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LEXINGTON – I have gotten to the point that I wish someone could take a big orange and stuff it in every horn when the Tennessee band starts playing Rocky Top.
Oh Rocky Top, you'll always be
A sickening song to me...
As I walked out of Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night, the Volunteer band kept playing louder and louder. And I kept getting sicker and sicker at what I had just seen happen just a few feet in front of me.
Kentucky gets inside the Vol 10 inside the final minute and has to settle for a field goal. You might as well have left then because down deep you knew you were going to be hearing a song written by Kentuckians – from the same hometown as Tim Couch, at that – about Tennessee.
I am sure there are people reading this saying, “Hey man, you are supposed to be neutral.”
I answer that I grew up listening to Cawood Ledford, not John Ward. And face it, journalists are fans. They might not cover the team they root for, but they are fans.
Saturday night, I was fortunate enough to work the sidelines in the most electric Commonwealth Stadium I have ever been in. I got some great pictures and even saw myself on ESPN when I got home. Unfortunately, for me at least, it was when I was taking a photo of Montario Hardesty's last run of the game. Had I stood my ground, he might have run over me in his celebration.
As a fan, I can't stand hearing Rocky Top anymore.
As a journalist, I wonder why it keeps happening. OK, as a fan I ask the same question too.
Why can't the Cats score inside the 10?
Why did Randall Cobb not have the ball when the Cats were knocking at the door? He is only the best play maker I have ever seen in Lexington, you know.
And, I also ask, why did the quarterback rollout not work? I want Cobb carrying the ball in that situation but the rollout should have worked. Why does the Kentucky blocker slip? You can see it on the film.
Why? Why? Why?
Why does Bernie Scruggs fumble a pitchout? Why can't Mark Higgs score inside the five?
Why? Why? Why?
It is called getting over a mental hump, although in this case, it is a mental Everest you know.
Funny thing is, after I got over Saturday night, I realized you see this kind of thing so often in sports.
While never to the extent of UK's futility with Tennessee, I saw it for years with Anderson County basketball in regard to Shelby County. Thankfully, that seems to be in the past now. I see it now with several schools that should be able to compete with Anderson, but don't.
And I see it in Anderson football not playing well in the post-season. Hopefully, the Bearcat football team will advance deep in the playoffs soon.
It is a long and often painful process to eradicate something so inexplicable.
Kentuckians who have heard Rocky Top in November know what I mean.
E-mail John Herndon at email@example.com.