I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way. I am one fired-up Cats fan. I am a tweet-at-Cal, unapologetically loud, wear-blue-or-ruin-the-chi, Louisville-despising, sports article-absorbing, NCAA championship-preoccupied University of Kentucky Basketball fan. Love it or hate it – it’s just who I am.
I learned the “way” of the Cats fan at a very young age. In my UK-tied family (my grandparents and parents are alum), I learned that dinner table conversations often turned into basketball debates, and I had to hold my own. My Papa (grandfather) took me to games when I was little – both football and basketball. I loved these dates with him and would pick up pointers about the UK fan culture. Though he didn’t say many words, he taught me a lot of subtle lessons about being a Kentucky fan, like you see the Cats through to the end of a game, you memorize the bench, you don’t mind your neighbor’s holler’n, you always stand up when the game is tight, you clap to the rhythm to On-On-U-Of-K and know the words to My Old Kentucky Home, you only leave to pee at half-time and, at the end of the day, you always believe in your team. Basketball is like Thoroughbreds, bourbon and sweet accents – it’s just part of being a true Kentuckian. In a world of so much divide and independence, it keeps us unified; it keeps us passionate.