Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Untouchables Reunion

April 1, 1996. My junior year of college. For the first (and what would turn out to be the only) time in my life, I really don't follow sports. I'm interested in school. And the sorority. And all kinds of silly things that twenty year-olds obsess about. Kentucky won the National Championship tonight. Of course that's exciting, but I have bigger things on my mind, like this Political Theory paper that's due tomorrow. That Tony Delk guy is pretty nice, though. He called my summer school dorm room several times, hoping to ask my roommate-for-the-summer out on a date. I wish I'd finished this paper earlier, though. It looks like a fun time out in Lexington tonight. People in the dorm keep telling crazy stories of knocked-over cars and mass bedlam. This is a once-in-a-lifetime party. My roommate and her boyfriend are out having fun, as are a bunch of our friends. Who knows if and when we'll ever see another Championship party in Lexington. Oh well. Go Cats! Let's get back to Machiavelli!

Last night, UK honored the National Champion 1996 Wildcats by awarding them their long-overdue rings. They were one of those amazing teams that just don't come around very often. Three First Round draft picks and nine players in the NBA -- in those (Pre-Cal) days, that was an amazing statistic. They were such elite athletes that they earned the nickname The Untouchables

I've thought a lot about that team this week, with all the fanfare surrounding their ring ceremony. As photos of the event have surfaced, I've been struck by how... middle-aged... the guys look. It's a strange thought that they are staring down forty, and so are my classmates and I. Some of them have gone on to insane success in the NBA -- Nazr Mohammed is still there! -- and some have run into personal and financial trouble. Our brash, handsome young coach has gone down a road I'd rather not discuss. And Wayne Turner wound up right back where he belongs, in Lexington. Some succeeded wildly, and others, well, didn't. I suppose last night was like any other reunion -- at school or at Cheapside-- only there are fewer lawyers and schoolteachers and physicians, and more really tall guys.
via KSR
We all may be older, but these guys are still Untouchable. Here's to UK for finally giving them the recognition they deserve. Go 'Cats!

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