Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ridic Rupp

I went to a(n?) NCAA Men's Basketball game with Annie on Tuesday:
#1 University of Kentucky vs. #8 University of Florida

For those who haven't caught up yet, we live in Lexington, KY, now.  This is the home of the University of Kentucky, and this town couldn't be more proud of its college.  Also, their men's basketball team is pretty darn good, so the team spirit is pretty solid throughout.  It's so nice to be back in a town, like Ann Arbor, that pulses to the beat of the college.

Let's start with the fact that it felt more like a(n?) NBA game than any NBA game I've been to.  The lights go down, the spotlights start flaring through the crowd like a rock concert, and when the first string comes out, they're brought to the court with fireworks booming.  Fucking fireworks.  Inside.

Annie snagged us tickets, but they weren't together.  I was in the corner, and she was a section over, 6 rows higher.  I think she was a row from the top.  Not ideal, but it was fun just to be there.  Here's an idea of the view from my seat.
I think it says Kentucky Basketball Never Stops.
I showed up to a big Florida fan sitting in my seat.  Then I realized I was in the wrong row.  Everyone was nice about it, though.  This Florida fan was like 1 out of 10 Florida fans in Rupp Arena.  Don't get me wrong, I fucking hate Florida (read: Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer), but I always feel bad when people are so vastly outnumbered in someone else's territory.  I'm always nice to away fans at Michigan.  And I pray that people are nice to us if we're traveling to an away game.

At this point, I realized I wasn't going to be able to remember everything for my eventual blog post, so I took notes on my iPhone.
Welcome to my brain.
OK, so things that I took away.  Their student section is spectacular when the other team is shooting free throws.  At one point, the whole student section quietly sat down and 3 guys only wearing UK speedos hopped on their chairs sporadically placed among the section and started making a scene.  Not one of them should have been in public in a speedo.  It was great.  They also have a wave orchestrated where somebody conducts them and they quickly all hop up and make a bunch of motion just before the shot.  Kudos, student section.

UK fight song?  Not so spectacular.  I honestly couldn't tell when they were playing it.  'Are people clapping off-beat cuz they like this song, or is this the fight song?'  They also have a chant/song that plays over the speakers.  ♫ What's your favorite color, baby? ♫ and everyone responds ♪ Blue & White ♪.  It only stuck in my head because, well, that's two colors.  I'll tip my hat to the people on the scoreboard, though.  They scored things faster than the time it took me to look from the basket to the board.  Sometimes I wanted to clarify if the shot was outside the arc, and the scoreboard would be too quick for me.

Another realization I had is that holding up one finger is way over-used.  A camera is pointing directly at you for a nationally televised game.  What's your go-to move?  You hold up your pointer finger and yell, "We're number one baby, Go Blue!"  Well, very rarely are you actually number one.  (I remember playing USC at a Rose Bowl when they were number 2, and every time they held up that g-damn victory V, I kept yelling, "yes, you are #2.  We'll be #1 tomorrow.")  Anyway, I found it really amusing that all of these people yelling "we're #1" actually were.  UK is #1.  Yell that shit proudly.

There was one drunken douchebag (there always is) with an awful bowl cut, whom looked barely 21, that was yelling at the lone Florida fan in front of me.  Again, Fuck Florida.  But, I felt bad.  Only for you, heylookchris.  So, I kept having witty comebacks for the Florida fan, ya know, to keep things civil.  At one point, Bowl Cut, was yelling "Read me the scoreboard.  I can't read it.  Read me the scoreboard, Florida."  To which I quipped, "not saying much for the quality of a UK education."  The people next to me budded in with, "Be careful dissing the education.  Two grads right here."  Had I been in Ann Arbor, I would have told them to go fuck themselves and that I was smarter than them, so I'd say what I damn well please.  However, this isn't home yet, so I kept my cool.  I just wish they would have been present for more than half of the second half.  Or stood more.  I stood the whole time and I could honestly give a flying fuck about UK.  I was just there for the energy.

Yep, that sure is a Wildcat mascot at the top of the pyramid.
The game was king of disappointing.  2 national top 10 teams clashing?  Nope.  UK sticking it to Florida?  Yes.  I've always been a fan of the alley-oop, and boy can UK execute those.  So, at least it was interesting.  I'm so used to watching Michigan, that I forgot what it was like to have a floor full of giants that can actually block shots with their long-ass arms.

Finally, the Kentucky alma mater was less than spectacular.  Something about rolling around on the floor of a log cabin and that rough times will keep coming, but we'll make it through.  Ole Miss Kentucky.  Awkward.

Go Blue (no, not Big Blue, just Blue),

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