Sitting here at working, taking a 5 minute break. I am moved to contemplation. It is a somber day, but I am not quite sure why. I think it is because that death is looming around the bend. The trees are nearly naked and the ground is a graveyard of withering-brown Bluegrass . Winter will soon be upon us and for Kentuckians we don’t know exactly what that means. The fickle forecasts can be a whiteout blizzard to unseasonably warm temperatures; we need to prepare for the worst, and the best.
There is a newness that is birthed at the end of every fall; a new litter of Wildcats. It is a new season of basketball, with crescendoing hope that this will be the year for unmitigated jubilation and overwhelming triumph. When we, the University of Kentucky basketball players and the Big Blue Nation (all the UK fans), will hoist up our 8th National Title and re-crown ourselves the greatest basketball tradition in the history of the world. The re-crowning is a yearly tradition. A simple reminder of all the hard work and sacrifice of those who have blazed the path before us; R.I.P. Baron. It is a time of collective sighs and rants as our beloved ballers vicariously live out our dreams.
To some this sounds like mania, but to the Faithful it is merely commonplace. It is however a birth-right, passed down from generation to generation; some are born into it, some are recruited into it, and some fight their way into it. My entire Immediate Family was either born or raised in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, except for me. I was born and raised in Ohio, just across the river. But not even the mighty Ohio river could wash away the Blue that rushes in my veins. I am not a Buckeye, I am forever a raucous, rowdy, thorn in your side Kentucky Briar! And I am proud of it.
I love the state of Kentucky so much that when I am getting ready to cross the State line from Tennessee to Kentucky I hold my breath. I take the last tiny breath of Volunteer air that I need to survive and hold it. I drive in anticipation for the rarefied Kentucky Air. Once we cross the border I exhale and take in a large, lung expanding breath of pure Kentucky oxygen. I let it ruminate in my chest and exhale slowly, to take in all the heavenly aromas, like a master distiller tasting a choice bourbon.
Tomorrow the newest Cats get set to take on Kansas in New York at Madison Square Garden. This will be our first real challenge this year, and being that it is only the 2nd game of the season it will give us a good litmus to where we actually are as a team.
I bid you a”Blue” for now, but I urge you to tune in to ESPN tomorrow night at 9:00pm for what should be a great game. You may have other things to do, but I can guarantee that you don’t have better things.
Win or lose, I always Bleed Blue! Go Cats!