Expressing your appreciation for fabulous weather never gets old. The weather is something all humans are able to converse about no matter their origin, gender, or race. It is the ice breaker of people within social situations all over the world, every single day. On Saturday, I doubt that anyone on the face of the earth was expressing their approval of the weather more than Kentucky football fans in the red lot. The weather was discussed more Saturday morning amongst the Big Blue nation than Turkish basketball, Terrence Jones, or the Music City Bowl combined. For as long as many fans have been attending mid November football games in the bluegrass, I doubt they have seen many 70+ degree days. My favorite outfit, no matter the situation, is a sweatshirt and jeans, which is all that was required Saturday. We were granted wonderful weather all year long and it was only fitting to have another beautiful day to close out the home portion of the 2010 season.
By now, you are all familiar with my total distain for 12 o’clock kick-offs for home games. Many try to justify the start time by saying it allows you to get home early in order to watch other games. The only problem I have with that is that I don’t care about any other games. I am there bright and early to celebrate and enjoy the Kentucky football atmosphere, not South Carolina or Florida athletics. I would love to announce I will boycott any Kentucky game scheduled at 12 noon next year, but we all know that will not happen. Instead, I will simply set my alarm for 6 am, like I did this week.
Normally, I will have anyone who wants to ride with me to the game meet me at my house and then leave from there. It never fails that my passengers do not arrive when they say they will arrive or when I ask them to. When an extraordinarily early departure time is in order, I insist on making the pick up, not allowing them to be tardy. People tend to attempt to be on time when they know you will be sitting out in front of their house with an obnoxious horn very early in the morning. I exercised this procedure this week for the final home game of the year.
Since I openly criticized them last week, I want to compliment the fine folks of Chick Filet for having my chicken and biscuit deliciousness ready this week. If you are not familiar with their product, Chick Filet combines the deliciousness of their chicken nuggets with the delightful taste of the Sister Shubert roll. I believe they are called Chicken Minis and if you have not had the pleasure, go pick up a bag of them very soon. Like Randall Cobb, they do not disappoint.
It was a bittersweet day for the TGR crew in the red lot. It was another chance for us to gather as a unit, but it was also clear that it was our last for many months. The thought of not seeing our group together until next year forced me to loose control of my emotions and bowels throughout the day. That is not exactly true, I would never cry, but it was a very special day never the less.
Our tent was full with guest all day long, but the two coolest guest were my nephew, Blake, who was making his first appearance of the year and the #9 Kentucky Hoops team who came by for a picture with their favorite TGR writer, yours truly. I told them that “we hear them now: and that I would love for them to teach me how to Dougie. I was fully aware that they had probably heard both of those 100 times as they crossed the lots, but I could not resist. I will have that picture up later on this week, if not sooner. We are planning a TGR trip to Memorial for a hoops game sooner than later.
As for the game… Not only was Cobb spectacular, it was nice to see Derrick Locke go out with a great performance. Locke’s heart and motivation has been questioned a little over the past weeks, but Saturday had to be very satisfying for the senior. The burst of speed we are used to seeing was not there for Locke, but the shimmy and the ability to break tackles was for sure. Mike Hartline and Chris Matthews also had strong performances in their fair-well game. Hartline’s rise to the top of the SEC’s leader board in several categories has been a pleasure to behold. For some reason I took to Mike after his controversioal comments after he was benched a coupe of years ago and I have enjoyed watching him put his college career back together only to be come one of the most dangerous pocket passers in the conference. Chris Matthews’ final season has become nearly identical to that of Stevie Johnson’s senior year at Kentucky. I am sure Chris is noticing the season Johnson is having in the NFL this year and I could see Matthews doing something similar with his large frame and good hands.
Another successful season in the red lot is in the books. I am already looking forward to the trip to Nashville next season for the Western Kentucky game and then the first home game with the Louisville Cardinals. Go Cats!