About two or three years ago, we had someone in my department at work that was leaving our company, and they sent a farewell email. At the bottom of that email, there was a quote that said the following:
"Change is inevitable, misery is optional."
I really liked that quote at the time, and I want to use a variation of it now to get my point across about being optimistic:
"Heartbreak is inevitable; misery is optional."
We as Kentucky fans feel like we have a monopoly on sports fans being heartbroken. This simply is not true. Below are some other sports franchises that have known some major heartbreak.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox faithful has been redeemed but for a long time the "curse of the Bambino" reign over Boston in a way that only the Cubs' fans could understand. In 1986 the biggest example of this curse came to fruition.
October 25th, game 6 of the World Series and the Red Sox are up 5-3 with three outs remaining to become World Champs for the first time since 1918. I'll let Vin Scully's call take it from here, "So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!"
New England Patriots
The 2007 team was billed as the greatest NFL team ever assembled after they went through the season without losing a game. Coming into Super Bowl XLII against the Giants they were 19-0 and the Giants were a wild card team that the Patriots had already beaten in the regular season.
That didn't seem to matter as the Giants played great and finished off an 83-yard drive towards the end of the game with a touchdown to take the lead and eventual win. The "Perfect Team" was longer perfect and Pats fans were beside themselves if you don't believe me click this link, and you'll see it for yourself!
Since Coach K began coaching at Durham, he has done nothing but dominate the sport. It takes a lot for a true blue, die-hard, bleeding blue Cat fan to say that but if you look at his stats it's obvious. He is 970–262 at Duke and that includes 5 National Championships, 12 Final Four appearances, and he is on an impressive 21-year streak of making the tournament.
Now let's talk about their heartbreak, cause that brings me joy! In 2012, the 10-year anniversary of the most famous Kentucky heartbreak.The NCAA had it setup perfect for a rematch between UK and Duke as they were both in the South Regional. Kentucky was the No. 1 seed and Duke the 2.
It was perfect except for the fact Lehigh (the 15 seed) beat Duke 75-70. If my memory serves me right, I do believe another team that wears blue and had a young kid with a unibrow won the Championship that year!!
I shouldn't have to explain this one. Bartman may not have been the sole reason the Cubs ended up not moving forward in playoffs in 2003, but it's such an important moment in sports that it has it's own Wikipedia page. I am a Cubs fan, and this franchise might be the one we as Kentucky football fans can look to and say well at least we aren't like that.
There are many other examples of heartbreak, and I'm sure most fan bases can list plenty of heartbreaking moments in their fandom. So, I remain optimistic that each game is a game in which we can win. I keep this philosophy in other areas in my life as well. For me, it's either complain about what's not going right in my life and be miserable or look for the things going right and focus on them and be happy!
Heartbreaks are still going to happen. They are real, and I will let myself feel that pain. What I won't let the heartbreaks do is change me into a miserable person.
If the Kentucky fan base as a whole can adopt that philosophy, then I believe that could start trending our players and coaches to be more optimistic and BELIEVING Kentucky Football can be great.