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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Would You Be a Bigger Football Fan?

Lots of talk this week on the radio show about the football team and the future under Mark Stoops.  And of course the general consensus is that this season was in general, a negative experience for the fans.  The collapse in general culminated by the collapse against Louisville, plus 4 home losses, has the fanbase back to where it normally is, a negative place.  But, have you noticed that the calls and the passion of those calls is still strong.  A program is truly dead when the calls stop.  When the fans actually don’t show their disgust but rather their disinterest.

Which is why I think there is a serious conversation to be had over the following statement, a state which I truly think many fans would agree with me on:


I don’t know if this is blasphemous or not in the UK fanbase, but I feel like many would agree that the reason this basketball fanbase is so passionate and dedicated to the team is because the football program has basically stunk for 80% of the time.  Besides a very good stretch in the late 1970’s and the last few years of Rich Brooks, UK has basically only had a year here and there of decent teams but no real consistent program.  Obviously the basketball program has been consistently good for 70 years.  They are basically exact opposites of one another.

But when I think of college football, it holds so many advantages over college basketball that I wish UK could ever get a good program.  For instance:

1.  Better Gameday Experience:  Let’s start with tailgating.  Basketball doesn’t have that at all.  I guess you can have a few beers before a basketball game, but not in an organized manner like football.  Hell, even during crappy UK years, the tailgating is still a huge positive.

2. More Fans Can Go: Simple science: 70,000 people can make more noise than 24,000.  Rupp Arena is a great atmosphere for big games, but over the course of 15-20 home games, there are some clunkers in there.  When you only have 6 or 7 home games a year, and 70,000 people can go, it COULD be a better sports atmosphere.

3. It’s Once a Week: What makes college and pro football really great is its played just once a week.  All week is spent anticipating that weekend’s game.  But when you are a UK fan and that often means anticipating the beating you are going to take, it takes away from that experience.  If the program was great, you would look forward to Saturdays so much more.

4. Joining the SEC Fun: We are the only basketball-first school in the conference.  While that means we should continue to dominate the basketball league forever, it also means we are often the whipping boy in football.

College football is just something special in the south.  I know that if Kentucky had a program to be proud of, not just one year but consistently, that I would love supporting and watching that team more than basketball (except for March Madness).  But alas, basketball is what we got.  I hope Mark Stoops get us to the point that I will be happy to switch my allegiance.

But I wonder if there are others out there like me.  Do you think you would be a bigger football fan than basketball fan if the football team was better?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

32 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Would You Be a Bigger Football Fan?

  1. Jnet389
    8:05 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Vandy is basketball-first as well

  2. Catnerd
    8:11 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I would easily be a football fan first. I still find myself checking football message boards before basketball. I love UK basketball, but I’m desperate for a quality football program.

  3. CrazyCayts
    8:16 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Of course football is MUCH better all around.
    Additionally, we aren’t expected to win every game by 20 (i.e. UK basketball) therefore if the game is close, its a lot more exciting.

  4. jcatron
    8:20 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Football for sure!

  5. Great American
    8:22 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Football games are fun but to say that i would shift my fan-hood from mostly basketball and some football to mostly football and some football would be way wrong. Look i understand the premise of the question posed but the fact is that kentucky football has been HORRIBLE for most of my life (im 29) and Kentucky basketball has always been something that my whole family or large groups of friends would get together and watch. Even if stoops rights the ship and starts a winning tradition here Kentucky basketball represents a better tradition to me there’s no way i could give that up.

    • RightForTheFight
      8:26 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

      I think we could have both. There’s no reason to support one more than the other. I’m also desperate for a good football program, though.

  6. cmayer
    8:29 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I prefer basketball for a number of reasons:

    1. 40 games a year (hopefully) v. 12
    2. Not much else going on in the winter v plenty of other stuff to do in the fall
    3. 64-team tournament v 4 team playoff
    4. Tuesday/Wednesday night games give me something to look forward to mid-week
    5. With respect to tailgating, the nod goes to football, but it begs the question as to why don’t we tailgate for basketball, at least the Saturday games? Unless its below 30 degrees, there’s no reason we cant tailgate for basketball. Put on a coat and bring chili/beer. Beats paying $6/beer at the Hyatt, which is often overcrowded anyway.

  7. jaknfo90
    8:30 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Bigger? Not a chance! I grew up on Big Blue Basketball and remember so many great moments (the championship games, even the one’s we lost), players (Issel, Pratt, Dampier, Casey, Bogans, Prince, Davis…Ulis) and personalities (Rupp, Hall, Ledford, Keightley, Tubby…Cal.) Just as big? Possibly, but I don’t think anything in sports (I am a die-hard StL Cards fan, Who Dey Bengals and season ticket holder to UK football) can surpass my love for Big Blue on the hardwood. It is in my blood as a Kentuckian.

  8. Long Dong Silver
    8:32 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I prefer basketball, as a sport. Except when teams like Michigan State play basketball like it’s football.

  9. claiborne_field
    8:44 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I agree with your assessment regarding this fan base. Underneath it all (fan base wise), we are a football school who really likes, is really good at, and has a deep history at playing basketball. If we had a quality football program, folks would come out in droves of support. Can you imagine a 9 or 10 win season at Commonwealth? It would be insane. It should also be pointed out we are a lot like LSU and Arkansas- a one state, one university team- BBN. No other fan base to contend with. UofL doesn’t count. They primarily stick to the Louisville area for the most part and should really be a part of Indiana anyway…

  10. JaminTheCoach
    8:56 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Finally, a post you can be proud of BTI!! You are so damn right on with this one. Except for the occasional in season big game, and tourney time, I tend to fall asleep during basketball season. I’m already a bigger football than basketball fan. I’m also a kool-aid drinking, sunglass wearing fan boy, so I support whatever sport is going on whole-heartedly. But football is definitely where my passion lies.

  11. RealCatsFan
    9:01 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I have always been a bigger fan of basketball in general, but to be fair that might be because I grew up as a UK fan and our football team has pretty much always sucked, so it’s hard for me to get excited about football. I don’t really have much interest in pro sports, or NFL in particular, and that once again might be a function of the fact that we don’t have any pro sports teams in the state. That being said, if UK ever fielded a consistently good team, I would probably become a much bigger fan. I am probably representative of a lot of fans in the state – passionate basketball fan, but a more casual football fan whose passions might be stoked if we ever got our shizit together for football. I will admit that my interest and knowledge of UK football has grown since I started reading KSR regularly (particularly Maggard’s articles), but so far that has only increased the pain I feel after the bitter defeats. Call me a bandwagon fan if you will, but I still follow the football team even when they lose. It’s just hard to get very excited about it right now.

  12. taylorsvillecat
    9:02 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Always will be a bigger basketball fan. But, would be a bigger fan of football than now if our team didn’t keep breaking my heart.

  13. kycats13
    9:09 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Bryan the Intern, great article to stimulate thought. Last year I was hoping we would win the NCAA Championship once again in basketball so I could then shift my full attention to being a fan of the football program. I find that the basketball season has so many games that I too fall asleep and want things to move along to March Madness. I think I could be equal fans of both, but as pointed out there is a lot more anticipation for the once a week football games. It is fun to travel to the various away venues to see games and it would be an uptick if we could actually win those games. Being a life long Kentucky fan, I’ll always be interested in both to the point of insanity when we aren’t successful in one or the other.

  14. constantinexi
    9:15 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I feel like standing in front of Commonwealth Stadium like Mike Polk did in Cleveland and SHOUT at it for being a “FACTORY OF SADNESS”

  15. chadtrill
    9:15 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I think this all just depends on each individual fan and the household they were raised in. If your family grew up watching, playing, and going to football games together then you will always long for a better football team and, hopefully, be a football cats fan whether we win or lose. You will hope for a better team but your love for the game is what will make you a fan. Only fair weather fans should be answering this question with a yes and those folks are leaky vessels a best. We don’t want to rely on them for our fan base anyways.
    Personally, I will never be a bigger fan of football. Our family grew up watching and playing basketball. Some of my best memories are from watching games on the hardwood and taking family members to school in the driveway. I don’t care if we had a program like Alabama, I would still be the guy going to the basketball games and catching the football highlights so I know what happened.
    Another jacked up question from BTI… someone needs to do something about this guy. He just identified himself as a fair weather fan and baited half of BBN into doing the same.

  16. chrisg18
    9:34 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Not even close. Basketball >>>> football as a sport. I know football is this country’s sport (which is sad) but I am a very casual football fan in general. UK games (when I am free), Super Bowl, and the college football playoffs are about the only times I am interested. There are just so many things about the game of football that are silly. Not to mention they take 3-4 hours to sit through.

  17. UK Fan In Nashville
    9:35 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Simple answer = Yes.

  18. Megan
    10:04 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Even if Kentucky football were just a little better, if maybe we won 6 or 7 games and went to an insignificant bowl most years, I would find myself a much bigger Kentucky football fan than I am a Kentucky basketball fan. I mean seriously, what has our basketball program ever accomplished? And what have they done for us lately under this new coach? It’s kind of embarrassing, if I’m being honest. We no longer pull in the No. 1 recruiting class every year. Sometimes our classes are ranked No. 2. Sure, we won a national championship a few years ago, but we’ve been to the Final Four only 4 of the last 5 years. And we’re only No. 5 in the polls now? Please. Give me the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl or Beef O’Brady’s Humanitarian Bowl any day!

    Jesus, people. How can you agree with BTI? He … does something. The word escapes me.

    • CatsfaninFL
      10:18 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

      LOL. The Sarcasm is strong here ^^^

      Well played, Megan. And true… BTI does…something.

    • Angelo
      4:38 pm December 10, 2015 Permalink

      Megan gives the correct response to BTI’s insane question!!

  19. Howdy Doody
    10:56 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    At 62 years of age I have seen enough horrible football over the years as a UK Alum and FAN. It is sad an SEC School does not embrace football. We ARE in an all FOOTBALL Conference. The SEC is WEAK in Basketball(most years) so we have no worries about sweeping the SEC year in and out.
    BUT, I want to live long enough to see UK Football reach the hype that KSR attempts to feed us fans every year under dismal coaching and performance on the football field.
    Me and my group will NOT be renewing our season tickets until Stoops and the gang are GONE.

    • CatsfaninFL
      11:14 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

      Buh-bye… “fan”.

  20. abgunz
    10:58 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I’ve always preferred UK football to UK basketball. I look past the basketball articles to read the football articles. I look forward to National Signing Day, Spring Game, Fan Day, open practices, etc.

  21. symphonist41169
    11:14 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Sigh….. Ok, once more for the Gen Xers, Millenials, and anybody else who thinks nothing existed before they were born:

    ” Besides a very good stretch in the late 1970’s and the last few years of Rich Brooks…..”
    Please, please, PLEASE learn your history and realize that Kentucky had outstanding teams under Bear Bryant and to a lesser degree Blanton Collier (but still better than Joker/Stoops/Mumme, etc.) These teams co-existed with some fine Rupp basketball teams, so it CAN be done. Also see Ohio State football & basketball in the late 50s & early 60s. The fact that the AD let Bear Bryant slip away to Texas A&M after he felt slighted in favor of Rupp (a true assessment) is the real crime here, but don’t think for a minute that THE RIGHT COACHES can make it happen in both sports simultaneously, especially with the truckloads of cash the SEC pumps into every school.

  22. dean winchester
    11:45 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    A huge fan of both. But football is already my favorite by a hair.

  23. Wildcats94
    11:58 am December 10, 2015 Permalink

    BTI I am the biggest UK football fan I know. People that know me personally, both loserville fans and kentucky fans, will tell you that im football crazy… i wish the BBN would ease up on Stoops right now, the man is the best recruiter in the history of Kentucky Football, we are in the SEC people, even Butch Jones at UT has said it takes 5-7 years to build in this league… Spurrier, Saban, Richt have all noticed what Stoops has done to give a sense of notice to the rest of College Football that Kentucky Football is about to make the jump in the next two years…. as always ill still be wearing my UK football gear until the end of the Bowl Season… GO BIG BLUE!!! WHY NOT KENTUCKY!!!

  24. cdeventing
    12:06 pm December 10, 2015 Permalink

    I already AM a bigger football fan than basketball. For me that comes from football being my favorite sport as well as my biggest passion in life. As a student I go to probably 3 basketball games a year. I’ve missed 2 football games since November of 2013, including away. If the program was better, that would just be icing on the cake.

    I know I’m not the norm though. I don’t know if the whole fan ase would be ome bigger football fans, but I think you’d see a healthy balance. You’d have a large aupport base for both teams, with both fanbases crossing over and going to the other games as well sometimes.

  25. ColoradoCat
    12:33 pm December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Football for me is a boring sport. Everything is extremely regimented in that certain guys, all they do for an entire game is try to push one guy, one single guy, back one or two yards. Every play is so sterilized. You get a huge pass or run play? Well let’s just slow everything down and give those lumbering giants extra time to get up field and get to the line. The downs system is also frustrating. I get that it is to force fairness in possessions but again, it’s so stilted, not organic at all. Finally, football action encompasses about 13 minutes of a week-long game. Seriously, all people talk about on ESPN is football. NCAA tourney? Who cares. Peyton Manning stubbed his toe in spring workouts.

    Basketball is far better. Games are more frequent, 40 minutes of gameplay is 40 minutes of action, and there are no rules helping fat guys along; either you keep up with action or you sit (or go play football). Honestly I don’t know how any of you commenters above actually say you like football more. Kentucky is and remains this bastion of basketball in a sea of football. It’s one of the things I have found refreshing about the school and the fanbase.

  26. 2thepoint
    1:51 pm December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Colorado Cat you spoke truth! Preach on! I remember when I was young I absolutely hated football. It was the most boring sport in the world with 3 plays trying to run up the middle and then punt. Final score might be 0 – 0 or 3 -0. Finally, along came the Packers and Bart Starr throwing the football to make it more exciting. The difference with football is there is so much pageantry and promotion involved by the networks. If basketball had that and football didn’t there would be no more football. If they hadn’t changed the game football would be dead anyway. Every time I see a play called to run up the middle, and I don’t care which team, I scream at my TV. It reminds me of the futility of yesteryear. Can we imagine a football team with 5 losses winning a national championship, NO, but in basketball it can be done. There has never been a football memory such as Jimmy V winning the championship with multiple losses on his resume. It was electric and so special even though I am a Cat fan.

    I like football now since they changed it, but it needs a true playoff system involving more teams that would give fans some reason to hope when their team has lost 3 or 4 games. Look at the bowl games for 5 or 6 loss teams and see if we really want to watch them, why because they are meaningless. We bragged year after year getting to go to a bowl game with just enough wins to qualify as if it really meant something, but it didn’t. Sure I watched, yelled, quarreled and fussed, but it meant nothing. Even with a win the season is over and we watch other teams just like us who have nowhere to go or chance to win a real championship.

    I take basketball every time!

  27. abgunz
    3:33 pm December 10, 2015 Permalink

    Congratulations Chris Westry and C.J. Conrad for making the SEC All-Freshman Team.

  28. satcheluk
    10:59 am December 11, 2015 Permalink

    I have always been a UK football fan first. Hoping my loyalty will be rewarded at some point.