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Old 02-12-2005, 12:01 AM
rywegh's Avatar
rywegh rywegh is offline
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Location: northern kentucky
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Ryan M Weghorn
Talking this is the truth

Rupp Arena Like Going to Church

01/07/2005
By Ken Burger - The Post and Courier - Charleston, S.C.
Used with permission LEXINGTON, KY.--This job allows you to go to some great places and affords you a pretty good seat when you get there. But seldom do I feel as guilty as I do here in Rupp Arena.

Click the image to open in full size. Sitting here on press row Wednesday night for the South Carolina-Kentucky basketball game, I could feel what Kentucky basketball is all about. Some will say it's about Adolph Rupp and Tubby Smith and seven national championships and dominance of the SEC and countless All-Americans and scores of pro players and a legacy that's steeped in history and tradition.

All that, of course, is true. The Wildcats have been so good for so long, nobody remembers that Kentucky actually had two losing seasons in the 1920s before Rupp signed on in 1930 and made sure that never happened again.

The symbol of that kind of success is measured in blue seats that rise from the floor of this arena and seemingly reach to the heavens above. For that is where Wildcat fans think Adolph himself sits in judgment of every player who wears the Kentucky colors.

But the truth is that Kentucky basketball is none of those things in the singular sense. It is built on the backs of a million, maybe more, fanatical basketball fans who literally worship this program.

Not only the ones who fill these sacred seats every time Kentucky plays a home game, but the ones who have never been here but consider their loyalty to this basketball program to be a birthright.

LOYALTY, DEVOTION

Maybe that's why it feels like church.

People who have the privilege of paying for tickets to these games do not take it granted. They are the chosen few.

Sure, money plays a role, but so does loyalty and devotion and family and allegiance and love.

Unlike normal fans at normal schools, these people come early to get autographs from players and former players and bring cameras to take pictures of Kentucky legends who are treated like gods around here.

Click the image to open in full size. I don't know how many of these fans actually attended Kentucky, because there is not a university in the universe big enough to graduate so many for so long.

And they have class. They don't curse, mock or ridicule opponents. There is no need. They just beat you.

Unlike other college basketball programs that are happy to have five or six radio stations carrying their games, Kentucky has more than 100 stations broadcasting its games.

Folks in every little hamlet in the state cling to every word spoken or written about Kentucky basketball. They are unlike any other fan base I've been around and truly believe the Wildcats should win the national championship every year.

Don't laugh. They're not kidding.

GALLANT STRUGGLE

So into this atmosphere came a pretty good South Carolina team, a small drop of garnet in a deep blue lagoon.

And while they put a gallant struggle against great odds, they fell short again, 79-75, in a closer game than most Wildcat fans wanted.

And surely, somewhere out in the dark Kentucky night, a loyal Wildcats fan leaned close to his radio wishing with all his heart that he could have been sitting where I was sitting.

And you know what? I would have gladly given him my seat. Rupp Arena Like Going to Church

01/07/2005
By Ken Burger - The Post and Courier - Charleston, S.C.
Used with permission LEXINGTON, KY.--This job allows you to go to some great places and affords you a pretty good seat when you get there. But seldom do I feel as guilty as I do here in Rupp Arena.

Click the image to open in full size. Sitting here on press row Wednesday night for the South Carolina-Kentucky basketball game, I could feel what Kentucky basketball is all about. Some will say it's about Adolph Rupp and Tubby Smith and seven national championships and dominance of the SEC and countless All-Americans and scores of pro players and a legacy that's steeped in history and tradition.

All that, of course, is true. The Wildcats have been so good for so long, nobody remembers that Kentucky actually had two losing seasons in the 1920s before Rupp signed on in 1930 and made sure that never happened again.

The symbol of that kind of success is measured in blue seats that rise from the floor of this arena and seemingly reach to the heavens above. For that is where Wildcat fans think Adolph himself sits in judgment of every player who wears the Kentucky colors.

But the truth is that Kentucky basketball is none of those things in the singular sense. It is built on the backs of a million, maybe more, fanatical basketball fans who literally worship this program.

Not only the ones who fill these sacred seats every time Kentucky plays a home game, but the ones who have never been here but consider their loyalty to this basketball program to be a birthright.

LOYALTY, DEVOTION

Maybe that's why it feels like church.

People who have the privilege of paying for tickets to these games do not take it granted. They are the chosen few.

Sure, money plays a role, but so does loyalty and devotion and family and allegiance and love.

Unlike normal fans at normal schools, these people come early to get autographs from players and former players and bring cameras to take pictures of Kentucky legends who are treated like gods around here.

Click the image to open in full size. I don't know how many of these fans actually attended Kentucky, because there is not a university in the universe big enough to graduate so many for so long.

And they have class. They don't curse, mock or ridicule opponents. There is no need. They just beat you.

Unlike other college basketball programs that are happy to have five or six radio stations carrying their games, Kentucky has more than 100 stations broadcasting its games.

Folks in every little hamlet in the state cling to every word spoken or written about Kentucky basketball. They are unlike any other fan base I've been around and truly believe the Wildcats should win the national championship every year.

Don't laugh. They're not kidding.

GALLANT STRUGGLE

So into this atmosphere came a pretty good South Carolina team, a small drop of garnet in a deep blue lagoon.

And while they put a gallant struggle against great odds, they fell short again, 79-75, in a closer game than most Wildcat fans wanted.

And surely, somewhere out in the dark Kentucky night, a loyal Wildcats fan leaned close to his radio wishing with all his heart that he could have been sitting where I was sitting.

And you know what? I would have gladly given him my seat.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:43 AM
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Great story.

When he said that some where there was a fan leaned close to his radio wishing he was here, it was truly me!! I work evenings untill the end of May, and the week day games I have to keep a radio with me at work, and I do.
I bust my butt at work all week so when Kentucky plays the boss will give me a break to hear most of the game.


David
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:05 PM
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rywegh rywegh is offline
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Ryan M Weghorn
When I'm at work and the cats are playing. I listen to them on yahoo launch sportscast. Kentucky's announcers and all the normal excitement. Where I work at it is sometimes really hard to get any stereo reception.
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:27 PM
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Does anyone else miss Cawood as much as I do? He was just the absolute best. I still get chills when I think about him telling us, just as the players were getting into the circle for the tip-off, "..and Kentucky will be going from right to left on your radio dial". Man, those were the days!
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:09 AM
rywegh's Avatar
rywegh rywegh is offline
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Location: northern kentucky
Posts: 2,439
rywegh has a good reputation on FTE.rywegh has a good reputation on FTE.
Ryan M Weghorn
how true. how true
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Saying a person carrying a gun is out looking for trouble is like saying that by wearing a seat belt you are looking to get into a violent accident...
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:09 AM
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