Insanity of the Big Blue Nation

Insanity of the Big Blue Nation

It scared me the first time I found myself having a physical reaction to a Facebook post which read, “Selling my UK basketball tickets for Saturday’s game. Let me know if you are interested.”  With palms sweating, body tingling, and heart pounding, it took me only two minutes to agree to buy the tickets and find myself pulling out of the driveway to hit the ATM.  As I drove to pick up the tickets the thought crossed my mind that I didn’t even know this so-called Facebook friend well enough to be sure I wasn’t meeting up with a cyber-stalker.

There is simply no better place to be than Lexington, Kentucky, when March rolls around. March Madness in the Bluegrass is nothing short of insanity and I wouldn’t trade living here for anything!  One of the first things I learned when I married my True Blue husband almost 22 years ago was that life as we knew it would stop when the Kentucky Wildcats played basketball.

I’ve always loved basketball, but I’ve never lived in a town where there was such a legacy of success.  It didn’t take me long to buy into the Big Blue mania because like it or not, if I was going to be spending time with my husband between November and March, I was going to be watching the games.  I also realized that if I wanted to make new friends, and be a part of any conversations taking place around town, I better know who was on the team and be prepared to recite each players stats upon demand.

As the years have passed, I’ve slowly slipped into the madness, which starts much earlier than March, by the way. It happened to me so gradually that I almost didn’t notice it. In the early years, it was just about watching the UK games and doing a lot of screaming at the TV while jumping up and down. Next I found myself importing the entire game schedule into my calendar and setting alarms and notifications so that I would never miss a game.  My planning now includes checking a few days ahead of time to be sure I know which network is televising the game. I’ve got the local radio station set as well so I can listen to the game being called by announcers smart enough to know who’s really number one!

I have to plead guilty to joining my husband and dragging our three young boys to Rupp Arena to welcome home the NCAA championship team in 1996.  As we climbed up to the top of the nosebleed seats, we passed crazy people yelling and screaming and covered in Blue!  Unable to control ourselves, we too, proudly proclaimed our love and admiration for the CATS, all the while, our two year old was beyond frightened at the insanity to which he was being subjected.

I will proudly admit to getting in a car covered in True Blue paint, that I put there myself, and driving all the way to Syracuse with teenage boys who were covered in blue body paint and doing the Wall Dance. Yes, I did the Wall Dance and, yes, I downloaded “Do the John Wall” to my iPod which my son proudly blared, windows down, throughout the trip to Syracuse. Our car was shaking and everyone on the road was honking and waving all the way up to the tournament. Never have I had so much fun driving on a turnpike. I’m anticipating some fun on I-75 today because I just got finished painting a great big brow across the back of my SUV.

Yes! I admit it.  I bought a pair of tickets for the 2012 NCAA South Regionals in Atlanta this weekend.  Then I found better seats, priced just right so I wouldn’t have to mortgage my house just to pay for them so I bought those tickets too. I wasn’t worried about selling the first pair of tickets because I’m not alone in belonging to this madness called the Big Blue Nation.  It only took a couple of hours to hand them off to another member of the BBN who is already on the road to Catlanta.

I know I’m considered to be ancient and boring by my youngest teenage son, but I don’t really see it that way. I might have a few wrinkles, but that doesn’t keep me from following Coach Cal and the UK players on Facebook and Twitter. I think it’s the coolest thing to open my twitter app and see that Brad Calipari tweeted, “About to head out to Louisville. @uknum1 sittin in front of me…..”, followed by Darius Miller tweeting “About to take a nap”.  And don’t think for a minute that I missed my opportunity yesterday to tweet him a Happy Birthday message.

I’m really not the groupie type.  Most of the time I’m just minding my own business, but something comes over me when the Big Blue Nation hits the court and this Virginia girl who now Bleeds Blue catches the fever and the madness and I love every minute of being a Kentucky Wildcat fan.

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