Joker Phillips sounds like a man who’s been seated in a very hot chair. And then had that chair pushed back into a corner.
Speaking to Kentucky fans at a Louisville kickoff luncheon this week, the embattled coach had an interesting message for Wildcat fans (who’ve not exactly been snapping up tickets):
“Big Blue Nation, I’m challenging you. You’re either with us or against us.”
Wow. I don’t ever recall hearing a coach say something like that to his fanbase regardless of context or mood. That’s the kind of comment that can make some on-the-fencers say, “Okay, I’m against you.”
But at this point, what’s Phillips got to lose? His team is picked to finish among the dregs of the SEC and his fanbase is more interested in John Calipari’s recruiting class than UK’s rivalry football game with Louisville.
Maybe that “us against the world” theme will resonate with his players. Or maybe — and this is the more likely scenario — the Cats will finish just as the prognosticators have predicted and Phillips’ “with us or against us” one-liner will come back to haunt him.