Rupp Arena–The “Old” Standard


Admit it, you just read my title and thought, “what the *%!@ is wrong with this moron?!” I gotta admit that I thought the same thing initially but the more I think about it, the more it fits and yes…you’ll agree. Hear me out. When the Yum! Center opened in October 2010, it was immediately hailed as the greatest erection…err…achievement for Loserville basketball since Porcini’s. I kid, I kid. Kind of. But all kidding aside, the Yum! Center, with all the lavish furnishings (KFC Chicken bucket hats…really?) and the boxes it boasts to cater to the big $$ spenders who care little about the actual game, it was heralded as the second coming of, well…never mind. (It’s too easy people. Too easy) All the while, some 90 miles away where a high octane 1976 #8 Throne sits high atop the mountain of college basketball, the ACTUAL standard doesn’t boast a single box. Not a box for the press or even the President. It’s the place where $$ sits court side. We sell out every game; even the 1 PM game against Lehigh on a Tuesday. It’s not opulent. (You just thought of a miniature giraffe didn’t you?) It’s old school. Wrigley Field old school or Fenway Park old school. Standards, all of them, just like old Jazz. Standards.

I’ve sat in the end zone, at mid court and even court side (I was court side behind press row in the featured pic above) and nothing compares with the history that seeps its way into your beating heart and out every pore as you scream, “On, on, U of K!” or tear down one stripe after another, or that slick Italian savior stalking the sidelines. It’s hands down and not debatable.

Sure by modern standards Rupp doesn’t look like a pot to piss in but it has the life blood of countless All Americans, NBA players and even a few national title banners to boot…8 to be exact.

So, no, Rupp isn’t as flashy as the Yum! Center but it is undeniable that Rupp has what the Yum! does not and that’s a beating heart. I swear that building is alive and anyone who has been there can attest to it. The day we decide to follow “little brother” into the opulent corporate world of bending over to the almighty dollar is the day the Big Blue Nation takes a step back into the recess of “little brother’s shadow. As a program. As a tradition. As a nation. As a heartbeat. Thankfully the organism that is Rupp is slated a $250 million dollar renovation that’s due to be completed in 6-7 years. Renovate? Yes. Great decision. Build another? Are you kidding?! We will always be the Standard. May we never be caught in the mess that our very own Terry Brown so aptly chronicled here (@Tbrown_80). On, On U of K!