TAYLOR: The life of a UK football fan

Count my pastor among the many faithful fans who show up at Commonwealth Stadium on a weekly basis to support a football program that has traditionally strived at the ticket gate.

Success on the field has been few and far between over the years for the University of Kentucky football team, which is still trying to establish itself among the elite programs in college football or at least in the Southeastern Conference.

Pastor Stephen Hobbs has a simple explanation as to why he's walked away from his seat at Commonwealth Stadium disappointed after the Wildcats fail to produce a potential breakthrough on the gridiron.

His answer? "That's the life of a UK football fan."

Disappointment, shocks and stunning stories are nothing new for the thousands of fans who are used to coming up on the short end of the score on a consistent basis.

Many blame the problem on the basketball issue and the fact that Kentucky can't win in football because it devotes all of its attention to a hoops program that counts itself among the few and proud when it comes to the roundball sport.

If that be the case, how do you explain Louisville's rise to the top in football and men's basketball in the same time frame?

The Cardinals have thrived in both sports since Tom Jurich took over the the school's athletic department. He has carefully crafted both teams into consistent winners and taken the team to the next level in terms of conference play.

Kentucky is starting to make strides in the so-called minor sports, such as baseball, volleyball and women's basketball.

Every so often, Kentucky football followers see a flicker of sunlight amid the dark clouds that surround the program dating back to the days of the late Paul "Bear" Bryant.

It's during those times that give thousands of fans hope that football can be a success at the school, despite standing in the shadows of the men's basketball team.

Although his assistant coaches brought him down, Hal Mumme injected a dose of fun into the program and Guy Morriss had the Cats on the brink of success in the early days of the probation period.

Rich Brooks has dealt with more of the blunt force from sanctions than Morriss had to encounter, which doesn't mean he's the blame for the current problems that exist on the football field.

There's no reason why Kentucky can't be a consistent winner on a yearly basis. Every fall, followers from all across the Commonwealth keep clinging to that hope that one day it will happen.

That's why pastor Hobbs spends his Saturdays before the Sabbath hoping and praying that things will turn around for the program.

Indeed, that's the life of at least one UK football fan.

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