Let me start by saying that in the world UK basketball consider myself a realist. From what I have gathered reading and listening to fans comments, there are three brands of UK basketball fans these days:
First, there are the eternal optimists who constantly quote Tubby’s winning percentage since he arrived at UK. Every year they rave about the GREAT freshman class that just arrived on campus and how they are going to lead us back to the top. These same fans always seem to have an excuse before every game we might lose and after every game we fall short in. The also talk about how we have to wait until the end of the season to judge a team and then promptly say we have to wait until next season to judge tubby. Often times, as in my good friend the Road Dog’s case, as soon as I raise any question in regards to the basketball program they then get huffy and ask, “why don’t we fire all of our head coaches who don’t win national titles every year”. This is the eternal optimist UK basketball fan. Frankly I feel sorry for this classification of fans.
Then we have the negative Nancy’s (No, not Lace Market’s mom). These UK fans look for every excuse to FIRE TUBBY NOW. They complained after the Miami of Ohio win and said, “we should have won by more”. In my experience you find these fans outside of Man O’ War BLVD in the rural parts Kentucky. They point to the glory years of three straight national title games and a seemingly endless stream of Final Fours. They say Tubby’s “system” is why we don’t get every McD’s All American how we need to bring in [insert hot young coach’s name here] to rite the ship. These fans are the ones who boo at games; they are the fans who say that Tubby doesn’t want to win because he can’t handle the pressure. The Negative Nancy’s love to point out that Tubby won with Rick’s players and he hasn’t done “a damn thing since.” They talk about the tail spin our program is in and seem to be on the verge of jumping off of a cliff after every UK loss and find something to complain about after every win. Ladies and gentlemen, the Negative Nancy’s.
Now the category I fall into. I consider myself a “realist” UK basketball fan. The realist fan is the UK fan who often over analyzes the state of the UK basketball program. We often get frustrated with individual occurrences during a game and try to justify why a player or a coach made that decision. We generally don’t want to make drastic changes because we realize that just two years ago we were a foul call away from the final four. Deep inside though, we see that the caliber of player that puts on a UK basketball uniform isn’t quite what it used to be. We also realize that our assistant coaches are probably not the caliber of what they once were. We don’t see the ship sinking but also acknowledge that we are probably not going to win a conference title this year and can’t see a final four in the next two unless we sign a dynamite class and Randolph Morris doesn’t chase the money to the NBA. We tend to try and not blame Tubby for our recent down turn in success and often say we need to take a look at the entire staff and see where changes can be made to increase effort and talent. Meet the “realist” UK fan.
Which one are you?
So, now you know a little about myself. In the coming weeks you’ll hear me break down some X’s and O’s on the football field where I played and coached and I will probably talk a lot about how Tubby needs to take a look in the mirror and perhaps make some changes. All in all I think we’ll have a good time and I hope you enjoy.