Friends, as a victory in tonight’s titanic struggle against the Hoosiers will take us one step further in our quest for total domination of the NCAA, it goes without saying that this game holds a little more of a personal angle. Seriously, if I need to tell you why tonight’s game is important, you might as well click on over to Yahoo!’s “OMG” gossip page to find out more about The Hunger Games.
It’s no secret that there’s a little past animosity between UK and IU fans, no doubt to be settled tonight. But seeing as both teams are on an equal playing field at the moment, the boys in blue and red can settle their differences between them. We, on the other hand, should seriously try to bridge the growing gap between ourselves and our Hoosier neighbors to the west. That’s why today, in the interest of healing these open wounds, perhaps we should look at how to heal these wounds between us. After all, until the Mayan-predicted collapsing of the earth, whereupon many of our state borders will shift mightily and we’ll all perish, they will continue to be forever bonded to us. So let’s be the bigger men and women, and take the necessary eight positive steps toward conflict resolution in accordance with the professionals, shall we?
1. Set a time and place for discussion.
How about Atlanta on March 23? Say, 9:45? We’ll bring the Tostitos and the Anthony Davis.
2. Define the problem or issue of disagreement.
Indiana, you claim that you’re better than us because of a last-second shot which handed us our only loss. On the other hand, we contend that we’ve beaten teams much better than you. You also think it’s hilarious, apparently, to call us “Ken-Sucky,” which is hurtful to our feelings. Our emotions are important too, Indiana.
3. How do you each contribute to the problem?
Indiana, you claim that we should “shut our mouths” because you “already shut them for us earlier this season.” Admittedly, we aggravate the problem by being in close proximity and having arguably the best team in the nation at the moment. Our loud, collective cheering probably startles your horses and cows, and for that we apologize. We don’t want to mess with your livelihoods. God knows we all enjoy corn, right? See? Common ground. We’re getting somewhere.
4. List past attempts to resolve the issue that were not successful.
On December 10, we tried to be nice, but you insisted upon beating us by one point. One point! That’s not very cool. You just had to one-up us, didn’t you? You could have just tried to draw a foul, only made one free throw, and we’d have been tied. Wouldn’t that have been nice? We could have all been happy until overtime, when Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis would have displayed some fantastic dunks. And that would have been fun for you to watch! Everyone could have enjoyed that, I think. You were being greedy.
5. Brainstorm. List all possible options.
Look, we like to be fair. So how about we toss out some ideas that might help everyone?
-We shoot a three-pointer, and then you come down the floor and share the ball with us.
-You move out of the way so we can score more easily.
-We’ll help you up off the floor after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s torso to your face knocks you down.
-We all enjoy the jump-roping halftime show together, as a group.
-Perhaps one or more of our many NBA-bound players can come work for the Pacers. You guys like the Pacers, don’t you?
6. Agree on one solution to try.
How about we play a game and see who wins it? Now, you have to be fair: if we win, you can’t keep on talking about December 10, okay? If you’ve won one game and we’ve won one game, then we’ve each won a game against one another, and we can all be happy with how the season turned out. It’ll be like we’re equal!
7. Reward each other as you each contribute to the solution.
If you’ll be happy with our successful maneuvers on the court, we’ll in turn not take it personally when you foul us desperately and repeatedly in the last thirty seconds of the game. We understand that it’s just business, and that you’re not trying to be mean. In fact, we will appreciate your determination! When everyone respects one another, we are all winners of the game. And you can rest assured that when it comes to forgiveness, you will be advancing to the Elite Eight of Respect! Even though there is no trophy at stake for that, because it is an ethereal concept and not a real Elite Eight.
8. Set up another meeting. Discuss your progress.
Tell you what: after our meeting in Atlanta, we will see you in the fall, and we can all have fun playing basketball together again with all new players because many of ours may be playing in the NBA. We can all share in each others’ stories and do some catching up, and all of this will be behind us. There’s no reason why we can’t be friends, Indiana. It’s important for this relationship to grow. So let’s shake hands and end this silly rift. When we’re cutting the nets down in New Orleans, we’ll think back and smile fondly. That smile will be for you, because we couldn’t have done it without you. We love you, Indiana. And we forgive you.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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