I came to Kentucky last year, and was a little taken back by the absurd amount of blue shirts and hats I saw everywhere. I was used to seeing quite a bit of red, but never blue. It was a new experience for me, and when threw up the ole “O-H”, I never got an “I-O”. Talk about rejection. It has been a difficult transition to make, especially after buying my first UK shirt before tournament time last year. I mean, I look pretty good in blue, but I have been wearing red my entire life.
I grew up in northern Ohio, 1 hour from Cleveland and 1 hour from Toledo, on Lake Erie. This means many things.
- I support Cleveland sports teams and no longer cheer for LeBron James.
- If you tell me you are from Cincinnati, I think that you are from Ohio, not northern Kentucky.
- I bleed red (like normal people) and I support my Buckeyes from THE Ohio State University.
As my history professor said today in class, UK Basketball is “A strange religion which has affected Kentucky in the 21st century.” How right he is. I can’t go anywhere without hearing people talk about the Cats, how they are going to bring the trophy home, how awesome Anthony Davis is, how many titles UK has, how UK is the greatest tradition in college basketball, and how UK is an all encompassing ideal of all that is good in college sports. UK fans put Buckeye fans to shame in this category.
However, I’ve come to appreciate UK, not just for its basketball and its huge library, but for its role in the Lexington community, and how great it is for Transy students. It is one thing to go to a small liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere. It is another thing to go to a small liberal arts college in Lexington, KY. You really get the best of both worlds.
Here at Transy, I can go to any sporting event I want, with the knowledge that I have good friends on the teams and have classes with many of them. I get into games for free, have a great time sitting next to my friends, and enjoying the great atmosphere that Transy students and supporters bring with them. I am able to go watch my boyfriend play baseball and get a front row seat in the bleachers so I can embarrass him. I’ve even experienced them first-hand, as a member of the volleyball team my freshman year. As a life-long athlete, the ability to feel like I am still part of the athletic community means a lot to me, and Transy has yet to let me down.
On the other side of the spectrum, I also enjoy the perks of the athletic program at UK. Nothing is better than the Final Four atmosphere here in Lexington. It is literally a never-ending line of blue shirts and hats. And while I really don’t support burning couches, I do appreciate the effort. UK basketball unifies not only a school, but a city, and a state. It is interesting to see something from the outside looking in, as opposed to living and breathing OSU everyday.
UK allows me to get lost in something bigger, while at the same time being someone at Transy. It is the perfect combination for me, even as a Buckeye fan at heart. So maybe someday, I will hashtag #BBN on twitter, but if it is OSU and UK in the finals, don’t get your hopes up!
(insert OSU band playing “Hang On Sloopy”) GO BUCKS!