It Came From 20 Years Ago

20 years ago this week, I was enjoying the fun and sun of Key West, Florida with my fraternity and most of the undergrads from UK. EVERYONE was there on Spring Break.

That trip brings back many memories. Some good (good friends, sun). Some bad (a fraternity brother was knifed by a local). Some ugly (around 20 of us lived for a week in a one bathroom condo). Some hilarious (almost evicted from said condo due to excessive snoring from someone sleeping on our balcony – seems it upset the neighbors). But my clearest memories revolve around the excitement of Kentucky basketball returning to the Big Dance.

Since it is March Madness and there is a lot of excitement about the Cats again, here are some thoughts on how things were then and how they are today:

Back Then

In 1992, it depended on where you lived as to what you got to watch. Also, CBS might cut away from a game in the middle of a shot (“What just happened?….Did he hit it?….I hate CBS”).

Today

It’s carried on 4 networks and every minute can be watched (“Hey, CBS and those other guys are alright”). It’s ironic that now you might be considered a square if you actually watched games on a “TV”.

Back Then

I was a cockeyed optimist who got himself mixed up in almost all sports, except baseball (too long and boring, unless were talking St. Louis Cardinals). UK was my team and we were returning to the dance after a few years of being exiled to the desert, known as probation. We had a good team, coach and tradition.

Today

Like pharmaceutical reps of 5 years ago, sports coverage and analysis is over the top and there is too much of it. I followed UK this year, but only watched a couple of games from start to finish. I have sports fatigue and everything seems like baseball to me. The constant – we have a good team, coach and tradition.

Back Then

Mike Francesa, sports guy on TV, earned the name “Mike Fran-suck-a” from my friend Lee W. due to an opinion expressed which was not pro UK

Today

Actually heard Mike on the radio yesterday and he seems to be doing well….although I immediately thought “Fran-suck-a” Thanks Lee.

Back Then

UK was destined to face Duke in the regional finals. In what has been called the greatest college game ever, UK lost in OT when what’s-his-face hit the shot. It really shouldn’t rise to the level of where were you when Kennedy was shot, but I’ll never forget – neither will Big Blue Nation or Duke fans. The Blue Devils went on to win the title, but a few years later UK managed to pull off a memorable win over Duke in another regional final. UK went on to claim the title that season.

Today

If the seeds hold in the South region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, UK and Duke could play again for the chance to go to the Final Four almost 20 years to the day of the 1992 game. Sports fatigue, or not, I will be watching that.

 

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