Calendars? We don’t need calendars in the Big Blue Nation. In the old days, it was understood that college basketball season ran from Midnight Madness (end of October) until One Shining Moment (beginning of April). College football lasted from Labor Day until the New Year’s Day.
As they say, that was then, this is now. With the explosion of the internet, ESPN, AAU tournaments and Elite 7-on-7 skills camps, the calendar has become irrelevant to big time college athletics. And nowhere is that more obvious than within the Big Blue Nation.
Just strike up a conversation with anyone wearing a Kentucky shirt or hat and you’d be unable to tell what time of the year it is. It’s been long documented how passionate Kentucky fans are about the men’s basketball program, but with new head coach Mark Stoops leading the football program, the passion for the gridiron Cats is rising fast as well. With the success of Stoops and men’s basketball coach John Calipari, future Cats are in the national spotlight when they declare their intention to head to Lexington. With the Summer AAU tournaments in basketball and with future Cat Drew Barker getting face time on ESPN at the Elite 11 football camp, it’s getting almost impossible to go a day without seeing the Big Blue Nation represented on national TV or being mentioned by some national reporter in an online article.
The double edged sword of the Big Blue Nation is that they care, but sometimes they can care too much. The vast majority of Big Blue Blue fans are just passionate about the University of Kentucky and want to see the Cats succeed on the field and court and in the classroom. Kentucky fans care. There are no professional sports teams in the Commonwealth. Most of the news surrounding the state of Kentucky is generally bad. We’re near the bottom of the nation in good things and near the top in the things you don’t want to be near the top in. The one thing that has united most Kentuckians, especially those in the Big Blue Nation, is the love of University of Kentucky Athletics and the school itself.
From Louisville to London, Pikeville to Paducah, and all points in between, Kentucky fans are passionate and that’s what makes them special. There’s no offseason because the coal miner from Eastern Kentucky is going to talk to the businessman in Lexington about that point guard that Coach Cal is looking at from California. There’s no offseason because in tobacco barns, around borse farms and in barbershops and general stores, people are going to talk about the job that Coach Stoops is doing. There’s no offseason because being a member of the Big Blue Nation is not a sometime thing, it’s an everyday thing. And for those that aren’t in the BBN, it’s a Kentucky thing and you simply wouldn’t understand.