UK fans shiver blue at lottery No. 2


University of Kentucky student Shannon Frazer, pictured in the Kernel office on 10/14/09. Photo by Ed Matthews

Column by Shannon Frazer. E-mail [email protected].

UK student fans really do bleed blue, and believe me, Monday’s basketball lottery was evidence of this fact.

Outdoor thermometers read a chilly 19 degrees Fahrenheit, but that didn’t stop  thousands of students from turning out anyway.

Some might call it crazy, but I call it dedication. That’s partly because of the magnitude of basketball in the Bluegrass State and partly because, well, I was one of those students.

Since I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the first lottery, I jumped at the chance to go to this one, thanks to my much-anticipated confirmation e-mail saying I’d been selected from the preliminary online lottery.

(Yep, only at UK is it necessary to institute a system requiring students to enter one lottery to then attend another lottery.)

I’ve heard some complaints about this new lottery system; specifically, that it doesn’t benefit those who have seniority and that it doesn’t ensure that friends can attend together because each person must enter the online lottery individually.

Again, UK basketball is so big (Now you say, “How big is it?”), these are the types of predicaments in which lottery officials find themselves.

I trust that those who truly bleed blue know how to adjust, though.

Games over Winter Break? Road trip!

Inclement weather in the forecast, you say? UK fans will be there, somehow and in some way.

Friends not selected in lottery round No. 1? At Rupp Arena, you’re in good company. You’re surrounded by 23,500 of your closest friends.

On that note, I find it ironic that some of those so-called die-hards who were picked for round two didn’t make it to Memorial Coliseum Monday night. Consider this your guilt trip, on behalf of those students who got shut out.

And perhaps this is where the new system’s flaw is most apparent: Fair weather fans — I mean that in more ways than one — don’t value their preliminary lottery selection as much as those students who would have been among the first in line in below freezing temperatures, had they been chosen this time around.

One thing I’ve learned from past lotteries is I have to roll with the punches.

Under the previous lottery system, it never failed that my group was one of the last ones called.You think I’m kidding? Nope, every time, without fail.

Monday night, though, my group was in and out in no more than an hour and a half, tops. Of course, it would have been better if I were in that lucky first group drawn, but I have to commend lottery officials for their efficiency.

Despite my few qualms, I’d say I was a fan of the second basketball lottery under the new system.

More so, though, I’m a fan of the collective Big Blue Nation.

Why, you ask?

Game attendees will yell, scream and cheer until they are blue in the face. But somehow, that seems only fitting.