Central Florida got whooped 44-3 by South Florida Thanksgiving night in front of a lifeless stadium to complete an 0-12 season. Let us tell the story via the four saddest images of fans at a game I have seen this season.
1. The lonely dancer
She dances like nobody is watching. And for good reason. Nobody is watching. In a stadium meant for thousands, she is alone.
2. The eternal optimist
It is not enough that this man is completely alone, watching an 0-11 football team lose 38-3 to fall to 0-12.
He is wearing a shirt that says BOUND FOR VICTORY. UCF is not BOUND FOR VICTORY. He is holding a sign that says BEAT SOMEBODY. UCF will not, at least not this year.
3. The solitary bumblebee
Bees are not supposed to be alone. They are supposed to live together, in hives, all working together to support the queen bee. But this bee is lost:
4. The saddest Thanksgiving
Well, at least she is honest... pic.twitter.com/rbegsS0wL9— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 27, 2015
I don't know what happened to this woman or The Lonely Dancer or The Eternal Optimist or the Solitary Bumblebee that led them here. I don't know them or anything about their lives. Here is what I know: they are alone, they despise watching UCF football lose, and they chose to watch UCF lose anyway.
I would like to congratulate these fans on their incredible dedication, and also semi-seriously offer to host an Orlando-area Thanksgiving meetup next year for these people. I don't know if they know each other, but I know they're bound by something stronger than family, and that to move forward, they need each other.
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Teams go winless sometimes. It happens. It happened two years ago to Miami (Ohio). It happened three years ago to Southern Miss. It will probably happen twice this year, as Kansas is currently 0-11 with a game against Kansas State, who is bad, but not 0-11. Heck, even UCF did it in 2004.
But UCF's fall from grace has been incredible. That BOUND FOR VICTORY shirt is from the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, a hugely important college football game that UCF won 22 months ago. Last year, UCF won a share of the American title.
This year, the Knights went 0-12. They were among the worst teams in both scoring and allowing points. They were so bad that the best coach in school history up and quit. They lost to an FCS team, and not a particularly good one, as the Furman Paladins went only 4-7, just 2-5 in SoCon play. They got so bad that a bar offered free beer until the team won... and THEN THEY LOST EIGHT MORE GAMES.
Even if we tried, I'm not sure we could explain how UCF fell this far this fast. We've seen 0-12 teams in the past, and we will see 0-12 teams again. But we may never see a collapse quite like what UCF brought us this year.
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