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Kentucky Football: Open Letter To Joker Phillips

Dear Joker:

How are you this morning?  Not so well, I'll bet, and if it makes you feel any better, you have plenty of company.  A lot of us out here in the Big Blue Nation are waking up to the reality that our football team not only lost to the Louisville Cardinals, a program most of us despise in the deepest depths of our immortal souls for the first time in five years and in our home stadium, but that at the present moment, our prospects for a winning season this year look about as bleak as can be .  Even if you don't share the latter opinion, as a former player, you can surely appreciate the former.

Look, Joker, I'm going to talk to you like a Dutch uncle.  First of all, I want to tell you that I'm a supporter, and I like you.  I want you to coach at Kentucky for a long time and cover the Wildcats in glory, or at least in respectability.  I know this isn't news to you, but what has happened on the football field so far this year, and much of last, is the antithesis of that.  It isn't just the Louisville loss, it's the fact that from an offensive standpoint, our team is offensive all right, just not in a good way.

I totally understand that we are not Alabama or Florida, and we don't get that many exciting players in every year.  I get that, and as a UK fan, I appreciate why that is.  But let's be honest, Joker, your senior-dominated offensive line, whom many picked as one of the best in the SEC this year, couldn't make a hole with a John Deere backhoe.  Plunging your running backs into the open arms of linebackers is just not a recipe for success in the SEC, or anywhere else, I presume.

Last year, we had Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke, and those guys alone gave us a chance to pile up yards in every game.  This year we have Morgan Newton and La'Rod King, and so far against two inferior and one equal competitor, we have rolled up an impressive total of 58 whole points, dead last in the SEC.  Don't get me started on offensive numbers -- I'm sure you know as well as I do that their suckage is unprecedented in recent UK history.

Joker, your offense is about as exciting as a Roman Catholic priest at a Holy Roller revival.  You have us all speaking in tongues, all right, but in the rest of America, that tongue is known as "profanity."  When you have a line that can't block for the run, it only makes sense to change your offense accordingly. At this point, I'm not sure what you change it to, but that's why we pay you and your staff. Come up with something to keep us fans interested, for heaven's sake.  Right now, your offense is just barely more compelling than watching a Chia Pet grow, and the only time it has been exciting to even a limited degree was when we were trying to come back from a two-touchdown hole.

Now, I'm not expecting you to run the Hal Mumme Air Raid, although I would welcome it over what we've seen so far.  One thing I can say about the Mumme years is that we didn't have to conscript fans to the stadium to fill it for our biggest rival.

But I am asking you to adapt your offense to the players you have.  If you want to know how to do that, just walk over to the Joe Craft center and talk to our basketball coach, the famous innovator of the Dribble Drive Motion offense.  He has basically thrown his much-vaunted DDM offense in the dust bin the last two seasons, and run a low post offense in one and the pick-and-roll in the other, and he's done okay.  I know his talent is better than yours, and I know football has a lot more moving parts than basketball, but surely some adjustments can be made.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Now, maybe that truism doesn't apply to football, but all I can tell you is that continued "success" on the level you are enjoying it right now is a one-way ticket to an offensive coordinator's job at Morehead State.  You're better than that, and it's high time you start proving it.

Thanks for listening to me rant.  We are behind you right now.  We want you to succeed.  Don't lose us.  Please.


Glenn Logan