Celebrations: Girls (and boys) just wanna have fun


August 20, 2010 – Lexington, Kentucky, USA – Martha Groppo, Features Editor of the Kentucky Kernel. (Credit image: © David Stephenson)

By Martha Groppo

Few things are as unifying as a UK win or loss. We might handle the game differently, but the people hanging their heads on the way back from Rupp or burning couches feel the same. The Big Blue Nation has citizens of both genders.

I’ll give you that we girls may handle the game itself differently–maybe. For some of us girls, seeing you guys with faces painted blue and your jugular veins popping out as your eyes light up with bloodlust makes us feel like we are on the set of Braveheart. Seeing your inner Mel Gibson emerge is sort of scary.

For others, the only reason we do not also have our chests painted, to match our blue wigs, is public decency laws. We will scream just as loud and launch equally scathing insults at the refs.

And you can’t forget those of us who are in love with anyone who sports a sacred blue jersey. We hold those signs that say “Marry me—insert name of basketball player–” and no one is entirely sure if we are joking.

March Madness helps us girls understand why you’re so into it the rest of the year. It’s hard for us to justify waiting in eight-hour lines for front row eRUPPtion Zone spots in the midst of tests and until we get our first dose of hoop fever in March.

However differently we act during the game, we are all the same after. We feel devastated or elated depending on the outcome. We just might let you haul out the couch we torch together, or buy a TV to replace the one we just threw something at. Girls and guys hug, dance, jump up and down, cry, and yes, riot in the streets.

By Andy Burress

Last week we talked about the lengths one will go to in order to make sure they’re firmly planted in front of a TV for each game in all of this tournament madness. Now that we’re seated, common courtesy demands we discuss what to expect when the buzzer sounds. For better or for worse, there are going to be some strong, potentially physical, reactions that unless otherwise forewarned could do work on a seemingly stellar rep.

The blowout.

Unfortunately, the blowout is your best bet at a civil reaction. Win or lose this situation typically means that you checked out some ten minutes ago, three or four minutes after the route started. Glasses are empty, regardless of how tall or short they may be, and any semblance of a bird has long since migrated from your plate.

“Ah man… Anyone down for some ping-pong?”

The last-second loss.

It’s devastating. Plainly put, we will cry “for the first time” every time, and we don’t care who’s watching. As the final horn sounds and reality sets in, all eyes are glued to the screen, hoping to catch a reaction that would imply more time going back on the clock or even a foul on the other guy.

For what seems like a lifetime we’ll sit in silence, completely oblivious to surrounding activity, until someone makes the first move toward Facebook. When the online banter starts, get ready. In these parts you’ll rarely see a man go zero to 60 so quick over something so “seemingly minute.” All I’m saying is you better be leery of your surroundings when the trash-tweeting starts.

The clutch win.

As soon as you realize you’re team will get one shot to decide their fate, you should consider grabbing a pillow. As if on the bench itself, all breathing stops for that split second from release to net, and then the real madness starts (and the pillows come in handy.) Never before have you jumped so high, so hard, for so long. Nor have you shouted such nonsense at the top of your lungs and directly into your buddy’s face.

It doesn’t even matter though, nothing matters. Go on and forfeit your dignity for the rest of the night. Once you settle enough to start speaking words again, it’s time to take it to the streets — these four walls and an ill-placed girlfriend simply cannot contain the excitement of more than a few full-grown men. No injury, spillage or legal discouragement can take away from the eight or so seconds you’ve got playing on loop in your head.

“Are you kidding me?!? This is awesome baby!”