Face it. It's a tough time to be a Kentucky Wildcats football fan, and this is one of the worst starts to a season in recent memory as the Wildcats are 0-2 for the first time in 19 seasons.
No matter how bad the season opener went for UK, they could always be counted on to win the second game of the season, but that streak came to a crashing halt in the Swamp against the Gators on Saturday.
It's hard to get away from the stench surrounding the start to this season, and that is amplified if you go online. The social media trolls are out in full force and are circling the near carcass of Kentucky football like vultures. It takes a special kind of troll to actually punish himself for saying something nice about the Wildcats.
Most of you are probably aware of Mike Bianchi from the Orlando Sentinel. I agree with him on a lot of things concerning the Orlando Magic, but his level of Kentucky Athletics trolling over the years has been at an unmatched precedent.
It was with a level of surprise when I saw his column on Saturday when he picked, in earnest, Kentucky to beat the Gators by five points. His summation was that Kentucky was not as bad of a team that everyone thought and that it was time for this streak to end. Just because it is hard to beat anyone at anything 30 times in a row.
Well, it was pretty easy apparently, and this morning, Bianchi was looking to redeem himself to his Gator faithful for even picking Kentucky to win so you would think that an apology was in order.
Nope. He suspended himself.
It's also why I'm going to penalize myself for the inane prediction that Kentucky would upset UF. When college athletes do something stupid, I often write they should be suspended for a week so they can sit on the bench and think about what they have done.
I don't want to be a hypocrite, and this is why I'm self-imposing a one-week suspension on picking football games. This is going to be tough because I've been making weekly pigskin predictions for 25 years. In short, I have become a football-picking junkie.
As radio caller Buckeye Rob told me on our show, I need to treat this as an alcoholic would treat a 12-step program. The first step is to admit that I have a problem.
My name is Mike Bianchi, and I picked Kentucky to beat Florida.
And for once, I have nothing. I'd love to be able to fight back and to angry tweet Bianchi and call him a @%$&* or a @%%&*#!, but don't have the energy to defend this outing on Saturday.
So like the team on Saturday, I will just take it. And say "Bravo" on the troll job. I just can't respond. I don't have the energy, and I have nothing to defend.
That is a very bad thing for Mark Stoops and company. I have defended him and his team 100% since he stepped foot in Lexington. I have blindly bought into everything he has said but I just can't anymore.
Don't get me wrong; I still support this team 100% and I will be supporting them every Saturday the rest of the season. I'm just not drinking the Big Blue Kool-Aid anymore and defending this staff when they can't put a competitive product on the field in season four.
Mark Stoops has already lost a lot of fans, and some of those can be called "bandwagon fans" if you want to be dismissive about it. I am far from a bandwagon fan, and it's a really bad thing when I start looking at this coaching staff cynically.
And that is where we come full circle to the Bianchi story. While it was in jest and a troll move, he felt the need to punish himself for the mistake he made in supporting Kentucky football, albeit briefly.
At what point do the hardcore fans, after another performance like this, feel the need to punish themselves for supporting the team and putting themselves from the continual heartbreak and misery?
It's not a good spot to be in for Stoops and company. It's time to make some changes to ensure you don't reach the point of fan apathy for the second time in five seasons.
There is no coming back from that.