So, did you all see Louisville’s new court for this upcoming season?
If not, here’s what it’ll be looking like:
Now ask yourselves something: When was the last time Kentucky did something that cool? Seriously, when was the last time?
Over the past 10 years, Kentucky has hardly done anything remotely that cool, like going with a throwback floor for the entire season, and quite frankly, it’s annoying to me as a die-hard fan and writer of Kentucky sports.
The last time Kentucky even did anything close to that was bringing back some retro uniforms in 2014 against Florida at home:
But even still, that was a one-off occasion and Kentucky has not done it since.
Meanwhile, other big programs across the country do commemorative throwback nights, change up the jerseys for a night, etc.
Michigan, this past season:
Michigan State, two seasons ago:
Introducing our new retro jerseys honoring MSU's original name, Michigan Agricultural College! pic.twitter.com/wFceofwcZ5— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) January 11, 2017
Tennessee, this past season:
Louisville, this past season:
North Carolina, this past season:
Kansas State, two seasons ago:
Villanova, two seasons ago during the NCAA Tournament:
Florida, this past season:
Arkansas, this past season:
It's time to party like it's 1994— Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) February 8, 2019
Coming to Bud Walton Arena on 3.2.19 pic.twitter.com/7TXdsAw4xC
The point that I’m trying to make is that Kentucky, Mitch Barnhart, and the marketing department simply don’t do enough to honor some of the past teams and traditions from Kentucky Wildcats history, or even just switching it up from time-to-time and having some black jerseys or grey jerseys or some sort of alternate.
Yeah, it’s cool bringing back some older guys and letting them do the ‘Y’ for one game, or honoring the 1958 team at halftime, but if you really want to appeal to the common fan, if you want them to care about a specific game on your home schedule, being that the home non-conference schedule is lackluster, do something fun like every other program in the country does.
Do something exciting like having a one game appearance of the original Rupp Arena floor along with matching jerseys from that time. Or even playing a game back in Memorial Coliseum.
Wear the 1996 denim jerseys or the 1993 striped jerseys. Do something fun, please.
I understand that Kentucky has this history and aura to uphold as a traditional power that “doesn’t need flashiness to succeed,” well North Carolina doesn’t need flashiness. Louisville doesn’t need it. Villanova doesn’t need it, and so on and so on.
Instead, Kentucky has been stuck with terrible checkerboard jerseys for the past three, going on four seasons, that both fans and players hate, serve no purpose in terms of history of the state, were copied from Tennessee’s end zones, and yet, people in charge refuse to change them simply due to stubbornness.
If you want to have a more fun environment and get people to come to more games, do something fun, such as our neighbor down the road is doing this season and in seasons past.