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I’m a firm believer that everything is relative, be it where you live, where you go to know, who you know, etc.
A while back, I was covering a story and as I was taking pictures, I asked a young gentlemen for his name, as I usually do if they are going to be in the paper. The young man politely told me his name and a person he was with made a remark that he was surprised that anyone would have to ask who this young gentleman was.
Now, as embarrassing as it may have been to this person, who apparently appears on television from time to time, he was gracious enough to tolerate my ignorance. His friend, on the other hand, kept remarking about my inability to pinpoint this celebrity who managed to get past my radar.
I also got this feeling a few weeks ago when I was covering a local golf scramble that brings in celebrities for a fundraiser. Every time I asked for someone’s name, they looked at me as if I was completely clueless, and for the most part, I am!
I know there are people out there who can rattle off stats and line-ups from UK and Louisville years gone by like nobody’s business. Some people cannot wait to catch the next action-packed episode of a particular fishing show. And somewhere out there, there’s someone who knows off the top of their head what Dwight Gooden’s lifetime ERA versus left-handed batters is. I am not any of those people.
That’s the only downside of being a transplant here. I don’t know the storied histories or glorious triumphs that span decades of Kentucky sports. I can, however, tell you that it was Willy Merrick that made “the kick” with a 28-28 score and seven seconds left that gave the Marshall Thundering Herd their first NCAA Division I-AA national football championship in 1992. It was Willy’s first field goal attempt ever, and he was only in the game because his younger brother David, the regular place kicker, was suspended for missing practice the day before the big game. Willy’s first and only career field goal gave Marshall the title. But I don’t expect you to know that.
Honestly, I haven’t watched UK basketball since the days of Joe B. Hall, Kyle Macy and Sam Bowie.
So please don’t think I’m a dim bulb because I don’t know what the Reds did the night before, or didn’t know who the winning jockey in the 1935 Kentucky Derby was*.
It’s a wonderful, sheltered life.
* - William Saunders (Thank you Google!)