UK Blackout needs fan support for full effect



By Cody Porter

When a team like UK is down on its luck and needs a pick me up, coaches tend to look to methods other than just a compliment to try and give their team some motivation.

Practice can be cut short, teams can be treated to a meal, helmet stickers, trophies, or if you’re UK head coach Joker Phillips, you could give the Cats something they have desired for quite some time now.

Fittingly during a night game, falling just shy of Halloween, the Cats will be painting Commonwealth Stadium black on Saturday night with their recently unveiled all-black uniforms, as was announced on Tuesday.

But to get the full effect of the blackout, the fans must involve themselves as well, whether they like the black jerseys or not. I’m sure the traditional response, “Black isn’t one of our school colors” will be thrown around a time or two by Saturday’s 7:00 p.m. kick-off.

If everyone will participate then Saturday’s game could be one of the most memorable games and atmospheres in recent memory.

See Georgia vs. Auburn in 2007.

I’ve read other articles in which writers have the perception that simply changing uniforms won’t have any impact on the team’s play. Well I disagree. This is the spark of confidence that these Cats need as they have waited for close to four years for the opportunity.

Former UK offensive lineman Zipp Duncan went as far to say on Twitter that he needed to find out who No. 72 currently is so he can try and get their black jersey for himself to frame.

In case Zipp gets to read this, seek out freshman offensive lineman James Elliott if you want that jersey, big fella.

Just as with the Cats, earlier this season the Ohio Bobcats unveiled new uniforms against rival Marshall.

“This is something that the kids have always wanted. It comes up every year, a rumor that it’s going to happen and they’re obviously very vocal that they want it to happen,” said Ohio Bobcats director of equipment Matt Morton.

How did that game turn out you may ask?

The Bobcats racked up a season high 559 yards of offense as they knocked out Marshall by a final score of 44-7.

While the schedule may not make it look impressive, the Thundering Herd did beat the Louisville Cardinals that have already knocked off the Cats this season.

For those people who don’t want to support this attempted blackout and also complain about how the team is playing, please keep in mind that these uniforms have a big impact on recruits.

Thomas Chapman, a four star defensive tackle according to Rivals and the Cats top rated recruit for 2012, posted the following comment on his Twitter (@BigT_92) upon seeing the new uniforms; “Jus(t) seen the black UK Uniforms!!! #swag”

Another one of Joker Phillips’ hopeful superstars is two star defensive back Shawn Blaylock who on his Twitter account said, “Da new #UK unis is ham brah #blackswarm #futurewildcat”

Yeah, that’s what I thought too. They are pretty cool looking at least to the younger generations.

Now that the team has gotten what they want, it is their turn to give the coaches what they want. A win.

Mississippi State (3-4, 0-4 SEC) is coming off a bye week in which the Bulldogs had to improve upon their two point loss at the hands of South Carolina.

In addition to the new “swag”, the Cats for the most part looked like a cohesive unit for the first time all season in their win against Jacksonville State, so they should be ready to pick up where they left off.

Of course, if they don’t perform up to his expectations, Phillips made a promise that the team won’t see the uniforms return in the foreseeable future, so that could be considered another method to his madness.

“We explained to them that these uniforms don’t make plays and that the players wearing them have to prepare themselves and have the right attitude. If we don’t play well then we won’t see them again. They know that.”