The Final Four is a lovely place, and many a Kentucky fan considers this place a birthright.
The reality is, being on board with a Final Four team, as a singular event "one shining moment," as is were, is a very special occurence.
That any one particular human is willing to say, "yes...this is my team, and I embrace them through thick and thin, follow them, annoy the crap out of their significant other with facts and details and bore them to tears with numbers, statistics, set plays and be able to break down the moment when a team or player falters is not normal. It's not.
That said, Kentucky basketball fans are not "normal" fans. We're just not.
I spent 7 amazing years in Lexington. Believe me, I wouldn't trade arriving on campus to a national title for anything. Euclid Avenue at 4AM was the craziest party I'll see, or my kids kids will ever see on that night.
Having witnessed firsthand the passion and love of UK basketball, a kid who grew up in downtown Philly and spent his formitive years in the Carolinas became True Blue.
A friend of mine...a close friend, actually, was murdered in Lexington not long ago. He was a chef at UK, and we talked regularly for 8 years until his untimely passing.
I guess, in a roundabout way, what I'm trying to say is that Kentucky never left me. The basketball team is sort of an outlet for my soul at times, though I delight in all our athletic successes, that's our big one.
For me, it's a distinct and unique connection to a place I feel welcome and at home.
All rambling aside, and strictly basketball, I'm totally lost on this game. The kids could show up and go bonkers for 32 minutes (in fairness, they haven't put 40 solid minutes together all year), or throw up on our shoes and poop in the bed, fail to communicate for stretches, lose focus at key times, etc etc.
if you don't know me, I'm a chef...technically a sous-chef at a top 100 restaurant in the country in a town representing 2 of the top 5 culinary schools in the nation.
I've been a lead cook at 3 star rated restaurants in New York, and every restaurant I've worked in here in my past 8 years (on and off...I spent time in NYC during that span), has been in the city's top 5-15.
A lot of young talent has been in front of me. A LOT. What I've learned from that, is that young talent can be unpredictable. They can be amazing for a while, then taper off until they begin to rise again. Driven or not, human beings are human beings, and no one on this planet is born with a gene of infallibility nor a genetic mix that makes them exceptional every day.
What separates mediocre from good or good from great day to day is a very thin line that often requires more than just one hand to tweak and create as a leader.
For what I don't know...Lol. I don't have a clue if we'll see Florida again...but I wouldn't mind.