Are you ready for the start of the Kentucky Wildcats Football Dynasty?

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Growing up a Kentucky football fan wasn’t easy. Currently 28 years old, I had a rough go at it for a while. I’ve almost always lived in central Kentucky so it’s not like going was difficult, but feeling like you’re the only person in the world who actually cares can be hard. I remember Coach Curry, but not too well. The real interest in Kentucky Football, for me at least, came when Hal Mumme came to town. He brought in his cool Air Raid system with cool hats and cool sirens. It was just fun to watch and it made the fact that the team I loved lost a lot of football games for, well for forever as far as I knew, seem a little less awful. So I became more and more enveloped in the program. I knew the guys like Craig Yeast and Tim Couch, but they were never my favorites.

Similar to how I’ve never liked the Dallas Cowboys, the Bulls, or the Yankees, mainstream has never been my cup of tea. I much preferred the more obscure for whatever reason. My favorite Wildcats were Derek Homer, Kio Sanford, Derek Smith, James Whalen, Douggie Allen, and those types of guys. Blue collar players that weren’t necessarily the big names but were guys who were Kentucky Football through and through. The guys who came down and played in the sand with me at the Outback Bowl. The guys who stood around and genuinely pretended to care about my 12 year old thoughts before the 1999 Music City bowl, those were my heroes.

As I got older I started to realize that things weren’t quite as peachy as I had imagined they were. The team went through the Claude Basset ordeal and my love for Kentucky soured. Not all the way, but being that young prevented me from probably understanding things the way I do now. Finally, the incessant scandal talk and losing was more than I could take and I reserved myself to the understanding that I was a fan of a team that would probably only ever be losers unless we cheated to win.

Dark days for a teen, I know.