COLUMN: Cats suffer lack of support in win

Before most likely collapsing from exhaustion, Wildcat did his final one-armed push-ups in front of a small fraction of the original hometown crowd Saturday.

It was, frankly, quite sad.

Any mathematics professor on campus would have a field day searching for the direct correlation between the number of points scored by UK and the number of fans that leave a football game early.

With each touchdown, the Cats tacked on in the second half of the Western Kentucky game, thousands more blue-clad fans filed out of Commonwealth Stadium, but why?

The philosophy is flawed. Fans can come eight hours early to do nothing in particular, but they cannot stay through the final tick of the clock. I don’t understand it.

“Fanhood” must be a loosely used term when attached to UK football. It certainly is not the same kind of image found at Florida, Ohio State or even Tennessee, among most other schools. It is embarrassing to the UK program.

UK simply has one of the worst student sections in the Southeastern Conference (in all sports, but especially football). You can shell out the $35 for tickets, wear the shirts and clap sporadically because your friends do, but showing true support when your team needs it is out of the question.

Imagine the feeling freshman running back Raymond Sanders, an athlete who is younger than most ticket holders, felt Saturday. He scored the first touchdown of his collegiate career on a short run, and then looked up to see nobody left in the stands to share the moment with him. Then when he scored a second time as a Cat only minutes later, even fewer fans were there to show him love. How disheartening.

Meanwhile, the majority of the UK faithful is sitting in traffic while drunken frat guys (who don’t even know what they are watching) are taking up the seats they paid for.

Save the excuses for someone who cares. It was a home opener, the weather was perfect as ever for an evening of football in the Bluegrass, and the Cats were obliterating their opponent while playing a very clean game. What more can you ask for as a fan?

If you are going to claim your unwavering allegiance to the Blue and White community, show it to the players, too — for the entire game. It is the duty of a fan to support his or her team through thick and thin. If you do not, you have no right to bash the team when it’s struggling.

I applaud those of you who remain glued to the match from the first heartbeat through the final verse of “My Old Kentucky Home,” even through losses. It is dedication to be admired.

Being a follower should never be a competition. Instead, a more unified front. But that front cannot form when a main percentage of so-called devotees are on the way home. If it does not happen at other schools, it shouldn’t happen at a university of this caliber.

So, a note to “fans”: do your part. If not for some columnist, at least do so for your beloved athletes. Be the proud Cats fans they deserve.

Come on, UK. Fit the mold.