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Kentucky Football: Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy!

Kentucky took another step toward being a nationally prominent program. It is ok to have unbridled enthusiasm for the program. It is ok to finally go all-in.

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The scene goes as follows; it is a crisp fall evening, leaves are falling and signs of summer leaving are abundant.  He lines up 3 yards behind the ball, shuffling a path through the grass to create a perfect path to the pigskin.

He has been waiting his entire life for this kick; there have been opportunities in the past, but none bigger.  With each passing attempt, the stage becomes bigger; he becomes a little more anxious, a little more nervous, and a little less confident.

This is the one, he says to himself, just before he summons the courage to push forward.  One step, confidence building... his confidence exponentially increases over the next two steps.  He plants the left foot perfectly to maximize momentum and leg swing.  Just like that, the leg is in motion and all of his past demons are on the threshold of an exorcism...

...  The kick is empty, and Charlie Brown goes flying in the air, falling for what seems to be minutes.  Landing with a thud of embarrassment and the realization that it happened again, he was fooled.

This is about the best scenario you can find to describe what it is like to be a UK football fan.  As far back as I can remember we have been fooled into thinking better days were ahead, only to fall on our back when we go to kick the ball.


We had Bill Curry, the savior of the bluegrass, who had won 26 games and went to 3 bowls over three years at Alabama.  He would only win more than 4 games once during his 7 seasons at UK, to put that into perspective, Stoops is likely going to do it twice in his first three.

Hal Mumme would come along and capture the hearts of the Commonwealth with Air Raid and Jimmy Buffett.  When Kentucky won 7 games and went to a New Year's Day bowl, we all thought it was only a matter of time before we started counting SEC championships... oops.

Less than two years after that pinnacle, the doldrums of a 2-9 record amidst an NCAA investigation that found more than 3-dozen violations, ruined any hope of a future.  To add insult to injury, the next season we would go 7-5 in a probation season with a bowl ban.

Enter Coach Rich Brooks to a collective groan from a fan base that wanted a big name.  Everyone almost immediately wanted someone else and a 9-25 start to Brooks' UK coaching career fired a fuel of frustration as hot as a thousand suns.

The next 4 years were magical (in UK fan perspective) and we thought it set the stage for big boy football to come to Lexington.  Little did most of us know that Brooks did not have the support and resources he needed, ultimately leading to his retirement.

None of it mattered though; we had the hot young assistant coach on deck.  A guy who truly bled blue and even played here, he was going to turn us into a national power.  He was going to recruit and win against the programs that tried to pry him away from Lexington when he was an assistant... oops.


I get it, Big Blue Nation, I do...  I am part of that group of fans waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I know you are feeling like we have scratched off a lottery ticket that is a big winner and you are expecting to turn it over and see "redeemable at yo momma's house."

How does the saying go, fool me once shame on you, fool me 2, 3, 6, 10 times shame on me?  You have put your faith in a program that has not been kind back.  You have been told at least 4 times now, "yeah, but this time it will be different," only to see the football Gods rip our hearts out and play hacky sack with it.

Big Blue Nation made their statement in Joker Phillips' last game against Vanderbilt, I am here to tell you it is ok to make another statement and open up, quit waiting for the other shoe to drop.  It is ok to think that even better days are ahead for us, cause they are.


We have not beaten Florida in nearly the same time as a home mortgage being paid off, Steve Spurrier's version of South Carolina is on the back 9, and Missouri is hardly worthy of the top 25 ranking they just lost.  I get the hesitation, I really do, and I do not blame you.

Having said that, the Missouri victory is a next step forward in total transformation to a major SEC Football program.

It is not the win itself over Missouri that has me opining that we have taken another step forward, it is what the win signifies.  It is how we won; the normally detrimental mistakes and "bad luck" did not engulf the team.

I am a firm believer that you make your own breaks.  There are fortunate occurrences and there are unfortunate occurrences over the course of a game, even a season.  However, over the course of time, you make your own luck... you only need to look across town in Rupp Arena to see that.

Against Missouri we made a multitude of mistakes, we got penalties that were borderline while our opponent seemed to have a no penalty cheat code typed in at times.

We even lost 67 yards of field on a beautiful pass that came back and then some with TWO penalties called on us.  In years past, we would have likely thrown a pick-6 on the next play or a fumble leading to a scoop and score.  We did neither; we bucked up, went to work, and drove it down the field for 6.

We lost an A.J. Stamps pick-6 on a highly questionable pass interference call.  In years past, you do not need convincing that Missouri would have certainly scored, not anymore.

Kentucky has closed out all three wins by exerting their will on the opponent.  Gone are the days of spending the entire fourth quarter with our breath held in the hopes of the curse of the bear not rearing its head.  We have used three different running backs and 7 different offensive linemen to salt away the game.

In maybe the most un-Kentucky moment, we opted to essentially kneel on the ball to end the first half when we had two timeouts and the best kicker in the conference warming up.  We even came out in the third quarter with a three and out.  Old Kentucky would have gone into a death spiral, new Kentucky does not care about old Kentucky; they won the game their way.

So go on BBN, let your wildest imaginations run free, imagine one day booking a trip to Atlanta in December.  Go ahead and wonder what is going to happen when Mark Stoops starts bringing in top-10 recruiting classes.  Anything is in the realm of play with this guy given enough time and resources, both of which are in mass quantities in Lexington these days.

To borrow one of baseball's most famous lines by one of it's greatest to ever call a game, take the advice of Jack Buck and "go crazy folks, go crazy".