Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer recently proclaimed today to be "College ColorsDay" in the Derby City. Louisville residents are encouraged to wear the colors of their alma mater, their children's alma mater, their favorite collegiate team, etc. The event, Mayor Fischer said, is designed to encourage a college-going culture among Louisville's children.
Now, I certainly commend the idea of encouraging college for even the youngest kid. But the thing is, here in Kentucky, every day is College Colors Day.
This week, my social media feed has been full of expressions of collegiate pride. Monday and Tuesday, the Big Blue Nation was out in full force; we hate Duke allday every day, and we weren't about to let anyone forget it. Wednesday was We Are Marshall Day, as alumni and fans remembered the tragic 1970 plane crash that claimed many of the Thundering Herd's players, coaches and boosters. By Thursday morning, we were all gearing up for U of L and UK's weekend games.
I've long believed that the Commonwealth takes its collegiate alliances so seriously in part because we don't have a professional sports franchise. Even though a lot of us cheer for the Bengals and the Reds, it's not like we have a pro team of our own. Our schools give us a tribe to which we can belong.
Because so many Kentucky families are from rural areas that don't necessarily have a long history of college attendance, we have a lot of pride in our alma maters. We follow our schools' sports teams, their academic achievements, and their new developments. I keep up with new happenings at Transy, and I never miss the UK-TU exhibition game. All the Morehead State alumni in my family are pumped for next Wednesday's game at Rupp. It's a bit of nostalgia for simpler times in our own lives and a connection with a longstanding tradition.
I'll be wearing blue and white today, not because I needed the reminder from Mayor Fischer but because, in the words of sportswriter Mike Wilbon, "It's BALL NIGHT!"
What school's colors do you wear?