This will be my first UK Final Four without my mom.
My mom grew up in McCreary County listening to Cawood Ledford on the radio. She would tell me stories about her favorite player, Bill Spivey, and how she cried when he got caught in the point shaving scandal. I grew up watching Kentucky games with her. She was always the eternal pessimist, insisting if UK got down the slightest bit, “Well, they’ve lost this one.” It was a running joke later in life. If an opponent scored the first bucket, I’d turn to her and mimic her drawl, “Whale, they lawst this ‘un.” The last year of her life, she came to live with me and my family. We’d sit down in her basement apartment we built for her and watch UK games together.
Mom died in 2008. I miss her a lot this time of year as we’d always watch the tournament together or talk about it when I lived far away. I know she would’ve liked this team. There would have been plenty of moments for her to utter her signature phrase 🙂
Mom, I hope you’ve got a good seat for this weekend with Coach Rupp and Cawood. Be careful about saying that around them, though. Coach Rupp might not take it that well.