Well you probably have noticed by now, but year in and year out Head Coach John Calipari calls the Big Blue Nation “some of the best and craziest fans in the nation”. That got me to thinking recently, what exactly does make us the “best” fans in the nation, what does make Big Blue Nation special, and what does it take at the end of the day to be considered a member of the BBN. Even though John Calipari reiterates it constantly about our beyond crazy passion for Kentucky basketball, it didn’t start during the Calipari era. I remember (as a fairly young Wildcat fan myself) back to the days of Head Coach Tubby Smith when he started referring to us as the BBN (it may have started even before that, but that’s as far back as I can remember it since I didn’t get to experience much of the Rick Pitino era. Let’s start out with establishing what exactly is someone that is a BBN member. The Big Blue Nation is the fan base of the University of Kentucky’s athletic programs. The Big Blue Nation is mainly a reference to UK athletic’s signature color (BLUE) and the shear fact that when the Kentucky Wildcats play at a neutral site (tournament play typically), the Kentucky’s fan base frequently makes up a huge majority of the crowd wherever they are playing. What I’m saying is that we as Big Blue Faithful TRAVEL!
Just the fact that we have some of the best traveling fans in the nation doesn’t make us the best fans in the world, so what does? I’m going to copy a phrase from the South Eastern Conference (SEC) because I believe what makes us some of the best fans in the nation is the mere fact that “It just means more.” and it does! I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times people would tell me “it’s just a game” and even though at the end of the day they’re right, it doesn’t feel like that to me because I know like myself that thousands of you eat, sleep and breath Kentucky athletics (whether or not that’s a good thing is to be determined). This brings me to my second question and if you read this post I definitely want a response, but when did you become a Kentucky fan, when did you get your membership card to the Big Blue Nation? As I previously stated I am a fairly young Wildcat fan (I’ll be 26 this Friday) but I can remember how I accrued my passion for Kentucky Athletics. I was but a mere kid when I started watching basketball and football games with my father, brother and the rest of my family and this was in the midst of the Tubby Smith and I believe the Rich Brooks era when it came to football. It was a hard time to be a Wildcat fan especially when I had “those” friends that were Florida, Louisville, Duke, and North Carolina fans (some friends I know, just kidding) up until the 2012 Championship team I only had the memories of the generations before me, so that night as the game clock winded down against Kansas my passion for the game and for UK sports was definitely at an all time high. I also developed a love for Kentucky Athletics by watching regular and post season games at a local gas station/convenience store with an older friend of mine that I grew up going to church with, his name was Jennings Johnson, we would sit back and enjoy a coca-cola and root on our Wildcats every time we had the chance to get together and do so and we would still be doing so today if he was still here with us.
Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to travel like the rest of the Big Blue Faithful to the SEC tournaments, NCAA tournaments, or even to the bowl games when it comes to football but that will never stop me from rooting on the Wildcats in whatever sport, wherever they play, or whatever situation they may find themselves in. You’ve heard my story and now I would like to hear yours, this post will be shared on both Facebook and Twitter so please feel free to reach out to me and let me hear your side of the story and tell me how you “BLEED BLUE!”. Once again guys, if you want to have the latest in Kentucky Sports and updates make sure you follow us on all of our various social media outlets @UKfansallday.com