Kentucky catches a lot of criticism.
Not just when the University of Kentucky isn’t meeting high standards when it comes to basketball or when the Wildcats aren’t doing so well on the gridiron. We catch a lot of grief for our heritage and our culture.
This state isn’t perfect, and doesn’t claim to be. However, we deserve respect.
We have the Kentucky Derby and Keeneland, but somehow another state thinks it’s the horse racing capital of the world. The Derby is known as the best two minutes in sports. Keeneland attracts thousands to the race track each spring and fall.
When it comes to basketball, the tradition is second-to-none. The Wildcats own this state when it comes to the hardwood, but outsiders just don’t get it. As for the football program, the Wildcats once had a legend Paul “Bear” Bryant at the helm and have another coach — Rich Brooks — who has taken the program to another level.
The University of Louisville is one of the top players in the Big East. Louisville ranks up there with the flagship university when it comes to notoriety. The Cardinals were the overall top seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Michigan State in the regional finals.
The PGA has held its yearly championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The Ryder Cup took its turn last fall, putting the state in the international spotlight.
This past weekend, Kentuckian Kenny Perry just missed winning his first Masters title. He came close, but lost in a sudden-death playoff that lasted two holes.
Although he didn’t win, Perry was gracious in defeat and even clapped for the winner — Angel Cabrera — after he made a par putt in the first playoff hole.
Perry knew the mistakes he made on the last two holes were costly, but didn’t make any excuses.
Following the match, Perry was obviously disappointed, but was happy to be in contention in the end.
“How many chances do you have to win the Masters?” he said following Sunday’s finale.
Perry’s response showed what it’s like to be an humble and gracious Kentuckian. Perry gave this state one more reason to be proud on Easter Sunday.