Since John Calipari has been here at Kentucky, have you noticed that all it takes is for a certain “thing” to happen for the fans to instantly fall in love with a team or player?
Whether it be a celebration, dance, or even hairstyle, Kentucky fans always seem to latch onto one thing and roll with it for the rest of the season.
In 2010, the John Wall dance started as a Kentucky thing, making the fans fall in love with the future NBA all-star, and eventually the dance went world-wide, even to the point of Troop 41 making a song about the dance and Wall himself, cementing Wall and Kentucky to superstar status.
In 2011, Doron Lamb introduced us to the three goggles as a form of celebration when hitting a three pointer, which I am sure that every one of you have done at some point when posing for a picture of you watching, or gearing up for a Kentucky game. It had been done previously before, but after the cool program in Kentucky started doing it, it became a staple of high-school and college celebrations alike. We are all “Team No-Sleep” with D-Lamb on this one.
2012 saw not a celebration or even a dance, but.... an eyebrow?
That’s right, Anthony Davis’ spectacular uni-brow drew the fans in, and I’m sure his fantastic play did as well, but the unibrow was all anyone could focus on when he first got to Kentucky. That and his freakishly long arms. T-shirts were made, replica uni-brows were made, and the whole nine yards. Just look at that beautiful eyebrow.
2013 gave Kentucky, without a doubt, the coolest hairstyle we will ever see. Nerlens Noel’s flat-top fade was a masterpiece, and since it had been awhile since Kentucky had anyone with a flat-top, the fans were talking about it. A lot.
I even had a “Fear the Flat-Top” t-shirt I wore a couple times during that season. If that season gave us nothing good, the flat-top and Nerlens Noel alone were a good conservation prize. And who could ever forget how he committed to Kentucky?
In 2014, Kentucky fans had not one, but two reasons to fall in love with the team; Aaron and Andrew Harrison. This was the first time that Kentucky had ever had a pair of twin brothers playing on the court together and the fans ate it up.
From producing shirts about the two brothers, which I must say that I bought one of those as well, to little kids dressing up wearing number 2 and 5 jerseys. Kids across the state loved the Harrison twins, and I would guess that’s because of the thought of playing big time college ball with your brother is something that you would dream of, especially in the state of Kentucky.
The Harrison’s were fan favorites in their two seasons at Kentucky and gave the fans a reason to not give up on what was virtually an all-freshman team. Also, those Aaron Harrison shots, though.
And finally, in 2015, Jamal Murray gave us the arrow celebration. It didn’t catch on until later in the season, right when Kentucky started to hit their stride, but Jamal Murray and his three-point shooting ability started catching the eyes of many, and his celebration was something so simple, yet so cool.
It was the new basketball celebration as high-schoolers moved on from the three goggles to the bow-and-arrow. Fans nicknamed him “The Blue Arrow” and he earned it.
So will Quade’s glasses be the next “thing” that Kentucky fans fall in love with?
The rest of the team seems to already be behind the shades, with Cal making them practice in them recently.
I hope to see the eRupption Zone wearing shades (and throwing shade) during the Louisville game. Do your thing, UK marketing department.