5 am. Apparently a day of sleeping in was not going to happen. I was too excited to sleep. A new day was about to dawn for the Kentucky Wildcat football fans. Not only was a new season of spring football was about to break, an entirely new football era was about to be revealed to the blue loving fans.
On November 27, 2012 we were introduced to Mark Stoops as the new coach of our football program. That's when the buzz started. As something I do not remember witnessing in my few years as a football fan, we also talked about football during basketball season. Needless to say, I found that very exciting. Football may not have been my first love, but it is definitely my new one.
You see, I'm convinced that Kentucky fans want to be true to the bone football fans. This whole "we're a basketball school" history may be true to some degree, but it does not have to hold true for the future. It is not written in stone. Trust me when I tell you, fans were at Commonwealth yesterday to get behind the football program. I felt it and I saw it. One example was the long line of fans waiting at Keeneland to catch a return shuttle to Commonwealth in time for the Cat Walk. You should have heard the cheers when 3 Lextran buses pulled up at once. We all knew we would make it back on time.
It's a spring Blue/White game. If you go into it looking for a strong tackles and a good look at the defense, it isn't going to happen. We are not going to take a chance on one of our own getting hurt. It is a really good start if you want to get a look at the offense. The team was split between blue and white uniforms. The QB's were wearing the black jerseys this year, and I really liked that little difference. They each took turns.
By far, I was mostly impressed with Jalen Whitlow under center. He ran, he threw, he just moved the ball. Repeatedly. He seemed really comfortable in his role. Maxwell Smith looked good and I'd swear Patrick Towles has grown another inch. The competition for starting quarterback will be interesting come fall.
Secondly, I was extremely happy to see the turn out from the Big Blue Nation. Last year, I got there 30 minutes before the gates opened and parked at the gate. In the very first spot. This year, when we left for Keeneland, it was still hours before the game. Although there were several people streaming in, the lots were still on the empty side. 2 or 3 hours later, when our bus rolled up in the parking lot, I wish you could have seen my smile. There wasn't an empty spot and there was literally a sea of blue, everywhere. I'm still smiling, in case you're wondering.
Add in that I met some of the most fun, most awesome people you could ever want to hang with and it was absolutely a great day. There was never a doubt in my mind that we wouldn't have a great time. It was as if we had known each other for decades. We will definitely do this again, soon.
A sea of blue at Commonwealth Stadium again. A very excited, exuberant, and exhilarated sea of blue. This does my heart good.