Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Anthony Davis (23) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men

Kentucky Basketball – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to follow it note for note…. Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

Jan 29, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) goes up for a dunk during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Mississippi Rebels 87-74. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

With all due respect to the incomparable Bobby McFerrin, I think the members of the Big Blue Nation need to take the words of his signature song to heart. Don’t worry, be happy.  As fans of the of the greatest tradition in college basketball, there are an awful lot among us that, for whatever reason, long to be unhappy.  Every game, even the wins, are dissected and analyzed over and over to look at every single possession to find something… anything… to criticize.  And my thought is always, if follow a team is going to bring you so much unhappiness, why do it? Don’t worry, be happy. And as a Wildcat fan, there’s a lot to be happy about.

Happiness comes from being the all-time winningest college basketball program in the country.  Happiness comes from having eight national championship banners.  Happiness comes from having names like Rupp, Hall, Smith, Calipari and, yes, Pitino lead the program to those eight titles. Happiness is My Old Kentucky Home on Senior Day.  Happiness is sitting in your seat and waiting to see who will be the “Y.” Happiness is selling out a practice, yes I’m talking ’bout practice. Happiness is people camping out for weeks for tickets to that same practice.  Happiness is going to Cat-lanta and Blue Orleans. Happiness is hearing the “Go Big Blue” chant as the Wildcats walk off an opponent’s home floor.

Jan 19, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA: Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) shoots over Auburn Tigers guard Frankie Sullivan (23) during the first half at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Happiness is being everyone’s Super Bowl. Happiness is making your long time rival and holder of five NCAA titles rush the floor after victory. Happiness is Little Brother always doing Little Brother type things.  Happiness is having member of the national media salivating over the chance to nail your coach and your school for any manner of NCAA violations, yet coming up empty over and over again. Happiness is wearing the right shade of Blue (North Carolina), having fans that care year round (Duke) and fans that care at all (UCLA).

Happiness is knowing that from Paducah to Pikeville, Louisville to Louisa, Menifee County to Magoffin County, you can share common experiences with complete strangers: 2012, 1998, 1996, 1978, 1958, 1951, 1949, 1948.  Happiness is thinking back to March 28, 1992 and remembering the players that left everything out on the floor for the name across their chests and being filled with pride.  Happiness is remembering the heart and courage that Sam Bowie showed leading the 1984 team to the Final Four… on one good leg.

Happiness is Bill Keightley.

Happiness is knowing that every school in the country would trade their history and tradition with the University of Kentucky eight days a week. Every. Single. One.

So, yes, there have been losses this season. And, yes, there have been seasons throughout Kentucky’s history. But happiness is knowing that no matter what, Kentucky comes back.  As the late great Al McGuire once famously said, “They had it before you, they had it during you, they’ll have it when you’re gone.”  So, Kentucky fans… Don’t Worry.  Be Happy.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.mills.9469 Lori Mills

    That’s amazing!! Love it!

  • oldkentucky

    Please remember that we have fans that live everywhere. I have been a fan since 1948. I went to graduate school at UK but now live in Oklahoma. I am going to the game Saturday in College Station. I often meet people even down here in Oklahoma who want to talk about Kentucky basketball. I am happy that Big Blue is everywhere and I am excited about my opportunity to yell Go Big Blue when we are winning the game on Saturday.

  • oldkentucky

    PS. I loved your post.