This weekend, I had the privilege of doing something that I never dreamed I would get to do; go to a possibly historic Final Four. Kentucky was set up to achieve the ultimate goal in college basketball; finishing the season 40-0. Although they did not obtain that goal, it did not take away from my experience in Indianapolis. After being there first hand, I would encourage anyone to go to the Final Four if they have the opportunity.
If you are anything like me, you may think that watching the game on television is an easier and cheaper method. While it is certainly cheaper, you miss out on the total fan experience. For years, I put off going to the Big Blue Madness campout. I heard it was fun, but I did not bother to go. The thought of camping out for three days for free tickets was a crazy idea to me. I decided to give it a chance the 2011 season, not knowing what to expect. Now, my view on the campout is completely different and I have not missed a year since. I love it so much that I purposely schedule my college classes around it. I would not miss it for the world. The Final Four was the same way. Until you actually experience it, you view it in an entirely different light. While we cannot guarantee that Kentucky will make it to a Final Four every year, they will be back eventually, and hopefully I will be there supporting them.
Something that totally surprised me was Fan Fest, which was an interactive fan experience. It included everything from basketball shootouts, to a fan oriented pep rally, to me heckling Christian Laettner as he signed autographs. There was something there for everyone. It was a great place where fans from all teams could come together and experience something different than just watching their team play.
The Final Four was set up to be one of the best in recent history. While the game did not end the way Kentucky fans wanted, the fan experience made my trip to Indy a successful one. The memories I made while there will be something I remember for the rest of my life.
No matter the outcome, I will always be proud of what this team did accomplish and the historic run they made! Go CATS!