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!

The Gifts Every Kentucky Fan Needs

We all know that most of the people in this state are crazy for the color blue, right? We all know that some of the women that write for this site could be in the top ten for that crazy, too, right?

Because of all that, I wanted to make sure we've all got some options to give to the crazy Kentucky fan in our life - whether that be someone in your family or just a gift for yourself!

Some people like to bring you Kentucky news "in the most ridiculous manner possible." Let me continue the Transy tradition and give you some of the most ridiculous UK stocking stuffers possible.

UK "Duck" Tape

Let's ignore the fact that this isn't properly named "duct" tape and just carry on with the idea that if duct tape can fix anything, try to imagine what UK duct tape can do!

Gotta have it.

$6.67 @ Amazon for 10 yards. You could use it as Christmas tree garland!


Tire valve stem covers
You've seen all the bumper stickers, all the car magnets, all the window flags and license plate covers.

Show that you're a true blue fan with tire valve stem colors - because it's the smallest place on your car where you can still show your loyalty. Better yet? Take your car for a rotation and alignment in Louisville and laugh at the Cards fan who grimaces when he's removing these.

$10.26 @ Amazon for 4 OR buy five sets and be a total boss and trick out your 18-wheeler and have two left for your bicycle!


Silver Toned Stretch Band Ring
This might just be the perfect stocking stuffer for that Phi Mu lady/Wildcat fan in your life.

The ring, with that high-dollar stretch band that I'm sure wouldn't turn your finger green, is almost the perfect marriage of a quatrefoil and the UK logo.

I think the women of Rho Iota could all use one of these!

$10.95 @ Amazon


Wildcats Piggy Bank
All I'm going to say is that I hope Cal's former Cats have a lot of these - because those guys are making bank. This little guy even looks as sweet as a John Wall smile.

$13.37 @ Amazon





Nothing says a cozy winter night by the fire like UK blue hot chocolate - especially when the tin says, "Real Wildcats Drink Blue."

I actually really want this. I'm looking at you, family readers!

$18.44 for a pack of 3 - Okay, so it's really special hot chocolate!



 
UK Ceiling Fan

Pimp out your Person Cave (in our house, we don't subscribe to the more popular, sexist name for the sports/TV/beer drinking room) with a UK ceiling fan.

$359.00 @ Amazon (Note to family: DO NOT buy this for me. Seriously.)




Rubbermaid 32-gallon Can
I am not going to say that this would be the perfect dorm room accessory. It would not be the perfect beer keg holder or be a perfect mixing place for grain alcohol concoctions involving sliced fruit. I'm just not going to say it, but wouldn't your trash look classy in this?


$56.17 @ Amazon





Kentucky Fan Gnome Bench
Now, maybe these little gnome guys spelling "C-A-T-S" might actually be cute by my new front door. Maybe.

Ok. I've looked at too much ridiculousness if this is starting to look cute!

$24.95 @ Amazon




UK gift tags
Of course, you can't give any of these gifts without wrapping them nicely and attaching these UK gift tags.

$2.49 @ Amazon for a sheet of 10







Quick note: All the image links are affiliate links to Amazon.com

What's the most ridiculous sports-themed gift you've ever given or received? 

It's Basketball Season, Y'all!

Basketball season is here, y'all!
Cal's new hotshot freshmen, via Kentucky.com.

Tonight is the first real, live look that we'll get at UK's basketball team, as we take on Northwood in an exhibition game.
via UK Athletics
It seems like just yesterday that we were wondering if we'd win an eighth National Championship.

I can't wait to see what this year brings!

Go 'Cats!

"Fight Like a Girl"

Remember how I'm looking for new Pink Ribbon t-shirts to replace those I'm using to make a quilt?

Well, I just ran across the best one yet!
The Kentucky chapters of the American Cancer Society are selling these adorable pink ribbon, Kentucky Wildcats licensed t-shirts for just $12!

The proceeds of ACS merchandise, fundraisers, and donations go to cancer research, lobbying efforts, and immediate care and assistance for cancer patients.  Contact your local ACS branch (Lexington, Louisville, Ashland, or Owensboro), or email us here at HerKentucky for ordering information. 


Thanks to the dollars raised by Making Strides supporters, the American Cancer Society is saving lives and helping more people facing breast cancer celebrate more birthdays!

Couples Tailgate Shower: A Guest Post from Just Lovely Katherine

Katherine of Just Lovely Katherine is one of my very favorite bloggers.  She's the modern Southern Belle -- sweet, adorable, and creative.  She's also a Lexington-based attorney and is planning her wedding in her "spare time."  Katherine graciously offered to share some photos and planning tips from a fabulous tailgate shower she recently threw.  I think y'all will love it! -- HCW
"We're a drinking town with a football problem!" Or so say some! As most of you are probably aware (or totally unaware because we aren't even on your radar), the University of Kentucky isn't exactly known for its tradition of great football. So around here, it's all about the tailgating! Bring together family, friends, food and fun and what better lineup than that for a couples shower, tailgate-style! Even though we don't do football well here at Kentucky, we still like to throw a tailgate that would make any SEC team proud! So, here's how to go about throwing a Couples Shower Tailgate.

Let's break this down into list form, because lists are my thing
  1. The first step in planning any party is to pick a theme. Well, let's back up...first go to A Pair of Pears blog and download their Party Planning Printables. Their free worksheets are fabulous for keeping organized! Now, decide on a theme. Head over to Pinterest and start looking for inspiration (thank heavens for Pinterest!) 
  2. Once you have an idea of the overall look and feel of the party, the next step is to come up with a guest list and order invitations. I had Mary Ellen at Mellen Designs come up with a custom invitation for our tailgate shower. Her work is darling and the invite turned out so perfect! She incorporated UK and monograms! She can create anything, so be sure to get in contact with her for your next party!
  3. After creating a guest list, you should have some sort of idea of how many folks will be attending your soiree, so start thinking about what types of food and beverages you will be serving. For our tailgate shower, we went with delicious southern style BBQ from a local restaurant. Great for feeding the masses! For drinks, we had planned on getting a keg (remember, it's a tailgate afterall), but ended up just purchasing a trunk-load of cases of beer. Keep in mind that when most guests come to the shower, they are also coming to tailgate...in other words, you will need plenty of beer (more than you would for your typical shower)! I think we planned for 5-6 beers per person. 
  4. Now, we have a guest list, invitations mailed out, food selected and ordered, what next? The fun part! Decorations! Like I suggested above, Pinterest is a fabulous source for inspiration. Gather ideas you like, then you can DIY (or attempt to DIY)! One thing to keep in mind - you will have to haul all this stuff to the stadium and back. 
  5. If you are co-hosting an event, be sure to take some of the pressure off yourself by assigning tasks for the other hosts. You can't do it all on your own! I asked my fellow bridesmaids to bring side dishes, desserts, serving things etc. 
  6. Try to incorporate your team colors, football and the honorary couple wherever you can. Then just concentrate on the details that really make a shower special. I painted some flower pots in blue and white an added a "T" for the couple's last name. I planted flowers and a small tree in them and sent them home with the bride and groom-to-be. I made bunting by cutting small rectangles our of fabric and hot gluing them to cord. I also made a rag-type bunting to decorate the food tent. Simply cut up strips of fabric and knot over a long string or ribbon. I baked a blue and white cake and made little "r {heart} j" cake toppers. You can get the little wooden letters and shapes at your local craft store. Glue them to a dowel rod and paint. Easy peasy!
That's about all there is to it! If you are smart, you might consider doing this for an away game and throwing a tailgate shower at home! It was a lot of work to take everything to the stadium and get it set up. Plus, the couple had to haul all their gifts back after the shower. Despite the hauling, it was a huge success and everyone had a fabulous time!!! And no...UK didn't pull out a win!


What Cheerleading Camp and Sorority Rush Can Teach Kentucky Fans

I wrote this post for The Kentucky Girls blog last year, after a particularly ugly loss to Florida. It seems apropos for Wildcat football fans this season as well. Go 'Cats. -- HCW
 
We smiled, but we weren't cheering for a winning team.
If I ever have a kid, I'm going to insist that she become both a cheerleader and a sorority girl. Now, I'm fully aware that I've just articulated the most ridiculous, outdated Southern cliché that one can imagine. The thing is, I'm not claiming that my hypothetical future daughter's most important life goals should be back handsprings or paint-pen crafts.  But, I certainly believe that this tried-and-true path to Southern womanhood taught me a few important lessons.  Lessons that extended to my professional and social well-being. Lessons that, if you'll kindly indulge me a few moments' explanation,could most assuredly be passed along to the Big Blue Nation right about now.  
  • Keep smiling. My tiny Eastern Kentucky high school wasn't exactly known for its football program. In fact, my sophomore year was the first winning season in the football team's history. But, no matter how mediocre our game, my job as a cheerleader was to smile. And provide encouragement. Because I loved our team.   You keep smiling.  You work out your differences in private. And you strengthen your organization without presenting outward displays of strife for the entire world.  As fans, we need to keep smiling-- we need to support the players we have and support the organization we love while acknowledging that there's plenty of room for improvement. 
  • Remember that you're here because you want to be.  Whenever I got discouraged about any aspect of cheering or sorority life, my mama was always quick to remind me that I chose to be there. In fact, I was spending plenty of money for the privilege to be there.  We're Kentucky fans.  We always have been.  We're paying for the privilege of football tickets.  We'll pay for the privilege of tickets to what promises to be an incredible basketball season.  Because we want to wear Kentucky Blue.
  • You don't always like everyone. Get over it. I spent four years as a part of a hundred-or-so-member sorority. I'd spent the previous decade on ten-to-fifteen member cheerleading squads. (For that matter, I've sat on more Junior League committees than I can begin to count...) There were enough in-fights, infidelities and intrigues to provide the CW with a year's worth of new material. Of course I didn't like all the girls involved. Some, I outright loathed. But I learned to keep it to myself, because the greater good of the group was more important. Maybe you don't like Joker's style of coaching.  Maybe you think that your quarterback should put in more than two or three stellar minutes of play.  While there are certainly adjustments to be made, at some point, we need to realize that this is the lineup we have for the year.
  • Sorority Bid Day.
  • Maybe it was better in the past. That's kind of immaterial to the present. Some years, my cheer squad found ourselves undermanned and rudderless after a talented group of seniors graduated. Sometimes, my sorority suffered a lackluster rush and subsequently recruited a small pledge class. Sometimes, the football team for whom I was cheering did not replicate the storied First Winning Season that we enjoyed in 1991. These things happen. We miss Randall a whole lot right now.  Hartline -- 'stache or no-- sure does sound good.  They aren't coming back.
These lessons from the land of hairbows and ribbon belts served me well as I entered the real world.  They taught me to accept situations that I wish were otherwise.  They taught me to adjust my attitude toward crappy situations.  And, well, they're lessons that a whole lot of Wildcats fans would be well-advised to learn this year.

via AJ's Casuals.
Every early indicator tells us that this is going to be an ugly, ugly football season. We've logged two back-to-back losses that have left many of us wondering whether any of the remaining 8 games can be won. It's an exhausting, frustrating thing to be a Kentucky football fan right now-- all we can do, it seems, is count the days until Keeneland and basketball. But, the thing is, we don't stop being Kentucky fans when the team sucks. No matter how disgusting Saturday's game was, I doubt any of you burned your Wildcat gear and started making that Gator-chomp thing. (If you did, then this blog probably isn't for you...) If the next few games play out as badly as I fear (it's gonna take a lot of bourbon to get through the LSU game...), then we need to keep smiling, sorority girl-style, and maintain a little grace and decorum until the post-season.  It just seems the proper thing to do...

Big Blue Fashion Find: Knights Apparel

When I was in school, UK football games were a "jeans and sweatshirt" affair. We dressed up for Keeneland and we looked nice for basketball, but we left the tailgate sundresses to our sisters in the SEC West. After all, they do it so well.

These days, Wildcat girls are really stepping it up. Cute blue dresses are paired with sassy cowboy boots all over Commonwealth Stadium. The Orange Lot is still a far cry from The Grove, but we're doing our conference proud.

Today, I ran across a little game day dress that gives me the best of both worlds -- a soft polo-style dress emblazoned with the UK logo. It's as comfortable as a well-loved vintage tee, but far more stylish.

The best part? It was $23. At Wal-Mart.

You heard me right. This adorable Knights Apparel game day dress. Under $25. At the Wal-Marts. I'd advise you to run out and pick one up at once.