What a weekend folks. It had it all. Saw some horseys, had some "special drinks", saw a marriage proposal, got a free towel, and watched the Wildcats thump LSU in a crazy raucous environment that was Kroger Field.
We wanted to do something we had never done before. Wanted to be there and get a chance to experience the Catwalk. With some shoving and arguing and what my uncle called "buffaloing" we damn well did. Big time mission accomplished there! For me personally it was like being in the land of giants. Oh these dudes are humongous. I mean we all know they are, but to see them in person and up close, then you get it! I have seen lots of basketball players up close, but this is whole different thing. My brother is 6'5 and 250 pounds but he is not put together like these dudes. This is a real SEC football team that Mark Stoops has built here. The players where enjoying the walk, but you could tell they were serious, they had business on their minds. It made me confident going into the game. Oh and Will Levis smiled at me! Yep eat your hearts out lady's hahahaha.
Thanks to the generosity of my Aunt and Uncle we had the best seats I have ever had at a UK football game. We were in Section 25. Which is lower deck and we were basically on the 38 yard line behind the UK bench. I never experienced a game from such a good vantage point. You could tell early on it was going to be a rowdy crowd. We had our towels, and clackers and signs. In a bit of pop culture coincidence the couple sitting directly behind me were Jack and Diane, from London,KY. Still being a bit tipsy from earlier I kept saying "lil ditty, bout Jack and Diane", but I am pretty sure Jack and Diane got annoyed with me. This would come up again later. I was at the very end of our group of ten. The couple to my right were named Jason and Stacey, they are from Owensboro, KY and both UK alumni from the 80's. Both of them as sweet as they could be. They quite enjoyed my singing of Jack and Diane.
This UK team looked ready to play during warmups. I was at the first three home games this year. They had a different look about them in my opinion. Just a confidence maybe. Like a warrior who has had some success and now believes. The discussion around us in the stands reflected this. You just had a feeling it was going to be a special night. By the time the lights came up and UK came out of the tunnel there was no remaining doubt, the stands shook, felt like an earthquake. The noise was so loud, you could not hear your own individual voice. You could feel the noise in your chest and rumbling through your body. It was surreal in some aspects. Looking around taking it all in, at that moment it hit me, we have arrived! This is UK football now!
LSU looked like LSU during warmups. They looked big, and fast and strong. I saw nothing that would indicate they were a program in conflict. They seemed very focused, and ready to do battle. Anyone who thinks this LSU team is lacking talent is fooling themselves. I was nervous a bit going in I am not going to lie. I thought all along that this UK team, this years UK was the better team. I have been let down before though as we all have. Shortly after the game began all that faded away. Lost in the noise of the crowd, the music in the PA, and the play on the field you knew this is not the old UK. This is something different. Plus a night game at Kroger Field is just special anyway!
As I mentioned earlier after having observed them at the Catwalk, this UK team is big. They are not only big, they are fast as can be, and strong and just flat out aggressive. I watched with joy as they man handled LSU at the point of attack. Just straight up bullied them and it started on that first drive of the game. UK's defensive line set the tone right then and there. The crowd was absolutely electric. I was jumping up and down, screaming my lungs out, spinning my towel like a psychotic cheerleader. I don't think I saw a single person in the stadium seated. Most of the game was that way. I have been to so many live sporting events in my life, and this one rivaled if not exceeded anything I was ever a part of. I high fived Stacey and Jason and turned around and high ten'd Jack and Diane a couple hundred times it seemed like during the game. My Uncle was two seats to my left and I did the same with him almost falling forward on more than one occasion lol.
One of the takeaways from this game to me is that UK handled their business. There was no hangover or let down from the Florida win. In fact UK stepped their game up to another level. The offense was steady and successful all night. Levis had his best game as a Wildcat. The passing numbers were not gaudy by any standard but he was accurate and had three touchdown passes and two rushing. Who needs to pass though when you can just play smash mouth with your O'line and a stable of backs? You just cannot get a feel for how dominate UK's lines were on TV. In person it is something to behold. I never would have thought I would see the day when UK had such dominate lines. It is the heart of everything this football team is about. Our linebackers are standouts to me as well. Not only making other QB's nervous, but helping stuff the running game, and in pass coverage. Let me not leave out our secondary though, LSU has some really good receivers, some of the best we have faced this season, and UK pretty much took them out of the game. This was an absolutely dominate performance for Kentucky. Yes they let LSU put some points on the board in the second half, but UK was already in prevent by that time. It does not take away from the domination we had over a Power Five traditional football team.
At halftime the crowd never really abated. It was somewhat calmed down. Mostly chatter I suppose and my uncle had snuck something not approved into the game. I will not reveal his secret as to how, but lets say we all enjoyed a tasty beverage. Including the couples I mentioned earlier, and a few randoms who were nearby. This time when I blurted out "lil ditty, bout Jack and Diane, no one was bothered by it and actually joined in with me. Even Jack and Diane did! Soon like a hundred people started singing with us. It was the most amazing thing ever. Almost like the slow clap, that leads to applause. It was one of the greatest moments. I have never had anything like that happen before. I suppose since the game was going so well, and the crowd was in such a good mood they gave me that one? I will take it.
By the end of the game this little lady was wore out. I could barely talk, my voice was hoarse. I had waved that towel so frantically, and jumped up and down so much I was spent. I didn't think I would make it through the long exit lines and back to the parking place and to the hotel. I bid farewell to the couples who I shared the game with. It took an hour to get to the car. A friggin' hour! Fans were celebrating everywhere. I mean it was a wonderful thing but I was done. It was time to call it a night far as I was concerned. As much as I wanted to celebrate with them, I just didn't have any gas left in the tank. I sincerely thought I might have to ask my uncle to carry me at one point. I had been leaning on him every time we had to stand and wait. Bless you Uncle David for holding me up and helping me back to the hotel. You are the Saint of 100 east!
So there you have it. It was a great time, and great fun! It was special to share it with my family. We claimed ourselves the Thompson Ten! haha. About to head home and I am not looking forward to the drive, gonna get some Gas-x for my cousin cause he is trying to hurt me with his unnatural emissions!
Looking forward to watching Kentucky's Pro Day Tonight!
Go BIG BLUE!