Attending the Kentucky Derby has never been on my “bucket list.” That's why some of my friends say I will always be a transported Buckeye instead of true Kentuckian.
They consider going to the Derby and attending at least one University of Kentucky basketball game at Rupp Arena as two things one must do to be a true Kentuckian and I have done neither one. Worst yet, I don’t feel the least bit deprived because of it.
The 2020 Kentucky Derby, was moved from the first Saturday in May to Labor Day Weekend because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, It will be run today, but it would be impossible for me to attend just to cross it off my bucket list. That's because the Derby, like the Belmont Stakes was a few weeks ago and the Preakness will be in a few weeks, will be run at mostly empty tracks.
In addition to being run without cheering fans, it will lack all the hoopla around the Derby where thousands of ordinary people are crowded in the infields, where many will not even be able to see the race. They know that, but they go to the Derby just for the fun of being around other people who are there to booze it up and party. Actually being able to see the race would be a bonus.
While I have never been to Derby, my oldest son and his then-wife borrowed my car a few years ago to drive to Louisville for the big race. Unfortunately, he was in an accident in a parking lot after the race which totaled my car. No one was injured, but I never drove that car again. I sold it for salvage in Louisville at a fraction of its value before the accident.
While I missed watching the Belmont and the Indianapolis 500 on TV, and have ignored the NBA playoffs, I confess to wasting many hours watching the Cincinnati Reds playing in mostly empty stadiums, but the thrill is mostly gone. While the team I thought the Reds would be has yet to show up and time is running out, I have ceased centering my day on watching the Reds,
When a team is under performing like the Reds are, manager David Bell must shoulder much of the blame.
While the ongoing pandemic has brought so many changes to all of our lives, I still have hopes of watching the Ashland Tomcats play football this fall. That's still far from certain, but if it does, my wife and I will be there cheering them on.
If it happens, it will be a step toward returning to “normal” and you don't have to be a high school football fan to long for that.
Reach JOHN CANNON at firstname.lastname@example.org.