Tell me you didnt smile on every one of Woo’s shots on Saturday. If you are like me, when Morris picked up his second foul, you thought the Cats might be in trouble. You love Woo, but seeing him come off the bench is always somewhat disconcerting. But then he started shooting, and each one of the shots hit you a little different. The first one was on a crazy drive and dish, where Woo caught the ball around his waist, quickly took it up and made a little hook. When you saw that one, admit it…..you said “wow, I thought FOR SURE he would drop that.” Then there was the 15 foot jumper that while in the air you said, “come on Woo….bring it home.” That shot gave UK the lead and caused Tubby Smith to jump so hi he broke his watchband (true story). And the third one…..the catch in the lane for the monster dunk…..you know that you text messaged all your friends after that one and said, “Fear the Woo!!!!”…..well maybe you didnt, but I certainly did.
Watching Woo on Saturday made me once again as giddy as the Turkey Hunter in a room full of fat girls. He scored, he rebounded, he blocked shots and he set screens…..looking like a guy who wanted to win as badly as any player born in the Commonwealth ever could. At halftime of Saturday’s game, Woo apparently ran up and down the locker room yelling THIS IS OUR STATE!!!!, even though no one came from farther. He told reporters after the game that the state was “only big enough for one team” and folks needed to “turn those red shirts over and make them blue.” His game and comments reminded me of interviewing Woo after last year’s Louisville game when he said, “this game is great because I know the whole country is now happy that Kentucky has beaten Louisville.”
Woo gets a couple of these every year. Days when his goodness on the court matches his greatness off of it. The games are virtually always called by Verne Lundquist who seems to love big Woo as much as I do (although he cant for the life of him ever pronounce his name). His giddiness is contagious and causes even old grizzled men like Billy Packer to use the word Woo and “All American” in the same sentence. Whether standing on the court or on the bench, no one in the arena wanted to beat the dreaded Cards more than the Big Woo and the sight of him waving his arms in the air for the crowd to cheer is one that should be added to every film montage made about this rivalry.
I have made no secret over the years about how much I like the Woo. I have made it to where people whom I went to law school and worked with who dont even know who the coach of UK is, know Big Woo. Whether it was his interview comments about his least favorite food growing up (Dry Steak….which is now the name of my Duke Law Fantasy NBA league) or when the last time he cried was (a simple “five years ago”…..which is how one friend answers any question I ask now about any subject), Woo has made dozens of fans who care not at all about anything else UK. After the game last night, one called from Brooklyn, New York…..seeing Woo on Sportscenter and saying it made him “jump off his couch.” When I meet fans of the blog and the show, they often say to me two things, “Love the show and the recruiting news……and I like Woo almost as much as you do.”
Yesterday was a great day in the life of a Woo fan. Beating Ricky P into submission, especially when he continually blames the players and shows the grating sides of his personality, is always a highlight. But when the beating is done by underappreciated freshmen (Jodie Meeks) and adopted Kentucky Colonels born in Poland…..well then its really sweet. One day I will build a “Kentucky Sports Radio UK Hall of Fame”. Yes it will have the Mashburns, Tayshuans and Tony Delks of the world…..but when you walk in the door, get ready…..the first statute you see will be of a dancing Woo.