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UK Football And Great Expectations: Can A Culture Be Changed, And How Do You Do It?

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.- The Serenity Prayer

Using the motto of Alcoholics Anonymous seem a bit extreme to you? Is the situation really that bad? You tell me.

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. ~Vince Lombardi

Are the fans being unreasonable in their complaints? Have we put ourselves right where we don't want to be? The answer to that is a resounding yes. Unfortunately the multitude of factors that added to the equation have become such a crutch that no one is willing to try and walk without them.

August the 13th I had knee surgery. August the 13th I walked on my new knee for the first time, with the help of some wonderful therapists at TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky. Was their demand of me to walk only 5 hours after my surgery unreasonable? I thought so at the time. Matter of fact, I thought they were certifiable when they came in and hooked me to a machine that rotated my knee in a bicyclists motion for the hour beforehand. I wanted to scream a couple times, and I believe I did, but I followed their direction as I was instructed, and now, with the exception of a weather front or two, I live a relatively pain free life when I follow the instructions of those who know better than I do. That last part is really important by the way. If I wanted brain surgery done on me, I am not going to call an orthopedist. In much the same way, if UK wants a Football program, then we better find a football guy to bring it to us.

Lets face facts, none of us are experts here in football. We know our basketball like we know the wrinkles on our foreheads, but when it comes to football, we only know that we love the sport, and we want our Cats to be successful in it, just like we want them to succeed in everything else. But do we know how to fix it? NO. I don't, you folks don't, glenn doesn't, and neither do the existing people we have in Lexington. Not one of the people that are involved with UK Sports right now is a certified success in building a football program. Mitch Barnhart is as close as it gets, and he left Oregon before their real success kicked in, so honestly he doesn't qualify either. And he wasn't hired to fix football. He was hired to maintain the status quo, and he has far exceeded that mandate and a few others.

Some really intelligent person said a long time ago, that if you want to be successful, then you need to surround yourself with successful people. That holds true for success in SEC Football even more. If you are not a certified winner, or you do not possess those qualities, you don't belong here. That's not to say that you cannot become a winner, just that you don't get the luxury of learning on the job. At Kentucky, that is compounded tenfold because we know nothing about being successful at it. We never have been. At least not for any sustainable amount of time. Oh we had some fun in the 50's, and we flirt with being pretty good every few decades, but we cannot build a winning program because we have not made the decision to consciously build a winning program. It takes the right approach, recruiting, facilites, team management, game decisions, and a lot of hard work to do it. We simply haven't done it. We want to become gracious about things and tell everyone how much we appreciate the effort of our coaches and the kids we recruit, but we do not change ourselves any more than we change our approach. We have to start holding people accountable for success, and that accountability begins with the fans, just as much as it does the University. We are not going to catch Alabama by piecemealing our way forward. But we have no one except ourselves to blame here. We let it happen, and now we have to live with the result or change to make it better. But the changes are not going to be easy, and in fact, they are going to sometimes seem certifiably crazy. But then again, if we knew what to do about this situation, we would have already done it.

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