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For the Love of the Game

My memory goes back to the year the University of Kentucky basketball team became a very interpersonal part of my psyche. The year was 1978, and my blood started running true blue. I can still hear the sound of the basketball being arithmetically bounced across the across the hardwood floors, and the swishing sound of the net as the ball is tediously and precisely tossed high into the air to make another basket.

These sounds of long ago still echoe in my ear and mind.The Mecca of basketball, Rupp Arena was filled with screaming fans rooting on some of the most memorable Wildcats of days gone by. The masters of the game; Melvin Turpin, the great Kyle Macy and Sam Bowie will continue to play forever in the back of mind.

Coach, Joe B. Hall stalks the sidelines sending the Wildcats of yesteryear to many Big Blue victories. Joe B. Hall led the University of Kentucky to their fifth NCAA championship that year, finishing out his career at UK in the eighties with a record of 297 wins and 100 losses.I was about ten or eleven when my dad and I started watching the Wildcats on the RCA family color television.

My father instilled the excitement of winning into the very fiber of my mind. The love of sports and Rupp Arena was brought to life from that old color television screen. I had the best seat in Rupp Arena from my vantage point looking towards the old television. I would comfortably get all sacked out on the living room floor. My bag of potato chips in one hand, and my bottle of orange crush soda in the other I would comfortably be transported into the home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, Rupp Arena.

I will be thirty-eight this year, but my dad has established a love for basketball which has never died. Kentucky did't always play as well as they should have, and those were the times when dad would usually break out the Rolaids and the Winston Cigarettes and wade out those most memorable heart clinchers to the very end. So did it really matter if the Wildcats lost or won the game? Yes in a way, but for the love of the game is why my father and I keep rooting the Cats on to their next victory.




By: Mike Hazelwood


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