More good stories from the readers of KSR. Different era represented and some stories end well, while others do not. If a story comes to you that you would like to be published on KSR, email me at email@example.com.
I believe the year was 1996 and my daughter, Haleigh, at the time was 10 years old and was a HUGE Tony Delk fan. She put her 00 jersey on for each and every game as the whole family watched in the living room of our home. After the season, we found out the UK seniors were coming to Owensboro to play an exhibition game at Apollo high school. We surprised Haleigh and her younger brother with tickets to the game. I washed up her 00 jersey and got the family camera out and my husband took them. After the game he purchased a photo or something in order to be able to stand in line so that Haleigh could get her picture taken with Tony Delk. Well they waited an hour in line and finally it was her turn. She got his autograph and he stood beside her while my husband took their picture. She was ecstatic when she arrived home telling me all about it. I promised her I would take the film the next day to have it developed so that she could prove to all her friends that she actually did meet her idol. Well the next day at work, I took the camera out of my purse so that I could retrieve the film to take it to be developed on my lunch hour, and when I opened the back of the camera, my heart dropped a mile…..there was NO film in the camera! I was sick. There would be NO picture of my daughter and her idol. So that night I had to tell Haleigh that she did not have a picture of herself with Tony Delk. There were lots and lots of tears(from both of us) and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to tell her. She eventually forgave me and now we can laugh about, but for many years in was a very sore subject at our house!
Unlike most of BBN, I came to be a UK fan later in life, when I was in college. I attended school at another SEC school and cheered for my school, but was never a true fanatic or spent much time on sports. My senior year, I met a young lady who caught my eye. She was born and raised in Kentucky with a long family history of supporting the Cats. In my attempts to woo her, I of course looked for any opportunity to spend time with her. In December of 1992, I ran into her in the basement of our mutual dorm. I mentioned to her that I was surprised that she was there, as I knew that UK had just tipped off a game on a national station. With a heavy sigh, she relayed how she didn’t have a place to watch the game, since she didn’t have access to a TV.
For purely innocent reasons, I volunteered that there was a TV in the suite that I shared with some fraternity brothers, and that she was more than welcome to come watch the game in our common room. Of course, like any good Kentucky girl, she agreed that it was a fabulous idea and we went back to the suite. Upon arrival, one of my suitemates was already watching the TV, tuned into some move or the other. I quickly informed him that since I owned the TV, I was exercising control over it and tuned to the UK game as he muttered and grumbled.
I had not realized it, but the game was actually UK vs Lousiville. That year, both teams were top 10 and the initial contest had the guys in red up on UK. By halftime, UK had asserted itself and was up by 8. In the second half, UK continued the run, pushing the lead above 20 points. As the lead grew, the demure, petite lady in the room became louder and louder cheering on her Wildcats. With a few minutes left in the game and the outcome inevitable, my suitemate decided that he could change back to the movie he was watching. He was a big guy, about 6’1”, 275. As he went to change the channel, 5’1” 110 pounds of wildcat fury was unleashed as she pulled the remote from him and pushed him back on the couch, informing him in no uncertain terms that NO ONE CHANGED THE CHANNEL WHILE HER CATS WERE ON.
At that moment, I realized just what I was getting myself into with the Kentucky belle. Fast forward nearly 20 years, and we are happily married. Part of my wedding vows were that I converted to Kentucky-ism, and like any convert, I’m now as (if not more) fanatical than those that converted me.
It was the SEC tournament in Lexington in 1993. I graduated from law school in 1988 and each year since my graduation I had taken my mother to at least one UK home basketball game. That year, I simply had not had time to do it so I promised her I would take her to one of the SEC tournament games in Lexington. My mom was a huge UK fan just as I am. We decided we would go to the semifinals since that was likely to be against Arkansas.
The night before the semifinals we had an awful March snow storm. The news was telling everyone to stay home and advising that I-75 was closed south of Lexington. Since my mom was in her sixties, and I drove a Honda Prelude that was not exactly a good snow car, I called her early on the morning of the game and sadly said “Mom have you been watching the news? The weather is not looking good.” Without a hint of hesitation, she said “we better leave early or we are going to miss tip off.”
I drove the Prelude from Ft. Mitchell, Ky to Lexington amidst snow drifts that were twice the size of my car and the only thing my mom was worried about was making tip off. We did make it but had little time to procure tickets as I had none. As we were walking to the scalping area, a group of Arkansas fans saw us looking for tickets and came up and gave us two. We barely made tip off and sat in the middle of the Arkansas faithful and they could not have been nicer to us. It was a fantastic game and we went back and forth with the Arkansas fans but it was all good natured fun. Kentucky won that day and went on to win the tournament which was the last time it was held on a school’s home court. My mom has since passed but every year at the SEC tournament I think of that game and get a tear in my eye. It is an awesome UK memory.