Before we get to slingin’ mud and talkin’ junk, let’s take a moment to relish in this most splendid rivalry between Kentucky and Louisville. There are two chief criterions for rivalry to truly flourish: proximity and competition. You see us UK fans were brought up to hate our neighbor to the South, Tennessee. However, the football match-up has been laughably one sided, as the Vols are new to this whole basketball thing. Indiana? Do they even have a football team? You could make a case that right now no other rivalry in the nation is as evenly matched on the gridiron and the hardwood (and the diamond for that matter) as UK and UofL currently are. For a rivalry still relatively in its infancy, the uncertainty surrounding each showdown is a tremendous shot in the arm. Just take a look at the numbers:
Since the basketball programs reinstituted the annual showdown in ’83 Kentucky has won 69.5% of them. Since the re-inception in 1994 of the football game, Louisville has come out on top 69.2% of the time: eerily similar, and certainly worthy of some serious animosity.
So as we inch closer to Saturday, with the jabs and hooks flying freely, just be grateful that you indeed have someone to hate. This is good folks. The bitterness, cheeky slurs and cheap shots, this is what an intrastate rivalry is all about. Living here in the serene, milf-laden low country of South Carolina, I’ve been introduced to the brazen animosity amongst South Carolina and Clemson fans (truly one of the most underrated rivalries outside the annals of the state). My neighbor, a staunch Clemson devotee, summed up his disdain for Spurrier & Co. with eloquent brevity: “I hope a plane crashes on their practice field.”
Macabre? Yes. Entertaining? Absolutely.
I’ll have more on the battle of I-64 as the week progresses, including a breakdown of the cities and schools themselves, a little history of how we arrived at such angst, a tell-all rant about my hatred for the men in red (or all black), and whatever else tickles me fancy.