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By LINDA SINCLAIR
The 2012 NC2A Championship Trophy made its debut in Lexington West Saturday. I have waited all week for this to be able to gaze upon the grand prize of college basketball. It seems like it has been 40 years and not 14 years since we were able to celebrate and wear our pride where everyone can see it. We no longer have to offer excuses; we no longer have to say there is always next year. We no longer have to think twice when we see a coach playing slow ball or a coach who has rumors fly from one end of the state to another about him. We donâ€™t have to sit and wonder about the program because they didnâ€™t understand what it means to be the coach of the best basketball program in the nation.
It only took me about 10 minutes to get to the Verizon Wireless Store but it seems like it took 10 hours. It was their grand opening today. What better way than to celebrate the opening of a brand new store then with the University of Kentucky 2012 NC2A Basketball Trophy.
I was a little disappointed when I arrived at the Verizon Store. There wasnâ€™t much of a line, nothing like we saw in pictures from Owensboro, Frankfort and the rest of the stops along the tour. I was expecting a mob, a crush of fans but everyone was very subdued and calm, maybe it was the threat of rain. Before the doors opened the line was at least a block or more long and when I left it was still that long. While we were waiting to view the trophy, the Verizon people had a trivia contest and gave away little plastic digital watches as prizes, of course I won one, for yelling the loudest! The young lady in charge was from Iowa, no problem with that, but, and this almost made me want to take out my Louavull Slugger, she said come on KU fansâ€¦I donâ€™t know what she said after that because I was in shock and yelling at her it is UK, UK, UK not KU! She finally realized what she said but she sure did ruin the wait for me!
I met Brain Miller from the Athletic Department. He agreed with me that there probably would have been more fans if Cal and the other coaches were with the trophy but Cal was recruiting. That was no problem for me; he can recruit all he wants! Brian would take cameras from the fans and take their picture with the trophy. I didnâ€™t want to get in the way so I stood to the side to take a few pictures. The fans were all ages from old to very young.
April 14, 2012 is another special day in my life to tell my grandchildren about when they are older. I can tell them about meeting Mickey Mantle, The 2012 SEC trip to New Orleans, the time I met Pete Rose, Ali and the 2012 NC2A season and Championship. I want them to how the Wildcats took control and the awe of watching Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Darius Miller, Doron Lamb and the rest of the young men who played a vital part in this 2011-12 season. I will have a few years to wait, one is only 2 years old and the other is due in September. I hope I live long enough to tell them about the special year the BBN had in 2012. I want to teach them what it means to be a member of a very exclusive club and a member of a family that reaches around the world. They need to understand you are there for the ups and downs and the ups make up for any down in the past. I want them to see the excitement in my eyes and hear the enthusiasm in my voice. Above all else, I want them to understand what you feel inside when you see the Blue and White colors of the University of Kentucky flying from a banner on a house, on a bumper sticker, t-shirt or hat. But especially, the feeling they will have when they walk into Rupp Arena and see the banners hanging from the ceiling and knowing no one else has the tradition or the history like the Wildcats! And no one else has the fans and following like UK!
By the way, I did lead the C-A-T-S! Cats! Cats! Cats! Cheer there times while I was there!
Livinâ€™ Blue & Lovinâ€™ It. Itâ€™s good to be a Kentucky Wildcat Fan!