I love doing this and it became a hit last year. During the summer months sometimes it is hard to find topics to interest the fans. But one thing every fan loves to do is tell that story that they were involved in and makes them love being a UK fan. I will post 1 or 2 of these stories every Friday from now until football season. All you need to do is send me a few sentences or paragraphs to [email protected] and I will post it. You don’t have to put your name on it if you don’t want to and you can attach a picture if you so choose.
Our first edition for 2016 comes from Rick, who has an awesome story about his experience with one of the most beloved UK football players in recent years, Jacob Tamme:
It was May 2005 and my wife and I were about to be parents for the first time. The Big Blue Caravan ( a golfing fundraising event) came to Nashville where we live.
My wife bought me a round of golf with Tubby Smith because my daughter was about to be born and life was about to change drastically for us. At the event, I played 18 holes with Tubby himself and I could go on and on about that. But the real story comes after. I was in line to get food and this tall good looking kid was standing behind me. I didn’t recognize him and asked him if he was with one of the teams that had students there. The event was full of current basketball players but I didn’t recognize him. He politely introduces himself as Jacob Tamme. He tells me he will be playing Tight End for the football team. We made small talk and after getting our food from the line we went our separate ways.
About 20 minutes later Rich Brooks takes the podium and begins to talk about the program. He starts talking about this kid that will be a great player at UK. Makes him stand up. Jacob stands up at the edge of the pavilion and gives a wave. Smiles and sits back down. I later meet up with him and we talk for a minute. I really liked him. So much respect and manners. I believe it was the summer of his Freshman year, but I cannot be sure. He was the only football player to show up for the event.
Move forward a few years, the Music City Bowl vs Clemson.
I get to the stadium early. It is only my second UK football game. I see a long line of people in blue so I figure I should probably go over there and get in line. The gates hadn’t opened up yet. A very nice older gentleman is standing in front of me and tells me hello. He then informs me that this is the line for “player tickets”. I figured he was messing with me because players don’t need tickets. I laughed and kind of looked away thinking he was messing with me. He turned around and after another minute or 2 of me still standing there he asks me who I am with. I tell him that I am not with anyone. He says he is one of the players parents and this is where the families get their tickets. Feeling like a complete idiot, I started to make small talk. I told him that this was my second game and told him I was lucky enough to meet Jacob one time and how he left a great impression on me. His reply….”Thank you!” with a huge smile. He told me he was Jacob’s father. I told him he was full of it. He laughed and then proceeded to take out his wallet and pull out a photo of a young Jacob. He asked me if he was lying, then why would he be carrying Jacob’s 8th grade photo around! We both laughed, and he could tell I believed him.
Shortly after that, a ton of people in blue started running to the back of the stadium. I left the line and ran over. My first official Catwalk was about to happen. I got in line and Mr. Tamme came up behind me and asked if he could “squeeze in”. I made room and after a few minutes Jacob came by. His father was smiling so big. You could see the pride on his face. They had a long embrace. His dad then looked at me and said “SEE? I TOLD YOU”! We shook hands and he told me to have fun. Go Cats!
Shortly after that we got to watch UK beat the Tigers. I will never forget that day, or the impression that family had on me. I believe later that weekend Jacob got engaged, not sure if that is true.