This is a post that I am so happy to write! The Kentucky Wildcats are the Champions of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, as well as the regular season champions. Kentucky is also still undefeated, the only men's college basketball team to still be undefeated this season. Their quest is not over with, they are the favorites to win the NCAA Tournanment and bring home another championship.
I am writing this with all of those facts in mind, but I want to say something completely different and that is Thank You to Coach Calipari and the players for giving all UK fans a season to remember. I am hopeful that UK will win another championship this year, but nothing will ever take away from the enjoyment I have had watching this team all year long!
I am originally from Kentucky, so being a UK fan is as natural as breathing. UK holds an entire commonwealth as it's backyard in terms of fan support. I am also a graduate of the University of Kentuky (class of '87) and I have watched them play as often as possible throughout my life. Wherever I have lived, wherever I have been stationed with the Navy, I have never lost my love of Big Blue.
I am not what most would consider a typical UK fan. I don't gloat over victories, and I don't despair over defeats. I suppose that I am a holistic fan, because the ebba and flow of fortune is what makes watching UK basketball so enjoyable to me. I will watch a game intently, not yelling at some call made or not made by the official. I feel each aspect of the game very personally, but it does not consume me.
This year's team is very special. Their record speaks for itself, and I will leave it to others to describe what makes this team so good. I just am tremendously impressed with the demeanor of the players, and their dedication to a team goal rather than to indiovidual statistics. It is refreshing to see that the team I love so much plays the game with such a clear love of the game itself and of each other as individuals. I am old enough to remember the 1978 champions that were basically hoese-whipped to the finish line. That team was great, but it was not a fun tema to watch because the pressure was etched so deeply into every player.
I commend Coach Calipari on what he has accomplisghed with this group so far this year, and I will be cheering for them in the NCAA Tournament. I will never lose my love of this team, and if they fall short of the champoinship, it will not diminish my appreciation for what they have done. Too many fans of teams consider anything short of a championship to be a total failure, I am not one of those. This team has demonstrated such a love for each other and for the game like I have nver seen.
Thank you once again for a terrific season (so far) and I hope that it does end with another championship, but UK will never disappoint this fan. Especiallly not this year.