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We Can Learn A Lot From Tom T. Hall


“That’s How I Got to Memphis” is a country-western song that was written by Tom T. Hall in the late 1960’s. Its slow, easy listening, progression gives it that Tom T. Hall trademark sound. Hall was known throughout Nashville as, “The Storyteller” for the dozens of hits he wrote for himself and other recording artists. “That’s How I Got to Memphis” is my favorite of his collection. It tells a story of a man searching for what seems to be a woman he is in love with. The chorus goes as follows:

              If you love somebody enough, you’ll follow wherever they go

              That’s how I got to Memphis, That’s how I got to Memphis

              If you love somebody enough, you’ll go where your heart wants to go

              That’s how I got to Memphis, that’s how I got to Memphis

“Memphis” serves as a metaphor, in this case, for how someone arrived at where they are supposed to be in life. In the song, he followed someone he loved there. For others it may be a multitude of things that bring us to “Memphis,” whether it be our children, pets, etc. It’s, essentially, an explanation for how we arrive at the place we are in life, everyone with their own driving force that carried them on the journey, whether it be passion, destiny, or just by chance.

UK Football has seen a tumultuous past couple of weeks. In fact, it’s tough to remember a time when the fan base has sank lower. The football program that seemed to have such a bright future just 3 years ago is all but a pipe dream at this point to most fans. Frustration among the fan base is at an all-time high and truthfully fans should be frustrated. Fans have become increasingly vocal about giving up on the football program all together. This is not a criticism by any means. I, too, have become so frustrated with the state of the program that the best option seems to be just forgetting about football all together. Upon further thought, however, I realized that I would never have the stomach to just abandon UK football, not at this point.

The outsider belief is that UK is a basketball school and the fans could care less about the football team. This is just not true. A fan base that only cares about basketball doesn’t have multiple losing seasons in a row yet still get excited about the next season because they just know “it’s going to be different.” After a humiliating loss to a C-USA school, there were UK fans the very next day predicting this was going to be the year we end the Florida losing streak. Insane. Irrational. What is it that makes us as fans think in such illogical ways? It’s passion. The fans saying they have given up on football for good are merely making a promise they inevitably won’t be able to keep. It simply just isn’t in our nature. Sure, they might forego buying season tickets and stop going to games for a while, it’s their right to do so if they wish. However, at the end of the day, when they see Lucy holding that football, they’re going to be right there ready to kick it fully believing that this will be the time she doesn’t move it.

Apathy, by its very definition, means to lack concern with no feelings for or against. For one truly not to care about UK Football they must express no emotion in regards to the team. I am by no means an optimist when it comes to UK football but no matter how disgusted I get with the program there’s something in me that just refuses to give up. I joke and poke fun at UK football constantly but this is merely just a coping mechanism, a shield that helps deflect frustration and disappointment. I continue to be frustrated and disappointed because deep down I really do still care. That emotion still exists. I think this is the case with many UK fans.

This passion and intrinsic instinct to keep holding on is what makes us, us. Never have we displayed more of this blind loyalty than in the last four years. There has never been more fan support for a coaching staff in UK Football history than there has been for Mark Stoops and Co. Despite our best efforts, Stoops has yet to hold up his end of the bargain. With the way this season has started, it appears his promise of taking UK back to a bowl game will, most likely, go unfulfilled for yet another year. It will be quite an undertaking, at this point, for Stoops as well as Mitch Barnhart to regain the trust of the fan base.

This diminishing trust should not be confused with lack of  passion. UK fans want, ultimately, what they think is best for the program. At this point I think fans would like to see a change take place, not only in the coaching staff but also in who is responsible for choosing the next football coach. Until this happens, fans will continue to feel rejected and enthusiasm will continue to diminish. This certainly won’t be the result of not caring, in fact, it will come about because we care so much.

Kentucky football is the “Memphis” of the Big Blue Nation. Our passion and loyalty are what have guided us to be the fans we are today. There’s always going to be that passion that exists in all of us, that keeps us coming back for more. A fan base that cares so much, should be listened to, not demanded to be thankful for what we’ve got. Criticism shouldn’t get associated with rejection, it just means that we really care. Just as Tom T. Hall wrote nearly fifty years ago, “If you love somebody enough, you’ll follow wherever they go.” UK fans will continue to follow the football team wherever they go because the fire that burns inside all of us will never be put out.


Article written by Barrett Lindsey

I drive a Saturn. Here's my twitter handle that you probably won't follow: @BarrySliceKSR

6 Comments for We Can Learn A Lot From Tom T. Hall

  1. BluKudzu
    10:38 pm September 12, 2016 Permalink

    Interesting observation regarding “trust”. I agree the AD has to do something to establish trust. I believe the people have to have trust in the adminustration, the coaches and the team. Right now, nothing they have seen in the last 3, and going forward in this season, gives them any hope for the direction we are going, and without hope, trust will never be established. The support of the UK football fan base will evaporate. Once gone, these days, will be extremely difficult to re-establish. This is a huge year for Stoops, and a very revealing year about UK and how they will respond to the UK football fan. Will Mitch be forced to make a change, or will he be gone as well?
    12 million dollars. That is a lot to say “Oops on Stoops, sorry”.
    Convince me.

  2. Memphis UK Cat
    11:37 pm September 12, 2016 Permalink

    My life followed the song to a Tom Hall T. No one moves to Memphis unless it is a hot chick. Guilty as charged!
    If you dont have a hot chick, you may consider moving to Memphis if you are a gang member, drug dealer, confederate flying Ole Miss fan or a failing former Kentucky basketball coach. If you are into Kentucky bashing and blaming Cal for their miserable existence, then Memphis is for you.

    If you are a Louisville fan, then Memphis is for you. It is extremely difficult to tell them apart because they are always trolling and blaming someone else except for the Crown Royal in one fan’s hand and MD 20/20 in the other.

    If you are a Big Blue football fan, you bleed blue and take an a$$ whipping until we can get an AD that has football ties. We have top notch infrastructure to attract a coach that is not a scumb bag that coaches at Louisville.

    • W1ldCats4Life
      8:58 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

      So for fun…lets say the decision is made to buy out Stoops & Co. Who are the top notch coaches you believe would leave their jobs to come to UK now that the infrastructure is built?

      I really think Matt Jones’ statement to a caller last week was 10000000% accurate….if you pay a football coach $8M a year and make him the highest paid you’re going to have to double that to keep Cal coaching basketball.

      So stop and think about that for a minute….
      2015 Salaries
      Alabama SEC Nick Saban $6,932,395 $155,086 $7,087,481
      Michigan Big Ten Jim Harbaugh $7,004,000 — $7,004,000
      Ohio State Big Ten Urban Meyer $5,860,000 $0 $5,860,000
      Oklahoma Big 12 Bob Stoops $5,400,000 $0 $5,400,000
      Florida State ACC Jimbo Fisher $5,150,000 $0 $5,150,000
      Texas Big 12 Charlie Strong $5,100,000 $270 $5,100,270
      Texas A&M SEC Kevin Sumlin $5,000,000 $0 $5,000,000
      Penn State Big Ten James Franklin $4,400,000 — $4,400,000
      LSU SEC Les Miles $4,300,000 $88,721 $4,388,721 $700,000
      Mississippi SEC Hugh Freeze $4,300,000 $10,000 $4,310,000
      Baylor Big 12 Art Briles $4,236,073 $2,500 $4,238,573
      Georgia SEC Mark Richt $4,000,000 $124,000 $4,124,000
      Auburn SEC Gus Malzahn $4,100,000 $4,500 $4,104,500
      Iowa Big Ten Kirk Ferentz $4,075,000 $0 $4,075,000
      South Carolina SEC Steve Spurrier $4,000,000 $28,600 $4,028,600
      Mississippi State SEC Dan Mullen $4,000,000 $0 $4,000,000
      Florida SEC Jim McElwain $3,983,359 — $3,983,359
      Arkansas SEC Bret Bielema $3,954,166 $6,500 $3,960,666
      Texas Christian Big 12 Gary Patterson $3,940,026 — $3,940,026 — — —
      Missouri SEC Gary Pinkel $3,768,889 $0 $3,768,889
      Michigan State Big Ten Mark Dantonio $3,671,520 $0 $3,671,520
      Oklahoma State Big 12 Mike Gundy $3,650,000 — $3,650,000
      Tennessee SEC Butch Jones $3,610,000 $23,000 $3,633,000
      Washington Pac-12 Chris Petersen $3,400,000 $2,940 $3,402,940
      UCLA Pac-12 Jim Mora $3,350,000 $0 $3,350,000
      Clemson ACC Dabo Swinney $3,300,000 $5,200 $3,305,200
      Kentucky SEC Mark Stoops $3,250,000 $13,600 $3,263,600

      UK is 27th in the Nation as of 2015 in the salary for a head coach….that’s already about 1/2 of what Cal is paid. Do you think UK will be able to throw any money at any of those coaches above them and have them come to UK? Without giving Cal more money?

      I really think there’s only 2 options out there without going after the UL coaching branches….that’s Neal Brown or Tom Herman. Neither of those guys are from the UK coaching branch lineage. I think Tom Herman has proven to be able to coach at a phenomenal level at Houston(also 61st on the salary list)….but I think Neal Brown is the next hottest coach and is quickly proving to have right stuff and is the next big thing coming up.

  3. CarltonBanks
    9:13 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    If you like this song, check out Whitey Morgan’s version. If you don’t like this song, go get your ears checked.

  4. Howdy Doody
    9:33 am September 13, 2016 Permalink

    Wuda, Cuda, Shuda is the perpetual UK Football Theme Song. I vote with my money and my money wants Stoops to be fired ASAP.

  5. 3 fan
    2:56 pm September 13, 2016 Permalink

    How can you not note Tom T. Hall is from Olive Hill, KY!!!!