Monday, March 29, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home...

Everyone knows that the University of Kentucky lost to West Virginia in the NCAA tournament this weekend. Most people know that I don't particularly like UK. I was out to eat with some friends on Saturday and I didn't even watch the game. Yet, I still kept track and the UK loss brought a smile to my face. One of our friends lives in Shelbyville, KY (Shelbyville: We take what we can get!) and asked me why I was rooting against UK. She is a fan of the state of Kentucky and made the point that across the nation Kentuckians get such a bad/unfair reputation, shouldn't we root for all of our teams to win so we can be known for something else? I said, yeah in a perfect world that would be awesome. In fact, I root for all other teams in Kentucky (WKU, Eastern, Murray St, etc.) but I don't root for Kentucky. She then asked me to explain why and I thought I should probably explain to everyone why I hate UK.

To start off, I don't root against UK because I'm jealous and I don't simply root against UK because their our rival and I don't want them to win. I root against UK because if they win...I have to hear about it from their fans....and god are they obnoxious.

I know what you're saying, "But Brian, you celebrate when Louisville wins...what's wrong with that?" That's true, but I don't rub it in UK fans' faces. I celebrate the fact that my team won and I move on.

Also, this isn't something that has started are some highlights in my life as a UofL fan.

- In 2nd grade UofL lost to UK, I was sad. However, my best friend was a UK fan and decided that it wasn't enough for his team to win and my team to lose. That little bastard actually sent me a kleenex in the mail that said, "use this to wipe up your tears! Go Cats!" The best part is that his parents actually helped him send that. I mean really? Way to be a good sport. Now, I know that was a looong time ago and I'm not bringing it up because it still bothers me...I'm bringing it up to show how long this has been going on.

- In 1996 and 1998 UK won the championship. Guess what happened? Within 10 minutes of the final horn in both years, my cousins on my Mom's side (UK fans) called my house. Thank God for caller I.D., I didn't pick up. Still, they left messages saying, "We're #1! Go Cats! UofL stinks!" I mean honestly? Your team wins the national championship and the first thing you think of is, "Oh, let me call my cousins to rub it in their faces!" I can assure you that if UofL wins the national championship in my lifetime, the last people on my mind will be UK fans. Not to mention I'd be crying so hard and drinking so much that I won't be able to work a phone.

- After UL loses in High School I would often walk into homeroom to find a note on my desk that would read something like, "Nice game Loserville!" or "UL Sucks" both super creative and unnecessary.

- Throughout the rest of high school and college UofL started to get better and UK started to get a little worse. Hell, we even beat them a few times. Still, I had plenty of phone calls and text messages after UK wins and UL loses. All saying the same thing, "UL SUCKS!" "GO CATS" "GO BIG BLUE" It was predictable and it was lame.

Now, those are just highlights...I could write you a 200 page book about how many times UK fans have been terrible to me over the years. I just don't have that kinda time. I still have UK fans call, text or e-mail me on a regular basis, it's sad really.

Here's the kicker though...most people would probably say, "Well,'ve rubbed it in when UL's won and UK's lost before, so don't play that sympathy card with me!" Honestly, that's not true. I'm not going to say I haven't taken the occasional shot at UK in my lifetime because God knows I have...but I've never sought out a UK fan just to rub it in when they have lost and I've never done it when UL has won a big game.

People probably find that hard to believe and I'm sure UK fans don't believe it...but prove that I'm not telling the truth and I'll admit I'm wrong.

Here's the reason why I don't rub it in....losing sucks. There is nothing worse than your team losing a big game or getting knocked out of the tournament. Actually, the only thing worse is having that happen and then having some idiot rub it in. It sucks a lot and when it happens to you several times a year for 24 tend to develop some hatred toward those fans that do it and the team they support. Especially, when you don't return the favor when you win or they lose.

I don't root for UK, in fact...I hate UK. But I don't just hate UK for the hell of it, I have 24 years of reasons. I know there are UofL fans out there who are obnoxious and do rub in UK losses...but I'm not one of them, so start calling and texting them after games....they deserve it.

In fact, I've never started an argument about UL/UK stuff. If you bring it up, you better believe I'll get into it with you and defend my team...but I don't bring it up. If you comment on a Facebook status of mine, I'll respond...but I've never commented on a UK fan's status and trust me...there are some real gems out there that I've wanted to respond to.

At the end of the day, it's not worth it, it's like arguing politics...which is another thing I don't do. I root for UofL, UK fans root for UK...nothing is going to change that. I root against UK because I don't want to hear their fans rub it in my face if they win, it's pretty simple.

The UofL vs. UK rivalry is the ugliest in all of sports, I'll argue that till I die. During Football and especially Basketball season it causes a bunch of tension and anger across the state. It would be nice if we could all support each other and give Kentucky a better reputation across the nation...but that won't ever happen.

But basketball is over now and with 4 months until football starts, we can all rest easy and focus on Spring, which allows us to shed our redneck image for a few months...only to obtain the image of drunk, southerners who love to yell at race horses! At least we do that together.

So, fellow Kentuckians...I raise a glass of bourbon to you. We may seem like drunk-inbred-barefoot-rednecks to everyone else...but we all know the truth! (Just 80% of us are drunk-inbred-barefoot-rednecks).

Here's to Derby!

Song of the Day: John Prine - My Old Kentucky Home

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