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Carpet, Family and Geeking


I can still remember rushing to the local market to get a copy of the morning newspaper the day after Midnight Madness. When we finally got a VCR I was elated to record the thirty minutes that signified the start of basketball season. Times they are a changing….

Technology now allows fans to experience Big Blue Madness from the comfort of their home. Social media provides live updates, videos and photos within minutes of their occurrence.

Still… there is something about being there. When the lights go down my heart still races knowing it is the beginning.  The quest for a national championship is officially underway.

Some of the highlights from last night.


Blue Carpet: Trying to figure out who was who on the Blue Carpet
became a fun game for the media. Sure, most of the
players were easily recognized but when there was a
question we all went to Jerry Tipton.


The Board: I cannot find words to describe the difference Bertha’s replacement
makes. There is no more squinting of the eyes to read the score or watching replays on
a corner board.  This “board” takes Rupp to a whole different level.

The Floor: I was expecting Tennessee checkerboard and to be honest I wasn’t
looking forward to it. The checkerboard is barely visible and is two
shades of blue. Whew!!

Family: The theme of last night was family. One of the coolest moments I
have ever experienced in Rupp was the gathering of all players in
attendance on the stage with former players. Seeing the smile on
Coach Hall’s face warmed my heart.
If I was the mother of a recruit I would say: “Son you need to sign on the dotted line…if that is what you want. Momma really likes it here.”




I have been blessed the past few years to have met and interacted with many players, coaches and media members. I have always told myself, “act like you have been here before.” That worked for me fine until media days on Thursday.

My good friend Larry Vaught was having a conversation with Kyle Macy while we were waiting on the players to enter the gym. I walked over to say hello and as Larry introduced us I turned into a 16 year old sitting in the rafters of Rupp watching #4 wipe his hands on his socks. I stumbled over words, to sum it up “I geeked.”

I hope that was my one and only geek moment. Time will only tell. It sure did feel good to be a teenager again,  if only for a brief moment.

Follow me @tcox5470


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