[Ed. Note: Two years ago, my husband found himself with an extra ticket to the UK/Vandy game at Memorial Gymnasium, and instead of selling it, he decided to give it Dancing Guy, who came to Nashville without a ticket in hopes of going to the game. He wrote about the experience at the time, and given all the discussion about Dancing Guy today, I thought it was worth sharing again, as is Mark Story’s profile of him from 2009.]
JANUARY 12, 2014
As Tyler and I headed to Corner Pub to pregame with UK fans before the Vanderbilt game a few weeks ago, little did I know fate was going to deliver upon me the chance to share the experience with UK fan legend “Dancing Guy,” aka Darren Moscoe.
My friend who was originally going to the game with me came down with the stomach flu and had to cancel at last minute, so I was stuck with an extra ticket in hopes of finding another fan willing to pay $40 for some cheap seats. As usual, Tyler had a press credential and Aaron Flener already had a ticket, but I was optimistic someone would be willing to join me on the wooden bleachers of Memorial Gym. As we pulled into the parking lot, who did we spot coming out of Corner Pub but the ever-enthusiastic Dancing Guy! Tyler even joked that I should give him the extra ticket. Should I?
Now, Dancing Guy and I have some history. Tyler’s parents have season tickets in Section 18 of Rupp, and he usually sits one row behind them, waiting anxiously for the second half TV timeout and Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” to blast through the speakers. Whenever I sit in the Thompson family seats, I always capture his handrail sliding, stair-shimmying routine with my iPhone. He’s even hammed it up a bit more for me at times, knowing I am recording his, well, let’s say, “unique” dance routine. I was also lucky enough to be seated near him in the upper level during this year’s Big Blue Madness. The Big Blue gods clearly had a plan for us.
Back to Corner Pub. As we walked into the bar, we noticed Dancing Guy had already left, going from location to location, hoping to find a ticket to the game. He showed back up at Corner Pub in time for a quick interview with Jennifer Palumbo and to see if he won the raffle for free tickets. Knowing I couldn’t miss this opportunity, I approached Dancing Guy and asked if he was still looking for a ticket. He gave me some short blurb about not having enough money, being unemployed, or something to that effect. I told him I was a big fan, gave him my extra ticket with a handshake, and told him “See you at the game.”
From there, we split ways, but I eventually saw him walking to Vandy’s campus with a few of his friends, with whom I assume he traveled down to Nashville. A few minutes before game time, he showed up at his assigned seat, trying to catch his breath from the climb up the stairs to Section 3L. After he thanked me graciously for the ticket, we introduced ourselves since I never even knew what to call him other than “Dancing Guy.” From that point on, Darren and I were on a first-name basis and having a great time watching the Cats take on the Commodores. Just a few highlights from our conversations:
— He thought the game was going to be downtown at Bridgestone Arena, and wasn’t sure if he had ever been to Memorial Gym, although he did recognize the unique raised floor and bench seating from TV.
— Although he doesn’t have a favorite player on this team yet, his all-time favorite UK player is Kenny Walker.
— His favorite game time chant is “DE-FENSE” which he never stopped yelling when Cats didn’t have the ball, and he plays particularly close attention to post-ups and blocking out in the paint.
— He’s not afraid to take a few friendly jabs at the opposing team, albeit his creativity in name-calling is a little lacking.
— He knows of his popularity in the UK fanbase, and understands people expect him to have some bling in his attire and some soul in his steps.
After the game, Darren and I exchanged a victory high-five and C-A-T-S cheer, then headed our separate ways. As I was walking back to the parking lot, I couldn’t help but remember everyone being a bit worried I was sitting next to him during the game. I have heard people refer to him as “weird” or “creepy,” and how they were slightly disturbed by his crotch-riding handrail slides. And while he is certainly eccentric and maybe a bit socially awkward, he was no more strange than many other dedicated — in some cases obsessed — fans of the Big Blue Nation. I was more than happy to give him a ticket to the game, as he gave me a lifetime of memories I won’t soon forget. Thanks Darren! Hope to see you at a game sometime soon.