I've been a member of Big Blue Nation my whole life. I had a Kentucky onesie as a baby. My daddy was a graduate of Kentucky, and his father before him. My dad's Kentucky pride ran deep, even the year he died he marked when his college finals would be and sat listening to the UK games on the radio that weren't televised.
One of my earliest memories is staying up late, my ear pressed to my door listening to my dad screaming at the game. He would record games on VHS, which I thought was silly until I found myself watching the 1998 Duke vs UK game on YouTube.
It's hard to put into words what this tradition meant to my dad, and what it means to me. It's a tradition that is overwhelming. My basement is a testament to how far my love for the tradition goes.
The last time I went with my dad to visit the school I wasn't even in high school, and it just happened to be freshman visit week, which I don't believe was a coincidence. My dad literally shoved me into a lecture hall and held the doors closed so I had to sit in on a class. He lead me into Memorial coliseum to watch a practice, convinced since he was an alumni that no one would bother him, and no one did. He loved the experience and the family that was Kentucky, that I quickly fell in love too.
In another world, with my dad alive, I believe I would've carried on the tradition, but I will be a forever fan and a loyal part of BBN.
My Wildcats currently sit in the #1 spot in the men's basketball polls, and it's early.
I love Coach Cal, I believe he was meant to be at the school. He is a Pittsburgh guy with a daughter named Erin, clearly perfection. I have seen a few coaches at Kentucky in my lifetime, and I have to say that Coach Cal gets what the school is about more than any of the other. I trust him.
I think we have a long way to go but you bet I will be on the edge of my seat every time my guys in blue come onto the court.
I keep thinking of all of the kids sitting with their dads, listening to them scream at the college players, and building their own traditions.
Welcome to the family.