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GAMETHREAD: Kentucky vs. New Mexico State

Can the Cats revive their hopes for a winning season?

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Florida
Mark Stoops knows all too well how high the stakes are in today’s game.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a thorough dismantling last week in The Swamp, the Cats return to the friendly confines of Commonwealth Stadium in search of the season’s first victory. They will play in uncertain weather (as I type this, my excellent Yahoo weather app is telling me humidity is at 79% in Lexington and there is a 100% chance of thunderstorms for 6 PM.) and in front of disgruntled fans so frustrated with the results they’ve seen on the field thus far one intrepid man set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to pay for the $12m buyout of HC Mark Stoops’ contract. (Thankfully no one has contributed, because UK Football needs another public black eye like Taco Bell needs a more complex menu.) There’s anger from people who feel they’ve been misled as to Stoops’ leadership skills, dismay from former players who want nothing so much as to see the team they shed blood, sweat, and tears for to succeed, and salivating glee from hated rivals who somehow think UK having a difficult football season will magically equate into them winning a somewhat important basketball game on December 21st.

Where does this leave the die-hard Kentucky fan?

In the Badlands, my friends, in the Badlands.

Badlands: plural, noun. A barren area in which soft rock strata are eroded into varied, fantastic forms.

Barren? Yes, I’d say a program that’s winless against Florida now for the 30th straight year is a bit barren. Soft rock that has eroded? One could draw parallels with our defense here, but I prefer think of this as the BBN’s hopes and dreams as they relate to UK Football. Varied, fantastic forms? Well, that does describe Boom Williams’ dad rather perfectly.

But you know the cool thing about erosion? Erosion is evolution. It’s inevitable, it’s constant, and it can turn seemingly permanent matter into something completely different than how it began. It can break your heart at the sheer weight of its destructive powers, or it can give you things of such incredible beauty it makes your heart soar.

The way I see it, we have two choices as fans: we can refuse to watch and support the team in the hope this leads to change, or we can watch and wait and hope that with our support we will see the changes we want. (I’m still clinging to hope.)

Join us at 4 PM EDT as we cheer the Cats onto victory over New Mexico State. Drinks not required but strongly recommended. After all, it can get a might dusty in the Badlands.