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Our Wildcat spirit

Ralph B. Davis
rdavis@civitasmedia.com

11 months 28 days 16 hours ago |174 Views | | | Email | Print

Dawn Reed


Guest Columnist


I pray for God to bless my beloved. He’s my other half, after all. I ask God to bless his health. (I want him to live forever or at least as long as I do.) I ask God to give him the words to speak every day. (He is the “preacher”, helping people face life and death.) I ask God to help him to be strong and courageous. (He daily fights in the battle of good vs. evil.) I want so many good things for him. He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me…so I ask God to bless him…And oh, He does! He’s met every need. But, I NEVER expected UK tickets!


A few days ago, a season ticket holder found that he would not be able to attend the UK/Tennessee game at Rupp Area. He knows my husband is a HUGE fan, so he offered his seats to us if we were available. The hospitality room was included along with special parking!!! Yay! I rushed home right after work to throw on the appropriate attire-blue and white.


It was the nastiest evening possible to travel to Lexington. Pouring rain and soupy roads did not deter our Wildcat spirit. I had gotten off later than hoped but there was absolutely no way to make up the time on the way. We needed to get there early so we could eat the cool food with the cool people in the hospitality room! We tried to remain calm as we watched the wipers swish away time. We were gonna be sooo late! (I know it’s terrible, but I asked the Lord, if it were His will, that we could get there in time. I didn’t want my man to miss a thing!)


Miraculously we got parked and inside Rupp just in time to grab a hot dog (best I ever ate) and some other refreshments. (I wanted to appear casual and nonchalant, so I just smiled and tried to be quiet.) We stood by a glass wall to wait for the players to pass by on their way to the court. It was close, but not close enough. My beloved led me out a door by the bleachers. Suddenly, they were right there! Kyle Wiltjer is my favorite. He’s so tall! My man told Nerlens Noel to “Go git ‘em, son” and gave him five. He had TOUCHED Nerlens Noel! My heart was racing. This was awesome!


Then we walked beside the court, behind the players’ bench. We watched for a moment and then passed the announcers all talking at once. We made our way to our seats as both teams began warming up. I was taking it all in. There was an ocean of blue. Women wore blue boas, earrings and even glasses to accompany their Wildcat shirts. Guys had blue shirts, hats and hoodies for the occasion. It was everywhere! My beloved told me there were over 23,000 who usually attend the home games. (I counted 72 orange shirts.) Oh, I’d seen this on television, but it was nothing like being there in person! It was even better than when Dusty Rhodes and Tommy “Wildfire” Rich came to wrestle at the Field House! (Probably just cause I’m older.)


When I saw Coach Cal, I was surprised to see that he looked like he was really made of flesh and bone. Still I thought I saw the tail of a blue cape sticking out from under his suit coat.


The game began and most everyone found their seat. No one stood, except the guy next to us. I heard a little old lady behind us yell, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” I wasn’t bothering anybody so I hoped she wasn’t talking to me. She called out until she got his attention. He was blocking her view. He muttered that he thought it was a basketball game but sat down.


When the Wildcats scored, rebounded or did something good, the entire crowd-except for the 72 people in orange shirts-stood and cheered. It was literally like a wave. Women and men of all ages yelled to and called the players by their first name as though they were family. I wondered if it made our team nervous. It would have made ME nervous! During good times, we all high-fived our neighbors, whether we knew them or not. (Once when we stood, I caught a hint of menthol like Vicks Vapor Rub. It IS flu season. I wondered how many there in those close-quarters had the flu.) A negative call or bad shot brought a booming, “Awwww!” from everyone paying attention. (Sometimes not me…there was so much to look at!)


We couldn’t believe we were really there! I took pictures with my slider phone and sent them to our kids and my mom. It was crazy cool. My husband was in heaven but wanted to slip down to the hospitality room again for another hot dog.


UK won, as I’m sure you’ve heard. And, I’m not going to say that God is a Wildcat fan. Seriously, He’s EVERYBODY’S fan…crazy about the Cardinals and Mountaineers. But…I found this verse in the book of Esther (chapter 8, verse 15)…and it describes Mordecai’s garments… Guess what color they were!

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