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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

The Seven Stages of Grief for the UK Basketball Fan

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that these days following the NCAA Championship, the trophy tour, the baseball game first-pitches and the NBA Draft declarations are slow-going indeed. Coming down off a high like that is brutal, I think you’ll agree. Just a month ago, we had it all: best team in the nation. glittering trophy, the adoration of sports pundits everywhere. Nothing was greater than precisely one month ago. And yet we are in May, still somewhat glowing, but wondering what to do with ourselves next. It’s a tough spot to be in. And you, like me, are probably going through a disheartening downturn with all this goodness suddenly absent from your lives. That’s why, in conjunction with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, we’ll take a look at the Seven Stages of Grief for a Kentucky Fan after the loss of our basketball action. We’ll get through this together, everyone. Just hang tight.

1. Shock and Denial
April 2 was a big day for this state, without question. And on April 3 many of us sat at our desks, incessantly clicking on links, still delirious from staying up late watching the game the night before, wondering to ourselves “Did this really happen?” and “Are we really the National Champs?” and “How can I murder and silence the people who took cellphone footage of me lighting that police car on fire?” It would be tempting to imagine it was all just a beautiful dream, but the truth was it happened. There was no debating it. It was on a shirt at Kroger so it had to be true, right? But it was difficult to process.

2. Pain and Guilt
We’d won the trophy. We’d greeted the team at the airport. We’d attended the pep rallies. We’d purchased the gear. And now, this amazing season had come to a close. The starting five declared for the draft, ensuring their absence in the 2012-13 season and beyond, and it was all — for practical purposes — over. It hurt. Some of us cried. Some of us took solace in the arms of loved ones. Some of us drowned our sorrows in a dusty bottle of Rumplemintz we found behind the hot water heater in the basement, beside some old Easter stuff, while we watched The Today Show. Why were they leaving? Was it our fault? What happened? Perhaps we didn’t love them enough, or hadn’t cheered loudly enough. If we had only had the opportunity to talk to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist we could have convinced him to stay. Maybe he hadn’t received all those messages on Twitter or Facebook, or that Edible Arrangements bouquet we sent. There had to be more we could have done.

3. Anger and Bargaining
Then came the acting out. We stopped performing well at work, shaving, cleaning ourselves properly. We drove our cars into the lake, picked needless fights at a Pizza Hut and stopped telling family members we loved them. What was the point? It was all gone next year. This magic could never be again, not like this. We shook our fists at the sky, begging for one more season. We secretly breathed promises to be better people, to change bad habits. Why couldn’t it have been me that will be a first-round draft pick in the NBA? we cried. Take me! Don’t take them! I’ll go play center for the Charlotte Bobcats! We need them here, in Kentucky! Alas, no answer came. Time marched on.

4. Reflection and Loneliness
We thought back to the good times. We started turning on CBS at noon on Saturdays, hoping the Wildcats would be there, but instead finding skateboarding competitions and exercise DVD commercials. We spent hours glued to ESPNU, hoping that at any second college lacrosse would disappear and Kentucky basketball would reappear, gloriously, to save us all. We taped makeshift “IMG” logos to the bottom of our television screens. We walked the streets of our cities at night, in the rain, imagining conversations between Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery and we slept in our clothes, reeking of taco sauce and sweat. Our friends stopped calling, and our utilities were turned off.

5. The Upward Turn
Then, on April 11, a young man named Nerlens Noel took down his hood to reveal a familiar logo shaved into his high-top fade. A glimmer of hope was born. Alongside him was Alex Poythress. Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein. Sure, each had two eyebrows, and only one had a hyphenated last name, but it was something. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all. After all, these guys were supposed to be good. But would they clinch their fists in referee defiance like Terrence Jones, or have some sort of nation-sweeping finger gesture like Doron Lamb?

6. Reconstruction and Working Through
Maybe all this is manageable, we thought, maybe things are going to be okay. All we have to do is pick up the pieces and put a team back together. So what if we didn’t have Alex Oriakhi, we don’t need him anyway. Never wanted him. Good luck to him, so long. Maybe we have the goods to do this again. We shaved for the first time and opened the blinds, squinting in the bright April sun. Stepping out into the world again didn’t seem so scary anymore.

7. Acceptance and Hope
Nerlens Noel showed up at Keeneland, and a high school prom. Our new recruits started pumping up fellow would-be recruits on Twitter. These new guys, they’re alright. Maybe they’re just as good as the old guys. Maybe life goes on. Maybe it’s time to let these 2011-12 guys go. After all, we want them to be happy. And they deserve to be. And so do we. So maybe it’s time to move on. And, with any luck, we’ll go through all of this again next April.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

38 Comments for The Seven Stages of Grief for the UK Basketball Fan

  1. Huston
    1:36 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink


  2. tg
    1:38 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink


    1:39 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink


  4. Kj
    1:39 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Your truly the reason why this site suck tis is the beyond a doubt the supplest thing I’ve ever read here STFU with this nonsense absolutely nothing to in grief about concerning UK basketball best coach together with best program=match made in heaven GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  5. UKBlue
    1:41 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    What’s to have grief over, we just won the f’ing championship. We all knew these kids were going to the NBA. UK Basketball never stops, so we have some form of UK basketball all year.

  6. Kj
    1:41 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Hard to type on an iPad but u get the point, I have no idea why I keep coming to this site.

  7. Cats#!t Crazy
    1:46 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Reading Tomlin makes me a better person.

  8. Cats#!t Crazy
    1:47 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Kj is funny but he doesn’t mean to be.

  9. Smyrna_Cat
    1:51 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    This was painful to read. Painful.

    Maybe KSR should shut down and wait for football season before starting up again?

    Please, no more of this filler crap.

  10. ooh, big gulps, huh?
    1:53 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    I have to agree with kj’s first post – this was a very supple article.

  11. Huh?
    1:53 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    What UK basketball fan is grieving right now? Other than The ‘Stache?

  12. supple is as supple does
    1:54 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Note to kj: when you attack an article for stupidity, at least come close to getting the spelling it right! The article was clever and tomlin is one of the funnier writers imo.

  13. Cats#!t Crazy
    1:56 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Kj intentionally left out every 3rd word to mask his true identity.
    Tomlin is so funny that it makes people angry.

  14. IWantJust"K"OnTheHelmets
    1:59 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    This was the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. The only thing stupider would be to take time out of my day and comment on it. Oh, wait……Damn it.

  15. Alan Badillion Trahern
    2:05 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    If there’s nothing to report on you cant blame Tomlin. I agree I just skim over these posts, but this site is also for entertainment when times are slow. I’d say anything is better than nothing.

  16. Bob Loblaw
    2:08 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t understand. Which KY fans have grief over the season?

  17. Alan Badillion Trahern
    2:12 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    16. It’s about grief because the season is over, and the long wait until the next one.

  18. Mr. Blonde
    2:13 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Obviously Wiltjer received my Candy Bouquet…

  19. MyronPryorsLivingRoom
    2:18 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    If Corey had written this article, you’d all be yelling and talking about how terrible of a writer he is.

  20. dlfsaj;kjf;alskdjf;aljsd
    2:22 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Awful article. I never post on here but it was so bad I felt like I needed to say something. Please stop writing for KSR.

  21. FlashOfBlue
    2:23 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Look, UK not in SEC anymore according to Georgia

  22. SW52
    2:24 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Have any of you heard the term “tongue-in-cheek”? Look it up.

  23. Mr. Blonde
    2:31 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Give it a break. It was a funny article. It exemplifies

    “University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.”

  24. Champ
    2:33 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Sometimes I dont even read the Tomlin articles and go straight to the comments, only because its even more enjoyable to read some people bash him and other ppl praise him

  25. Smyrna_Cat
    2:35 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    19 … Corey is a terrible writer. What is worse, he picks the most mundane subjects and just writes whatever comes to mind. No thought involved. No substance.

    This blurb by Tomlin was just stupid. And it was filler. Obviously these “blurbers” (certainly not “writers”) are told to post something. They can’t think of anything good, so we get these asinine blurbs. This board seriously needs some quality control.

  26. Nick
    2:37 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Laughed out loud (literally, no figuratively) at the picking a fight at a Pizza Hut comment.

    Tomlin, for what it’s worth, I thought this was one of your greatest posts. But then again, I don’t watch “The Voice.”

  27. Uh, ya think?
    2:43 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    C’mon, I enjoyed it just a little. There’s not much to talk about this time of year. Lighten up, folks.

  28. lbjlube
    2:47 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    24…haha..i was thinking the same thing…got about halfway through the first point then went to comments!

  29. Walter Sobchak
    3:00 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    I thought this was an awesome post. It is sad that so many people lack a decent sense of humor.

  30. SuperCats
    3:02 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Funny, great post! And the girl is cute.
    Nice job when there is no recruiting news.

  31. bluefan
    3:55 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Huh? I enjoyed it and thought it was funny. Somedays in May you’re gonna get filler. Skip it if you don’t like it. No need to be ugly.

  32. U SUCK!
    4:29 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    I too did not read this article, opting instead to skip to the comments to see what is said. I am glad to see that my seeds of discontent for this guy have been watered & are blooming to such beautiful flowers of hate! #destroytomlin/nichols

  33. Liked It
    4:46 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    Some of Tomlin’s articles, I think, are (for lack of a better term)stupid. This one I actually liked. It was funny and yes, even though I knew the starters were gone it is still sad to see them go, along with this amazing season. I am excited about next year but part of me wonders “does it get any better than this year?” Those of you that skip to the comments, please don’t comment on something you haven’t read. It is clear some of you read no more than the title.

  34. Obviously...
    6:54 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    this post should come with instructions.
    1. Look-up “satire.,”
    2. Actually read the post.
    3. Get someone to explain both satire and the post after you still don’t “get it.”
    Jeesh, you people are embarrassing.

  35. Bluegirl
    10:51 pm May 2, 2012 Permalink

    The humor of this article was simply brilliant. I grinned and chuckled all the way through it. Quite amusing ….

  36. CATandMONKEY
    12:44 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Evidently a large portion of the fan base has never even perused (look it up) literature…ever.

    Great post C.M. Some of these “fans” are the same people complaining about MJ’s posts being too long. I guess if one has never read a book…..

  37. End this intern
    1:29 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Horrable! Simply Horrable!

  38. plowboy
    8:20 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    32- U SUCK. How can you comment on an article you didn’t read? Your name seems to fit you perfectly. What a Bimbo.