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5 Things I have Learned Since Becoming a UK Fan Two Years Ago


Our friends at continue to do work. A stellar day of posts today leading up to the Tennessee game are available and you should check it out. My favorite might be this one from TAYLOR HARRY who tells what he has learned as a recent UK fan:

When you are raised in Nashville, there is one thing you have to get used to seeing time and time again: the color orange.  The color shares its name with a delicious fruit and its appearance with a certain SEC rival.  Although it’s hard to avoid the color and even harder to avoid the fans, my parents raised me the way any blue-blooded Kentucky family would, to despise any association with the University of Tennessee.  Now, I wasn’t raised a Kentucky fan, but I was raised in the anti-Tennessee (In that, if a team was playing Tennessee, that team became my favorite for the duration of the event) fashion.  Even if the event was a chess match, the opposing team got my full support.  Tennessee was a hard to place to live being around all of those dreadful “Rocky-Top” screaming fans.  Thankfully, that was then and this is now (to quote the title of a great book).  Lexington, Kentucky has provided with me with a great place to learn, make new friends, and most importantly, cheer on the ‘Cats (especially against those teams form Knoxville).

There are many things I have learned since deciding to become a part of the great tradition that is the Big Blue Nation.  With that being said, there are five things that I believe truly stand out when describing the Kentucky fan base.

In no particular order, the five things I have learned are…

5.) Kentucky fans will walk 1,000 miles, just to see their ‘Cats (try not singing that, it’s hard).


Nashville is like a second home for Kentucky fans.  I swear, every time I drive I see “UK Alumni” license plates and “Kentucky Wildcats” bumper stickers every other car.  The representation of the fans is overwhelming.  It caught my eye the most in Nashville two years ago.

My first UK game was at the 2010 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, and I will be the first to say, “It was awesome.”  There was blue everywhere you looked.  That was the moment I was sold on the big blue movement.  The dedication of the fan base struck me most watching the Maui Invitational last year.  Hawaii is incredible I’m sure, but the fact that all those blue-bloods traveled there for a basketball tournament is crazy.  Let’s keep it going Kentucky fans, your presence duly noted.

jwall tourney

4.) Kentucky fans are more educated about their team than any other fan base I’ve seen. Ever.


If you listen to the people around you at a basketball game, the vast majority of the conversations you’ll hear are about in-depth details regarding the game and program.  Kentucky fans know everything there is to know about the game, and it really is quite impressive.

smart fan

Now being a fan for only a short period of time compared to most, life-long diehard fans, I have had to engage  in a great deal of playing “catch-up” in Kentucky sports knowledge.  I have a long way to go before I can maximize my UK sports IQ, but I am sure with the insanely sharp fans around me, that will not be any sort of problem.

3.) Kentucky fans spread their love of the game like the Black Plague (in this case Blue…I know, lame right?).


The way we live our lives as Kentucky fans is almost said, but I love it.  Constantly refreshing KSR for the latest post, looking on Rivals to see the most up-to-date recruiting news, and planning work and daily schedules around game day are all a part of the norm for Kentucky fans.  And if you’re sporting the latest trend in Kentucky fan fashion, you better believe nearby fans will take notice (especially in distant, non-Kentucky territory) and make their way towards you to brag on the ‘Cats.  The greeting is usually something along the lines of, “Hey! Go Cats!”  My point is if you’re going to support Kentucky athletics, you must have the desire to support the teams with other fans as well.  We are one fan, not many.  The fellow fan brother ship consumes people.  How do I know, you ask?  I have fallen victim.

2.)  Kentucky fans would take a bullet for their team.


The LSU game this weekend is a perfect example of how much the fans care about this year’s team and teams from years past.  Unless you live under a rock, you all know Anthony Davis was beat up on this weekend in Baton Rouge.  It was horrific to watch.

Whenever Anthony was on the ground in pain, we all tightened up and threw out some Hail Marys to ensure our big man was okay.  Not just because he is a star laying down some impressive statistics on the hardwood, but because we genuinely care about him and the rest of the team’s well-being.

I believe Ms. Tyler Thompson’s Live Blog posts after Davis’s bump to the head sums up how all of us were feeling and reacting.  It completely justifies the #2 thing I have learned as a fan.

1.)  Kentucky fans would rather fall down a flight of stairs than lose a game.


Losing stinks, it really does.  But at Kentucky, losing not only stinks, it’s not a part of the tradition.  Kentucky fans view losing as foreign, incorrect and even unacceptable.  Now, do we as Kentucky fans set standards too high?  Maybe, but that is part of the chaos that is Kentucky sports.  When I get upset watching a basketball game, someone will say, “it’s okay, it’s just a game anyway” (the same thing everyone says outside of BBN), but obviously the response from me is always, “No, you wouldn’t understand.  It’s way more than that.” 

My UK basketball watching win percentage is the same as Coach Calipari’s at 87%.  I started following the team the first night he coached (was a great game), and since then I’ve been obsessed and spoiled by a winning tradition.  People tell me about how lucky I am that I missed the Gillespie era, and boy, I am glad that I missed that chapter.  I have a deep respect where UK basketball has been.  I love where UK basketball currently sits, at the top.  And I am stoked to see where UK basketball is going.


Go Cats, and this time a more than deserved GO US , THE FANS OF BBN!

I tweet a lil’.  Follow me @TaylorHarryKSR.

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38 Comments for 5 Things I have Learned Since Becoming a UK Fan Two Years Ago

  1. lol
    10:05 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Someone should take the Albert Einstein picture and make him do the three goggles.

    I just read this on KSR college. I like reading that site, it has a lot of perspective views on UK sports.

  2. GoCats2010
    10:20 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    As a student who was at UK through Tubby’s last year, the 2 BCG years and Cal’s first year…grrrrr to all of you enrolled after BCG

  3. ajh48uk
    10:21 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    You left off the fifth point…The necessary hatred for Clay Travis and his beard…

  4. dictionary
    10:22 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Please, if you’re going to take the time to write a piece that is going to be published in any form whatsoever, please read it over once so you aren’t misspelling words every other sentence. Good post, but it’s hard to like when it looks like a sixth grader wrote it.

  5. bigbluecats
    10:25 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post. The Power of BBN at its finest. Glad ur not a damn hippie ass Vol fan. Really sums up how most if not all fans feel. BBN is a lifestyle that no other college fan will ever ‘get’

  6. afidler
    10:30 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    As a current resident of Nashville for the last 2.5 years, I have definitely noticed the HUGE Big Blue Nation presence here. I love it! I wear my Kentucky gear and sport my UK branded car all over this town.

    Lexington South!

  7. Willis
    10:33 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah shocker you was a uk fan once we got cal. I am 18 and I have been a fan my whole life. Lol it was rough going to school during the bcg era but now I can look at all the Louisville fans in school and just say hahahababahahahaaahababa. But seriously I’m prolly the biggest fan you will ever see when it comes to Kentucky football or basketball especially. Go big blue!!!

  8. nkyuk29fan
    10:33 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post. Since moving here from a different country, I fell inlove with uk. Starting of the ending of tubby smiths career at uk to bcg to cal. I remembered jodie’s 54 point performance against tennessee lol, I started watching uk more. I bleed blue now just like u lol.

  9. Willis
    10:36 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Also I don’t see anyone stopping is in the tournament. Not to bring any bad luck or anything

  10. Bald Guy
    10:37 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I understand why UofL fans hate us… first of all if you take away the bandwagoners and fairweather fanbase they have there are not enough of them to fill K-Lair (if that is still open). With that said I can’t say there was ever a UofL fan or personality I felt deserved to be curb kicked until now… Lets just say its the tv personality with little air time that has never missed a meal in his life. Howie the douche Lindsey tweeted this earlier: “Joker resorting to Arkie State commits? Yikes RT @SJonesRivals QB Jalen Whitlow reacts to getting a UK offer two days before signing day” – I hope they receive the death penalty by the NCAA.

  11. Willis
    10:40 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    12 we will see towels to good things next yr he will have larod to throw to our offense will be better but then our defense will suck. But hey it’s bball season!!!

  12. ukgrad2004
    10:44 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I have one weakness, and it is female feet.

  13. Bald Guy
    10:46 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I am a diehard fball fan… I would love to see #8 in the rafters don’t get me wrong. I believe in Joker and I believe that KY can compete in the SEC. I think competing every year is impossible… this is the first year in a while an SEC lost in the title game so I competing is pretty big.

  14. ColoradoCat
    10:47 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

  15. Willis
    10:49 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I agree 15

  16. Stone Cold Willow
    10:52 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    @#4 We all may not be a human DICKshanery like you.

  17. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    10:53 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been a UK fan since I decided to go there out of high school. My first year was Billy G’s first season, and there was so much hope. I even remember a quote from Bill Simmons in which he said, “going from Tubby Smith to Billy Gillispie is like going from a ’93 Saab Turbo to a souped up 2007 BMW M3.” (In retrospect, that just goes to show how much Simmons knows about college bball).

    My sophomore year we go the NIT and BCG is gone. Me and my friends had a big whiteboard where we listed our top 10 most wanted for the next UK coach. Cal never moved from #1. Once he was hired, we knew it was all over. Watching the online mixtapes of John Wall we realized he was a once in a decade point guard talent. I was lucky enough to witness the ’09 North Carolina game in person. The best basketball game I’ve ever been to (best sporting event other than ’07 UL and LSU football games).

    After we lost to WVU, I swore drowned my sorrows and vowed to punch anyone I ever heard singing “Country Roads”. The next couple of months healed the wounds of the BBN as we looked forward to a fresh start, undoubtedly with fresh faces. The 2010 signing day commitments of Brandon Knight and The Artist Formerly Known as Micheal Gilchrist.

    My senior year, after the team had struggled on the road so much, I grew weary of our tournament hopes. I was expecting a 4-5 seed and an early flame out. When we dominated the SEC tournament, you could feel the BBN start to believe that the team could make a run. When we drew a 4(?!?!?!?) , it seemed like the team adopted an ‘us vs. the world’ mentality. The wins against Ohio State and UNC we absolutely magical and returned the program to its first F4 in 14 years.

    And now that I’m no longer at UK, I’ve never been more invested in the team. This is clearly our best shot to hang #8 and everyone in and around the program knows it. This team has a swagger that not even the ’09 team had. While guys like Wall and Cousins were quick to pound their chest and scream, Anthony Davis and Darius Miller will dunk all over you and not even acknowledge you. That’s swag. All the things you stated about UK fans are absolutely correct, by the way. Especially when it comes to knowledge of the game and absolutely hating to lose.

    Go Cats.

  18. Pancreas
    10:53 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    this kid is in college? I may hate vandy in basketball but I sure am glad I go there…

  19. CatsFan
    11:09 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    I feel bad for anyone who hasn’t been a Kentucky fan since birth. I’m so blessed to have been born into this world bleeding blue. To all of you who have joined BBN recently, sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s a tradition unrivaled. Take your new found livelihood and spread it with all the blue you can. Through thick and thin, BBN is always strong.

  20. catcrawler
    11:11 pm January 30, 2012 Permalink

    Haha, Rick Barnes got outcoached again on the final play of a game.

  21. BlueLagoon
    12:18 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    ZOOM on the babes!!!
    Long shot is limp

  22. Uk fan
    1:46 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    53214… Someone give #18 there them there own blog/time slot !!!

  23. Al (Cat fan in Canada) Lanman
    3:43 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    #18 (WhatShe Order…)
    enjoy it, the love of Blue will sustain you through life, and no doubt there will be low times again, but let’s not go hunting trouble. For now we will just grab the wave and ride it.
    I moved to Lexington when I was 2, and my Dad took me to see the Cats and I am fairly sure it was at Alumni Gym, before Memorial opened, but it may have been a practice. Dad had coached down in Paducah, and we often went to the high school playoffs, especially when his former players were coaching teams.
    By my high school days we went a couple times a year, with tickets he got from friends, as there was no such thing as public tickets, unless the visiting team didn’t sell their allotment. the pastor of our church was the team “padre” (Don Herron at Southern Hills Methodist) and we always had several basketball players at Sunday services.
    this is back in the day of three (count them 3) television networks, and very few televised games, so if you followed the team and weren’t there it was Caywood on the radio (sometimes under the covers when you were supposed to be asleep), and then reading the story the following day in the H-L.
    So I started with Uncle Adolph as “the Coach”, followed by Joe B. Hall when I attended UK, then the year of shame with Suttton, followed by Pitino leading us back into grace. There were the years of gradually dropping back in the pack with Tubby, the brief “bleh” of BG, and then back to the top of the mountain with Cal.

  24. Cats Fan
    6:24 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    This past Saturday we gathered at my mom and dads to celebrate my grandpa’s 80th birthday. We intentionally scheduled it three hours proir to the UK/LSU game so we could all watch the game together. An hour before the tip my dad, grandpa, my three uncles and myself got into a deep discussion about that days game, the remainder of the season, and what we expected in the tournament (a national championship). About 20 min. into the conversation and my uncle said, you all know what makes Kentucky basketball the greatest in the world and why it is that people want to be apart of it, why Cal wants to be here and wants to stay here? It’s not the money, it’s not the fame, but it’s exactly whats going on this living room right now. He said, do you all understand that this same thing is happening in just about every living room in this state right now. Thats what makes Kentucky Basketball so special. This was one of the truest statements I had heard in some time…..

  25. bigbluecats
    6:51 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    25-amen to that. Like i said. Its just something that other schools cant fathom. Even at UCLA having more championships. Same with Duke. They both have one coach that put them on the map. We are talking over 100 years of pure tradition. No other school can say they have been relevant for almosrt 90% of those 100+ years. My five year old got mad as hell cause he didnt get to watch the game saturday cause he fell asleep and didnt want to wake up

  26. GrumpyOldDude
    6:53 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Would start in the center and work my way out either direction……

  27. Einstein
    7:00 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, you need to pony up another fake salary, and hire a fake editor. Oh wait, Microsoft has already provided you with one. It’s called SPELLCHECK!

  28. Eloy the Destroyer
    8:12 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’m 33 and was born in 78 and named after Kyle Macey. My family has always had a Big Blue Crush. Cawood is the soundtrack of my childhood. From the Unforgettable’s and the nightmare in Philly to the Untouchables from Eddie Sutton, Pitino, Tubby, Billy Clyde to Coach Cal I have love my cats through good and bad. You dont have to be a life long fan to love the cats but the ones who are seem to understand each other a little bit better and care a little more. We are all the BBN.

  29. Lane Kiffin's Wife
    8:40 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Whoa guys, inbred is famous now! Gitter done inbred!

  30. blueballs14
    8:56 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    If you’ve gotta have a nickname,..I dub the “Dirty”

  31. Sheeeeiiit
    9:48 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    I grew up in KY but i live in Nashville. I am impressed everyday with all the UK fans here. There are tons.
    You started following the Cats on a nice winning streak. Thats what makes us so rabid. When you get a taste of winning like UK can, it is impossible to walk away. One major reason why UK fans care so much is we want to break all the records. Its a goal to not just be the most winningest team. We want the most Championships, Final Fours, appearences in the dance, the most SEC titles and on and on. It will take many years to catch UCLA so we end up fans for the long haul.

  32. Catcounsel
    11:25 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    The other thing this poster should have learned is that Kentucky Big Blue Nation has the hottest ladies in it of any other program in the nation!

  33. How's that degree in english treating you?
    11:42 am January 31, 2012 Permalink

    #4, I think you’re the only one who cares. I didn’t see any misspelled word, but Hey, I wasn’t being an A$$ and looking for them.

  34. TJ's Sowertude
    12:39 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink


  35. SweetTeaMob Til I DIE
    1:15 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    Just to prove your final point about it being more than “just a game,” UK’s last two losses, UConn and IU, have resulted in a broken hand (punched a wall) and a broken iPhone (threw against a wall). I don’t like losing.. or walls.

  36. joe
    5:52 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    My question for the writer of this article is, will you still be a UK fan when Calipari leaves or when things don’t start going so good? You might say yes, but think about it thoroughly. It’s easy to say that you are a die hard fan and that you “bleed blue” and all of that when things are good and we are 20-1 or whatever our record is right now, but try being a true die hard fan when the times aren’t so good for a few years and then if you make it through those years of mediocre seasons where you’re team isn’t on top and you are still a die hard fan than I applaud you and I would then consider you a true fan. Sorry, but it’s just hard to stomach all of these die hard UK fans that have come out of the woodwork in the past few years simply because Calipari is here and we are winning games. It’s similar to all those people who suddenly bought Boston Red Sox hats because they finally won a World Series. It’s just hard to stomach these things when I am a 24 year old that has been a season ticket holder my whole life and I have sat through the tough times and still cheered them on to this day.

  37. TRUEblueFAN
    6:57 pm January 31, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been born to bleed blue. I knew the fight song when I was 3. This is a good article, and I’m glad BBN continues to grow and gain more followers. But it seems as though this only happens when we are doing well, AKA Calipari era. GO CATS. Cheer for the good and bad. not when they are good, like now.