As you may know, I currently reside in Kentucky and you may also
know that basketball is the major religion of Kentucky. Basketball
fans here “eat and breathe” the fortunes of their Wildcat Team and
they expect the team to be in the hunt for a national championship
every year. This applies to young and old alike. When the weather is
cool it is not unusual to see toddlers as well as senior citizens
wearing hoodies with WILDCAT printed in large blue letters across
the front of the jacket. Not only that but I firmly believe that it
is impossible to navigate the roads of Kentucky safely without a
sticker on your rear bumper that says, GO BIG BLUE. It is rumored
that both state police and local police when investigating “fender
benders” look for this sticker on cars and trucks before they are
willing to give those involved in an accident a favorable report.
With these observations in mind, I wish to report on a couple of
events that happened to me in Kentucky a couple of years ago. I have
now recovered sufficiently, both physically and psychologically, to
give a true and accurate account of these events. Before beginning,
I want to assure you that on my best Scout’s honor what I am about
to relate to you is true and that details of these events have not
been changed nor have they been embellished.
Both of these events are connected to a West Virginia/Kentucky
basketball game that was played a few years ago.
Event No 1
A couple of days before the West Virginia/Kentucky game was to be
played I went into a Tobacco Barn in Danville, Ky. Now I am not a
big basketball fan and I didn’t give the pending game much thought.
As I entered the store I noticed a quite large, full breasted and
manly appearing woman sitting in a chair toward the rear of the
store. She was wearing a man’s white tee shirt, jeans, combat boots
and she had what appeared to be a long “roll your own” cigarette
dangling from her lower lip. I wasn’t in the store thirty seconds
before she spoke, without, I might add, removing the cigarette from
Big Momma: What are y’all ah wearin that cap fer?
Well, I didn’t know what she was talking about, but I did remove my
cap. I didn’t find anything unusual; it was just the standard West
Virginia cap with a big yellow WV printed on the front. I thought
maybe that she was referring to the fact that I was wearing a West
Virginia cap while in Kentucky, so I told her that I was from West
Virginia and proud of it.
Big Momma: Don’t ye know that West Virgin-nee and Kentuck are to
play bask-keet-ball in a few days?
I told her, yes, that I was aware of it, but only in the back of my
mind since I wasn’t really a big basketball fan. But I did tell her,
more out of loyalty to West Virginia than to knowledge of the game
of basketball itself, that I thought West Virginia would give
Kentucky a “pretty good game.” At this point, I noticed that she
gave me a “killer stare” and that she started to rise from her
chair. Well, I am astute enough to be able to pick up on signals of
this type, so I quickly told her that my wife is a graduate of the
University of Kentucky and that she would be pulling and hollering
for the Wildcats to win. That seemed to satisfy her somewhat and she
settled back into her chair. After acquiring the items I came to
purchase, I backed out, yes, backed out of the Tobacco Barn, never
turning my back on Big Momma. I guess I could be compared to a
cowboy in one of those old western movies where he, after a
confrontation with a gun fighter, backs out the saloon door with his
hand on his pistol but never turning his back on his nemesis. Only
John Wayne would be willing to display his courage and manliness by
turning his back on the other fellow to walk out the door.
I felt great relief after leaving the store. Who knows but Big Momma
may have had a pistol tucked in the rear of her jeans and I could
have been another statistic laid on the mantel of Kentucky
Basketball. At this point, I was just happy to have escaped with my
life and to be alive.
Event No 2
Well, West Virginia won the game, but I didn’t give it much thought.
I guess my inattentiveness is probably what caused me to be severely
beaten to within an inch of my life.
A few days after the game, I went to Wal-Mart to purchase a few
items. When I was in the checkout line, I noticed a sweet and kindly
appearing little old lady who I judged to be around eighty years of
age. She was directly behind me in the check-out line and she was
wearing a gray hoodie with WILDCATS printed in large blue letters
across the front. I turned, smiled and spoke to her. I guess that
she must have seen the West Virginia cap I was wearing for then,
after I had turned back to face the check-out cashier, she began to
beat me about the head and shoulders with her umbrella, doing
considerable damage and all the while shouting ”West Virginia dog”,
“West Virginia dog.” She actually beat me to my knees and then
pushed me over. She then began to stomp and kick me about my body,
causing further injury to my person.
Well, the store manager called the police and I thought that surely
they would arrest this sweet little old lady. But alas, the two
policemen who responded to the call took one look at my West
Virginia cap and arrested me. Can you believe it, they arrested me!
After a brief conversation with the sweet little old lady and the
store manager, they handcuffed me and marched me to my truck,
without, mind you, ever inquiring as to the extent of my injuries.
One police officer drove my truck and another followed in their
cruiser as they drove to the West Virginia State line. There they
gave me my truck keys and told me never to return to Kentucky. They
both said, somehow in unison, “You’re simply not welcome, so don’t
come back, you West Virginia dog.” One of the officers gave me a bit
of advice, “Should you ever pass through Kentucky again leave that
damned West Virginia cap at home. You should know that basketball is
the religion in Kentucky and that Kentucky fans cannot be held
responsible for their actions when the CATS lose a game.”
Well, there you have it. These two events tell all that needs to be
said about the love of basketball in Kentucky.
After spending some time in Alderson, I was able to recover from my
physical wounds, but I still have nightmares from the beating I took
from that sweet little eighty-year-old lady. I can also report that
I have returned to my home in Kentucky, but I carefully slipped back
under the cover of darkness. Moreover, I continue to proudly wear my
West Virginia cap regardless of the consequences. It seems that the
Wildcat’s loss to the Mountaineers has been forgotten and I have
not, as of yet, been “called out” for wearing the cap. But should
West Virginia schedule and beat Kentucky in basketball again, I
believe I will choose another cap to wear for a few days. It should
always be remembered by those who reside in Kentucky that, from the
Kentucky point of view, one must completely embrace Kentucky
basketball before one can have even the slightest chance of passing
through the pearly gates.