Column: Best way to celebrate the Cats


Jack Weaver

Kentucky fans celebrate during the No. 20 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Florida football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. UK won 26-16. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Kristen Roberts, Reporter

University of Kentucky football is one of the best, biggest and happiest times of the year, at least for UK fans. Heading to kick-off is of the highest priority for many Saturdays to come.

People go above and beyond for game day, whether it’s traveling or tailgating or watching at home, whatever it takes to participate in this memorable moment. To most, it’s not just a game, it’s a unifying experience.

There are many ways to celebrate after a big win, but some things are truly unforgettable.

I grew up going to UK football games in the midst of the chaos of my life. My dad chanting in my ear as I stared at the cheerleaders, painted faces in a sea of blue and white, pom poms gliding through the air, big screens and fireworks, the band playing in the background and passion from the people.

The crowd goes wild as the scoreboard goes up. One big nation.

Even though I grew up in this environment, I was not prepared for the intense rivalries and celebrations to come. I didn’t realize then how important the game was to the fans.

My freshman year I watched as we defeated the Gators, one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Excitement filled the stadium, and fans stormed the field.
People pushed and jumped until they were able to take their victory lap. Fans were so excited to see the team they stand behind make their mark and achieve their goals.

This was only the start of the celebratory night. We have an unconventional way of celebrating big UK wins: State Street.

Uncontrollable enthusiasm floods through the streets of Lexington, groups of people rush to celebrate: music, cheering and chanting, flipped cars, burning couches and anything to be found.

Complete chaos.

It’s a party. It may seem like a silly way to celebrate or even a waste of time, but not to the joyous fans. Two years in a row now I got to stand right in the ring of it all, watching it unfold.

Once you see it for yourself, you can better understand it. Time freezes as you look around at the moment, where nothing else matters but a big group of people becoming one.

I hope I get to participate in that moment over and over again. It’s something that almost makes you feel at home while surrounded by strangers. To me, this is the best way to celebrate a UK win; not everyone can say they got to be a part of something so extraordinary.

Some may say it’s only a game or it’s only football, but more than that, it’s a community. We can’t help but know we are University of Kentucky students and fans, one and the same. We put all our faith into our team and get to watch as they exceed all expectations.

New goals, records and personal best’s being smashed every game.

The most competitive and strong-willed athletes, made to play.

This is University of Kentucky football, where we all unite over something we love.

Editors’ note: This column does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Kentucky Kernel Editorial Board.