THE COMEBACK FAN

By Ryan Lemond

 

It’s been said too many times: the life of a UK football fan is a hard life.

No longer can Chicago Cubs fans argue they are the most cursed fan base in all of sports. The title definitely belongs in Lexington.

A long time has passed since the heartbreaking loss to Florida back in September. I’m still not over it. It’s going to be a long time until we are all over it.

How many times can a UK football fans have their heart ripped right out of their chest? How many times does the UK football fan get their hopes and dreams up, only to be sent home sad and depressed?

The UK football fan is Charlie Brown. UK football is Lucy.

During this embarrassing 31-game losing streak to Florida, there have been several cases where UK football has grabbed “defeat from the jaws of victory”.

There was the “Chris Doering” game.

The “Punter Jimmy Carter MVP” game.

The “Tim Couch running the option” game.

The “Jared Lorenzen / Keiwan Ratliff” game.

The “Zero time on the clock” game.

And now, the “UK left 2 receivers wide open” game.

I always go back to the hot afternoon at what was then Commonwealth Stadium when former UK star Derek Abney sat in front of a bunch of reporters with red eyes, fighting back tears while talking about another heartbreaking loss to Florida. He kept repeating himself, “When’s it gonna be our turn? When’s it gonna happen for us?”

That was tough. I often find myself asking the same questions.

You know what, though? I came back, and I’ll keep coming back. We all will. That’s what I truly love about the UK football fan base. We keep coming back. Time and time again, heartbreak after heartbreak, we always come back. We sat through some bad football seasons. We sat through some embarrassing losses. We sat through some last-minute disappointments. But we always came back.

This could still be a very special season for UK football. There are still a lot of wins out there. Bowl eligibility will soon become he “norm” around here. I promise.

UK is a better football program.

UK has better coaches.

UK has better players.

UK has recruited better.

In reality, it’s awesome that we all now know and believe that even though we got beat by Florida (again), they weren’t better than UK. For the first time during the streak, UK was honestly a better football team than Florida. That’s a huge step forward.

That’s what keeps me going. I know UK is better. I know UK is now one of the top-tier teams in the SEC. We may never drop back down to the lower level of the SEC again (see South Carolina).

What if UK beats Tennessee? What if UK beats Louisville for the second year in a row? We may not forget that Florida loss, but it sure would seem more like a distant memory if that all fell into place.

So I’ll see you back out at Kroger Field to watch our beloved Cats suit up and take on the next guy. I kinda get excited thinking about the next big win. We know it’s coming. Right?

 

 

 



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