These folks cheer for everything - USA TODAY Sports
Is it really true that nothing short of an NCAA Championship satisfies the Big Blue Nation? Or are we just simply unappreciative of what it takes to be Kentucky Basketball?
Good wins. Bad wins. Good Losses. Bad Losses. Good Archie. Bad Archie. Good Nerlens. Bad Nerlens. Where does it all end? We have all kinds of ways of either justifying or explaining what happens each and every year with our Cats. Our game threads, game previews, postmortems, etc. are full of more adjectives and superlatives to describe what is happening, has happened, and will happen than Webster has in the dictionary.
We even make up our own words and phrases to describe our feelings and emotions. All of this is to get our frustration, elation, and anticipation out into the world for all to see. When we lose in the Big Blue Nation, it's news. ESPN, CBS, Fox Sports ... they all want the world to know that the mighty Kentucky has taken a nosedive. Those losses hurt. We feel them, we feel them more than most.
Coach Calipari has put UK on the map once again through the power of the media and the Internet. We are on display for the entire world. Our critics take great joy in rubbing salt into the wound, and getting their digs in when UK falls short of our goal of world dominance. And that is to be expected. When you reach the summit, the critics and naysayers are more than willing to pile on and make us feel even worse. "Embracing The Hate" has become our motto.
So why are we so willing to take on ourselves when we still put a W in the win column? When we win by 5 and not 25 why can we not be satisfied? Are we so completely entrenched in conquering the world that we cannot manage to enjoy a tough win in a year when wins have become hard to come by? Or is it that we are now so inundated with information and analytics that we cannot simply applaud when a kid makes a tough shot?
Comment after comment is made about how we were playing below our standards -- how we played down to our opponents, and how we were getting less than desirable results from kids who were much more talented than they were showing. The Big Blue Nation takes being fans to the next level, and then, we up the game about five notches. We have stats, graphs, diagrams, scouting reports, inside information, and the best video that money can buy. Had Coach Adolph Rupp worked in the information age of this day, he may very well have never lost. And he may also have been considered a pariah of the coaching world. His every move would have been subject to cell phone cameras, bloggers, and college insiders who were all looking to be the next YouTube sensation.
With the information we have, most of us who have even a little bit of a basketball IQ, could take the players that Kentucky gets and win 20-25 games a year, right? How many times have we seen that statement typed into the comment section?
This is what we do with our spare time. This is how we spend our moments when we are not working. We gather our families and friends around our 55" TV's and we scream, throw foam bricks, swear, and live and die by our activities. And when the games are not on, we cram every bit of information, emotion, and knowledge we have into this website and many others. We set our browsers on multiple windows and have 5-10 UK sites open at a time and take it all in, from recruiting reports, to game analysis, to fan commentary. And we love every minute of it all.
We have allowed it to redefine our lives, and redirect our focus. Look at our work places. Most anyone can access all of their work information from their computer. They can also access every document concerning UK Basketball that was ever written or typed. You can check a spreadsheet and get the comments from the last press conference streamed into a window right beside it. Some of us spend big money to make our work stations comfortable and as user-friendly as possible. That includes being able to get our daily, or in some cases hourly, fixes of Big Blue Information.
We do all of this so we can enjoy our Cats. So we can have fun watching them win against our most despised of opponents. We do this because we have worked hard for it and have earned the right to enjoy it. So when the Cats are scraping by, getting a close shave win, maybe next time we can try to enjoy it a little more. Maybe we can take a little more pride in just winning. Winning is enough, right?