I don’t know about you, but for me, the past few years of watching Kentucky Wildcats Football had become a labor of love. I’d tune in religiously and get all hyped for a Wildcats game, but quickly discover that this team was not fun to watch. And to be honest, it had not been fun to watch for quite a while. Never the less, I have watched every game and for the most part rooted for Kentucky until the final ticks on the clock. But there is a different between being a diehard and actually enjoying their team.
And that is what happens to fans of long-suffering teams. I have a friend who is a Chicago Cubs fan and he bleeds Cubbie blue and watches maybe 100 games a year. I would not say that he is enjoying himself, although you can not deny his passion and love for the Cubbies. And that was where I had been with Kentucky football for a while.
I tried to think about the last time I had FUN watching a Wildcats football game. And even though Randall Cobb was fun to watch in 2010, I can’t say that season was terribly fun. Even with five straight bowl bids, you got the feeling that team had hits their ceiling and were as good as they were be. There were fun times, for sure, but the impending feeling of stagnation seemed to suck the joy out of a lot of the games.
And there were very few fun moments in the Joker Phillips era. Sure, they beat Louisville in 2010, but it was much closer than it should have been. And the loss to Louisville in 2011 is still one of the angriest I have ever been after a UK loss in my life. And that whole season was a test to my patience.
Yes, Kentucky beat Tennessee and I was at that game and it is still one of my favorite Wildcat memories. But that is because I was there live and basking in the moment. I assume that it was a torturous game to watch on TV. And the end result does not make it a FUN game, but a memorable one.
And I admit that even during last season of Mark Stoops’ first season, the team was not fun to watch. They were simply too overmatched in the powerful SEC. Yet I watched every minute with the hope that things would turn around.