I’m not sure what I expected yesterday to feel like, but I can tell you I was surprised by what it did feel like.
It was hot and humid on my way to class, and actually pretty uncomfortable. It felt like one of those Florida rains that come out of nowhere had popped up, poured down, and gone away, letting the heat stick around, and to, the city of Lexington. Trouble is, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and not a single drop had fallen all morning. So why did it feel like it had rained all day?
The truth is, it’d been raining for fourteen years.
There were glimmers of hope through the clouds. Silver linings, some might call them. The teams in 2003 and 2005 were great, but weren’t able to bring home the ultimate goal. Billy Gillispie’s hiring in 2007 looked like it would bring the turmoil to an end, but that turned out to be only the eye of the storm; the worst was ahead. The NIT season, followed shortly by Gillispie’s firing, were the worst of it. UK fans were getting absolutely poured on, and there was no obvious end to the inundation.
And then they hired Cal, of all people, and the clouds got a little lighter. He took John Wall and Demarcus Cousins to the Elite Eight, and the thunder stopped. He guided Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson to the first Final Four in thirteen years, and the clouds started to break. But it still hadn’t stopped raining.
Until Monday night.
That’s when the deluge stopped and the sun came out. I, for one, didn’t know what that would feel like; turns out it feels hot and sticky. But it was a good change compared to what it felt like before. It was good to feel the sun on my back, even if it was a little more than I was used to.
Now, instead of doubt, there was promise. Promise of success, significance, and great basketball. Instead of clouds, there was sunshine. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised to hear someone blasting Brudda Iz’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as I walked down Limestone. Any other day? Sure, I’d think that’s pretty weird. Seriously, it was loud and he had his windows rolled down and everything. But yesterday? Well, yesterday it just sort of made sense. The storm’s over, and, at least this week, we have a promise that things will be alright in the Bluegrass.
It’s our own NCAA rainbow.