Good afternoon, sweet KSR readers. I’m going to interrupt this neverending joy-ride of Kentucky sports news presented in the most ridiculous manner possible to talk to you about something super serious. As most of you know, Tampa, Fla. is now my place of residence and it’s an area that has seen it’s fair share of big sporting events the past few months. The World Series, the Super Bowl, the women’s Final Four and a number of meaningless NHL games have made their home in the Bay Area in the past 12 months, but I’d argue they were just leading up to this….
….the 2009 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. That’s right, folks. It’s just around the corner and it’s time to wrap up those plans if you haven’t already done so and start getting geared up for the weekend if you already have your arrangements locked down. Since I’ve compensated myself handsomely for this space this afternoon, I’m going to give the low-down on what the local UK Alumni club has planned for all the Big Blue fans that will find their way to Tampa. And, as someone who is totally unbiased, let’s just say it’s going to be a good time.
If you’ve attended any of the past SEC Tournaments in Catlanta, you know that the weekend gets started with the pep rally put on by the Atlanta chapter and this year will be no different. The 2009 SEC Tournament Pep Rally will be at the Tampa Convention Center and will take place four hours prior to UK’s first game, which will hopefully be Friday night after the Cats land a couple of big wins this week. The event is sponsored by our good friends at Kentucky Ale and will include all of the usual goodness that you’ve come to expect at the SEC Tournament: the UK band, cheerleaders, a DJ, appearances by a few former Wildcats and raffles for prizes including autographs from Billy Gillispie and Ashley Judd. Also, there will be a cash bar inside and Matt Jones has offered to buy a drink for every person who runs up and hugs him tightly when he doesn’t expect it. Students get in for $10 (with ID), grown-ups for $15, kids under 10 for free and the first 300 people in the door regardless of the birthdate will receive a free t-shirt featuring the Blue Beard mascot above.
Also, after the tournament gets started, you might find yourself looking to escape The Times-Forum between sessions and grab a drink or some grub with a couple hundred of your closest Kentucky friends. Luckily for you, Andreychuk’s Grille, located directly across the street from The Forum, has agreed to be the “Offical Bar of the Kentucky Fan”, meaning that not only will we be dominating the seating chart inside the arena, we’ll likely be dominating the entire downtown area surrounding it.
Also, in case you haven’t heard, the weather isn’t too bad down here in March.
All in all, it should be a great weekend to be a Cats fan. If you have any questions about where to stay, I’ll be handling your lodging questions for $10 a pop. If you have any questions on the pep rally, you can get all of the info you need in the official press release here (they won’t charge you for that).
So, fellow Cats fans, on behalf of local alumni club, who has worked extremely hard planning this weekend, I’m offering you the keys to our fair city March 12-15. Let’s turn Tampa blue starting with the pep rally prior to the UK game and ending with the Cats cutting down the nets on their 27th SEC Tourney championship. It’s going to be a great time. Make sure you don’t miss it.