If you know anything about college basketball, you know that it’s almost religious in the state of Kentucky. Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, if you’re from the bluegrass state, you’re either a University of Kentucky fan or University of Louisville fan. There is no deviation. We Kentuckians take our hoops seriously. It’s not uncommon here to permanently embed a wildcat or cardinal on to your skin or include blue or red in your wedding colors to prove your loyalty. We live in peace and harmony (for the most part) with each other except for one day of the year, and that day for this year was Saturday: The Battle of the Bluegrass. The Kentucky Civil War. The UK vs. UofL game.
My family is undoubtedly, undeniably, and uncontrollably a UK family. If University of Louisville offered me a full ride plus an extra $10,000, my family would still pretty much disown me if I went there. We sport our blue and white year round, we use the fight song as our ringtones, and if we find royal blue merchandise labeled with that “U” and “K,” we must have it, from shower curtains to ketchup bottles.
We all were together Saturday night for the Battle of the Bluegrass. A meal fit for a small army was chowed on between shouts at the television due to bad refs and freshman mistakes. The amount of royal blue in that house was so intense, I was seeing shades of it in my sleep.
If you watched the game, you know it was quite even throughout the competition, coming down to a close finish, but the Kentucky wildcats came out as the victors. This is a good thing, because the sanity of this blog’s author would have been lost otherwise.
There are three things I love about Kentucky basketball:
1) The fan base. Big Blue Nation cannot be matched with any other group of fans in college basketball. Young or old, rich or poor, ordinary or famous, University of Kentucky has one of the most unique fan bases in the world. It’s pretty common to see celebrities such as Ashley Judd in Rupp, cheering for the cats. Just Saturday major UK fan, Josh Hutcherson proudly sat in the student section and donned a royal blue shirt.
2) The social media during major games. During commercials of UK games, you can bet I’ll be checking my twitter and facebook feed. You see, people can either be really smart or really ignorant when it comes to supporting sports. When they post their opinions to the media, both types of people are entertaining. You would be correct when you assumed I put my two cents worth into cyberspace on Saturday as well.
3) The way of life. UK projects a subculture that installs pride in its supporters. We have a long history of loving our basketball and being among the best, and that history and pride is felt when one walks into the majestic Rupp Arena and looks upon the banners hanging high from the rafters.
Don’t get me wrong, Louisville always has a good basketball team (I might get shunned for saying that), but I was born and raised to bleed blue, and blue I shall proudly stay.