Kentucky Wildcats: Apathetic About The Basketball Team? Poor Little You!

Bob Bennett

Show a little backbone, willya?

Taking notice of this Matt Jones piece suggesting that fan apathy is at an all-time high with two straight "disappointing" seasons, it kind of makes me wonder why UK fans get tagged as "some of the greatest" by guys like Dick Vitale and others in the mainstream media. If all it takes is a couple of disappointing seasons to make you abandon all hope, that doesn't auger well as a defense for either a knowledgeable or passionate group of fans.

When you've watched as much Kentucky basketball as many of us have, it truly makes me wonder how a word like "apathy" can ever be used in connection with this legendary basketball program. Of course, I understand the giddy first three years that produced one NCAA Tournament championship, two Final Fours, and one Elite Eight finish. Compared to that, especially coming as it did right after the most tumultuous and frustrating two years in Kentucky history, these last two seasons have been major bummers (up until now). I get that.

I am by nature an optimist, and I suppose that is to blame for the fact that I not only am not apathetic, I am excited for the upcoming SEC and NCAA tournaments. Yes, the pessimists among us have plenty to support their pessimism and the optimists precious little, but let's be honest — if you can't handle disappointment at this juncture, you really should do something else. We are talking about young men playing college basketball, not the US Army taking on the Russian Bear in World War III. It's great to have competitive diversion and rooting interests, even really passionate ones, but I would hope that a little misfortune and disappointment wouldn't run the fan base into, as my former commanding officer on the USS Olympia delicately put it to me, "...the land of the Ah-Fuck-Its."

No, I'm not calling out your fandom, dear hopeless sad sack of indifference. You can be a fan and be a miserable one. Not sure why you'd want to be, but hey, whatever gets you through the proverbial night — I've been there a few times in my youth. If it makes you feel better to abandon all hope lest you suffer another blow to your oh-so-important fan ego, be my guest. Far be it from me to try to ease your needless suffering with words of comfort, and if you want your pride to be the architect of your misery, don't let my mocking laughter dissuade you.

I also know that some of you, whom I've read for years, simply can't deal with it when reality becomes unpleasant, or rather, can't deal with it rationally. I don't know what to say except go watch Modern Problems or something. I always get a good belly-laugh when Chevy Chase snorts up all that demon powder around his bed, and at Dabney Coleman's unrepentant narcissistic misogyny:

Now, don't you feel better? If you're really feeling despondent, may I suggest one more thing as a cure:

Did we hear the "E-word" mentioned in the last Kentucky game?  Nope. Are we likely to see this in the SEC or NCAA Tournament? Probably not. But don't commit seppuku, or fall into an apathy-induced coma until we find out.

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