Two Minutes’ Hate: The RTC Rivalry Series — Kentucky vs LouisvillePosted by jstevrtc on December 31st, 2010
One of the best things about college basketball is the rivalries. Whether rational or not, rivalries usually manifest themselves through the players and fans of the involved schools in the form of true, unmitigated disdain for the other side. Because we love making trouble, and with apologies to Orwell, we give you the Two Minutes’ Hate, a series of posts in which we give fans/bloggers/writers of both sides of a given rivalry a chance to vent about the other side, with minimal but identical prompting from us. We encouraged them to cut loose and hold nothing back, and we’ll be doing this with various rivalries throughout the year as such games arise. If you want to nominate a rivalry or even offer a submission, email us at JStevRTC@gmail.com. And remember, the published opinions are those of the respondents and not necessarily those of RTC, heh heh.
Today’s Rivals: Louisville and Kentucky
First, speaking on behalf of the Cardinals, we have Mike from the excellent Louisville site Card Chronicle. You can follow him on Twitter here. And you should, if for no other reason than because his bio describes him as the “fourth-ranked Chaucer scholar in the Ohio Valley.”
1. In your opinion, what was the Ville’s greatest win over UK?
The 1983 “Dream Game” without a doubt.
Even after Louisville had established itself as a national power, Kentucky refused to play them. The game finally happened in ’83 when the teams were paired in the same region and met in the Mideast Regional championship on March 26 in Knoxville. Despite a buzzer-beating shot by Jim Master to send the game into overtime, the Cardinals ran off 14 straight points in the extra period and prevailed, 80-68.
The U of L community erupted and quickly the governor, legislators and even the boards of trustees at both universities began to talk about a series between the two. Shortly thereafter, the announcement was made that Louisville and Kentucky would begin playing each other annually.
The game played a huge role in making the rivalry what it is today. If Louisville loses that day, the two might still not be playing annually.
2. What was the most painful loss?
Probably the ’04 game where Louisville led by 15 at half and as many as 18 before the Cats came all the way back and won it on Patrick Sparks‘ free-throws with less than a second left. Sparks walked twice. Neither were called. Louisville won the game.
Still, we went to the Final Four a few months later and UK didn’t.
3. What’s the worst thing about Kentucky fans?
Their complete and utter lack of perspective.
When you and I hear “Kentucky’s back,” we think that UK has a good basketball team again, one capable of competing for a national championship. When Cat fans hear “Kentucky’s back,” they think that UK basketball is constantly on the minds of everyone in the country, that it dominates the local news in Hawaii and dinner conversations in North Dakota.
If someone criticizes any aspect of Big Blue Nation, it has to be the product of bias or jealousy. The man or woman who committed the inexplicable transgression will almost instantly be greeted with a flood of poorly-worded emails loaded with personal insults.
Passion should be applauded. Lunacy should not.
4. Tell the world the best joke you’ve ever heard about Kentucky, and/or their fans/students/alumni. And don’t hold back.
5. You’re driving along an interstate road. Pulled over with car trouble on one side of the road is Richard Simmons in full tank-top workout regalia. Stranded on the other side is a rabid, sweatshirt-and-baseball-cap wearing, car-flag-and-license-plate-attaching Wildcat fan. Denny Crum speaks to you telepathically and says you MUST assist one of them. Whom do you help, and why?
Simmons. I’m now carrying a bit of holiday weight and could use some motivation. Also, Kentucky fans smell like horse s**t and tobacco spit. It’s a combination I prefer to avoid when at all possible.
And now, we pose the same questions to the representative for Kentucky who calls himself The Fake Gimel Martinez, who used to write for A Sea Of Blue and Kentucky Sports Radio and now acts like a big mean jerk on Twitter, but at least a funny one. He asks us to warn you that some of his Tweets are NSFW due to liberal use of adult language and crude humor.
1. In your opinion, what was Kentucky’s greatest win over Louisville?
Oh, it is so difficult to pick between the 27 overall wins against “that other team in red (as listed on a game promotional sign at Buddy’s, a Lexington restaurant).” Like with most of NCAA basketball history, the sheer number of Kentucky victories outweigh just about any particular win. I wasn’t old enough to remember the 1984 Sweet 16 victory in Rupp, but I was told it finally put away the bitter taste of the Dream Game defeat. I do hold the 2005 matchup especially dear because Rajon Rondo — the Louisville native who was passed over by Rick Pitino — torched the Cards for 25 points.
But the best Kentucky victory over Louisville happened on December 27th, 1986. Kentucky freshman Rex Chapman was heavily recruited by Da Ville but chose to join Big Blue instead. He scored 26 points (including five of eight three pointers) and led an undersized Wildcat team to a victory in Freedom Hall. Most importantly, the victory secured the usage of one everlasting descriptor for the Louisville program and its fans: “Little Brother.”
No other label causes more anal fissures to the Louisville faithful.
2. What was the most painful loss?
I suppose the original Dream Game should be the most difficult loss to bear. Personally, I wasn’t around to feel the shame of being the storybook blue dragon that Sir Crum and his Knights of the State Bird slew. That is not to belittle the real issue of racism that sadly divided Kentucky and Louisville fans in the past. Most Cardinals fans will likely list the Dream Game as the linchpin of their 1980s success. So I guess in the context of “my rivals’ biggest success is my biggest failure,” the Dream Game loss qualifies.
Louisville’s 74-71 victory in 2009 was a bitter pill to swallow since it was the last time Kentucky could beat Louisville in Freedom Hall. This game was one of the last games where Billy Gillispie’s players actually had confidence in themselves and their coaching staff. Edgar Sosa — shooting 20% on 3-pointers for the season — knocked down the game-winning heave for an amusing yet insulting Kentucky loss.
3. What is the worst thing about Louisville fans?
The worst thing about Louisville fans is that they are exactly like Kentucky fans and won’t admit it. For just about everything that Kentucky fans do that is unclassy, tacky, arrogant and/or stupid, Louisville fans do, only in lesser numbers. DeMarcus Cousins is a punk for getting tangled up with Jared Swopshire last year, but they’re just fine with the fact that their team started jawing with the Wildcats well before tipoff. Coach Calipari is a dirty cheat, but Coach Pitino hiring former Nike marketing rep Tim Fuller was a savvy move.
Louisville fans don’t even have the “urban vs rural” comparison to fall back on. The disconnect between Louisville and the rest of the state is breaking down due to Louisville’s own success in marketing. There are more Louisville-branded cars, mailboxes, and people throughout the Commonwealth than ever. More and more of the dumb rednecks that Louisville message-board posters lament happen to have Louisville-red scarves.
Welcome to success, our brothers in basketball!
4. Tell us the best joke about Louisville fans/students/alumni that you’ve ever heard, and don’t hold back.
This image from a Louisville football tailgate is better than any Karen Sypher-related joke made in the past year:
5. You’re driving along an interstate road. Pulled over with car trouble on one side of the road is Richard Simmons in full tank-top workout regalia. Stranded on the other side is a rabid, sweatshirt-and-baseball-cap wearing, car-flag-and-license-plate-attaching Louisville fan. Adolph Rupp speaks to you from beyond the grave and says you MUST assist one of them. Whom do you help, and why?
[Ed. Note: For this answer, we turn to one of Fake Gimel Martinez's former KSR colleagues and the new honcho over there, Thomas Beisner.]
Oh, I get it. This is a trick question. Neither. The guy in the U of L shirt and hat is obviously the tow truck driver. You let him help Richard Simmons. I’m not falling for that.
While I was typing that, Rick Pitino successfully made love from start to finish.