In this transition year for Kentucky football, it’s all about attitude.
Attitude was the main reason Joker Phillips’ career at UK didn’t quite pan out, and it is the reason the Cats are still pushing capacity crowds at Commonwealth Stadium this season despite lackluster performances. What made the end of Rich Brooks’ time at Kentucky so successful was obviously the ability to upset and beat teams on a semi-regular basis, but it was the fan and team attitude that spurred from this. The belief that every time out on the field, there was going to be a chance that the Cats could come away with a victory. As a kid, even when we played Alabama on the road and LSU at home one year, me and everyone else in Lexington still walked around with a swagger that we could pull off the win.
Just that little bit of hope. That slight twinge of belief. That is the most important part of the Kentucky football program. Usually this attitude comes after prolonged success, but in this case, we have to go backwards. We have to employ that attitude of hopefulness and optimism BEFORE the big wins come instead of after. It’s not easy to do, but it makes all the difference. The disparity is simple and easy to see. The Cats don’t have the caliber of players that any other team in the SEC does. If we want a chance to recruit and gain those type of players however, high school kids around the nation have to see that this fan base isn’t just going to disappear and leave after one season. They have to see the attitude of belief, to make them want to come to Lexington and give the fans basis behind that belief.
This isn’t a call to action. At this point in the season I’d say fans have done a great job. Walking around the tailgating areas yesterday was full of energy of optimism. Most Cats fans genuinely had some sort of belief that Kentucky could somehow win that game against Florida. Obviously the Cats fell short of a victory, but many people are still holding their heads high about the future of this program. Raymond Sanders said it best “We definitely thought we could beat these guys,” and so did the stadium. It’s going to take extended periods of this belief and maybe some luck, but one day we won’t have to hope, we’ll know.