In this season of goodwill toward men (and women), Kentucky sports fans need to embrace the spirit and enact a change in tone.
By getting off Michael Porter's back.
It is undeniable that shaky point guard play has been the main cause of the very uneven start to Billy Gillispie's second year as Kentucky coach.
With his 26 turnovers versus 23 assists, Porter has been an integral part of the ballhandling shakiness that has plagued the Cats.
Yet it is grossly unfair to make the junior from Chuck Hayes' old high school the whipping boy for UK fan frustration.
Michael Porter has not shown the ability to be a starting point guard at the level Kentucky has traditionally played, but he was not recruited for that role.
After Rashaad Carruth's persona went from charming rogue to just plain rogue during 2002's Team Turmoil mess, Tubby Smith made a point in subsequent recruiting classes of inking some players primarily for their coachability and character.
The son of the head coach (Gary Porter) at Modesto Christian High School (Calif.), Michael Porter was signed in a UK recruiting class that included a much more highly touted point guard, Derrick Jasper.
In the following recruiting cycle, Smith targeted another ballyhooed point, Jai Lucas.
During his first full recruiting year at Kentucky, Gillispie signed two point guards, DeAndre Liggins and junior-college transfer Kevin Galloway.
It's obvious the plan, across two coaching staffs, was not for Michael Porter to end up as the UK starting point guard.
Of course, after Smith left Lexington for the great white north of Minnesota, Lucas signed with Florida.
Jasper would have certainly been this year's UK starting point guard, but, apparently wanting a year off to allow more time for a surgically repaired knee to heal, transferred to UNLV instead.
Galloway, as often happens with junior college players, has not made a quick or smooth transition to big-time college basketball.
Liggins has shown flashes of considerable promise, but he also has proved prone to periods of erratic decision-making with the basketball (see the Indiana game).
Even if one is willing to let what happened with Liggins in Vegas stay in Vegas, one can't help but wonder whether Gillispie doesn't have other reasons for refusing to hand a starting job to the player who is clearly the most talented point guard on his roster.
All of which has conspired to leave Porter the point guard by default.
It was not a role that the 6-foot-3 guard craved. At UK's pre-season basketball media day, Porter said he felt more at home as a shooting guard.
After Gillispie signed Liggins and Galloway in the same recruiting class, Porter said he figured point guard was accounted for, and he spent his summer working on coming off picks and getting his jump shot off more efficiently.
For all the focus so far this season on Porter and turnovers, the fact is, if your point guard is not especially adept with the ball against pressure defense, then other positions on the team need to step up and help shoulder the ballhandling load.
But with 36 turnovers and only 16 assists, Kentucky shooting guard Jodie Meeks has been worse on ball security than Porter.
At small forward, true freshman Darius Miller has a high basketball IQ and is a good passer. But the former Mason County star is struggling with his confidence on the offensive end and so far he, too, has more turnovers (20) than assists (19).
All of which means Porter isn't getting much help.
If Kentucky were the Kentucky of vintage, there would be a place for a Michael Porter on the Cats' roster.
That place would be a guy who came off the bench to supply 8-10 minutes of energy and toughness and make an open jump shot or two.
It would not be as the team's primary ballhandler.
For Kentucky to reach its potential in 2008-09, Liggins needs to become the main point guard. But to do that, he has to show — on the court and off — that he is dependable enough to be a team's quarterback.
In the meantime, Porter has tried to fill a role he did not want and that is not suited to his strengths.
For his unselfishness, the reward has been becoming whipping boy No. 1 among a frustrated UK fan base, getting derisive cheers in Rupp Arena for fouling out against Miami.
So, Kentucky fandom, how about this for a 2009 New Year's resolution: Let's cut Michael Porter some slack.