Dedicated to my dad… on his birthday…
So it has been awhile since I’ve written a blog… in fact, well over a year or two since my “Fade Back” post. I hope the Big Blue Nation has been well, even though we haven’t hung a new banner in basketball and our football season this year had some tough losses. Having two kids now myself, it definitely changes things on my outlook watching games and being able to keep up-to-date with the team(s).
The title of this post is, “From Covering to Coverings“, because that’s exactly what I did. I went from covering the Kentucky Wildcats to watching them at home under my coverings. Cheesy, I know, but hang with me. My cousin once said, “You’ve got the best job in the world covering UK.” She made this comment to me when she saw me sideline of a UK game taking pictures… and while I agree, it’s a dope gig… let me explain how covering Kentucky changed me as a fan.
Now, don’t get me wrong… being able to be in Coach Cal’s house on Selection Sunday was amazing (small flex there), but things just don’t feel the same. I’m not just talking about the Cats “in general”, but even in the big rivalry game against third ranked Louisville Cardinals today.
I love the Cats, I do. I cheer for them anytime I know they’re playing, but you see… when you cover sports… you aren’t “allowed” to cheer on the sidelines. Of course, I use quotes, because you could find me giving a fist pump on the sidelines when Benny would make a big run or Monk would drop 20+ in a game. With that being said though, it was so difficult not being able to loudly cheer like I do in my living room with my family. Y’all don’t even know… think about seeing Kentucky beat South Carolina (when they ended the streak)… and not being able to go nuts in the moment. #LifeOfAPhotog
You also grow an attachment towards the players and coaches that cannot be explained. You, as a videographer, writer, photographer… etc. see and hear things the average fan doesn’t hear. I personally connected with a lot of the players on an emotional level. It was so difficult watching a kicker miss a game-winning field goal… hanging his head down… walking to the sidelines… receiving support from the team… then having Susan Lax give him a hug while he holds back tears of sadness. For me, I was fighting back tears too while I would watch this unfold. Losses are hard… as a player, coach, fan, and even as someone covering the sport.
It’s been a journey now being back under the covers watching the Cats. I can yell, scream, and cheer as loud as I want (as long as the baby isn’t sleeping). It’s also not bad being nice and warm unlike some of those cold football games, haha. But why am I writing this? It’s game day! I should be doing a motivational talk, not being a Debbie Downer (shoutout to Debbie).
My buddy Stephen H. made a good point to me last year that I wanted to write about in regards to the #ULvsUK rivalry, but I just couldn’t put the
ink to the pad finger to the key. Being from Northern Kentucky, and even though I’m a die-hard Kentucky fan, naturally I found myself liking Chris Mack and what he was doing at Xavier. I always “cheer local unless they’re playing UK“, but that’s just me, so for years I was pulling for Mack and the Musketeers alongside the Wildcats. I also have a talented buddy who writes for the Musketeer Report, so I was constantly seeing X content. Perhaps I’m the only one, but I feel like the rivalry isn’t exactly the same with both Petrino and Pitino out of Louisville. Am I the only one who feels this way? It felt good beating Pitino ‘for what he did to UK by leaving‘, but now… the thrill of beating the Cards… isn’t as strong. Maybe it’s the new roster each year that takes away from seeing player growth and development? It’s still “L’s Down” and #BeatUofL all day, but I guess the motivations are different now.
I hope the Wildcats beat the Cardinals today at Rupp Arena starting at 3:45 PM (EST). In order to accomplish that, UK will need a big game from Richards and Montgomery down-low. EJ needs more than four points in 28 minutes like he did against OSU, and we’re going to need something from Richards and the supporting cast if we want to beat this Louisville team which averages 76 points per game. Louisville is a good team. They bodied Michigan and only have one loss which was on the road to a Top-25 Texas Tech team. It’s still early in the season, and I feel like UK always plays to the level of their talent most of the game, so I think today will be a close one. With the spotlight on, maybe Maxey will drop another 26 like he did against Michigan State. Regardless the outcome of the game… I know that I’ll be having the best experience watching it… not on the sideline at Rupp… but next to my dad. It’s GO BIG BLUE until I die, and hopefully, today, they’ll give my dad a birthday present! So wherever you’re watching the Cats… I encourage you to put down the phone and live in the moment.
Shoutout to Cameron Mills Radio and all the wonderful writers!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for your time reading this book. I love you all… and as always… #CatsBy90! Happy Birthday dad.