COLUMN: Storming the field: Celebrating a sports wish fulfilled

I rushed the field.

That’s something I have always wanted to say. But the right moment had to have come.

I think a comeback win over a top-10 team against a coach who had beaten UK 17 straight times qualifies as the right moment.

It almost didn’t happen. I almost left the game after the third quarter — it was freezing with just my T-shirt on (and pants, of course). Randall Cobb would have hated me, judging by his tweets. But I stuck around, and the comeback began, building, building, building to the crescendo of that Cobb touchdown.

As Mike Hartline layed on the turf punching the air — he got trucked making the pass, it really was a great throw — I started bounding down the steps, even as people gave cautious reminders that the game wasn’t over yet.

Those reminders almost came true. I was packed into a lower-level tunnel with a throng of fans, pulsating with possibility, watching South Carolina march down the field. It seemed like overtime — or worse, a loss — was about to happen. And then, that deflection, right into the hands of Anthony Mosley. The field was so close. The reality of victory was closer.

After UK kneeled the ball, the celebration began. I hopped the railing separating me from my dream. I frantically bounced around the field. I pounded Morgan Newton on the shoulder pads. I high-fived a lineman. All that was missing was walking past Steve Spurrier and seeing his face depict how he really felt after his first-ever loss to UK.

I initially rushed toward the goal posts, hoping I could be ‘that guy’ climbing on them. Unfortunately, they had already been taken down for safety measures. As a consolation prize, you could take a picture with the base of the post. And if you tried to go near it, well, a few stout security men looked ready to judo-chop you in the jugular if you tried.

Seeing as how I didn’t want to go through that, I just ran toward the middle of the field screaming “Yeahhhhhh!” and “Wooooo!” the entire way. I joined the mosh pit of ecstasy at the UK logo in the middle of the field. I made grass angels on the field. It was a scene of frenzied passion. It was surreal.

In the aftermath, once everyone had relatively cooled down, I soaked in the surroundings. I went to the spot of the Cobb catch and plucked some grass from it. I’m not sure if that’s legal, but I don’t care. I felt the grass — it’s very lush, my compliments to the caretakers. I danced on the UK logo, which still had fresh cleat marks. Looking at the end zone, with “Kentucky” painted across it — which, for that night, spelled champions — was a turnaround from seeing it from my usual nose-bleed vantage point.

I wanted to hang around and see if any of the players were coming out for a victory lap, but the security guards were having none of it. They shepherded everyone toward the exit tunnel after about 20 minutes.

And so I walked out into the night, having completed one of my life’s bucket list items, thanks to one hell of a comeback win.