It was Senior Day Wednesday night at Rupp and somehow, someway the team managed to get a win. That was nice. A fitting way to send off our seniors. Still, while the senior day festivities were fun, I didn't really feel the emotion that has been there at so many other senior nights.
I suppose it's a mark of a great player that his senior night two years ago can still overshadow the current senior night. That even while I'm watching the current seniors get their flowers and framed jerseys, I can't help but think about Chuck Hayes--the California boy that we so thoroughly converted to a Kentucky boy that he cried at My Old Kentucky Home. The lasting image from that senior night was not the pre-game festivities, but the post-game ones. The team stayed out on the floor for the final playing of our state song and, while Hayes was perfectly composed during the pre-game playing, the tears flowed during the post-game song. There is nothing quite as moving as seeing this big, athletic basketball player who had no ties to the bluegrass before he came her standing bawling with his team and the cheerleaders as the band plays the most beloved song in Kentucky. You just can't beat that. Chuck Hayes, where oh where did you go?