In some ways, I feel lucky. After attending last year’s Florida game, the writing was on the wall for me. The Mark Stoops era was going to progress and end llike every UK football era before it. Potential moments to shift the direction of the program and inevitable collapse. Yes, that includes the Rich Brooks era. Beating LSU and Louisville in 2007 was rare for UK. But let’s not forget that team still went 7-5 and lost HOME games to unranked Mississippi State and blew a 3OT game to Tennessee. And I felt bad (and still do) for basically giving up strong hope for the program just 2 years and 2 games into Stoops tenure. But I think after the Southern Miss game Saturday, pretty much everybody is on board with what I felt last year. W
ith that said, I’m not going to stop watching the games and I’m not going to cheer against the Cats. I just simply have no hope they can win many games. It won’t actually BOTHER me if things go like they did Saturday. Or better put, it won’t bother me once the game ends. During the game, it is still not hard to get quite frustrated with how things are going. So here is my question to those diehard UK football fans, of which I know there are many:
WHEN YOU KNOW THE INEVITABLE WITH UK FOOTBALL AND THAT IS NOT A GOOD END, HOW DO YOU KEEP BEING A GOOD FAN?
I generally want to know after 31 years (for me) of watching this team, how do I remain a good fan? Because I have frankly given up hope and I think I am well within my rights to do so. What I don’t think anybody can reasonably say is:
- Keep going to the games. While going to a UK football game is not ultra expensive, it still is an entire day spent at Commonwealth with a depressing end that isn’t dirt cheap. Yeah, you might have fun at the front end but the ending is going to be awful. Kinda like my prom night. At some point, the product on the field has to be QUALITY WINS. Fans were basically tricked into thinking we had a better team because of the new facility and improved Commonwealth Stadium. Turns out those were just smoke and mirrors.
- Keep buying the mottos. Stop telling me “why not us” and “we’re just getting started” because 3+ years in and we’re on the train to another 5 win season. Why not us? Because we choke all the time. I genuinely feel bad for Mark Stoops because I think he did everything right and better than any UK coach in my lifetime, except properly coach the team it seems. From a PR and recruiting standpoint, he’s been the best. But I’m tired of coach speak. I don’t know what Mark Stoops should say but it ain’t “this is unacceptable” because how many years of unacceptable are we supposed to swallow. We know, the players should know, and you certainly know. So really no need to tell us.
I can’t decide what my major emotion with UK football as a whole is. I know that my negative feelings are not limited to Mark Stoops. I know they include Hal Mumme, Bill Curry, Andre Woodson, Mike Hartline, Joker Phillips, and so many more. Not because those guys were not good representatives of this university but because as fans we are asked to stick it out with this program but for what gain? Even are best players have blown big game after big game. Doesn’t mean I don’t love those guys. Just means they blew opportunities. And after 31 years, being a GOOD FAN is tough.
How do most of us who have seen enough of this continue to properly support this team? Or is it just a futile effort to put any passion into the team?