In roughly an hour, the University of Kentucky Wildcats will be tipping off against the Hoosiers of Indiana University in a NCAA tournament rematch of the only regular season game UK lost this year. As a nearly* lifelong resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it’s obligatory that I watch the game and cheer the cats to (hopefully) victory.
But I won’t be watching.
Now, put down that pitchfork, Buford. And don’t be calling your buddies to come give me a visit, because trust me, I know full well about my responsibilities here. What you don’t realize is that, well, I’m kind of not allowed to watch. In fact, you don’t want me to watch.
See, I’m bad luck.
Hey, roll your eyes all you want. I know it sounds ridiculous. Obviously the universe hasn’t somehow cosmically-linked UK’s basketball program to my attention span. Not that such a thing is really possible, anyway. My attention span disappeared something like a decade ago and hasn’t had even the common decency to so much as send me a postcard with a sunny shot of the picturesque Italian coast signed, “Wish you were here! – A.S.”
Anyway, for some reason, teams I want to win, that ought to win, often don’t win when I’m watching. Don’t believe me? You’re not the first. Some friends of mine didn’t either, until they tested that assertion years ago in Vegas. Georgia was playing while we were there and everyone wanted the Bulldogs to lose (it was UK-related somehow, but I don’t recall the particulars—it was Vegas, after all, I’m lucky I remember even being there). Long story short, said buddies pooled a few dollars, handed them to me, pushed me towards the Sports Book, and urged me to take Georgia to win.
Which I did and then watched the game, smirking.
And, indeed, Georgia lost.
I admit that even I think the whole thing is silly. Every now and again I’ll have a lapse, or well, a moment of general reason, and I’ll sit down and actually watch a UK game. I did that just this year, actually. Recently. The ‘Cats were up on Vanderbilt with time winding down in the SEC Championship game. Vandy then proceeded to go on a 16-2 run and UK couldn’t buy a basket, and free throw, or, hell, an old, bruised tomato from a road-side stand. What started as a 7-point lead ended up a 7-point deficit, and my UK basketball-watching privileges were once again revoked.
Look, I don’t care how silly it sounds; I’m not risking the wrath of the Big Blue Nation just because I want to watch the game.
Luckily, I have children. And I’m raising them with the proper respect for the important things in life. Like Wildcat fandom. So, yes, the Puddinpop will be glued to that game from tipoff to the final buzzer. Scoring updates will be convenient and frequent.
And there you have Reason #316 Having Kids Rules: they can watch stuff for you and give you real-time summaries.
Now then, let’s get on with winning #8. Go ‘Cats!
*I was born in Indianapolis and lived there for the first six months of my life. Yes, I am a closet IU fan. Don’t look at me like that; it means nothing in the face of my allegiance to UK.