Now let us set down and session with Dr. Joy Brown and psychoanalyze this phenomenon. Why are they having so much fun coming off a 2-9 season with a sense of more doom and gloom on the horizon?
Where is the nexus of the said phenomenon? This, for the first time since Coach Rich Brooks has been here, appears to be his team. He has on some occasions alluded to perhaps not having a team that has bought into what they are trying to do. The upper classmen leaders that were still disillusioned about the departure of Guy Morriss are gone off the team. Some of the players that were poison to this team are gone.
We posed a question to coach Brooks as to what is the difference expressed by some players the fact that they are now having fun. "Maybe their attitude," Brooks with a short coy answer as if to say, I'll leave it there…
An infusion of some young and or new enthusiastic players such as linebackers Makhail Mabry and Johnny Williams and mid-term junior college transfer o-lineman Fatu Turituri have given the team a new personality.
Then there was the exodus of some stiff-necked coaches and the addition of some energetic, ebullient, hands on coach's that are willing to get in there with the players and mix it up. This parlays into players getting a better grasp on what is expected and how to execute it.
One former UK coach while observing this addition of the Cat's marveled at the change in attitude of this team. He talked about former Offensive Coordinator Ron Hudson saying he was to tough and to rigid. He further said Hudson wasn't going to change. That posture is acceptable for a position coach but for an Offensive Coordinator, you have to be flexible. His observation is that he had lost his players.
Upon closer observation, the catharsis occurred prior to the Tennessee game last season with the resignation of Hudson and the installment of Joker Phillips in the OC position. Hence, the beginning of fun time.
"I tell people that was a real fun game," Jacob Tamme said alluding to the Tennessee game. "Ultimately, when you look back on it, it is not what you wanted it to be but for the first time in a long time, we had fun playing and that's what we need to get back to."