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I take the official oath to-day ...

We've come to understand them as vitally linked, inextricable. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Peanut butter and jelly. Tucker Carlson and an overinflated sense of one's own value.

And certainly, this could also apply to Kentucky basketball and manufactured misery. Hasn't it always, to some extent?

Sure, maybe some of us fall in love with a team, or a player, or a coach, even, and we close our eyes to the negative, to the things we cannot control which so infuriate us. But like a college student to massive debt, it's just a matter of time.

For us, this year, it's Tubby Smith, an the ongoing game of "I'm right, you're right, we're both wrong." And frankly, I can't try and comment from above the fray, cannot absolve myself of my own culpability.

But it hasn't gotten us anywhere, really, has it? Does anyone feel the team is better for the Cold War between the temperate and the indignant? I sure don't. And even the most frustrated among Big Blue Nation have to feel that whether they like it or not, there are three weeks left in the current season.

So I'm proposing  -- and promise to lead the charge on -- a renewed focus on the on-going season, on the ins and outs of the offense and defense, on the key plays and players for this team.

That means no stories about what has or has not happened in recent years, what could theoretically happen in the future. Only the now.

I'm sure at least one poster (heck, maybe a slew) will talk about being "blind," about looking past the flaws. But being blind is exactly what I'm worried about. Because the collective angst, the ungainly meandering around the meaning of 'Dynasty,' 'tradition' or 'success' has left us focused on all the wrong things.

Far from enlightening us, as some especially vehement and vocal among us have thought true, it's the hand-wringing and hate that have left us blind: to the great freshmen class; to the sheer chance, however faint, of an NCAA run; to the massive desire we all share as fans to just freaking focus our fanship and again share a hearty high-five after a great win.

In closing, I'll blatantly crib from that greatest of true Blue patriots:

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Update [2007-2-23 23:10:6 by JL Blue]:

OK, how about this. We'll try to stop bashing Bobby Perry so much? That's probably a LOT more likely, huh?