After an epic wedding and twelve days in Greece, I am back to life, back to reality. And, nine days into the honeymoon, I finally found the Cats in Greece. It was in the papered up window of a store that was being remodeled in Rethymeno, Crete, a Venetian port town in Greece. After the longest Kentucky sports drought in my life, I was like a giddy schoolgirl, jumping, and clapping at the two magazine pages, which showed Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis in an article entitled “Blah blah blah NBA” (Okay, the actual title was probably different, but hey, it’s all Greek to me). Needless to say, the patrons of this small Greek town were very amused, as was Mr. TT, who obliged me by taking several photos.
I have no idea what the article said. From its title and the few English words that didn’t translate, including “March Madness” and “All Star Basket,” I gather it’s about the Cats’ domination in the tournament and the upcoming NBA draft. But, in Greece, a country as riddled with problems as it is beauty, it’s another example of how Kentucky has grown into an international brand under Calipari. Sure, you could argue that any NCAA title winning team would merit a mention in an international sports magazine, but to be associated with basketball’s ultimate superlatives (“NBA” and “All Star”), along with a powerful two-page photo spread, demonstrates how Kentucky is the elite of the elite. A trademark of talent, a name known in every language (Kentáki, in Greek, by the way).
Invigorated by my brief taste of home, I made it my quest to spread “Kentáki” across Europe. As luck would have it, I found a couple from Maysville at a sports bar in Athens while we watched the Greece/Poland game in the Euro 2012. They now live in Athens full time, and told us how they watched Kentucky win the tournament in that same bar, converting their Greek friends into Cats fans, showing them how to do the three goggles and the Cat chant. Greeks being Greek, the unibrow wasn’t such an anomaly.
It’s not just a Big Blue Nation anymore. It’s a Big Blue World.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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