If there’s one thing this past weekend has taught me, it’s that things can change.
Saturday was poised to be a great one from the beginning. As my friend Pat and I hit all the Lexington hotspots — Hill’s, The U Club, Banana’s Tavern, A1A, Melodeon, Chi-Chi’s, The Millenium — it was good to be back home again.
As we blasted the fight song on cassette tape from a Ford Taurus — Good times.
As we sat at the tailgate, drank Red Dog, and talked about our favorite television programs — Chicago Hope and Homicide: Life on the Streets.
Little did we know, times were really getting ready to change. As game time approached, and as everyone I know dashed off to their seats at Commonwealth (thanks for offering your old friend Tomlin a ticket, by the way), I was relegated to a nearby BW3’s, close enough but so far away.
Friends, we as Kentucky Sports fans have experienced the greatest highs and the lowest lows of any fans imaginable. We’ve seen the unbelievable happen before our eyes. Seven-overtime games. Phantom tips after the gatorade’s been poured out. Last second buzzer-beating three pointers. And, let’s face it — while the Wildcats have, on many occasions, been on the positive end — no one has lost in more implausible fashion than our boys in blue.
Not this time.
On Saturday, as all season, Andre Woodson continued to throw footballs into our souls (pass complete). Steve Johnson consistently caught our hopes (first down, happiness). Derrick Locke found the holes in our jaded hearts and ran right through them.
But even as I watched this team take the supports out from beneath a number one-ranked LSU, who had no excuses and played a solid game themselves, I couldn’t help the natural, psychological skepticism that it was too exciting. That things were getting too unbelievable. And I’m going to admit something that might draw ire. I thought to myself: If this game would just stay normal, maybe we’d have a chance. The more outlandish the game became, the more a part of me began to mentally prepare myself for a crashing conclusion. We’d seen it before. We’d handed over the ESPY for play of the year. We’d been the unfortunate counterparts of phenomenal games which will be shown in clips until the end of time. As the delay of game was called, my heart dropped. This, I thought to myself, is how it’s going to happen this time. Of all things, a delay of game.
Not this time.
This time, it didn’t happen. This time, something was different. This time, the coin turned up tails. And this time, the heavens opened up over Lexington.
This time, we won that game. That game played in so many variations over and over again, that game that becomes wilder and wilder until it abruptly ends, that game that sends us to bed knowing how close we came. This time, it was ours.
On Saturday, ESPN Gameday will be camped outside Commonwealth. Lee Corso will experience the Bluegrass for the first time. Florida will march into town, for the first time in many long years, frightened.
And rightfully so. Because we finally got ours. It may last, it may not. But this week belongs to Kentucky.
If that’s not the case for hope, friends, I don’t know what is.
And that’s your Need-to-Know for today. Times can change.
Now, enjoy these cheerleading mishaps.