I’m not going to lie to you, folks. What we’re about to talk about is going to be a little painful and, if your little hearts are still recovering from that Devan Downey heartbreak, you might want to turn your eyes. It could get painful. Or, if you’re a good soldier, you might want to just channel that anger and heartbreak in a way that it can be productively used – on hating the Vanderbilt Commodores.
You see, far too many of you don’t have enough hate in your heart when it comes to Vandy. One of the great mysteries of the internet (sandwiched between Nigerian millions and lifetime memberships) is how the KSR comments section will turn into a violent uprising of anti-KSR and pro-Vandy comments if the Commodores are questioned in any way. Is it proximity? I don’t know. Is it because the hot girl to dork ratio favors any visiting student? Maybe. What I do know, though, is that it has nothing to do with the 2-6 record the Cats hold in their last eight games against the Commodores, a streak that serves as possibly the biggest stain over the last few underachieving years. It’s one game in particular, though, that should be the reason for you to hate like you’ve never hated on Saturday. One very miserable game.
It’s been two years since the Cats folded up and didn’t put up a fight on their trip down to Nashville and, dammit, I’m still steaming angry about it. I’m man enough to admit that I haven’t let it go and I’m petty enough to come out and say that anything short of a demoralizing ass-kicking putting the Vandy intramural program on the brink of a collapse will be a letdown for me. Why? Because that game two years ago in Memorial Gym was the ultimate disappointment in a Billy Gillipsie tenure that was filled with them. It was the first time I honestly wondered if it would ever get better. The first time the thought crept in my mind if the dynasty was over and parity would reign. The first time I felt hate toward Ashley Judd (her publicist would soon make it a daily double).
I’ve stated this before, but this game was far worse than San Diego to me. More embarrassing than Gardner-Webb. More painful than Louisville. This, was the ultimate kick to the junk in a season that was dishing them out often – and I’m ready for Calipari to line up on the baseline tonight and dish out a sweet, steaming plate of revenge.
A few of the lowpoints from that game:
– it was the worst SEC loss in school history
– we all thought that UK had turned the corner after putting together a 5-game win streak in conference heading into the game
– it was the first time I’ve seen a Kentucky team essentially fold up shop and just go through the motions after getting down
– it was the ultimate exercise in stubborn coaching as Gillispie refused to make subs as the team got smoked
– it was televised on ESPN
– Vandy had 11 (that’s right, 11!) players score
– Vandy’s Ross Neltner, a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, outscored and outrebounded Patrick Patterson – and still finshed third and second on his team in those categories
– Kentucky never had a lead
– Kentucky had more fouls than made baskets
– Kentucky shot 32% from the field and 10% from three
– Kentucky had 5 assists
– It was to freakin’ Vandy!!!!
So, what’s the point of this besides bringing up old, hard feelings? Well, there isn’t really. I want you to be mad. I want you to be angry because…well….I’m still harboring ill-will for Vandy and I don’t want to be the only one that’s fired up about tomorrow’s game. Sure, they’re ranked and coming off a big win. And, yeah, they’re on one hell of a winning streak. But, let’s make this clear. We are Kentucky and they are Vanderbilt. And it’s about time to help them remember what that means.