “for the rights of every man” in Wrestlemania III (also 1987). But then found myself rooting for the colossal Frenchy against the Six Fingered Man. Funny how Andre the Giant (may he rest in peace) turned out to be quite the decent man, and the Hulkster turned out to be quite the philanderer. But while we’re on Tennessee (whom we will address further in a few weeks) I am reminded of my UCLA fan brother-in-law’s comment that Lane Kiffin is the only guy he knows, “who can talk trash after a loss.” Which got me thinking: I hate Florida.
I want a win over Florida so bad, I don’t even care how we get it. I don’t care if it takes a massive case of swine flu to bring them down. They can use flu in their defense for the next 22 years. I don’t care. I’ll take it.
So what’s it going to take for Kentucky to win on Saturday? It’s going to take a miracle of miracles. Calling down plagues upon the Egyptians, manna from Heaven, and getting water from a stone, all very impressive by Biblical standards, but a Florida defeat would be a new testament indeed. We came so close in that 24-21 decision in 2003. With Florida down by 18 going into the fourth quarter all seemed right, but then God declared to Moses Brooks, “Thou shalt not defeat Florida”. So it was written, so it was done. An entire generation has awaited the second coming of a Kentucky victory over Florida. I have fasted many moons for this one victory, this one glorious apparition of dominance over this our most hated football foe. If Moses can part the Red Sea, surely he can beat Florida. But if old Moses Brooks can’t conjure a miracle, maybe Miracle Max can. I hate you 1987! Oh and that reminds me I hate Florida!