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Why UK getting bowl rings that celebrate their win over Louisville is completely normal




Earlier today, UK handed out bowl rings to the team to celebrate the 2016 season, which caused quite the stir in the comments section because not only did Kentucky lose the TaxSlayer Bowl, one side of the ring celebrates the win over Louisville. Critics complained that the rings were like participation trophies and that Kentucky should be “above” such things. “Why stoop to Indiana’s level,” I’ve read more than twice.

Well, I’m here to tell you that actually, it’s completely normal. Before the TaxSlayer Bowl, it had been a while since Kentucky played in a bowl, so maybe we all forgot, but pretty much every team that participates in a bowl gets rings, regardless of whether or not they win. Teams give them to players as a way to reward them for a season of hard work and it’s been happening that way for a long, long time. If a team wins the bowl, their rings will read “Bowl Champs.” If not, the team will come up with something else, like, just the name of the bowl, as Ole Miss did after losing the Peach Bowl to TCU 42-3 in 2015:

Florida State even made up a fictional state championship to put on their 2015 rings:


And for those of you complaining about having the Louisville score on the side? TONS of schools do this, including Louisville! Here’s their 2015 Music City Bowl ring, which celebrates their five-year winning streak over Kentucky:


Louisville also got rings for the 2011 season, even though it ended with a loss in the Belk Bowl and a 7-6 record. But hey, that Big East Championship!

And lest we forget Rick Pitino honoring his 2016 seniors with championship rings even though they couldn’t compete in the postseason because of a self-imposed ban for the sex scandal:

Is it a little cheesy? Sure. But it’s also normal. And for the players that have helped turn the program around, it’s a pretty nice gesture:

IMG_4247 IMG_4245 IMG_4248 IMG_4250 IMG_4249

Even though Jeff Badet’s at Oklahoma now, he appreciated the gesture:

He especially liked the part about beating Louisville, arguably the most important win Kentucky football has had since the 2007 season: IMG_4244

So, the next time a Louisville fan tries to make fun of Kentucky for doing this, just send them this post. Even if it’s just to remind them that Lamar fumbled.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

51 Comments for Why UK getting bowl rings that celebrate their win over Louisville is completely normal

  1. Walter White
    5:38 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    UK also did this during the year they finished 7-5 but couldn’t go to a bowl because of probation during Guy Morris. I had a friend on that team that showed me his ring when they got them.

  2. GroundControlToNumber9
    5:42 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    “for the players that have helped turn the program around…”

    Wait… what? Stop this coddling crap now.
    *We lost to Southern Miss last season (at home).
    *We finished 4-4 in the conference.
    *until the midpoint of the season where we beat an off-year Miss St. our coach almost didn’t have a job anymore.

    Let’s not get back to the standard BS where we act like things have been accomplished when we are hovering around 50%.

    You make 7+ wins the norm for several years then you can start acting like things have changed. You win your conference division and then you can start talking about ‘program turned around.’

    If you say ‘turned around’ and it’s just 50% then you are accepting mediocrity (and part of the cultural problem… being a journalist that’s a even more of a problem).

    We had a great win at Louisville. We’re playing more competitively. But until the midpoint of the season where we beat an off-season Miss St. our coach almost didn’t have a job anymore.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:48 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Some of us are proud of the team’s hard work; if you’re not, fine, but could you be more pithy?
      I nearly dozed off mid way through your garrulous rambling.

    • catsarerunnin
      7:38 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Control’s posts are usually rambling snoozers.

    • CatstopWontstop
      9:41 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

      Last season was a step in the right direction, but if you really look at it Kentucky simply benefited from a weak schedule and a down SEC East.

      Southern Miss (L) – Finished 7-6 (4-4 CUSA)
      Florida (L) – Finished 9-4 (6-2 SEC)
      New Mex St. (W) – Finished 3-9 (2-6 Sun Belt)
      South Carolina (W) – Finished 6-7 (3-5 SEC)
      Alabama (L) – Finished 14-1 (8-0 SEC)
      Vanderbilt (W) – Finished 6-7 (3-5 SEC)
      Miss St. (W) – Finished 6-7 (3-5 SEC)
      Missouri (W) – Finished 4-8 (2-6 SEC)
      Georgia (L) – Finished 8-5 (4-4 SEC)
      Tennessee (L) – Finished 9-4 (4-4 SEC)
      Austin Peay (W) – Finished 0-11
      Louisville (W) – Finished 9-4 (7-1 ACC)
      Ga. Tech (L) – Finished 9-4 (4-4 ACC)

      So, to recap, the only team Kentucky beat in their 7 wins who finished with a winning record was Louisville. The Louisville win was HUGE, but really the only one worth noting. I love Kentucky football, and like most of you want badly to have a competitive team to watch, but last year may not be the turnaround we think it was.

  3. Ridge Runner
    5:49 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    I’m normally open minded and supportive on the majority of things but sorry… not this

  4. 502CodeRed
    5:54 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    LOL, it’s still UK football. Like putting lipstick on a pig.

    • runningunnin.454
      6:50 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      But the pig beat the redbirds a$$; you might worry about your team’s total collapse last season.

    • Eazy
      10:00 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

      UK beat Louisville last year on the field and in recruiting. The future looks bright here. I love how UL fans act like they are a top level football program. UL has 0 national titles and a losing record to UK. Petrino and Jackson are both way overrated too. UL is a joke all around.

  5. krautdog
    6:04 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    This is t-league stuff!

  6. GroundControlToNumber9
    6:12 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    The ring also looks like Mitch Barnhart picked it out personally.

    Thin width (narrow) mens rings that go long vertically are hideous looking on a mans hand. It’s like what Mitch did to our power K.

    The FSU ring above would be a rare exception to allowing this form factor (since it’s actually the shape of a football) and still has width to it in it’s design.

    Get rid of this bum pushing participation rings on our players. If they know what’s good for them the players should send them to their moms and never wear it. Work hard and earn the one they give to a champion (at least starting with conference divisional champ).

  7. JustUrAvg
    6:16 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    Tyler what is wrong with you? You can’t convince people who live to complain how to enjoy the small things in life. Do not celebrate anything and do not give anybody any credit..the bowl games have been a common theme in UK football in case you hadn’t noticed…ring for wha?

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      6:19 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      I was wondering what Tom Crean would do with his spare time these days. How’s Beavis?

    • JustUrAvg
      7:00 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Oh wow that was painful.

  8. Big DAWG Loggin
    6:17 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    The rings are nice. The season was positive; the rings were earned. If someone does not like them, so what; to hell with the whiney bitches. Suit up – or STFU.

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      6:25 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Big DAWG Loggin – Where again are they? That’s 45 teams… they go 0 votes.

      Feel good… but be honest. Earn what a ‘ring’ represents.

      The coaches know the truth. They have a lot of work to do… and they worked their ass off last year. This will be their ‘hardest’ year. Ask them.

      The players who are honest with themselves will put that ring away. The seniors who are gone will know they helped get the ball rolling and have a ‘we finally beat Louisville’ ring.

    • Booby Petrino
      7:26 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Lol GroundControl is super butt hurt over this. Sorry not sorry that you’re so upset 😂

  9. JustUrAvg
    6:21 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    Somebody needs Midol.

  10. JusSayin
    6:38 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    We made fun of IU getting sweet 16 rings on this very blog.

    I believe you even wrote the article Ms. Thompson.

    • Booby Petrino
      7:28 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      IU basketball fans feel as tho it’s a historically relevant program. UK football..not so much. Huge difference. Also, in case you can’t read, it’s common practice in football. Not so much in basketball.

    • JusSayin
      8:26 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Its the same thing. UK is an SEC program with at-least one claimed national title. We are a long way away from 1950… But I’d like to think we are still above participation rings.

      We were one game over .500, lost our postseason game and gave everybody on the team rings.

      Rather it’s common place or not…It’s lame. I’m sorry.

  11. njCat
    6:50 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    Do you hardheads not get it? Every team that participates in a bowl game gets rings. UK didn’t do anything different from any of the other .500 bowl losing teams. Best game of year was Louisville win, so that SHOULD be on there.

    Now, go get off you’re own lawn!

  12. JustUrAvg
    7:05 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    I got a feeling these are the people who sit a whole game and refuse to show any emotion for fear it may seem like they love sports and enjoy watching kids play their tails off to entertain them.

  13. Booby Petrino
    7:31 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    So you idiots want uk to be one of the only schools who doesn’t give out rings? Hmmm, makes perfect sense. Georgia, TN, LSU have all done this after losing bowl games in mediocre seasons. Yall think we’re better than them so we shouldn’t do it? Lol

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      8:01 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      The point is you don’t do something because someone else did it. Ask Cal how that works.

      You create your culture. To do this… you do things because they are right.

      This ain’t right.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:07 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you Mr. Right..

    • Stuck on Blue
      8:13 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      catsarerunnin…first name Always?

    • catsarerunnin
      8:27 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Yes Lionel…

  14. keiths
    8:04 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    This is so embarrassing, and shows what a rinky dink program we really have

  15. turdyshmurda
    9:02 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

    T Thompson you’re an idiot. Florida state did not make up the state championship. It’s a real thing that the Florida schools do for bragging rights.

    • runningunnin.454
      10:43 pm April 18, 2017 Permalink

      Sure it is; and, it’s so much more important than the Governor’s cup, the Old Oaken Bucket, the Little Brown Jug, and the Paul Bunyan trophy.
      By the way, I like your name Turdy….it fits.

    • Ridge Runner
      10:00 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

      T Thompson is not an idiot. Come on man… over the top insults. I and majority of others think the world of her.

    2:17 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Everyone does this, now using underage prostitutes to lure underage recruites, now that’s done by Louisville first, cards only. L1CO

  17. BluKudzu
    5:37 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Bowl rings are cool.
    So are the gifts and trinkets given to the NCAA basketball teams that make the tournament.
    To those that are complaining about the worthiness of such a gift, show me the one you “earned” for competing, and winning in anything.
    You got nothing, because you did nothing.
    Now go away.

  18. ABthetruth502
    5:58 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    I can see the Bowl participation rings… But to put the win over Louisville is just pathetic

    • Eazy
      10:11 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

      FSU put their wins over Miami and Florida on their rings. UL had their winning streak vs UK on theirs. It was a big win for UK. Just like UL finally beating UK in basketball last year was big for UL. Not pathetic at all. The difference is UK is now 5-5 vs UL in the last 10 games in football. In basketball UK is 8-2 vs UL in the last 10 including 2-0 in the tournament. Looking forward to sweeping the cards next year.

  19. cdc_uky
    7:55 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Just no.

    The argument that IU basketball has a historic program and UK football does not makes no difference. UK should not be passing out rings to commemorate a regular season win…even if it was Alabama. Getting a ring for making a bowl game is great but putting the UofL victory on there is weak. Act like you have been there (act like we should beat them every year).

  20. chrislarkey
    8:07 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    To say these players dont deserve the ring is insane. Obviously those who have never played college football dont realize the time and pain put into a whole year of football. These guys deserve these rings and more for their accomplishments.

  21. t_f_licker
    8:14 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    It’s completely ridiculous. That’s more like it.

  22. bdmnky81
    8:32 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Rather than giving the whole team a ring (which really does have a participation trophy feel to it) it would probably mean more to the players if they got individual rings as they left the program, either through graduation or declaring early. This past years class desrved more than a blanket reward.

  23. kycats13
    9:19 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    We looked pretty good in the spring game, I’m thinking that deserves some type of bling.

  24. DACats86
    11:12 am April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Seriously, Tyler, what’s wrong with you? There is no place for common sense and reasonableness in today’s world! We all come to social media to be offended (by everything), to be outraged (by everything), and to be anti (everything). All the cool kids are doing it, and God knows I want to be one of the cool kids…

  25. Game Changer
    10:21 pm April 19, 2017 Permalink

    Did the rings come with a box of Tampons?