After last season’s massive disappointment of a football season, many fans have lost hope in the Mark Stoops era of Kentucky football. Season ticket holders are hesitant to renew next year and a strong decline in fan attendance is almost a certainty, after leading the SEC in attendance increase in 2015.
But through all of the negativity surrounding his team, Stoops still plans to deliver on his promise to make Kentucky a winning football program.
In his final message to Big Blue Nation this morning, he told KSR listeners he will deliver, and hopes you won’t give up on him before he does:
I want to deliver. I said that from day one. I want to deliver for these people that have been sitting here for 62 years, ready to have a consistent winner. We’re going to get that done. Believe me, come hell or high water, we’re going to get that done.
It takes time. I’m not making excuses. But I also said that when I got here that it’s going to take a lot of people. It’s going to take a commitment from a lot of people for a long time. That’s how you get it.
Do you think that these people in the SEC have been supporting their teams, and pumping millions of dollars, and attending their games for a long, long time? Do you? Okay, well that is what we need.
I get it and I also get that they’ve been doing that. I get also it’s very hard to go to a football game. It’s expensive. It’s crowded. You know, the parking issues we had to deal with this year and the change and all that stuff. I get it. It’s a big commitment. It’s not like getting in and out of there or anything. It’s an all day event, with the tailgating and all that, and you want to deliver for these people, believe me. So I feel it.
So what I’m going to say to them — again, when I got here I said it was going to take a big commitment from a lot of people. We’re getting that. We’re getting that commitment. Just because we got the stadium renovated, it doesn’t mean: ‘boom’ we can flip a switch and I can wave a magic wand and we’re going to get better overnight. Just because we’re building a football facility, which in fact I’m proud of — since I got here we raised the money to build a $45 million practice facility that’s going to help this program for 50 years to come — I’m proud of that. I’m proud I helped — hopefully, have influenced the legislators to get the bonding to do the stadium. The energy is here. And I want to deliver for them.
But we’ve been doing this a long time, they’ve been grinding a long time — this is no time to back up. We’ve got to push forward and bust the door down. It’s not easy, but we will get it done.
Without question (we will be better next year). We’ll get it done. Again, I totally get (fan frustration.) That’s my message: I get the margin for error that we had this year was small and we missed some opportunities and that’s my fault. I accept that and that’s okay. We’ll get those yards, we’ll get those inches that’ll make a difference next year. I know the team’s going to work and I know our attitude is going to be right, and I know one thing: it’s going to be a passionate, hardworking, fun group to watch.”
So who’s in?