We continue our harrowing journey through the mystical land of Southeastern Conference tradition with a look at the land of bourbon and horses: Kentucky. The tailgating atmosphere around Commonwealth Stadium gets more congested about two hours before game time, and many tents play the game "corn hole." For those not familiar with this game, it's not a reference to the movie "Deliverance," but rather a plywood angled board with a hole near the top of it that patrons and drunken fans throw bean bags into from a distance of 10 or more feet. Corn hole sets at Kentucky are brilliantly decorated with Big Blue shit and sticky with Woodford Reserve or Maker's Mark. While this tradition is fantastic, there is another that comes to mind with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Jared "Finger Lickin'" Lorenzen, Age 7, AKA Pillsbury Throwboy
Best Tradition: Basketball. Yep, even though it's nearly kickoff time for the 2008 season, most Wildcat fans are already focused on Billy Gillespie and a collection of McDonald's All Americans that will intimidate some teams into defeat. They've got seven national championships in basketball, and basically win the SEC every year even when they aren't up to snuff nationally. It's the ability to say to a Georgia or South Carolina fan after defeat in football season, "Hey, see you in basketball season!" and watch the victor cringe as they remember past blow-outs and alley-oops from guys like Dan Issel, Louie Dampier and Tayshaun Prince. Kentucky basketball raises the SEC's RPI every season by approximately 149 teams with the exception of a few years(see: last season).
Worst Tradition: The Bluegrass Miracle. While not a tradition, it sums up the football history of Kentucky. This is one of the worst coverage disasters in SEC history. Kentucky returned the favor somewhat this past season by defeating the Fightin' Tigers in three overtimes, but this loss still has to sting.