In just about a month, roughly 24,000 people will pack Rupp Arena to watch nothing more than a glorified practice. When you think that very few, if any, college basketball teams will get that kind of attendance for a regular or post-season game, it makes the Big Blue Nation that much more special. It’s been said time and again that the fans of the University of Kentucky care a little too much, that they’re too invested in the athletic teams, especially when it comes to the Men’s Basketball team. I challenge that notion and think that, yes, there are those that take their fan-hood to the extreme, most of fans just care about UK a lot. And that’s what makes the Big Blue Nation special.
Most of the national news that comes out of Kentucky is bad. The Commonwealth leads the nation in categories that you don’t want to and is at the bottom of the list for those that you do. There have been, however, a few things that have set the 15th state apart from all the others. There’s our bourbon, our horses, our world famous chicken and… college basketball. In most parts, the basketball season starts with Midnight Madness and ends with the Final Four in April. But, as the T-shirt states: “Kentucky Basketball Never Stops.” UK Basketball is a year round event where success are celebrated and cheered and then our collective eyes toward the next goal over the horizon. And it’s for that very reason that Coach Cal is correct when he says that playing at UK isn’t for everybody. Not every college aged player can handle the pressure of playing for such a demanding fan base. For those that do, the rewards are great and the benefits long lasting.