You don't become a failure until you're satisfied with being one. --Fortune Cookie
I've been an insane, rabid University of Kentucky basketball fan my entire life. Looking back on the twenty-two years I've borne witness to Wildcat basketball, I realize that it's become a part of me, part of the way I define myself. The expectations I have for Kentucky basketball mirror those I have for myself. It is true that Kentucky fans demand perfection every year; don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even within the state, UK fans are derided and looked down upon for their high standards, but I ask: are astronomical expectations really the fault of the fans? Kentucky basketball has experienced some mind-blowing periods of success (the late 70s and the late 90s come to mind). All UK fans, young and old, are aware of where the program has been and where it could be. Why consign oneself to failure when the taste of success is still fresh? It sounds cliché to say so, but I think those who ridicule the pride and passion of Kentucky fans are just jealous.
That said, I personally have been unfair to the Wildcats in the past. I was calling for Tubby Smith's head two years before he was "politely" booted out of town (to this day I say "I told you so!"). In 2006, after the Indiana loss, I refused to watch or attend any more of their games. In the mid-aughties, I was convinced we were, pardon my French, fucked. Watching basketball in those days was a depressing, embarrassing experience for me--there I was, paying thousands of dollars to go to a school where a bunch of pansies pranced around on a basketball court and practically got paid for it with my money. My grandmother could've outplayed Ramel Bradley any day of the week. Sheray Thomas...oh God, Sheray Thomas. Things looked bleak.
And yet, this year I've been forced to admit things may be turning around. Billy Gillispie certainly has his heart in coaching, and he looooooves the game of basketball. Although the wounds of Tubbyball still linger, the Big Blue Nation is looking to the future with optimistic eyes. Our performance in the upcoming decade is a question mark, but one thing's for sure: the fans will be there every step of the way.