Darlin, I have SEEN the Promised Land


I have been to the NCAA Final Four

UK face paint

I realize that readers who do not bleed blue (or whatever color their “home team” of choice wears) may not completely get this post, and that’s OK. But, darlin’ I HAVE BEEN TO THE FINAL FOUR!

Being from Kentucky, one of my first clear childhood memories is watching the Wildcats play ball on TV. Noteworthy: I did not attend the University of Kentucky. That, in the Bluegrass State, is irrelevant. We tend to bleed blue. With eight national championships under our belt, Kentucky is known throughout the NCAA for having positively RABID fans.

Oh, and most of us hate Louisville.  Sure, sure, technically that city is in Kentucky, but I can assure you that the sun does NOT shine bright on the Cardinals. In the minds of many Kentucky basketball fans, Louisville is simply southern Cincinnati.

But I digress.

Through a series of events too convoluted to recap here, I was offered the chance to attend the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, with my friend Lisa, her son Oobie, and her husband, Big Daddy. My Sweet Husband said “I don’t care anything about that… go if you want to.” So I did.

We drove ten hours to get there, leaving around midnight. This proved to me that I am old and need my sleep.

We saw THREE awesome concerts while we were there: Dierks Bently, Bruce Springsteen (yes, The Boss!) and Kid Rock.  This proved to me that I still think I am young and full of hotness. I am, in fact, neither of those.

Back to the actual ballgames. UK played the Wisconsin Badgers in the semifinals, and UConn faced off against the Florida Gators. While the Gators win a school spirit prize (in the words of Leigh Ann Touhey, “I could never wear that gaudy orange… it’s not in my color wheel,”), the folks from WisCAAAAHNsin certainly get the “didn’t your Mama teach you to be nice?” award.
Rudest. Fans. Ever.

As Big Daddy and I stepped off the elevator in our hotel, there was a contingent of Badger fans in the lobby. Their colors are red and white, and they were bewigged and wearing striped overalls in a shows of school spirit. I remarked to B.D. that they sure did look cute (and wondered aloud if those overalls came in a shortie romper in blue and white) and… They. Booed. Us.

Yes, kind readers, they booed us for getting off the elevator dressed in blue and white.

Bear in mind, friends, that I had been riding in a car for 10 hours after working a full day and then coming home, fixing supper, and packing a bag for a bucket-list-worthy trip.

So I did what any genteel Southern lady would have done… I gave the Yankees a lesson in manners that my Granny (God rest her soul) would have applauded.

Rather than retaliating, I simply sang out those three little words that Southern women have used to tell people to go to Hades for generations… yes, you know the ones.

“Bless. Your. Heart.”

And bless their hearts I did, and continued to shame them by saying “Bless your hearts, how intolerably rude. Did your Yankee mama not teach you any manners up there? I was merely remarking to my companion, here, Big Daddy, how very cute your overalls were and you, sir, responded by BOOing me? Shame on you. Just shame on you.”

The gentleman in question – who, by the way, favored a circus tent in those awful trousers – had the good grace to look ashamed of himself.

And then the Wildcats beat their team and advanced to the NCAA Championship with a starting five group of freshmen.  The end.

Well, not the end, really. We didn’t win the finals as we were beaten by UConn and three referees. But Lisa, Oobie, Big Daddy, several thousand other fans and I had a wonderful experience.

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