Ask any true Kentucky fan and they will tell you that it isn’t just losing to teams in football that is frustrating. It is the way those losses happen. In usually epic tragic fashion, the football God (Footballor) rears his head out just long enough to screw with the minds and hearts of thousands of blue-clad fanatics packed into Commonwealth. It’s as much a rite of fall passage as the leaves changing or sorostitutes making a Friday morning scramble back to their dorm room in their black stretch pants and halter tops wrinkled and messy from too much Thursday fun. So it comes as not only hope inducing, but totally expected, that the Florida Gators are allegedly hampered by illness this week as they prepare for the Wildcats.
Whether it be Hail Mary passes caught by LSU, a pass with three seconds left versus the Gators in 1993, Billy Jack Haskins running over the Tennessee Volunteers, the 87 loss to Alabama snatched out of victory’s grasp, or the dozens of other examples, the Wildcats have always found a way to lose games just when it seems like the tide around UK football is rising. Take this year, more specifically, this weekend’s game against the Florida Gators… optimism is high, the team is undefeated, and it’s prime time to have some heartbreak doled out.
For Kentucky, optimism and hope ran high as last season ended. An impressive recruiting class joined a team that had made three straight Bowls… all wins. The defensive stalwarts that had paced the unit all elected to return instead of try out the NFL. Rich Brooks, for once in his Kentucky lifetime, was lauded as a coach worth celebrating… to the tune of a Maker’s Mark collectors edition bottle… the Kentucky version of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
There’s even reason to be optimistic for this specific weekend, even though the Cats haven’t beat the Gators since 1986. Florida, despite being the defending national champions, virtually everyone’s preseason #1, and returning every single starter from a dominating defense, has several negatives that Kentucky fans are keying on. Most notably, a lackluster effort last weekend against Tennessee, and the word over the last several days that flu is beginning to ravage the Gators. Of course it is! Because UK fans need a reason to be optimistic that an upset could occur despite the overwhelming empirical evidence that the odds of that happening are the same as me walking to my car to find Eliza Dushku and Erin Andrews naked in the backseat waiting for me.
Was this not the same team that manhandled Kentucky 63-5 last year in the Swamp? I (thankfully) didn’t watch that game, but I’m fairly certain it is in fact the same opponent. Perhaps vaunted Commonwealth Stadium is in fact a 58-point homefield advantage. Meaning that had Kentucky played Miami (Ohio) there instead of Cincinnati they would have won 100-0. Well, using that Miami game as sarcasm wasn’t the best since there are teams out there who could beat Miami by 100. I digress…
Call me a pessimist. Call me a non-believer. Call me a Kentucky football fan since that encompasses the first two, but I simply cannot fathom how Kentucky pulls anything closely resembling an upset. The flu isn’t even close to the top of the list of things that would make me consider Kentucky capable of shocking the world. These however would:
- Tim Tebow not only gets the swine flu, but also the herp, head lice, erectile dysfunction, bubonic plague and a nasty case of scabies. Because of this he only throws for 3 TDs and runs for 2.
- Florida’s plane en route to Lexington undergoes massive tragedy, team ends up marooned on island where millions of fans tune into watch their shittily crafted storylines, totally confusing plot, and rack up Emmy nod after Emmy nod.
- Running backs Jeffrey Demps and Chris Rainey simultaneously suffer from Percy Harvin syndrome, where every ligament in their body snaps.
- Urban Meyer gets arrested for massacring the Kiffin family…Florida hires Steve Kragthorpe as coach.
Frankly, I sincerely hope that I am way off the mark. It’s been known to happen on rare occasions. There is nothing I would like more than to have to tear myself away from the on-field drubbing at Auburn this weekend and post something about how Brooks is a genius, I am a dunderhead, and not even remotely worthy of calling myself a fan. Alas, what I fear will be happening is the special Sunday post of explaining an epic ass tearing of both of our teams here at OTP, swine flu or not.