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Now & Then: How Being a UK Football Fan Has Changed in the Last 25 Years

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“It’s completely changed. Just the atmosphere, the game day energy in our first two home games has been incredible. Totally different than when I first arrived.”
Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops on fan support this season vs. past seasons 

Mark Stoops is right, you know. The atmosphere surrounding Kentucky football is, ever so slowly, beginning to change from one of perennial fear and gloom to one of hope and optimism. Why, just the other day I saw I man taking a window decal of Calvin from “Calvin & Hobbes” peeing on a UK football helmet OFF his Silverado. That’s progress. That’s change. It’s proof you need? Then proof I’ll provide. Just look at the difference between the current positivity surrounding Kentucky football versus some low points over the past years. I think we can all agree it’s a great time to be a UK Football fan right now.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Watches games on the edge of his or her seat, leaping to celebrate with every caught pass and first down.

The 1994 UK Fan: Watched games on the edge of his seat, biting his nails and hoping for something — anything — to change the momentum of the team for the better.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Wakes each morning with an enthusiasm in his heart that UK football is once again growing into a strong and proud program.

The 1994 UK Fan: Woke each morning cynical and dismissive of a team and coaching staff that seemed to continually disappoint.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Watches Friday Night Lights with friends and family, hoping it’s an encouraging precursor to a successful season for the Kentucky Wildcats.

The 1996 UK Fan: Watched Independence Day curled in a fetal position, hoping that aliens would destroy the earth before the second half of the Tennessee game resumed.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Hears former quarterback Jared Lorenzen commenting on current games and remembers how much he or she enjoyed watching Lorenzen play in the early 2000s.

The 2006 UK Fan: Heard Bill Curry commenting on college football games on ESPN and instinctively doused himself in flames, leaping out the window to the street below to stop the memories searing his or her brain.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Greets his fellow fans with cheerful “Go Cats!” to which an energetic “Go Cats!” is returned and high-fives are exchanged.

The 2012 UK Fan: Greets his fellow fans with a plea of “Will you drive this screwdriver into the base of my spine so I can’t walk back to my seat and watch the rest of this Vanderbilt Game?” to which a response of “I can’t see to do that because I already poked my own eyes out in the first half to avoid seeing any more of this horrible carnage” is returned and sorrowful wails are exchanged.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Why not [Kentucky]?

The 1994 UK Fan: Why not [throw myself in front of this speeding tree removal truck]?

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The 2015 UK Fan: Puts a UK sign in his yard to support the team.

The 1994 UK Fan: Puts garbage in his tire fire because he lives in a nightmarish hellscape of football.

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The 2015 UK Fan: Is a very happy, well-adjusted man or woman who loves family and enjoys the bounty that a rich, fruitful life can yield. There’s always hope.

The 1994 UK Fan: Is incapable of true human joy and is wholly unable to love or be loved by another human being. Maybe, someday, in the 2000s, he can learn to live again. Maybe fans will be joyful anew. Maybe Commonwealth Stadium will get a renovation. Maybe.
Y2K will probably destroy everything. But there’s always hope.

Say, this guy coaching at Nordonia High School looks alright.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

All I want is a HI-C and a turkey sandwich. @CM_Tomlin

17 Comments for Now & Then: How Being a UK Football Fan Has Changed in the Last 25 Years



  1. RealCatsFan
    3:14 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    So basically, the 2015 UofL fan has taken up the mantle of the 1994 UK football fan. Oh-and-three! 😀



  2. Jackie
    3:21 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    The picture on the right is of Kansas fans…WHY?!?!



  3. Quinnytw
    3:24 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    How could someone be this unfunny? Wow



    • Sir Edmond
      7:28 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

      I agree. This was painful to read.



  4. Jack
    3:31 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    The stadium was better before they closed in the bowl. I remember Pookie Jones more fondly than Andre Woodson. Jeff Snedegar is the greatest UK Football Player EVER!



  5. john wall
    3:33 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    I mean how the hell do you put up a picture of kansas fans? really?????



  6. fatbrat
    3:47 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    Football has changed over the years and is getting better yes. Lets not forget back when Brooks and company were in charge the fan base was pretty wild and they were putting 72,000 butts in seats not 62,000. This team so far would struggle to fill the old capacity.



  7. abcat
    4:21 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    So from 94′ to 2015 is 25 years… got ya.



  8. 2015 UK Fan
    4:23 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    Spends way too much time on KSR and can tell who the author of an article is without evening looking at the name, but rather just by the content and writing style.



  9. Sounds like
    5:22 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    Sounds like those 2015 fans don’t remember the last half of 2014.



  10. Brandon Michaels
    5:27 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    >>Is a very happy, well-adjusted man or woman who loves family and enjoys the bounty that a rich, fruitful life can yield.<<

    Oh, you mean like Jared Fogle?



  11. Yoda
    5:28 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    Running out of worthwhile subject matter we are yes



    • Derpi-Wan KaDerpy
      6:00 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

      And yet here you remain….



  12. jim greene
    7:39 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    2015 fans buying merchandise vs. 1994 to 1996 when tractors were pulling trailers with UK merchandise chasing any cluster of fans in the CWS parking lot.



  13. Reality
    9:40 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

    In the end, the hype is far greater now, but the results are the same. Stupes!



    • Wait, WHAT?!?!
      9:55 pm September 25, 2015 Permalink

      We went 2-10 last year?!?



  14. Megan
    8:59 am September 26, 2015 Permalink

    The positivity surrounding Kentucky football isn’t shared by everyone at KSR. This week we’ve seen articles insisting that if we don’t win today, the season’s over. No turning the corner. Another disappointing year.