Jul 27, 2012 4:45 PM by Alan Cutler
The hype machine for UK Football continued Friday afternoon with the annual Kickoff luncheon. With ticket sales for UK down, Joker is ignoring the negative.
"First of all, to those that bought the tickets, our guys are working extremely hard to reward them with a great season, with some great moments, which we've had a lot of great moments at Kentucky," says Joker. "We had the last couple of years we had two great moments in beating South Carolina and beating Tennessee. So there are some more great moments to come. To those that haven't went out and bought tickets, I would suggest you do."
There are many True Blue fans who might be hoping or thinking Joker Phillips is on the hot seat. If that's true, that's not the message that the president of UK is sending.
"He runs a strong program. He emphasizes those critical qualities that we want to see in our players while they are here," says UK President Eli Capilouto. "And when we bid them farewell. We stand behind him."
It doesn't end for Joker. UK beats Tennessee, he's on a wonderful coaching high, and he runs into a fan.
"I know you, your Tubby Smith aren't you," says Joker.
Randy Sanders isn't into coach speak. He doesn't says he's excited if he isn't.
"I'm excited about what we have," says UK's offensive coordinator. "We're still young, we'll dress out about 25 players on offense. We've got 20 that's old enough to dress themselves."
Defensive coordinator Rick Minter also doesn't sugar coat. He believes UK's defense is a year or two away from having the right kind of talent, but believes they are closer.
"We're beginning to look pretty SEC upfront now," says UK's defensive leader. "Those guys are pretty big Cats."
Joker made a passionite pitch to True Blue Fans.
"Expect to win," says Joker. "Expect to win. So get behind this team. It's your team. We're selling you, the fans. Don't do it for Joker Phillips. I don't care how you feel about Joker Phillips or this staff. Do it for these young men who have agreed to come here and represent you and represent you the right way."