Players, fans don't think alike

October 23, 2003|JEFF ZURCHER

Some football fans know a lot. Some fans think they know a lot. Some don't know what to think. And some don't think at all (these are fans in the definitive sense - operating only on feel; emotional and truly fanatical about the performance, or lack thereof, of their team).

But no matter what flavor of football fan, what that fan thinks, doesn't think, or feels is going to be different from the players he or she pulls for (or against).

And thank goodness.

Because at this point, with more than half the season history and the Cats simply a so-so squad, many UK fans abandon focusing on the oblong ball in favor of the round one.

Whereas now, more than ever, UK players - especially the seniors - must remain optimistic, even though some of them are frustrated by and with several things that have transpired this season. They must channel their collective concentration in order to entertain any chance of becoming bowl-eligible.


Below is a sampling of what you may hear in the stands contrasted with what a senior UK football player must hear in his head.

Fan: I love my team.

Senior: I love my teammates.

Fan: But these guys are struggling.

Senior: But my guys are struggling.

Fan: As usual.

Senior: At the moment.

Fan: Yep, this has been a tough year.

Senior: Yep, this has been a fast year.

Fan: We only have five games left this season.

Senior: I only have five games left.

Fan: Oh well.

Senior: Oh no.

Fan: We might win three of those games.

Senior: We must win three of those games.

Fan: We'd like to go to a bowl.

Senior: We have to go to a bowl.

Fan: I think we can beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Senior: I know we can beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

Fan: But Arkansas, Georgia, or Tennessee?

Senior: And Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Fan: In order to do that, somebody has to step up.

Senior: In order to do that, I have to step up.

Fan: I doubt that can happen, though.

Senior: I believe that will happen, definitely.

Fan: No way.

Senior: Find a way.

Fan: Is the new coaching staff really pleasing me?

Senior: Am I really pleasing the new coaching staff?

Fan: They haven't coached well so far.

Senior: I haven't executed well so far.

Fan: That's not surprising.

Senior: That's surprising.

Fan: What difference does it make now?

Senior: What can I do now to make a difference?

Fan: Not a lot.

Senior: A lot.

Fan: But who cares?

Senior: Because I care.

Fan: This has been a decent year, all in all.

Senior: I'm tired of all the decent years.

Fan: We've played almost everyone tough.

Senior: I'm tired of moral victories.

Fan: Being competitive is the only thing I expect for this program.

Senior: Winning is the only thing I expect for this program.

Fan: I wish people wouldn't take football so seriously.

Senior: I wish people would take football more seriously.

Fan: After all, it's only a game.

Senior: After all, it's only my life.

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