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The Game of Our Lives

Like Megaman’s fight against Sigma, this one is for all the marbles.  Unlike that fight against Sigma, there are no E-tanks.

 

This is the biggest game of your life.

That statement smacks of hyperbole, but I doubt it’s actually inaccurate for most people reading.

In 1998, when UK beat Utah, I was at my friend Justin’s house near Simpsonville, Kentucky, watching the game with our families. I was twelve years old. His dad, Mark, would hold up a “3” sign every time Cameron Mills (or anybody else) sank one from the corner, and yell at the top of his lungs. They had a Sega Genesis and all kinds of cool hunting stuff in their house that normally would occupy my time, but for those two hours I was transfixed to that television. The shouts that came when we were down big in the second half; the shouts that were even louder when Mills hit the layup to give the Cats their first lead late in the game at 60-58, those are things it’s hard for me to forget. Even fourteen years later, that game is something that has stuck with me.

My point with all that is this: make tonight special. Regardless of the outcome (because, don’t fool yourself, anything can happen), tonight’s game is maybe the biggest game that you can ever remember. You and I have both been reading myriad pre-game analyses (including this guy accurately describing UK as a “hydra”) and Gregg Doyel articles non-stop for the last day and a half, so we both know what’s up from a basketball-standpoint. But as someone who got to experience our last championship game during formative years, I’ll tell you it’s important to go out of your way to be around people you care about tonight. Seriously. Watch it somewhere you’ll never want to forget about. For me, that’s with my friends at the Baptist Student Center on 429 Columbia. If you don’t have anywhere to watch the game yet, feel free to join me there.  There will be tons of UK fans present so you can hide if you need to.  But really, find somewhere that people will take it as seriously as it deserves.

This game game is really more than just one game; it’s a decade and a half of waiting before hearing your number called. Please don’t watch it just anywhere. If you have to leave work early, I say go for it. If it means skipping a class, I promise you’ve skipped for worse reasons (like it being too cold out, or Alf reruns are on). Give tonight with the gravitas it requires.  The nervousness and dire circumstances of the semifinal with Louisville are out of the way.  All that’s left is forty minutes of, hopefully, the best basketball we’ve played all season.

Make no mistake: our number has been called. This is the defining game for my generation of Kentucky fan. Treat it accordingly.

Article written by Corey Nichols

74 Comments for The Game of Our Lives



  1. Ridge Runner
    9:01 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    This is our time!



  2. Blemir
    9:03 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I have come to the point that I dont even read Corey’s posts anymore and skip straight to the comments section to criticize. 1.2/10. You suck.



  3. Azubuike's Bicep
    9:05 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you are about to get blasted on this comments section for referencing video games, and using a picture of famous bosses from said video games. While I understand and appreciate your reference, some will not. Also, good post.



  4. Corey's friend
    9:06 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey Rules!



  5. Typical Louisville Fan
    9:07 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Mega Man X references at 9 the morning of our championship? By God it is going to be a good day…



  6. Corey's mom
    9:07 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey is the best



  7. manbearpig
    9:08 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Def agree on watchinf this someplace memorable. That is why I am leaving in a little bit and making the 4 hr drive back home to Lexington because I want to be there. Anyplace else to me is a completw let down



  8. DustBuster
    9:11 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    i will be watching from the safest place in my house, on the toliet



  9. SexyinNursinHolmes
    9:11 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Ah, A Corey Nichols post! The only thing that could make this day suck!



  10. Corey's Xbox Controller
    9:13 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey put me down and go outside



  11. ron
    9:16 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    great post…not often in life do we get the opportunity to plan for defining moments…seize them when you have the chance



  12. Devastation Inc.
    9:20 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I remember this one time at bank camp my uncle leo told me to toot my horn every time someone clapped.



  13. Tyler P
    9:21 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    good post, but wasn’t a Cameron Mills layup to get the lead it was a Jeff Sheppard steal and dunk.



  14. DavisBrow
    9:22 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    While Sigma was great, this game is more reminiscent of Link’s battle with Ganondorf/Ganon at the end of Zelda: Ocarina of Time…*pushes up glasses*



  15. strange brew
    9:23 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    1996 I watched UK with a friend and my dad.

    1998 my dad and I watched the entire first half. He had to work that night so we left during the start of the 2nd half. I watched alone, one of the greatest comebacks of all-time.

    This year I will be watching the game with my dad, now 79 years-old. We saw UK’s first two Tournament games live.



  16. Melissa
    9:30 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    ProTip: Don’t use words if you can’t use them properly–myriad, for example.



  17. REAL BLY
    9:32 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll never forget the 92′ game!! EVER! 96′ 98′ are stamped in my brain as well…..2012 has been probably the best UK team I’ve ever seen. Different style than 96′, but loaaaaaaded with talent and good kids. #8 is ours!!!!



  18. Bob Loblaw
    9:32 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Anything can happen, but don’t think it will tonight. The last time I’ve seen the fire in the eyes of the team like this was in ’96. I’m nervous but confident at the same time.



  19. jon freeman
    9:33 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I haven’t even begun drinking yet but alas, here I am, vomiting

    xoxoxo
    -Jon Freeman



  20. mike walpole
    9:33 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    AGREE 100%!!!!!

    My 3 year-old son is staying up tonight.



  21. BigBlueCats
    9:33 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I, like a lot of fans, was watching it with my dad so I think I may go over his house tonight. The best omen if u want to call it that, is I think the Cats’ best game has been the second one of the weekend. They started a little slow against Iowa St and Baylor but when they got going it was over in a hurry



  22. tyrus
    9:34 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    It takes a campus to stop an idiot. Corey, your generation needs to stifle any reckless stupidity that might unfold if UK wins. The national media already has half the story ready for Tuesday. Make them all change the whole story. It’s your generation that past generations are hoping all do the right thing. UK fans don’t storm the court after any win no matter who the team beats. Why? Tradition! Don’t let the very few become the bigger story on Tuesday.



  23. jon freeman
    9:35 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Someone help me, my hands are glued to my forehead



  24. jon freeman
    9:36 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    this is not a drill



  25. ACatFanInKC
    9:38 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Watched the 1996 game with my parents at home in Harrodsburg, when I was around 8 years old. 1998 with my family at my grandparents house in West Virginia when we moved there at age 10. Now, at 24, my uncle, who’s as ate up with the Cats as anybody I know, and myself are in Blue Orleans to enjoy the end of another fantastic ride. Corey, great post. Helped bring back a lot of memories of the earlier championship runs of my lifetime.



  26. Clam
    9:41 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    This is the biggest UK game EVER–if your memory or perspective doesn’t stretch any farther back than 14 years.



  27. Rixter
    9:41 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    BBN is probably 1,000,000 people. We have maybe 300 20-year olds who have been UK fans only as long as they’ve been on campus, acting like morons and showing how poorly they were raised…and giving a bad name to the other 999,700 respectable UK fans…. unfortunately, that makes for a better news story than showing normal people having normal fun.



  28. BobKYCats
    9:42 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    We got this!



  29. Rixter
    9:42 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    By the way, Doron Lamb is 4 points short of 1000 for his career. That will give UK three 1000 point scorers on this team. That says a lot in itself.



  30. Han
    9:43 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    There are idiots on the winning campuses every year, but they just don’t get as much attention because it’s not us.



  31. Chuck
    9:43 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t burn couches. Keep them on your front porch where they belong. It is a scary thought that these idiots are the future. Attention whores.



  32. Whos the sexiest KSRcollege girl?
    9:43 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    This game is so big (and post game celebration is so newsworthy) that several news crews like CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CBS are already posted up around town doing interviews



  33. WildcatinNOLA
    9:44 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Me and a friend have seen all five games live and will be there live tonight to watch the CATS. Can’t wait.



  34. Squall
    9:45 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Shit. Corey, I love the video game references. Not your best post for sure, but still a good read.



  35. Coach Cal's Calculator
    9:46 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Anything can happen … We may win by 15…or we may win by 17



  36. Frank
    9:49 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey another great post. 98% of the people on here likes your work and I am one of them. Have fun tonight at BCM and also the CSF is having a party with a cookout. #22 is so right with the post.



  37. UKGrad83
    9:50 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    @Melissa Says – FAIL. Definition of myriad: a great number.



  38. Al's IndiCats
    9:50 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    22, “WHEN” UK wins, and I agree with you. Don’t go out and do anything that will embarass the UK faithful. We are above rushing the court, we are above starting fires, we are above the dummbassed things of turning over cars and breaking things….WE ARE KENTUCKY!!!!!!!!
    I’ll be with my wife, kids, and grandkids, and their bloodhound “Blue”. It’s been that way all year long. We were in NOLA (besides the pup) at the SEC Tourny, we watched the selections, and we’ve watched every game in this Tournament. CorEy, good article. CATS by 8 for #8……GO CATS!!!!!!!!



  39. manbearpig
    9:50 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Then how are you typing?



  40. AylortheImpaler
    9:51 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    excellent post. it’s gonna be a long day.



  41. Holmes Hall Alumni
    9:52 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    What’s next ksr, a football post?

    #8

    #lafamilia



  42. manbearpig
    9:52 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Comment waseant for #23



  43. catcrawler
    9:53 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I TRULY believe that this wants wants to win it for Coach, the team, and the fans.
    Their will to win is what captures the title tonight.



  44. Cats Fan
    9:56 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    wow! alot of whinning in here for the cats to be on the verge of a national championship. guess what, no one cares if you dont like what “the 20 y/o’s” are doing in lexington, no one cares if you dont like corey’s post, no one cares if myriad was used correctly (this aint duke). so shut up enjoy the day and celebrate anyway you like cuase this ones for Cal, this one for those senior’s, this ones for those freshmen, this ones for the team, this one for the fans. we all been waiting and it’s definately overdue. so enjoy cats fans anywhere, any way you want. just let the positive energy flow: were going to win this thing, they deserve it, they have earned it.



  45. Fomer Coach Enes
    9:57 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    …brought to you in the most rediculous, dorkiest, and will never get laid manner possible.



  46. uklaw95
    9:59 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    ESPN has an article about Anthony Davis winning the Naismith…..with a Robinson picture. WTF?



  47. Jayinthemiddle
    10:00 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I suggest you do a reader poll. I think it’s likely you find out that your “old” readers aren’t as few in numbers as you might think.



  48. Bo Blackburn
    10:00 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I do love me some Alf!



  49. Holmes Hall Alumni
    10:00 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Little Mike from ‘Mike and Mike’ just told us to stay classy. Ok, I get what he’s saying… BUT, I’m not sure Little Mike is always classy AND I’m sure he has co-workers at espn that have not been and are in no way classy. That’s about the equal of uofl fans telling us to stop wearing flat bill caps…

    #8

    #lafamilia



  50. Corey Nichols
    10:00 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    13. @Tyler P. “good post, but wasn’t a Cameron Mills layup to get the lead it was a Jeff Sheppard steal and dunk.”

    That may well be correct. I just remember some white guy breaking away and putting us ahead. Mills/Shepard… same thing.

    “I think the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, like our memory does.”

    -J.L. Borges



  51. hammerhead
    10:01 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Well said Corey. Can’t wait!



  52. eloy
    10:02 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Game game!



  53. nassau65
    10:03 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I’m guessing “typical UofL fan” will be watching at HOO HOO’s mom’s house.



  54. Jayinthemiddle
    10:05 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    My generation thought we invented the wheel, your generation thinks they just invented this nifty little devise and guess what, the generation that comes after you…YEP, they think the wheel is yet to be discovered and they will be along to figure it out for us.



  55. tyrus
    10:06 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    44-…no one cares what “the…. Really? You’re on your island by yourself kid. Stay there till Wednesday.



  56. Al's IndiCats
    10:08 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    where’s the live stream? Can someone tell me how to get there? Thanks



  57. Porcino's
    10:10 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s the show thread and widget?



  58. bluemanchew
    10:11 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    sites been lacking since matt left for nola go to iheart.com and search for 1080 show thread dont know this one maybe



  59. Logan - Mason KY
    10:12 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    57 – Should be up soon. Drew and or Shannon are running late.



  60. ohiocatfan
    10:13 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Driving to Lex to watch there then celebrate with a few thousand of my closest friends!

    This will be a memorable moment for my 4yo son!



  61. Cking9698
    10:14 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Go cats!!!! Let’s do this!!!



  62. Cking9698
    10:15 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Gonna be a close one!! I pray the boys pull it out!!
    Go cats!!



  63. Mack
    10:16 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    In 98 I remember I wanted to see at least 12 total NCs, I still want 12 but I hope for at least one this year before I leave.



  64. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:26 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky fans in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale will be meeting at Duffy’s in Lauderdale. Check out WhereToWatch.com, they have about 50 UK watch party locations across the nation.



  65. Smiley Pete
    10:27 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    The only thing that could make me miss BTI is Corey…



  66. BobCatFan48
    10:39 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Great article Corey. You are absolutely correct. I have been around a bit longer than you but I remember every championship game since 1958. And seeing it with your friends and family is the only way to enjoy this. Here in Orlando, we meet at Buffalo Wild Wings in Casselberry, FL. Saturday night, we had over 350 of our closest friends there. I expect more tonight. This is a wonderful day to be a Kentuckian no mater where you live. GO BIG BLUE!



  67. Winston Wolf
    10:56 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you have a bright future. Few 9 year olds have your writing skills.



  68. Daniel
    11:58 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Great write-up, only problem is that it was a Sheppard dunk I believe that put us up 60-58.



  69. Dickie Z
    12:07 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Epic? Video games? Might as well say use a phrase like this – “the…worst…post…ever!”



  70. Rudy
    12:55 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Bring back BTI



  71. TAXman
    1:12 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I have no problem with you referencing megaman, the problem i have is that you skipped all the good megamans and went straight for the worst one. Megaman’s nemesis is Dr. Wily. Get it straight.

    We’re playing tonight? 🙂



  72. lonely wildcat fan
    1:58 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    waaaa… What do we do when we live in Germany and the game will be on at 330am? Me and the wife will just be watching the game on my crappy internet connection that has blurred blobs for people running around on the court…sigh but owell atleast i know which blue blob will be kentucky! the ones holding that trophy at the end of the game. Go CATS!



  73. FrankTheTank
    3:00 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    We all have a different perspective of most things including how this of any UK game impacts out lives. Thanks for sharing your perspective Corey. I’m not sure why there are so many critics and haters on here but my advice is to ignore them. I personally feel like a kid on Christmas morning (if Christmas were to only come once every few decades). Some of you people need an attitude adjustment/reality check combo! Enjoy this day and this game as I’m sure we all agree is a true blessing. Stick together Cat’s fans. Hopefully these boys, the best coach in the nation, and all of BBN will get the result we all so deeply crave! GO CATS!
    Thanks again Corey for a nice reminder. The message of your story is not lost on me!



  74. UKCtAT1
    4:37 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    UK should have opened the football field for fans to watch it together on the big screens!