I can’t let today go by without saying something about this–Kentucky won! Kentucky won! Last night, the men’s basketball team from the University of Kentucky won the school’s eighth NCAA national championship. The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks and if you know anything about Kentucky, well, this is A Really Big Deal.
Big Blue Nation is kind of absurd, and at times ridiculous, just as any devoted sports fan base tends to be (although I’m pretty sure BBN takes it to the next level). But it’s also fun and highly entertaining to associate with an entity that succeeds. Further, as a dislocated Kentuckian, Kentucky basketball sort of works as a placeholder for home, family, and friends. It has come to stand for memories, such as basketball ones–The Shot,* ’96, and ’98, but more importantly related ones, like celebrating with friends and watching games with family.
Let’s be clear though, I am a fan of Kentucky Basketball and I sincerely want them to win every single time they play. By a lot.
So watching the end of the game and hearing “My Old Kentucky Home” playing in the background was extra special last night. Obviously, to conflate my feelings of nostalgia, community, and entertainment with commercialism, I plan to buy at least two different championship shirts. And maybe a coffee mug. And the DVD.
*I have to give a shout-out to one of my Dear College Friends. Her facebook status read as follows after the game: “Hey UPS….maybe you can use your ‘logistics’ to get my NCAA Champs t-shirt here in a hurry so I can start wearing it. PS – You can stop running that commercial now, thanks.” Easily one of my most favorite things ever.