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Mark Schlabach had a very "interesting" article on ESPN.com tonight about underrated coaching jobs. Listed UL as the Big East underrated coaching job. Also stated this opinion which I have already sent him an email about, "Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich is committed to winning, and the school's fan base seems to care about football a little bit more than Kentucky fans".
Wow, is all I can say.
What's wrong about that statement?
Had he stated Kentucky fans care more about BBall than FB, he might have a leg to stand on. But, to say uavel fans care more about football than kentucky fans do has no basis as far as I can see.
yeah, if he'd said UL's admin cares more about fb thatn UK, he may be accurate, but UK has some of the best fb fans in the country. Even the one's who are protesting and not showing up waited many loyal years before they made the decision to stop suppoting mediocrity, and they only did it for the purpose of trying to implement change.
Let's not forget only a few years ago, UL fans bailed on Kragthorpe by the 3rd game of his first season. Let us also not forget that even Charlie has had to go out of his way to ask them to get to the game on time, stay in their seats, and stay till the end, as recently as last year.
UL fans are fair-weathered fans and always have been. UK fans are Loyal, and true blue. The fact that they are finally starting to lose faith really shows the ddireness of the situation. We're talking about lifetime fans, people 40 and older who are finally starting to break.
I know that U of L has a pretty passionate fanbase. I would be very hesitant to call UK's better. And I don't see that as some sort of huge slight against UK. We do have some loyal fans, but U of L has the bandwagon thing going on still. And it may not just be bandwagon. I know a lot of people in Louisville and there are some pretty passionate fans out there.
There is no factual basis whatsoever to the fan comment. I'm not going to say UK's fans care more than UofL's, but it's certainly not the other way around. Not sure what Mark was trying to do there.
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JDrumUK
I think some of the fans using season tickets as a protest have a very real chance of regretting their decision. Not this season (although that's possible) but for the long-term consequences this "protest" will have on the program.
What hurts worse in recruiting, no recruiting room or an empty stadium? Which is more detrimental to the team playing a home game, apathetic/absent/booing fans or lack of luxury seating? What will convince an administration quicker, the loss of a couple of million in revenue (from a stream flush with TV money) or a fan-base that demonstrates so much fervor for the football program that it cannot be ignored?
I think it's absurd to think that recruits would ignore an empty stadium, apathetic fans, and "fans" who actively deride UK's football program because of a recruiting room. Players want to play where they are rock stars. Where they are heroes, cheered by an electric stadium on gameday. While a recruiting room would certainly help, it will never be a replacement for a rabid fanbase who gets involved on gameday.
Just as clearly, facilities are not holding our current players back. They have a nice weightroom, indoor and outdoor practice facilities, nice locker rooms, and and attractive athletic facility, even without luxury seating, a remodel, or new pressbox in the admittedly no-frills stadium. What ultimately motivates the players (obviously beyond their self-motivation) is a fanbase that is really and truly behind them. That cheers and screams and makes noise. That shows up at the spring game, the fan day, the open practices. That sort of support is just as much, or more of, a demand for excellence than booing, leaving early, or giving up (on them, the players) because you don't like what the administration has done.
Put it this way: You have a hard job. It's demanding on your time, competitive, and takes full focus and extreme physical exertion to accomplish and succeed. Your boss doesn't (outwardly) seem to care about you as much as he/she cares about other employees. Sounds like a bad job, right? Would you be willing to keep working at that job if your customers spit on you, called you names, and refused to return your calls? How about if your customers treated you like royalty, went out of their way to support you, and made an effort to get involved and help you succeed?
My third question posed likely has the most ambiguous answer. But I look at it this way: Fan support or no, Phillips will not survive another season similar to 2011. Fan support or no, Phillips will survive if there is real and tangible improvement. Bad football = fired. Good football = retained. If there is bad football, the fans who did not renew will pat themselves on the back, convinced that it was their season ticket that got the job done. In reality, it would have happened anyway.
If Phillips is retained after an improved showing, will those fans come slinking back for their tickets, chastened and humble? Or is it just as likely (as I've heard some exclaim) that these fans have based so much of their time and effort about being "right" regarding their evaluation of Joker Phillips that they will stay away (again, as I've heard numerous times) "until the Joke is fired."
There is this false narrative out there that the administration is engaged in some sort of a Ponzi scheme, that everyone is "satisfied" with going 6-6 and getting to a bowl game. That if those 6-6 seasons and bowl games happened, and the stadium was filled, nothing would ever change. This narrative is simply false and an exercise in false superiority for those who claim to have "seen the light." Worse, it's implicating our players. Do you think they are satisfied in 6-6? They are the ones who ultimately play the games and determine the season's outcome. Are they a "part of the problem" with UK football? If the stadium was filled, would every player and coach in this program be happy with winning 6 games?
I'm as hard on (and as disappointed in) in the administration as anyone here. Our facilities have to be "in the neighborhood" for football, but must be "the gold standard" for basketball. That's a huge negative for the football program to overcome. Add to it poor national perception, poor historical tradition, and an extremely poor showing last season, and you have a ridiculous amount of negativity to overcome when it comes to recruiting talent, our number one objective if we want to improve.
With all of those negatives around the program, who in their right mind thinks adding more negatives (apathetic/absent/booing fans) will help efforts in any way? Not one football player is going to appreciate those fans who gave up their season tickets. Not one game will be won because of the silence in the stands. Not one recruit will look at the empty stadium some seem to crave and think "man, I really would love to play in front of all of these empty bleachers." Not one coach in the nation will think "man, I would really love to coach at a program where they love football so much that they stop attending games."
Fans control one thing. Their attendance and attitude. Fans don't control bonding, or administrative decisions, or coaching changes, or player development. Long-term, an empty stadium at UK does nothing but harm a program that is already floundering. Staying away won't help, and those that think it will are out of their minds.
That's just false. UofL's attendance even last year was ABYSMAL! In Kragthorpe it was TERRIBLE. In the bottom of the bottom in brooks 3rd year Uk still got 50k-60k in CWS. last year we were able to get that. UofL has bandwagon fans. No other way to cut it.
Maybe, but your sentiment cuts both ways.
Hint #1 for UK fanbase internet posting Blue Ghost. NEVER play devils advocate for anything that involves UK vs Loserville. GOT IT, WE STRAIGHT.
Regarding UL fans- one thing is clear, after experiencing the success of the Petrino Era, they won't buy tickets if the product is poor. They protested Kragthorpe by giving up season tickets and suites. Jurich responded by hiring a "name" coach for UL standards, the fans responded by buying back tickets and increasing donations.
UL charges so fricken much for basketball and football tickets, the fans almost take on a professional sports team mentality. Their protests are at the ticket office, and those protests seem to be heard very quickly by their administration.
They can not even sell out their home games. How are they more committed than UK fans? Big Blue is among the top-25 in attendance every year since the expansion of Commonwealth. BBN traveled en mass to UK's bowl games making them like home games for the 'Cats. Have not seen that from Card fans. Sorry Mark. Epic fail with that comment.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Emerson
There are pretty passionate fan bases everywhere out there, but ULs fanbase as a whole is nothing like ours. Fact.
I agree that non-renewal of season tickets is NOT the way to go. Perfect proof is Rupp Arena. What does Rupp really have going for it? It is not new or shiny or in any way state of the art. It is just flat out BIG, and LOUD, and an incredible EXPERIENCE. If Commonwealth and its ~70k went crazy like the 24k in Rupp, it would only be a short time before we saw a real uptick in recruiting. I firmly believe that.
I understand the complaint against the administration (but not against MB--that guy is flat out getting it DONE!), but you will NOT make them come around by making CWS crappier on game-day. In their own minds, it will just further fortify their current positions.
This is a classic chicken-or-egg-first scenario, but I don't think we're going to like the long-term ramifications of a drastically undersold CWS for the 2012 season.
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