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Our Football team is Living in our Basketball Team’s Shadow

Since winning the national championship, Kentucky has been getting a lot of media exposure. The national media hone in on Kentucky because we are a loyal fan base and give ratings that other schools wouldn’t. Everyone knows that Kentucky is a basketball school. It’s the program that’s been most successful and the one that Kentucky fans are most loyal to. Because the majority of Kentucky fans are more passionate about hoops, the media and other teams put our football team in our basketball team’s shadow. Football has always taken a backseat to our basketball program. Coach Bear Bryant even left Kentucky because he knew the football team would never be as successful as it could be, because it would always be competing against the basketball team. Yes, as Kentucky fans we care a lot about basketball, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care about our football team’s performance or their success. Just take a look at message boards and tweets from yesterday’s game and it is evident that Kentucky fans care how our football team is performing.

The media make it nationally known that football takes a backseat to basketball in the Bluegrass. While this may be true, it alludes to the fan base not caring at all about our football team which isn’t the case. By the national media making it seem like Kentucky’s own fans don’t care about our football program, it makes the Kentucky football team look like a joke to other fans and schools. Just look at the comments from newspapers and journalists over the past few weeks and yesterday’s game:

From My San Antonio News:

It’s not really nice to say that basketball is Kentucky’s best football tradition, even if that might be true.

From Dick Vitale during yesterdays game:

These are just a few examples of many. While we are all counting down the hours to hoops season, that doesn’t mean that we don’t think our football team and their performance and success is insignificant. The only way for the football team to get out of the basketball team’s shadow is by winning and becoming a top contender in SEC football, which isn’t going to happen. Like it or not, Kentucky will always be a basketball school and football will always be in their shadow. It’s not fair for the coaches, players, and supporters who invest a lot in the football program, but that’s just the way it is.


From‘s Tara Bilby

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56 Comments for Our Football team is Living in our Basketball Team’s Shadow

  1. DebbieCat
    3:21 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    That is a silly opinion. We are not destined to have terrible football. Live a bit more and you will realize that things can and do change in life with effort and good decision making. If all programs of any sport thought the way you do they would never change their original station in life. Whoever thought Oregon or Boise State would be in a discussion about football. Grow up and strive for better!

  2. team hoops
    3:22 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    you tell em dickie v, true for me!

  3. JayCee
    3:25 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Well, this mentality is just silly.

    When has anyone ever gotten a free 6.5oz soft drink and a half-priced hotdog at Rupp Arena just for showing up?

    Never! That’s when. CWS keeps me fed on the cheap. Basketball season means paying full price for fructose and nitrates.

  4. MrG
    3:25 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is bullshit. We love football and we love basketball. If the team didn’t suck, we’d be just as crazy about football as we are about hoops. Personally, I prefer football but the product my alma mater is putting on the field is just too awful for me to justify buying tickets anymore. This is a shitty article written by someone that has no idea about he’s talking about! Give us a winning program and there’ll be a season ticket waiting list again.

  5. lambinated
    3:25 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Now I know this may be beyond the journalism capabilities of the KSRCollege “staff,” even 5-6 years ago to where we were at least making good games of our matchups against the SEC elite, winning enough games to go to and win a mid-tier bowl. I can’t speak for the rest of the fans on this site, but if we were able to consistently put up an effort like that, I’d be extremely pleased with our team. The absolute worst thing we can do is to make excuses and rationalize why we’re always going to be a bad football team, where instead we should be evaluating and addressing our glaring deficiencies (starting with the HC) to get our program moving in the right direction. I mean, if VANDERBILT can make a commitment to football and produce results, why can’t we? UK is literally fleecing the revenue sharing setup of the SEC by taking an equal share of the profits while putting no effort or resources towards improving the currently pathetic excuse for a team we saw on the field yesterday.

  6. Katdaddy
    3:26 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you, my point made!

  7. rich brooks tomato
    3:28 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    The administration at UK doesn’t care about our football program. They only use the money from it to fund ALL of the other programs at UK. My hope would be that the Super loyal fans continue to not buy season tickets until the administration shows an interest in improving our football program. Our fans love UK football, the administration, not so much.

  8. yep
    3:28 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is a bunch of bull. Look throughout the years of a below average team and look at the fans that still support the football team. If the team gets this much support when they suck, imagine what they would get if we were a top ten team.

  9. NO Excuses
    3:29 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink


    Who cares about “football school” / “basketball school?”

    Joker makes a damn million dollars a year – he should have some pride.

    Let Cal fire Mitch and Joker – Cal could show up 30 minutes before the (football) game – and coach the team to more success than Joker. Believe that!

  10. Katdaddy
    3:31 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Never be more than mediocre!

  11. JayCee
    3:32 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    5- it isn’t exactly a true fleecing. UK gets paid that SEC money to be a win on 8 other SEC schedules… mainly on the schedules of SEC champ/NC favorites.

    UK is the pay-for-win in the conference schedule that doesn’t land such a hard blow to their SOS. UK is the prostitute of SEC football… and they’re obviously okay with that role.

  12. Katdaddy
    3:34 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    You guys need some ACCEPTANCE in your life.

  13. rich brooks tomato
    3:36 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    If this is the way Mitch views our football program, then why doesn’t he just come out and say that UK football will ALWAYS be “second fiddle”? That way our fans wouldn’t have to get all tore up over losing and just buy parking passes and tailgate instead of watching and hoping to become an actual contender in football.

  14. MHFaulkner
    3:37 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Why accept it?

    We have money. We have a stadium that fills up to watch a terrible team. Why can’t we have two good programs?

    Florida could and did.

    Are you trying to claim that UF is a better athletic program?

  15. the sun shines
    3:38 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    The “we don’t care about it anyways” attitude is something Louisville fans would do. We are better than that (ugh, why did I just quote our coach).

  16. lonnieb
    3:39 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky can be both…….there are many schools that do both very well. Ohio state is a football school with a very strong basketball program every year, same with the gators. Mich is very good at both. I do not care if our football team is in a national title run every year but sneaking in and out of top 25 is not too much to ask…… Give me a team that always beats the scrubs and beats a powerhouse occasionally is fine. The problem is not the fans. Im 32 years old and have been going since undergrad to games( bout 12 years). I do not have season tickets but go regularly. Last season was the first time I felt that the fans failed to show up in full force consistently. The crazy thing is that football continues to be the primary revenue driver. People would rather go to a football game and tailgate. I personally would rather watch hoops on my bad ass TV. Football is way better live though. I think most passionate fans know that football makes the most money and we feel cheated when they will pay cal millions and try to bull shit a football coach, when in all actuality football is the program that brings home the bread

  17. JayCee
    3:39 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    13- B/c if he did that, he’d have to admit that UK is charging too much for tickets.

    These people are paying more money now to see a lesser product than than they paid to see what Brooks produced (which was a better product). If you let the cat out of the bag, people are going to get pretty upset with ole Mitch.

  18. Kj
    3:40 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    STFU it’s in it’s shadow because of the UKAA & numnuts like you & KSR that continue this BS hoops only mentality but I’ve got a feeling that is about to change be afraid be very afraid numnut change is a coming.

  19. JRupp
    3:59 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This post is totally baseless schlock. And as bonus, it’s all clumped together as three paragraphs when it should be at least six. Great stuff, Jones.

  20. Opti
    4:04 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Is the reason fans are so upset at Barnhart & Phillips because they don’t care OR is it because tens of thousands of UK fans are mad as he!! and don’t want to take it any more? Is it because only basketball matters?…that admittedly is true for many. I would suggest though that there are tens of thousands of fans that would love to fill up Commonwealth every week and financially support the program if only the UK administration would show a fraction of the commitment to football that they have already demonstrated for 50+ years. When the UK administration shows they want the team to be competitive…the fans will be back in droves.

  21. rich brooks tomato
    4:06 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    16- Great Post!! My sentiments exactly. We need to find the football equivalent of Thad Matta or Billy Donovan. We have a GREAT fan base that would definitely support UK football bigger and better IF the administration did the same. I hope that the outcry is finally here for the improvement of UK football!!

  22. Ukgrad2004
    4:09 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    What a crummy article. How old are you? 19? If you are a female and hot, I will cut you some slack. But still, you are very short-sighted with your opinion. Wisconsin, Kansas State, Boise State, and Oregon, along with quite a few other programs, have all risen from mediocrity and become solid football teams. With the right leadership, UK could do the same.

  23. DCF
    4:12 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    “UK is the prostitute of SEC football… and they’re obviously okay with that role.” – #11

    Well put. Very true statement here. We are the SEC’s $20 dollar whore. Why would the administration at UK want to change that? UK football is still profitable, and as long as it creates enough profit to help fund all other other athletic programs then we will likely not see a change. We suck, and as long as our short sided administration allows this garbage to happen, we will continue to suck. Do we have good players? yes, we have some young guys that are pretty good football players. BUT they are smaller, shorter, weaker, or slower than their SEC counterparts. Joker has to go, and we need someone to enter that gets people excited and play a system that will attract players from all over

  24. ThatsAShame
    4:12 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    If the number of comments posted is in any way related to website hits then KSR actually does better after a loss than a win. UK fans (as I am) are hilarious as we will complain up a storm after any loss be it basketball or football.
    Football losses – Joker stinks. We can’t compete. Why can’t they hire a better coach?
    Basketball losses (or wins) – Call is not playing the bench enough. Ref’s stink. Why can’t we defend the 3?

    I don’t really have a point other than most media outlets get more visits from upset fans than content fans.

  25. Bryan
    4:23 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    I love both b’ball and football, and want to see both succeed. However, listen to a Joker presser then listen to a Cal presser and see which one gets you more excited.

  26. Dave in Bangkok
    4:28 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    There are a number of examples of schools that changed their dynamic.

    #1 Florida Basketball

    #2 Virginia Tech Football

    #3 Boise State Football

    There are schools that have tradition in both major sports.


    Michigan State

    Ohio State


    Did Florida not win both the BCS Championship and the National Title in the same year???

    Just because you’re 12 and a half doesn’t mean that you can’t do a little research before you opine.

    I mean…you can…but then you just look uninformed or a bit on the moronic side.

  27. big law
    4:29 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Years ago, around Coach Brook’s first season, a commentator to one of our games said, “Kentucky fans are dying to have a great football program.” He also went on to say that all of the ingredients of a great program are there (i.e. fan base, money, stadium capacity, recruiting base,etc.) everything except the main ingredient of a relevant football team. We have a great basketball team, why shouldn’t we expect a great football team? What has to happen for us to have our cake and eat it too?

  28. Dave in Bangkok
    4:30 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    But I certainly won’t give a damn about Kentucky Football until there is a change in leadership. UKAA doesn’t give a damn about Football. That much is evident. I’m not subsidizing a losing tradition.

  29. lippet
    4:33 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    a couple years with petrino and you fools would see how just much of a football state and team could be established here. with no pro teams close by fans are dying for a team to root for. just a few yrs back ky basketball was a laughing stock also that couldnt get a recruit. just took the right guy to change it overnight!

  30. Hey Dukie V
    4:34 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’m counting the hours down until u clock out old G

  31. BlueFins
    4:42 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe the attitude and the perception would change if the money was spent on the football program. Until the university and the fund raisers decide to make it a priority things will never change.

  32. jpgott2
    4:46 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is the Biggest crock of crap I have ever read!!!! The 1 thing UK football has is a fan-base!! During the 2nd half of the Brooks Era, where UK went to 5 straight bowls, UK was packing Commonwealth just because we were remotely COMPETITIVE with the top of the SEC.

    The reason people/media always say we fans only care about basketball, is because we are one of the top programs in the country in that aspect, while our football team struggles to create a product worthy of putting on a football field, even with the momentum of Brooks.

    The only reason UL is making strides is because they can get wins by not having to play anyone, and running through the pathetic Big East. Coaches go there to get career momentum (by winning and going to the Orange Bowl), and then move on.

    Vandy, Boise St, and a host of other schools are making waves because there administration decided to go after it. That is the simple truth! They get a coach that turns out to be dynamic, and they run with it! UK’s problem is not its fan-base or even its talent (necessarily). Its the fact that our current coaches can’t DEVELOP the talent we are getting! Look at Vandy, and what Franklin has done with a ton of 2-stars under his wings (Yep, UK has better talent, although not for long)!

  33. Mike
    4:46 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Just listening to 104.5 (sports zone)in Nashville and they are interviewing Willie Taggart at this time. They pick WKU to come in and beat us. I would guess there are a lot of BBN that would be o.k. with that as well as long as it would expedite Choker out of town. Would I trade Phillips for Taggart???…in a heartbeat.

  34. Big J
    4:52 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    If Barnhart does not make a coaching change now we will lose all hope of a good recruiting class for next year. The new coach could start the recruiting process and may convince some of the in State talent to come to Lexington. If he allows joker to stay the entire year it sets us back 2 more miserable years. Come on Mitch do the right thing for the University and BBN.

  35. jpgott2
    4:53 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    24. Most websites get hits by being controversial , and making statements that fans of a particular entity will defend or attack. Look at how wrote 3 or straight articles during basketballs dead time about who they perceive to be a cheater, bender of rules, overrated coach/underrated coaches, etc. They did it to get hits on their page. They could have written about the UNC academic scandal, or the Shabazz/UCLA story, but that would not have gotten the attention that Cal brings.

    It is called money, and everything in life is driven by it.

  36. FullDisclosureCat
    4:56 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Since so many card fans seem to have found their way here to attempt to spew venom, and for the sake of full disclosure, the overall record for football & basketball between the 2 schools over the last 12 games is
    UK — 8
    UL — 4
    The Cats suck in football AND WE KNOW IT. So save your trash talking for someone who doesn’t think worse of their football team than the UK fans do of ours. It could be worse. We could suck at bball too. Unfortunately for the cards we do not.

    John Calipari and the Cats are thinking “it is unfortunate that quick trick rick and the 15 seconds of fame cards are ONLY on the basketball schedule once this year”.


  37. David
    5:00 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    I saw a lot of good things in Max Smith and the offense and some things on defense that need improvement. Not sure who’s quote this is and Im paraphrasing but it sums up my thinking about the football Cats and life in general. “I’d rather believe in my team and be disappointed than be cynical and correct”. Long season ahead. GO CAYTS!!!!!!!!

  38. Mike
    5:02 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    35. Big J….was thinking the same thing. How many recruits did we lose with yesterday’s performance, and the list will grow as the season goes on. Joker continues to expose his ineptitude to the FB nation and these possible commits have got to be talking and turning their interest elsewhere.

  39. njCat
    5:05 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Typical observations of people that haven’t a clue about what they’re talking about. KY fans will support a winning football program at just as high a level as they do a winning bball team. Like others have pointed out.. there’s no other game in town. So put a winning team on the field and the fans will support it.

    And don’t say it can’t happen at UK. Besides all the examples pointed out in this thread, while I in school we won a national championship in bball and had a top 10 football team (74-78).

    Fact is, the administration is more interested in making excuses than they are in building a competitive program. And by a competitive program, I’m talking about a program like Arkansas, Georgia, MSU or USC. It doesn’t have to be in the running for SEC or national championships every year to get the fans excited.

    Right now, the program is simply an embarrasment, and not worthy of ANY support.

    My advice, boycott until changes are made. If the money dries up for all the other programs, change will happen MUCH sooner.

  40. TampaCat
    6:03 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    I remember the Fran Curci years! I know they were not the best off the field but the guy can sure and the hell coach. Where’s Fran these days?

    6:41 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    But…but…wez intha $EC!!! Next to LAST,but in tha $EC!!

  42. Yabba Do
    6:44 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This article isn’t anywhere near accurate. UK fans badly want to win in football. We took 40,000 fans to the Outback Bowl back in the 90’s. If we could build a team like Bama, our fan support would rival theirs. Our basketball-centric leadership needs to be overhauled.

  43. jill
    6:46 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    #37…really…it’s football season…why don’t you throw archery in there too….why can’t football team stand on it’s own…I thought we were little brother…your comment tell’s me who the lil brother really is…

  44. Roll Tide
    6:55 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    This article is BS! I have missed 2 football games in 38 years!
    I am a big fan of both sports .

  45. kramer
    7:42 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    I am a fan of the University of Kentucky, not just a basketball fan. One of the most fun times, besides last year basketball, was a few years ago when the football team beat LSU and had Gameday come to UK for FOOTBALL!!! To me the ideal would be to be good in both, sure its not going to happen every year but,every now and then would be great!!!

  46. NostraDanis
    8:10 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    In a nutshell, Tara, you and those who share your lazy opinion are the actual problem. As long as there are enough “fans” and media to promote your position, the UK powers-that-be can continue the status quo. That is, until enough people dress as empty seats to force change.

    I’m not sure how this counter-productive and rather poorly-written piece supports KSR’s mission.

  47. markp
    8:19 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Loser talk, that’s all this is. I don’t care what Dick Vitale thinks about this. Let’s work on being great at football, too.

  48. BigCat
    8:22 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    #44 your comments tell us who the big bitch is…you!!

  49. BigCat
    8:23 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    No #42, youz iz in da welfare line…

  50. jill
    8:44 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    #49- no your bitch is…32-14 and the opposing team pulling the reigns in not to embarrass Uk any more. Could have and should have have put another 20+up…

  51. Doug
    8:54 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    No one cares about football in Kentucky. People are counting the days til Midnight Madness and practice in Mid-October. I’m as big a Kentucky fan as anyone, but I knew they would be destroyed yesterday. I ended up watching the Cincinnati Reds make a spectacular comeback against the ‘Stros rather than the UK-UL game, at least until the 3rd quarter when the Reds game was over. With top notch basketball and MLB in this area, there just isn’t any oxygen available for any football.

  52. catfan
    9:23 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    #49 I’m sorry I meant to say you are also a c*nt. I might even through in a nasty skank…does that sound better?

  53. jill
    9:27 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Wow busting your own fans #49…

  54. Truth
    9:43 pm September 3, 2012 Permalink

    Is it any surprise that this article was written by a chick? Anyone who would rather win in basketball THAN football is obviously missing something between the thighs. Until we take football seriously, get an administration that cares, ship all the menstruating basketball-only fans off to Siberia, we have nothing to pound our chests about all year. It started with President Donovan back in the 1950’s. He did everything to piss off Bryant. I’m going to find his grave and pee on it.

    Do yourself and watch this video, and tell me this university is the poster child for dumbass choices:


  55. bluebloodtoo
    2:57 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    So if our defense is that crappy, how can our offense get better in practice? Seems like a tough situation. If first team Defense and offense scrimmage together, you can only be as good as your weakest link….