When you really think about it, sports autographs are strange, aren't they? I suppose when you break the idea down, it makes sense: Fans want to feel an emotional connection with their favorite players, and what could be more emotional than exchanging/obtaining that athlete's personal, self-ascribed mark of identification? Still, the concept of people lining up to score an autograph from a former college basketball player, even a national champion -- it's always seemed weird to me. It's both charming and obsessive.
Which, naturally, brings us to Kentucky. The tales of Big Blue Nation's love for all things Wildcats will not shock you; once you've seen a UK fan coast his power scooter up a curb in pursuit of practice tickets, it's hard to be shocked by much. But even so, Terrence Jones' Instragram photos are worth a look.
On Sunday, Jones, former UK power forward, reigning national champion and likely NBA lottery pick, signed autographs in a Russell Springs, Ky., pharmacy and a Frankfurt, Ky., restaurant, both of which he broadcast from his Twitter feed. And so it was that Jones tweeted out what he described as the "best" and "second-best" photos of the day.
I'm with the Lexington Herald-Leader's John Clay: The pregnant-stomach photo has to be best of the day.
In any case, I have questions: Doesn't that marker wash off pretty quickly? What happens to the autograph? Do you take a photo and save that for posterity? That's like having the autograph, but not exactly; the photo of your stomach isn't itself signed, so it surely loses its value on the autograph market. According to Jones' tweets Sunday, only one personal item was signed for free. Does a stomach count as a personal item? Or did the woman get a T-shirt or cap out of the deal, too?
In any case, chalk it up to the benefits of winning a national title at Kentucky. You'll be loved forever, to the point you'll be asked to sign both born and unborn offspring. That kind of love is strange, sure, but it's also unconditional, and there's something to be said for that.