Deep in the heart of Kentucky, you will find something like no other.
The Kentucky Wildcat Fan.
You will find this fan among the sea of many tried-and-true, loyal-and-royal blue Wildcat Basketball fans and followers.
All season long they chant and cheer and compare statistics and prepare for March Madness.
Here is a list of 15 daily doings and sayings and fandom shown during March in Kentucky, on the University of Kentucky campus, and off.
1. “The Game”. No other words necessary, as everyone knows you are referring to the last or the next Kentucky Wildcat Basketball game.
2. Definition of “Flooding the City”. Kentucky Wildcat fans travel to away games. In droves. Fans of all ages will be dressed head-to-toe in tees, hoodies, hats, flags, scarves, face paint, polka dot nails, striped knee high toe socks and UK stamped cowboy boots Wildcat gear, flooding the game city in a wave of royal blue.
3. It is common knowledge amongst friends, to know what shirt everyone will have on, on game day. It is common to hear “Where is your lucky shirt?” escalating to “Go put your lucky shirt on” escalating to “Now!” Absolutely appropriate command. Wildcat fans are gentle with the expecting, after all, she is carrying a new little Wildcat fan.
4. Game day Order of Operations: Clear your schedule ahead of time. Schedule family dinners accordingly. Get your gear on and/or ready. Check in with your crew. Check current stats of opposing team. Check social media for trash talk. Comment on social media hourly. “Like” and retweet every single Wildcat status. Make food. A lot of it. Or arrive at game day location early to hold down the fort. Declare “Game is about to start. Everyone ready?” Then get it on. Wildcat Fan style.
5. Sunday. Hug and smile at everyone because your heart is overflowing at the mulitude of Wildcat blue apparel in the sanctuary, accessorized by white, shiny blue and black. It’s traditionally acceptable to wear your lucky t-shirt to church if the game is at 1:00 pm. If the game is at 2:00 pm or later, it is more appropriate to wear sweaters, slacks and scarves and blinged out jewelry with UK logo or team colors.
6. Pet rescue centers pour it on thick during March, and dress the adoptable pets in fan gear. It works. It is perfectly acceptable to name your new dog Blue. Check out this sweetie from the Lexington Humane Society.
7. Shopping and closet protocol. New fan gear goes in the front of the closet, last year’s fan gear goes behind that, ripped or torn gear is cut into a doggie bandana or made into a t-shirt quilt. Lucky shirts trump all and need the most accessible space in the laundry room. After all, these shirts will be washed promptly after each game, ready to wear for the next game.
8. Gift shops. All the best shops have a center table full of Wildcat merchandise. If they don’t, do you really need to shop there? No.
9. New babies. All Kentucky Fan babies are given Wildcat onesies. It is very common for a new baby to have a drawer full of UK onesies, bibs, little sweat pants, booties and socks, toddler jersey, hoodie, leggings, and hair bows. Pre-birth.
10. Fan gear reaches new heights, one creative product at a time. Take a look at this year’s viral must-have:
11. Bourbon and the Wildcats go together like peaches and cream.
12. “Y’all come back now, ya hear?!” If said during and/or after the game, especially in March, to our opponent, it is the Kentucky fan way to say “Bless your heart”. Game over. Next!
13. UK ornaments and fan trees. Blue and white ornaments adorn slim trees in many living rooms. All year long.
14. Hashtags. Even your Mimi and Pops know that #bbn is a great way to keep up with all things Wildcat. Grandparents trending. Yessir!
15. Want to see a quick tear come to a UK Wildcat fan’s eye? Ask them about taking their child to Rupp Arena for the first time. They might make it through the story with only a pat to their chest, but if they pull out the commemorating picture, the tear will fall.
Our favorite song…. The UK Fight Song! Enjoy!