I remember when I was a kid (fourth grade to be exact), and I went to a WWF (wrestling) event in Cincinnati, OH. I saw “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels not only wrestle… but win. I sat close enough that I can almost guarantee we made eye contact, and I’ll never forget saying to my friend Justin, “This is the greatest night ever!!!”
I heard that same phrase this past Saturday evening when the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Aggies of New Mexico State. There were several BBN members waiting outside for the Wildcats after the game. Some adults (family members mostly) but also some children were eagerly hoping to see the Cats.
As the players proceeded from being interviewed by the media toward the new practice facility, almost every player stopped for the Big Blue Nation. One would think that after a long day of football that these players would be too tired to spend time with fans but just the opposite happened. Players like Boom Williams (pictured above) not only signed autographs but also took pictures and even chatted with fans about the game.
The boy pictured above didn’t have anything for the players to sign, so he offered up his phone to be autographed. Pictures are worth 1,000 words as some say, but even this picture above doesn’t truly capture the joy that was in the air outside Commonwealth Stadium Saturday evening.
Most of the time kids don’t take a win or a loss like an adult would, but there’s no doubt that the win helped fill the air with smiles all around. Snell Jr. and Johnson had remarkable games, and they too found themselves outside Commonwealth giving their towels, wristbands, Gatorades… etc. to young members of the BBN.
The picture I took above is when I heard it… that familiar phrase that I once used when I was a boy. As Johnson threw his wristband to a young fan, I heard, “This is the greatest night ever!!!” You see… that young fan didn’t care UK gave up 42 points to the Aggies, he didn’t care that our starting quarterback was injured, and he didn’t care about a buyout that has been discussed for the past two weeks. That fan had his ‘greatest night‘ moment, because the person wearing that Kentucky uniform gave him the time of day.
This team, win or lose, is filled with men who have hearts of gold that you can’t put a price to, and unlike Shawn Michaels, these players aren’t trying to break our hearts. In fact… they try to do the opposite. Let us never forget that. GO CATS!