A lot of people were concerned about the status of Willie S. on Facebook Saturday morning. I told them my ankle was fine, but I did have a little head cold.
Of course, they were talking about Willie Cauley-Stein, the Kentucky Wildcat center who twisted his ankle in the NCAA game against Louisville Friday night. The injury was serious and now he’s on crutches and will miss the Final Four.
Willie was a defensive mainstay for the up-and-down Kitty Cats all season. That’s why fans were concerned about his potential absence. But then forgotten freshman Marcus Lee stepped up and gave the team a huge boost off the bench.
Lee’s unexpected contribution was just a small part of a miracle March Madness run put on by this enigmatic Kentucky team. Just a few weeks ago, the Wildcats were unwatchable as they flailed around and lost to inferior teams. Now, we can’t believe our eyes as they conquer some of the best teams in the tournament.
Just two games away from another national title, Kentucky has rallied around the fallen Cauley-Stein. “Win it for Willie” slogans are all over Facebook and other social media.
It’s nice to see another Willie do well and be thought of so fondly by his teammates. I say it’s nice because for most of my life, I knew of only four Willies in the entire world — myself, my father, Willie Nelson and Willie Mays.
I’m proud of my name, because I am proud of the man I am named after. If I can be a small token of the kind, loving, strong man he was, then I’ve served his name well.
But let’s face it, it’s a unique name. That’s why I’m enjoying the positive contributions made to the name recently by Willie Cauley-Stein and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. I’ll strive to make positive contributions as well. The few of us have to stick together.
Now, thanks to Google Search, I know that there at least two other gentlemen named Willie Sawyers in the world. Googling oneself may be considered a touch narcissistic, but I encourage everyone to do it because it’s fascinating to see the amount of stuff that turns up. There is no privacy anymore, people.
My narcissistic side was a little surprised when I learned I am not the most celebrated and popular Willie Sawyers on the planet, based on Google searches. That distinction belongs to a good looking, athletic young soccer player in Scotland. He consumes almost the entire first page of the search, darn him.
It’s fun to read the headlines generated by that Willie Sawyers. He’s a pretty good player who’s made quite a name for himself in world-class soccer.
“Maryhill hitman Willie Sawyers eyes chance with Clyde,” reads one headline. “Sawyers is sure to go West,” reads another. “Willie Sawyers completes hat trick.”
I must admit I have nothing in common with this namesake, because I don’t like soccer. What’s the point of watching people run up and down a field for three hours and never seeing anyone score?
The other Willie Sawyers lives in Pennsylvania and is notorious for another reason, according to Google. He allegedly got into trouble and was suspended while hauling manure with a forklift as part of his job with the state department of agriculture.
As I aspire to make positive contributions to our common name, perhaps the best I can do is to land somewhere between the popular, good-looking soccer player and the manure spreader. ( I know, many of you think I already spread manure with this column).
I’ll bet that my namesakes around the world have jumped on the Kentucky bandwagon and are cheering this remarkable run to the national championship.
Yes, the Wildcats need to Win it for Willie. Every one of us.