Extremely late trips to the hard Rock, Cadillac Ranch, and that piano bar I mentioned before to celebrate the big win over the Vols made Sunday morning a little rough. Another noon start meant that we had to pack, get ready for the game, and get the hell out in a short period of time, and with a pretty solid headache, it was not pleasant
After the chaos of preparing to leave our hotel subsided, we then attempted to start the process of getting an elevator. In the past posts, I mentioned that it was tough to get an elevator when just about everyone in your hotel is leaving at the exact same time. I also mentioned that our hotel was the main hotel for the Mississippi State team and fans, being that they were our opponents for the championship game; it was going to be tougher than usual to get a ride down from our 9th floor room. It was also impossible to get a luggage carrier to put our stuff on; we were going to have to pack it all with us. My brother and sister in law took the steps down with their arms full of luggage. My mother, wife, and I had more than we could carry down ourselves and we were going to wait on those two to return to help with the rest. Already in a foul mood from the fact that I knew we were not going to make it for tip off, I rolled toward the area that I needed to be in to wait for an elevator. Before this day, I had sat waiting for an elevator for nearly 30 minutes, watching the elevator doors open several times only to have the elevator be full and force me to have to wait for the next one. With all the UK and Mississippi State fans leaving and checking out all at the same time, getting an elevator was going to be near impossible. With this thought running through my head, I could feel my blood starting to boil. That is when I found out that today was going to be my day. The first elevator that stopped at our floor opened its doors, and not a soul was on it, a big blue miracle!
I wedged my wheelchair in it’s doors and began yelling for mom and Jess to hurry. They somehow managed to grab up all of our 20 bags and stuff them on the elevator with me. The only problem with this elevator was that it was going up, but I did not care, as long as I was on it, I would ride it out. We went up nearly 20 floors, stopping at almost every one only to have to tell a UK fan there was no room, and that we were sorry. The UK fans understood and politely said they would take the next one. Eventually we got to a floor where a couple of UK fans were and the husband, I guess, told the wife to go ahead and get on with us and he would walk. The elevator became a bit more cramped, but it was manageable. The hotels elevators were tiny. The next floor up there were 2 Mississippi State fans and that is where the fun began.
When the door opened, my wife and mother politely said to them, “Sorry, it is full”. The man, in his 50s, said, “It doesn’t matter, we are getting on anyway” and stuffed him and his wife/prostitute in to the tiny elevator with 3 women, a guy in a wheelchair and 6 large suitcases plus luggage of their own. If you are one of these types of people who stuff your fat butt onto an already packed elevator, I will tell you exactly what my wife told this MSU jerk, you are a rude piece of trash (that was very edited). We had to go back down 20 floors with this ass and his hooker/wife, stopping at every floor, and the 5 of us jawing at each other the entire way down. I was very impressed with myself that I could find that many ways to tell the man and his tramp how classless he and his silly little school were. I doubt I have ever told someone to shut up that many times in a row, in that short a period of time, in such a confined area in my life. I have cheered for the Bulldogs more than once against other SEC teams, but that will never happen again. It might have only been one or two people that threw water bottles and debris onto the playing surface in Starkville, but it was only because the other fans who didn’t throw anything, didn’t have anything to throw. They are all creeps and their school should be banished from existence. AS they say, dogs drool and cats rule!
This was never so evident then when we finally reached the lobby and a young man (wearing blue), under the age of 16, saw us with our many bags and offered to help jess to our car with them. I wish I would have gotten the young man’s name, because I would have given him a shout out. The young Kentucky fan didn’t even want to accept the $10 bill my mom made him take for the help. Mississippi State could learn a lot from that young man.
The tension was thick in our final entry into the Bridgestone Arena. You could feel that the Big Blue nation was not satisfied with a 2nd place finish in the tournament. My brother and sister in law, after seeing every team except UK play in the tournament, finally came across a decent price on a couple of tickets for the championship game. MSU brought probably the 2nd biggest fan base, yet, it did not compare to the sea of blue inside the arena Sunday afternoon.
We all know how it went, Cousin’s put back stirred up the biggest roar I had ever heard at a UK basketball game. It was one of the luckiest wins I have ever seen a team get. 8 different things had to happen in that last 2 minutes in order for UK to win, and they all happened, beautifully. MSU missed free throws, John Wall’s steal, Eric Bledsoe’s made and intentionally missed free throw, the Patterson tip, the Wall lane violation no call, the Wall air ball, and the Boogie catch and put back, and that wasn’t the half of it. Basically MSU was beaten by a series of fluke events, and after the event in the elevator with the old man and his jail bait, it could have not happened to a better bunch of people.
Our TGR trip to Music City was an experience I will never forget. I hope all of you are able to experience at least one SEC Tourney, it has to be on your bucket list. Next year’s Big Blue Family reunion is in Atlanta. Maybe we will see you there. If you did not get a chance to see all 5 parts of my story you can check them out here.