Saturday’s loss was the last one that will break my spirits. It was the last time I walked out of Kroger Field with my heart ripped to shreds. From now on, my expectations for Kentucky football in big games will be lower than the Cats’ win percentage against the Gators.
I’ll continue to be a fan — that’ll never change — but you won’t catch me getting too excited before any of the so-called “program-changing” games. I’ll simply expect a loss, because that is all I’ve ever seen when I get my hopes up for something special.
I’m afraid I’m not alone, too. This feeling is probably pretty common around Big Blue Nation right now. We get fired up and we get excited and we spend the entire week saying “THIS IS THE YEAR,” but it’s not the year. It’s never been the year and it may never be the year when it comes to the Florida game. I’m not even sure Kentucky has won ANY of its big games when there is so much excitement and so much to gain. The best wins are the wins that come unexpectedly (see Roark, Matt); but when we go in with plans to storm the field or do something exceptional, we leave with our heads down in defeat.
And it sucks.
Being a Kentucky football fan is a lot like being a boxer who keeps getting knocked down, but climbs back up only to be knocked down again. This time, however, we are down for the count. Throw in the towel. Stop the fight. There’s no energy left to grab the ropes and pull ourselves back up to take another punch. Leave us lying here on the mat in the puddle of our own sweat and blood. We’re knocked out this time.
The good news is the season will go on and there are still plenty of opportunities for it to be a great year for the Cats — and I hope it will. All most of us wanted through four weeks was to be 3-1, and that’s what the record says as of today.
But these big home games, I’m done getting so emotionally invested in them. I can’t do it anymore. Kentucky football is going to be the death of me if I do.