Excuse me for thinking senior day was important. I guess my judgment is flawed thinking that a game with a first round SEC tournament bye on the line was crucial…the 23,000 at Rupp obviously disagree.
This season Kentucky has its first ever all-Kentucky bred senior class since “The Unforgettables” of 92 lore, and when it came time to honor their last game in Lexington for senior day, we got senior citizen day. Shame on Kentucky fans. We’ve bitched and moaned all year like a 16 year old girl who just lost her cell phone privelidges as Kentucky “stunk” their way into the NCAA tournament. Nevermind the fact that Louisville, Michigan St., Indiana, et al, are experiencing disapointing seasons…but as fans have been moaning all year, “we shouldn’t have to endure a similar fate.” Well guess what, we’re not invincible. This program is not larger than life, and believe it or not, we’re simply mortal. So as I sat in Rupp, on the day designated for four seniors who each exemplify the honor and dignity of this program, I was sickened by the fan support (or lack-there-of is more like it). Rupp Arena is the most overrated home court in the nation, and while that’s really no secret to most, few still maintain that the hallowed confines is an intimidating stop on the SEC tour. As the game winds down to its malevolent end, with a third of the arena already bellied up to the Hyatt bar, the fallacy of True Blue Nation is all too evident.
How can 23,000 fans be so smug? No, seriously, how is it concretely possible for that many people to make so little noise? It’s as if there’s an archaic libraian in her cardigan and bifocal chain sitting at the end of each row, muzzling every cheer with a resounding “shhhhh.” Then I look around and see that half the lower arena is indeed compiled of geriatrics and holier-than-thou blue bloods who sit on their hands as if they’re hatching chicks. Granted, when your team throws in the worst senior day loss since 1919, there’s not much to get up for; but do Kentucky fans have to rely on three good plays in a row in order to show some support? Folks, the banners in the rafters can only intimidate an opponent so much, and with 5 losses at home this season, “so much” has turned into “not at all.”
Shame on the team for rolling over in a game of such magnitude, shame on Tubby for not getting his squad prepared. Both of which us the fan have no control over and cannot change. However, what we do possess is the ability to assist our clan with stark enthusiasm. I know it’s a Sunday morning, but I doubt the good God above will smite those who show some vocal support. These are 18-21 year old young men on the court, and their minds are fragile. When an opponent makes a bucket during one of the rare moments of jubilation in Rupp, and the fans respond by sitting back down to talk about who the next head coach should be, the players will do the same.
I hate Duke, and their New jersey/Beijing born student section, but by gosh they got it right. The University must do something to again make opponents dread coming in here, and thank their lucky stars when their bus hits 1-75 unscathed. Yes, Tubby-Ball is less gripping than The English Patient, and UK’s talent is five over par, but none of us can change it–but what we can do is show some support for the product in which we devote our lives to. I still maintain that Kentucky fans are the most passionate and knowledgable zealots in collegiate athletics, unfortunately, we’re the biggest bunch of sourpusses as well. Nashville will still be a sea of blue, and I’m looking forward to it; because thank God it’s not being played in Rupp Arena.