Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which means you’re either getting ready to visit loved ones near or far, or you’re hastily cleaning your house to host loved ones from near or far. Odds are at least one celebration you’ll attend in the next few days will include Louisville fans. With Saturday’s game looming large, things could get a bit tense in homes across the Bluegrass, so, to keep the Cards in their place and a civil war from taking over the Commonwealth before Saturday, here are some tips to keep the peace.
1. Get Them Involved
People like to be needed, and it gives them a way to contribute. When your Louisville guests arrive, assign them a small task, like arranging the bar or making sure each of your commemorative UK championship tumblers is in order on the shelf. In fact, now would be a great time to show off that Final Four pint glass you got in Dallas last April!
2. Keep Them Talking
Finding appropriate topics of conversation can be the most difficult part of holiday gatherings. One of the best ways to keep conversation flowing is to ask your guests about their hobbies or passions. Here are a few discussion topics sure to get things rolling:
- “So, in your opinion, why has Rick only been able to beat Cal once in the past five seasons? That must be frustrating for you.”
- “Tell me, do you think Montrezl lashing out at the player at Western had anything to do with the rumors of turmoil within the team? I mean, we all have our limits.”
- “How long does it take to sober up before driving home from the Yum! Center? Asking for a friend.”
- “Isn’t that Jared Lorenzen a polite fellow? He sure makes me laugh!”
If all else fails, put on a KSR podcast or mention Matt’s name. That’ll get them talking in no time.
3. Know When to Fold
A gracious host is one who knows when to concede, and Louisville just wins on some fronts. If one of the following subjects come up, surrender:
- Club music
- Anything involving the word “crunk”
- Tanning beds
- Line beard maintenance
- Indefinite suspensions
- Body and face painting techniques
4. Find common ground
Everyone hates Tom Crean, even Indiana fans, so there’s that. Or, just ask them what the latest post was on KSR. Odds are they’ve checked.
5. Deflect the Negative and Reflect the Positive
The series has been rough on Louisville fans the past five years. Instead of rubbing UK’s victories in their faces, accentuate the positives for your Cardinal friends or family. Examples:
- “At least Akoy Agau stayed at Louisville an entire season before transferring. That must be some kind of record.”
- “Don’t feel too bad about Trey Lyles picking Kentucky. Didn’t Antonio Blakeney commit to Louisville? He’s a five-star recruit! …Oh, whoops. Sorry.”
- “I see Louisville has two NBA players now, congrats! No, seriously, I’m being sincere. That’s more than before, right?”
6. Include Their Traditions
Incorporating your guests’ traditions can help make them feel at home at your holiday gathering. Go to your local liquor store and buy a bottle of Crown Royal beforehand. (It’s the one in the purple bag past all the real bourbon.) Offer them a glass upon arrival and show them where they can smoke their black and milds outside. Keep the dress code casual so your guests can feel free to wear their jerseys and homemade muscle tanks. If their tattoos are prominently displayed, feel free to compliment them, especially if they’re spelled correctly and use the university-approved Old English font.
7. Know Your Limits
Even the most civil of hosts know when enough is enough, and odds are, after years of partying at 4th Street Live, your guests can turn up in fifteen seconds or less. If you feel things are getting out of hand, politely hand them their puffer jackets and wish them a Merry Christmas. Even extend them a familiar farewell greeting with “L1C6,” and throw an “L down” on the way out.