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Kentucky Motivated By 517

When Kentucky players exit the Nutter Training Facility each day, they see a sign that bears the number 517.

Asked about that number yesterday, Joker Phillips and his players simply said that the number serves as motivation for the Wildcats as they gear up for Tennessee.

As the story leaked out on Monday, Google lit up with searches for “517,” “Kentucky” and “Tennessee.” 

So what’s 517 all about?

Chip Cosby of The Lexington Herald-Leader explains that Tennessee has outscored Kentucky by a grand total of 517 points over the course of its 25-year win streak against the Cats.  In case you’re wondering, that’s an average of nearly 21 points per game.

This 517 business can be viewed a couple of ways.  First, I’m not sure how smart it is to remind your players that they’ve been three touchdowns worse than their opponents for a quarter-century.  Seems that might creep into some UK players’ heads on Saturday.

But on the other hand, Phillips can twist that number around by saying something like this: “We don’t need 517 points this weekend… we just need to be better by 1 point.  What can you do this week in this game that can help us be just one point better than Tennessee?”

We’ll find out Saturday if 25 years of Big Blue misery can be exorcised with the help of the number 517.


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