Sometimes, It's Even Hard for Me to Love the 'Cats
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I understand why it's so easy for most to hate Kentucky Basketball.
They're the villains. Plus, they're winners.
Kentucky has the most victories ever in men's college hoops. The Wildcats were the first team to win 2000 games. They have the best arena, and are getting ready to waste $350million on another one. They have a coach with a fuzzy background; UMass and Memphis both got into a bit of trouble around the time Coach Cal was there.
So, trust me, I get it!
I've lived in Lexington my entire life. I used to be a fan. Now, I'm more of an observer. I knew Coach Rupp -- yep, I'm that old -- and I've had Coach Hall on my radio show. I worked Coach Pitino's basketball camps, and I reported the news about Coach Cal's first press conference on Colin Cowherd's show on ESPN.
I dont bleed blue. I cut myself shaving, and it was red.
I would love to see the 'Cats win Title No 9. But I live here, and I know it would come with a price tag. That would be the damn stupid fans.
Kentucky fans are, without a doubt, the biggest losers you would ever want to meet. They sleep outside for 5-6 weeks to get tickets for a practice that's shown live on television; then again, maybe they don't have TVs. They arrive at the game about seven minutes after tip off. They leave the game with about ten minutes left on the clock. They say they've got to beat the traffic. What? Just because LA fans do it? This ain't LA!
This doofux patrol phones call-in shows -- who knew they had phones? -- and say things like "Larry, I think this team has a shot at going 40-0." WTF!
I suppose I could give them a break, let them of the hook, and say that Kentucky hoop fans are the most passionate in the world. But here's why they will never get that break from me, a huge UK fan and hometown boy, through and through.
After the win over a very good Wisconsin Badger team on Saturday night, thousands of Wildcat fans took to the street. 21 people were arrested. One person even got shot (must have a Louisville fan). There were fans hanging from trees -- Why? Really, why? -- and left trash and empty beer bottles and cans everywhere.
EMS treated countless people who were injured during the 'celebration.' Some had been hit with bottles or bits of glass. Some had 'minor' burns. A few were knocked out after being hit with flying objects, and of course, there were numerous cases of stupid people being drunk.
Some people tore down a stop sign and set it on fire. I know I'm old, but is this the new in thing? Did transfers from West Virginia bring it with them? Apparently, when UK wins people here now have the urge to burn a couch! Over 80 fires were set!! They burn stuff. They burn trash; obviously, they miss the white stuff. They burn mattresses; their own? But it's open season on couches.
They set so many couches on fire, I was starting to worry that they'd find former UK All American QB and NFL first-rounder Tim Couch and light him up! (That's what NFL defensive linemen did. Maybe there wasn't enough of him left to ignite.)
Every school has tradition. At Kentucky, we never storm the court after a basketball game. We think we're the measuring stick for all lesser colleges. We're supposed to win. It's never an upset when the 'Cats win. I guess we think we're too refined to storm the court. Not!
So yes, I want Kentucky to win Title No 9 tonight in Texas. However, I'll certainly be embarrassed with the actions of Big Blue Nation if they do.
No, I'm not a fan anymore. I won't shoot anyone. I won't get drunk. I won't hang from a tree. I will not set my bed or my couch on fire.
No, I'm not a fan anymore. I'm just a casual observer. If they lose, my life will go on. That is, of course, unless a fan guns me down.
If Kentucky fans think they're the No 1 program in the nation, I challenge them to prove it. Act like they have some class. If that's too tough, pretend.
Yes, I understand why people hate Kentucky. It's even hard for me to love them, sometimes. But I will tonight from tip to buzzer.