I have followed Kentucky football for a long time, and it has be..."/>

I have followed Kentucky football for a long time, and it has be..."/>

Football Cats Never Get Any Respect


I have followed Kentucky football for a long time, and it has been a hell of a journey. Not being old enough to remember pre-1980’s coaching regimes, I’ll still take credit for being through some of the worst of it. When I was gaining football consciousness in my early years Bill Curry was taking the Cats to the Peach Bowl and getting thumped by Clemson. The inability to notch anything of above six wins a year was never anything to get excited about; then the air raid horn sounded. Tim Couch was a game changer and the times were good, but the dark clouds of infraction penalties were looming far on the horizon. I was a freshman in college for the Bluegrass Miracle, and if you look in the bottom left of the iconic picture of our joyous epic failure, you’ll see a certain blogger looking up at the scoreboard and not celebrating as much as everyone else; that’s when the pain started. Despite having a great year, we were locked out of college football’s holy land past the desert of the regular season, and we never saw a season like that for quite some time.
The next few years are what I refer to as the dark ages, and if you were there to suffer through it, I call you my comrade. a combined record of 9-25 over the first three years of the Rich Brook’s era had many calling for his job, but football is not like basketball, no coach can come in and produce in one year. So I sat in empty bleachers and watched my beloved football team get thrashed like a Jewish Mexican basketball team, and kept cheering. It is through this long diatribe that I come to the point of my story: people lost respect for football. Not just residents of the Bluegrass, everyone. Nobody saw anything for than a opportunity to drink heavily in the fall, and no one questioned that if you were at the game. But then something interesting happened…we started winning. 2006 started it, but the year of 2007 will go down in memory forever. Rushing the field three times in one year (starting with Georgia in 2006) was an experience that few can say they did, but Kentucky football was undeniably back on the map and has not left. But still, we get no respect.
At the end of last year, we had to say goodbye to some of the biggest impact players to ever put on the pads for UK. Micah “Legoman” Johnson (I’m trying to get that nickname off the ground. Not an actual Legoman, but a man made of Legos. He’s all right angles), Trevard “The Assassin” Lindley, as well as multi-year starters Sam Maxwell and Corey Peters. All of these players were critical in our success, but what about the respect they should have earned for their hard work? None, nada. Corey Peters was probably the guy who got the most, being drafted in the third round is no joke. Lindley should have been drafted in the third, and probably Conner a round earlier. Both of those players were Oak trees at ther respective positions. Despite having a lackluster senior year, Lindley was flat out deadly the year before and any team can see that, when healthy, he truly earns his nickname. Conner was hands down the best fullback this university has ever seen, and although the potential value of fullbacks in the draft is low, he still got drafted in the middle rounds and will make a great 8-10 year man for someone.
But what about the others? Micah Johnson garnered all-SEC honors three years (does anyone know how hard that is? SEC football) and had 105 tackles his senior season. But does he get drafted? No. Sam Maxwell made six INT’s last year, tied for most interceptions per game in the SEC, and sixth in passed defensed. That’s the whole conference, defensive backs and all. Does his name get called on draft dayweek? No. And what about the offensive line? Three and four year starters who have the size and the experience? Nope. This is crap. Kentucky football has just as much momentum as many schools in non-SEC conferences, but our players get no respect. Thankfully these great players have ended up on teams, with Maxwell(Saints), Johnson(Giants), Zipp Duncan(Eagles), Justin Jefferies(Chargers), and even Alfonso Smith(Cardinals) being recognized for their talents and signing deals. Hey, we might not get any respect, but when you don’t get it, you earn it the old-fashioned way. Right, Rodney?

Special shout-out to Dicky Lyon’s Jr., who signed a free agent contract with the Broncos. Great guy and maker of unbelievable catches.

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