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Thursday, September 29, 2011
UK fans somewhat excited for first practice

By Eamonn Brennan

I love Kentucky fans. Seriously, I do! Sure, they write angry blog comments. Sure, they spam my inbox with assertions of "bias." Sure, they have a tendency to perceive imperceptible slights; even a piece that doesn't mention Kentucky can draw UK fans angry about the omission. But you take the good with the bad, you know? UK fans are rowdy, son. They get after it. They may not always be the most friendly folks on the Internet, but you could never question their utterly deranged dedication -- heck, downright obsession -- with their Wildcats. There's something weirdly admirable about that.

Which is a nice little way of saying this: Kentucky fans are insane. The latest example, as if you needed one (and you didn't), is right here:



If you click play, you'll be treated to a vision of hundreds of Kentucky fans sprinting to secure a place in line for tickets for Kentucky's Oct. 14 Big Blue Madness event. They line up across the street like distance sprinters before a one-mile meet. They bumrush for the tiniest advantage in the queue. They trip over each other and fall on the curb -- or at least one guy does. I'm pretty sure there's a dude in a wheelchair. It might be one of those seated power scooters. I can't really tell.

Either way, it's important to keep in mind what the bumrush is actually about: Midnight Madness tickets. Midnight. Madness. Tickets. Kentucky fans want good seats to Big Blue Madness so bad they're willing to line up across a street and sprint for a place in line, where they'll spend the next two days camped out in tents. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, there were about 400 such tents packed around the Joe Craft Center and Memorial Coliseum on Kentucky's campus. There are surely more by now.

This is nothing new, of course; many UK fans went through a similar process for tickets last year, and it was just as crazy then. But it remains mind-boggling. We're still more than a month away from real, actual college basketball. We're still two weeks away from the first practice of the season. And Kentucky fans are already in tents. That, my friends, is what college sports fandom is all about. Like I said: You take the good with the bad.

Anyway, word to Big Blue Nation. You guys are the most dedicated, and most insane, fan base in the country. It's impossible to watch a video of you sprinting to camp out for tickets to a glorified scrimmage and reach any other conclusion.

I have but one request: Be nicer to my inbox, OK? Maybe take it easy on the caps lock? No? Sigh. It was worth a shot.

(Hat tip: The Dagger, Kentucky Sports Radio)