Thirty years of frustration have to be released somehow.
If Kentucky were to end a 30-year losing streak to Florida on Saturday night, it seems highly likely that the buildup extending back to 1987 might spill over into huge celebrations on the turf at Kroger Field.
Because it would be a third offense since a new Southeastern Conference rule was put in place, a field storming by the already sold out crowd would cost UK Athletics $250,000.
The storming the court/field rule charges first-time offenders $50,000, then $100,000 for a second offense. All subsequent stormings would continue to cost Kentucky $250,000.
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Even though he said he didn’t know the streak was at 30 years to No. 20 Florida, UK running back Benny Snell said he’d be happy to see it end.
“It would feel great,” the sophomore said of the streak, which is the longest active streak in the country. “Stoops talking about making history. I didn’t even know about us losing that many times. It is what it is, but I feel like we’ve got the group to do it, to make the change.”
Even through the mostly enclosed fence that surrounds the UK practice fields, it was hard to miss the uniform upgrade.
At a regular Tuesday practice preparing for Florida, Kentucky’s players were rocking chrome helmets. Most uniform decisions and other things like what movie the team will watch together on Friday nights goes through a committee of 15 team leaders.
But the chrome helmets were a surprise.
“This week was (Stoops) saying, ‘We’re bringing out these bad boys,’” senior Charles Walker said, slapping his hand against the shiny helmet after practice. “Everybody likes them. I’m glad we’re wearing them.”
There’s no guarantee that the chrome helmets will be atop UK players’ heads for the game on Saturday, but it seems likely.
“We’re practicing in them; I bet they come out,” Walker said.