Monday, March 16, 2009

"Spin your head...spin your head"

Back in the 90's, I used to enter the Final 4 ticket lottery. It's really sad that the general public gets so few tickets for events like this (the Final 4, the Super Bowl, etc.). But, in 1997, I actually got tickets. The Final 4 that year was in Indianapolis and I made the trek. The teams that made it that year were Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona (the eventual champion) and Minnesota. Kentucky and NC had the most fans, but Minnesota had by far the most wild and fun fans. That is where I learned that (at least at that time) bars in Minneapolis closed at midnight. That is where I learned that (by sitting by many) Kentucky fans will turn on their team in a nano-second if they lose and I learned about the special talent of Goldie, the mascot of Minnesota.

During the semi-final game that Minnesota played in, right before the first TV time-out, the Minnesota fans started chanting...."spin your head...spin your head...spin your head". I had no idea what that meant or who they were directing the chant at. At the time-out, the Minnesota band started playing some song and Goldie, the mascot, started running around the court with the cheerleaders. He gets near the basket by the band, stops, and starts twirling his mascot head around in circles while still wearing it. I'd never seen a human mascot do this before and it was wild. The Minnesota fans were going crazy and this Kentucky fan sitting next to me, in his slow, Eastern Kentucky, coal-mining, Appalachia accent, turns to his son and says..."daaaaaamn, I ain't never seen anything like dat in the S-E-C. How is dat boy doin, that?"

Sadly, the Gophers lost and didn't make it to the finals. And, even more sadly, they got busted a couple of years later for numerous NCAA violations and were stripped of their Final 4 appearance and Big Ten Championship.

On a side note, I also got selected for Final 4 tickets the following year (it was in San Antonio) and that is where I had my close, personal encounter and conversation with Ashley Judd. Even without make-up and wearing "just" jeans and a Kentucky Wildcat t-shirt, she was stunningly beautiful. She was also extremely nice and polite and as committed a fan of Kentucky basketball as can be.


Stephanie said...

Fun stories. Will have to watch for head-spinning. But I can be confident we won't make it anywhere near the Final 4 this year.

Love Ashley Judd.

Scooter said...

I first read that as


Ashley Judd