[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Everyone has that friend, acquaintance, or thorn in their side that just, for lack of better words, chaps their ass because of an affiliation with the enemy. Dictionary.com defines a rival as being “a person or thing that is in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority.” Even though there is not a team in the nation that really counts as rivaling the Kentucky Basketball Team (3 goggles up) I think Kentucky has three main rivals. With that being said, I would like to take a closer look into what really makes a rivalry, and prove that there is more than just a “dispute to another’s superiority,” as well as exploring where the rivalry is rooted and how to react when encountering a rogue rival fan.
The first team I would like to address is one that to this day makes UK fans cringe. Duke. We HATE the Blue Devils. Why? It’s a small school in North Carolina who pays a year in tuition what in-state UK students will pay over four years (idiots). We don’t even have Duke on our year-to-year schedule, how are they rivals? Oh yeah, that blonde haired, mouse faced, Christian Laettner fella… or does it go deeper than even that? Something that most people within a ten year range of my age don’t realize is that the utter detest for the Blue Devils goes so much deeper that a stupid lay up. The Wildcats and the Blue Devils met for the first time in 1930, in the Semi-Finals of the Southern Conference game. The game was said to be “the greatest game in the history of the sport so far” and set the bar high for all times the teams would meet in the future.
So now to address how to combat a Duke fan. I took the liberty of doing some stat digging to find some great retorts to pull out of your back pocket and slap a Blue Devil in the face with should your paths cross. Here is an example of what will probably occur if you call out a Duke fan.
(When a Duke fan runs their mouth about Laettner) Yeah, he was good I guess. But hey, did you know that Laettner only averaged 8.9 points per game his freshman year, and our Unabrower is averaging 14.4? Crazy right? Oh and did you hear they were going to change their name to the “Duke Opossums” after playing UNC this past season? Yeah, cause they played dead at home and got killed on the road…
So yeah, it’s a rivalry, and Duke isn’t terrible this season, but it is NOT a rivalry because they beat the Cats ten years ago. I’m personally hoping that we get to play Duke somehow this season, MKG, make it happen.
I bet this is where you thought Tennessee was going to get a shout out, right? Well, maybe they would have, IF Kentucky had beat Indiana this past season. The Tennessee rivalry is getting boring as far as basketball is concerned, and a new era has graced the Big Blue Nation; The “Screw Indiana” era. What literally gave me a sinking feeling and a terrible Laettner-esk image (still hate him) was what created a whole new generation of IU haters. Before that shot, I was impartial to IU. They have Little 500, which is cool, and they have a good chapter of my sorority there, so whatever. But on December 10th, myself and 7 of my friends huddled around my TV and watched an unranked team crush our dreams of an undefeated season. I could not help but shed a single glimmering tear as I watched another guy named Christian bring the Wildcats to their knees in a pure luck last second buzzer beater.
As soon as I was finally able to brush my tear away and roll my chin back up in my mouth, one single phrase exited my mouth, as well as my friends mouthes, that could so simply explain the mountain of emotions that was running through our heads. “F&%$ INDIANA.” Thats it. So even if this isn’t the most deep rooted rivalry, you better believe that the next time these two teams meet up, I’ll be a whole hell of a lot more interested in the game, start to finish. I will not pass this game off as “another unranked has-been team” that is just another turn on the winding road to the tournament. Here’s to the beginnings of the rivalry of my generation, and of course, here’s the best response to the undoubted grief that you’ll get from your Indiana friends (if you have them, raise your standards) about this past seasons match up.
(we knocked off your number 1 kitty cats when we were unranked) Oh yeah, that was crazy when he made that. Did you know that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a higher field goal percentage, averages more rebounds per game, and also averages more points a game than him? Yeah, our freshman over your junior… Also, did you know that it is geographically impossible that Jesus could have been born in Indiana? Yeah, there’s no way they found three wise men AND a virgin there..
We’re coming for you Looshiers.
Now let’s get to the meat of it. The University of Louisville Cardinals and the Wildcats haven’t always been rivals though. The teams played for the first time in 1913, but only played about a dozen times between then and 1983, when the rivalry truly started up. Since 1983, the Cards and the Cats have met thirty one times, with an overall record of 20-11, Cats coming out on top. The rivalry between these two Kentucky powerhouse teams is most likely attributed to several different factors; location, history, and leaders. Let’s talk location. A short hour drive is all that stands between these two schools. The proximity of the schools causes some overlay in the fan base. Being a Louisville native who attends UK, more often that not it is assumed that I am a Card fan. I’d rather put my finger up Coach Pitino’s nose than throw up an L. The strong contention of Cats fans in Louisville adds some banter back and fourth, which has all my life, only made me love the Cats that much more. The openness and bluntness of the arguments back and fourth is something that is not censored, even in the way that men speak to women (me) about it, and contrary to the way it would appear, I LOVE THIS.
The history of the two teams makes things that much more intense. This is a rivalry that will never die because of all the hype behind it. As soon as the school year starts, it’s a countdown until the two meet, counting our ways through the painful football season (sorry guys) to New Years Eve, when the teams will finally square off. It’s about being able to say “We won last year” or “We’ve got the past three.” Now, this is what truly makes me hate the Cards and their fans. The fact that Rick Pitino had it in him to coach for the University of Kentucky, and dedicate so much time and effort to us, leave for a while, then come back to University of Louisville is the ultimate Judas. I feel like people ignore this fact far too often. Loyalty is so important when it comes to a fan base and forming a program, and I think that what Pitino did to the University of Kentucky was just down right wrong. When a Louisville fan insults a UK fan, usually they target Coach Cal or Anthony Davis’ facial hair. Here’s how to retort.
(Have fun getting all of Cal’s wins vacated) YOU PINK UNIFORM SPORTING, AXE BODY SPRAY SPRAYING, SKINNY BEARD SHAVING, FATHER CLAIMING TO BE POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL SAYIN, BUCKET HEAD WEARING, JEREMIAH WEED DRINKIN, BUG EYED COACH LOOKING IDIOTS CAN SAY HI TO THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE NATION THAT HAS BEAT YOU FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS. Point blank, Period. #L1C4
Well, now that I got that out of my system, I’d like to encourage all University of Kentucky fans to use their common sense when it comes to starting fights with other fan bases. Yes, we’re supreme, but we’ve been there before, seven times to be exact, and need to keep that classy demeanor about our success.
So why can’t we be friends? Because while jealousy is love and hate at the same time, that hate that other teams have for us is something that will never fade. University of Kentucky basketball has built not just a team, but a program based on a legacy that is unmatched in the NCAA. We have the best players, the best team, the best fan base, and now, as I’ve proved, the best grouping of rivalries in the entire country. We Are the Big Blue Nation, and we want Number 8.
(Drops the mic and throws three goggles)
I just recently discovered the app Cat Effects.. All Cats Everything. @KSR_allHAYL
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