Congratulations to the University of Kentucky Mens Basketball Team who won the 2011-2012 NCAA Championship. Kentucky fans have been waiting a long time for this and should take pride in the teams accomplishments.
Because Kentucky does not have any professional teams it is left to the college teams (i.e UK, UL, Western Kentucky, etc.) to fill the sports fans void. The success of these college teams should be acknowledged, and appreciated, but I wish (selfishly) that Kentucky would get more “positive press” and that the World would come to know the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it’s history, as more than the stereotypes that (sadly) have been portrayed in various movies/books/articles/etc.
Besides Kentucky winning it all my admiration for the University of Louisville Head Coach (Rick Pitino), and this players, were gracious in defeat and wished Kentucky “well” in their bid to win it all. UL held it’s head high when they had just lost to UK and had to come to terms with the reality that their season was over. There is a lesson there about grace and sportsmanship that should be acknowledged.
Growing up in Kentucky I, and many people, took the landscape (beauty, majesty, etc.) and natural resources for granted. The fact that the landscape, and the priorities and wealth, (generally speaking) varies depending on where you are headed. From the legacy of horse breeding/racing in Lexington to the Belle of Louisville to the coal mines and to the furthermost western part of Kentucky such as Bowling Green which is a scant (approximately) 60 miles from the County Music Capital of the World…Nashville.
There is a lot of diversity in Kentucky (i.e. education, religion, family values, ethnicity, etc.) even though Kentucky has produced individuals, and teams/organizations, that have excelled in their fields of expertise/professions. From Cassius Clay (i.e. Muhammad Ali) to Stephen Foster to Alanna Nash to John James Audubon to Moneta J. Sleek Jr. to Edgar Cayce to Daniel Boone to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and to modern day celebrities such as Johnny Depp (yes he was born in Kentucky) to George Clooney to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln it goes on and on.
Oh, I forgot to mention Colonel Harlan Sanders who kind of made a name for himself concerning chicken and (last time I went through the drive thru) over charging for “side dishes” (almost $4 for mac and cheese????).
I hope that there will come a day, and a time, when the accomplishments and hard work of those in and from Kentucky garner as much “positive press” and accolades as Kentucky’s’ sports teams. I know it is asking for a lot but there are so many people of (true) quality in Kentucky and I for one have always believed in “quality over quantity” (except when KFC runs a 20 piece special for $10).
I would WELCOME the outside world getting to know the people of Kentucky in an earnest and respectful way. I believe that for every “well known Kentuckian” there are (literally) tens of thousands of everyday people, in and from Kentucky, who are honorable – hard working - and honestly just want the best for their fellow man and for their families. Hence, there is a beauty and an honor in that and (sadly) is far too often lacking in these United States.
I am proud to be from Kentucky and though I have spent a great deal of my life in the Washington DC area (who would have ever thought that would happen?) what I have learned is that greatness is not found in monuments, material things, or the latest trends/fashions. True greatness is found in giving of ones self and using ones’ talents to their fullest. In that context Kentucky, as a Commonwealth and as a people, are true CHAMPIONS in every aspect. Congratulations.
Jeffrey Schrembs (2012 All Rights Reserved)