Ticket sales are down 27%. The fan base is showing their disgruntlement vocally, as well as with their actions– many lifelong or longtime season ticket holders forgoing their renewal this year. The blame can be, and has been, projected in a number of directions by a number of different people. Some will be quick to blame the product on the field for the negativity surrounding the program. Others have pointed the finger away from the staff and players, instead calling the fans to action to show support for the players by filling the stands and staying behind the team. I’m not here to argue about which direction fingers should be pointed, or if fingers should even be pointed at all. I’m here with one simple suggestion: We need more Jeremy Jarmon.
Jeremy Jarmon came on the KSR radio show a few weeks ago and literally pumped the airwaves with enthusiasm, excitement and a sense of hope. And even more so, Jarmon injected his intense pride for the program, a program he has poured sweat and time into. Jarmon did the impossible for me personally– he got me “on the edge of my seat” levels of ready for the football season. I am generally a casual Kentucky football fan. My expectations never reach too high or stoop too low. I teeter somewhere right in the middle. But Jeremy Jarmon had my blood pumping thinking about Kentucky football. Was I blinded by his words? Did I automatically assume that everything he was saying was to be taken as truth? Did I feel like we were going to go out and shock the world by winning the SEC title? No. No. And absolutely not. But his genuine passion when speaking about the program, and speaking to the fans–yes he was speaking without question to the fan base– was inspiring and killed any sense of ambivalence I had about the football season. I was fully prepared to gently fall right into the Saturday tailgate scene, with my once again “in the middle” frame of mind about Kentucky football. Jeremy Jarmon pushed me past the middle. He made me really care. He made me feel ready for whatever it is that is to come. And I mean whatever.
I’m not saying we all have to jump on the train full steam ahead and start believing this team is going to contend for a title. If you want to, by all means–do so. If you still want to hold tempered expectations, and rightfully so– by all means, do. But a well-spoken, well-informed, passionate and excited football voice such as that of Jeremy Jarmon can only do good things moving forward. Why not put him out there even more? I’m not entirely sure what his new position entitles him to do when it comes to football and speaking engagements, but I’d be letting more of his voice be heard. If he can even inspire a handful of people on the fence (such as me), or even better– a few who have fallen off the fence or might soon fall off the fence–why not let him give it a shot?
The more Jeremy Jarmon in the media, the better if you ask me. A guy like him, with his passion and emotions, simply can’t do anything but help.
In fact, Jarmon was interviewed by Larry Vaught today and was asked a question about the potential role of speaking out to the public and spreading the word about Kentucky football:
“That is something pending the direction they see me going. That is something I can’t rule out if they want to use me in that kind of role. It is something I would definitely embrace. For the time being, I am just doing the things they ask me to do and if and when the opportunity presents itself, I will take it.”