Despite getting drenched in unknown substances, it was worth it
I woke up in Lexington Tuesday morning lying a semi-stranger’s extra bed. At DAWN. I had to make it to a 9am law class back in Nothern Kentucky. My head was still spinning a bit as I tried to gather my belongings. I stumbled as I headed for the door while trying to piece together the details of the unbelievably joyous night that recently came to an end.
Did we really roll through the NCAA tournament and win the championship? Is there really some form of alcohol stuck in my hair and covering my clothes? Why am I still wearing shoes? I feel like a couch used to sit in this living room?
The reality set in that the Wildcats did, in fact, give validation to the term “#8pril.” I didn’t let the early morning ailments impede my trip to class, so I stopped at gas station for hydration, caffein, and breakfast and drove directly to NKU’s campus in the previous night’s clothes. I strolled past the scene of Daniel Solzman’s infamous “Lazy Tuesday”, walked into the prison-like building, sat down in class, and layed my head in hopes of catching a couple more Zzz’s before class started.
Within moments, my professor inquired, “Judging by your shirt, Mr. Thomas, I assume you’re fairly pleased with last night’s outcome.” He was talking about the Kentucky blue and emblazoned Wildcat, and not the liquor stains, I presume. I could only smile and respond, “Yes, yes I am.”
Despite my ragged appearance and generally poor current hygiene, no [insert generic, plural curse word here] were given. In my mind, I whole-heartedly thought, “That was so worth it.”
And I think that may be an aspect true amongst UK fans in general that separates us from the rest of sports world (often for the better, sometimes for the worst). No matter what it takes, for Kentucky fans, it’s always worth it.
Whether it’s spending countless hours on sports blogs, twitter, and UK-based websites; it’s worth it. It’s worth paying ridiculous amounts of money for Kentucky gear, decorations, memorabilia, and tickets to games. Taken off work to go to NOLA, ATL, Hawaii, Canada, or wherever. Arguing and debating with rival fans over every aspect. Rewatching old games on ESPN classic. Dedicating entire rooms in your house to the Cats. Standing in line for hours to see your team celebrate their eighth national championship. Going to South Limestone or whichever neighborhood and trudging through ‘one in, one out’ bars with insanely long drink lines. Rushing into the street and getting drenched in beer/champagne/god knows what while you jump, scream, and hug people you’ve never met before in your life. Driving to class at dawn in last night’s attire after staying out until an ungodly hour. All worth it.
The passion and ability for Cat fans to care so much about this school and their sports teams is special. Don’t let the reports of violence in Lexington bring you down. The term ‘riots’ may be a misnomer, at least from what I saw. I prefer the word ‘celebrations’. I witnessed no violence, only bliss. No other fan base would go out of their way to do the things UK fans do in honor of this team.
For us, it’s different.
It’s worth it.