by Daniel Hobbs
Hopefully everyone read my article a few weeks ago about how sports can bring joy into this cruel world. If you missed it, you suck, but in short, sports provide a glorious distraction to everyday life. They bring us happiness and entertainment when all else fails. “But Daniel, what if my team blows? Who can find happiness in total failure?” Well random person, this is one of the great challenges of being a sports fan. What do you do? Do you pick a new team that wins and is easier to cheer for? Do you ignore it for a while and wait for your team to become a contender? DO YOU GIVE UP ON SPORTS ENTIRELY? In the heat of the moment when you are getting your asses handed to you by some pansies from the SUN BELT CONFERENCE it’s very easy to make one of these decisions. But good news sports fan, Uncle Daniel is back with some more wisdom to help you through those tough times without giving up on something that means so much to all of us.
Being a Kentucky fan and a St. Louis Rams fan, I like to consider myself an expert when it comes to losing at football. Honestly, in the last ten years these two teams have taken the game of football, sucked all the life out of it, and defecated on it. Yet somehow I still find myself watching every UK football game and Rams game I can find on my TV. “How do I do this?”, you think quietly to yourself. Well, I hope. I hope and I pray these teams make it out of the cellar of their respective leagues. The greatest part of this mindset is that every now and then I am given a small golden nugget of happiness. Case in point, its 2007, the University of Kentucky Football team is halfway decent for the first time in years and I am delivered two victories in that season (wins over Top 10 Louisville and #1 LSU) that reignited my love for the game of football. Now we have kind of sucked ever since, with a few bright spots sprinkled in the poop flavored ice cream that is Wildcat Football, but I continue to have hope. With a new coach and a reinvigorated fan base I believe that we can rise up and slay the proverbial beast that is the SEC.
Now this leads me to my next point. There are times when great teams falter. This is part of the never ending cycle in the sports world. Coaching changes, graduating players, drafts, and retirements put teams on a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. For every rise, there is a fall. In that same year 2007, when UK Football was keeping me sane, the Cats brought in Billy Clyde Gillispie to coach the historically awesome basketball squad. Now Billy was a bit of a drinker, and he decided in his infinite wisdom that he was going to take the team I loved straight to hell. For two years, I watched this man screw the pooch in every way possible, but once again I never faltered, I wore my UK gear and was there when the Cats played UNLV in the NIT. The NIT, damnit! But soon after, Kentucky returned better than ever on the wings of an angel, John Calipari. Now, we are defending champs, which is truly better than sex.
I guess the takeaway from this is simple. Support your squad. Don’t give up after one bad season or five bad seasons and pick a different team. That would make you a fair-weather fan, which in the world of a sports fan is worse than murder. Would you cheat on your wife just because she made one bad dinner? As I’ve said before, enjoy sports and support your team to the bitter end. When you finally get that glorious moment of victory, all the waiting will have been worthwhile.