Yesterday I bought a ticket to the student premier of the documentary of UK fans called The 6th Man. The premier was downtown at the Kentucky Theater (which made for a really cool setting/mood) and the only thing I really knew about the film was that it featured Joe B, Coach Cal, several media members I interact with on a regular basis and that it was about UK fans and I knew some people that had been interviewed; but hey, what else was I doing on a Thursday? I really went into it with no expectations except to get me more pumped up than I am for Big Blue Madness.
I won’t give away the movie, but I will tell you that Christian Laettner does make an appearance, as well as Rick Pitino, along with Kenny “Sky” Walker, Rex Chapman, Sean Woods, Walter McCarty, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and tons of other former players- even the Backstreet Boys.
Its things like this documentary that really make me appreciate growing up a Kentucky fan and make me love my school that much more. Personally, I get so caught up in the hype and in the moment of UK basketball that I forget how insane and incredible this whole thing is. Being a Kentucky fan, living in Kentucky and attending the University of Kentucky are three things I have been blessed with. I cannot imagine where I would be had I not grown up around the passion of UK basketball. There’s no way I would be the sports fan I am today had I not been constantly surrounded by this crazy thing we call the BBN, or as Cal calls it in the movie, the “blue dust”. When you take a step back to realize how remarkable this university, fan base, and historic program are it makes you that much more thankful that you’re a UK fan (as opposed to those red counterparts we allow to reside in our state).
The movie was pretty funny when you realized how completely ridiculous we can be as Kentucky fans and of course they showcased the most extreme of extreme UK fans. It also had a more emotional side when it talked about players visiting hospitals and nursing homes and how they made a difference.
The best part for me, was that a lot of it was filmed in 2011-2012 throughout that championship season. That was my freshman year at UK and I attended the final four and national championship in New Orleans. This movie took me back and it was fun remembering all the magic we saw that season. It was cool getting to see places on campus and around Lexington and seeing people you know in the movie, like “wow, I really am a part of something huge”. At some points it gave me cold chills just remembering all these great parts of UK basketball history that I’ve either seen or learned about. The back of my head made a cameo in one of the shots of the student section when we won the national title, so look out for that y’all. But they showed fan reactions when we beat Ohio State to progress to the Elite Eight ( I remember nearly breaking a toe in that game from jumping around), the UNC game in 2011 (I was in the DEAD LAST TOP ROW of Rupp, center court, loudest thing I have ever experienced) and the New Years Eve 2011 Louisville game (which I was on the floor for). Seeing things like that just really brings back fond memories and every UK fan can talk about where they were during those games more than likely, its something we all have in common.
One of my favorite parts of the entire documentary *spoiler alert* was an interview with a guy on the street. He told the interviewer “I think they believe in basketball more than God” or something to that extent, the camera pans down and of course its an IU fan.
The only things that struck me as odd was that Tubby Smith, Ashley Judd and a few other prominent UK fans had no mention. Jay Z was shown in a picture, but no Drake. It also mainly ended with the 2011-2012 team although I did see a little of last years squad too.
Overall, The Sixth Man gets my stamp of approval, especially if you want to get overly excited (if there is such a thing) for another potential title season. Two thumbs up, or should I just throw three goggles?