If there’s one thing Kentucky fans love more than their teams, it’s the stuff they can buy to support them. KSR wants to see your odd and unique UK memorabilia. No, not just your run of the mill UK flag or t-shirt collection. We want the weird stuff. Have a stuffed Wildcat eating a cardinal? Send it in. A portrait of John Calipari made entirely of popcorn? Send it in. The odder, the better.
Since putting out the call for the Big Blue Nation’s oddest UK memorabilia, we have received over 50 emails containing some seriously strange and wonderful pictures and stories. We’ll post the best ones throughout the summer, starting with the actual original 1996 and 1998 Championship banners. Here’s the story behind them, from Dustin Smith:
“In 2009 before the spring game, the athletic department decided to have an auction for a lot of the excess equipment and paraphernalia that they had accumulated in their warehouse. Most of this was simply excess equipment (jackets, cleats, etc.). However, unbeknownst to most people they had replaced the original championship banners in Rupp several years prior and decided to sell the originals. It was easy to tell that they were originals because the older banners were actually hand painted instead of printed. My brother was a student working in the athletic department at the time and let me know that they would be auctioned off so we placed several bids in the blind auction. In the end we ended up winning the championship banners from 1996 and 1998 along with the runner-up banner from the groundbreaking 1966 game.
In another twist of banner fortune, my brother was finishing up his time in the athletic department last spring and was tasked with helping put together the championship banner for last year’s team. I’ve included a picture of them making the banner before the game took place (notice there’s no “Champion” or “Runner-Up” on it) as well as a picture of them displaying it in Commonwealth, which was featured on KSR the next day (he’s the one of the far right and his girlfriend, a UK cheerleader, is the girl). Needless to say, we’ve had some luck with getting our hands on some important pieces of UK history.”
Think you can do better? Send us a picture of your unique “UK junk” along with the story behind it and we’ll post the best ones on the website. Email pictures to [email protected] with the subject heading “Kentucky Pickers.”