Bluegrass on the Brink

When I heard about two old men throwing punches in a dialysis clinic in Georgetown, Kentucky on Monday I thought it was due to the Obama Care arguments in the Supreme Court. I was embarrassed to learn they weren’t fighting because of access to care or poor treatment. They weren’t fighting for the “right” to free healthcare.

They fought over UK and UofL

I wanted to write a post explaining why UK playing UofL is a big deal. I was going to touch on the basketball history of the schools, the larger than life coaches, the parade of All-American players who have come and gone, and the titles each school has earned. I was going to point to the lack of  pro sports in Kentucky as to why these schools are on a pro-like tier to the residents of the commonwealth. I was preparing to pay tribute to the Blue Mist and Cardinal fans who just find a way into any venue. What I want most of all is for Kentucky as a whole to avoid a black eye in front of the nation on Saturday.

What I want to see is two teams playing with passion and urgency. What I don’t want to see are drunks in blue and red fighting in the stands. What I don’t want to see is footage from Lexington of couches burning on Euclid Ave and cars being over turned on Muhammad Ali in Louisville.  I am tired of the avalanche of Facebook posts showing Cardinals being hung and Wildcats in coffins. It’s all a little too Hatfield and McCoy for me, so no more diabetic knuckleheads duking it out. Life is too short.

I’m a fiercely proud Kentucky native and really do like seeing UK and UofL in the Final Four. Any chance I get, I will work a reference into my home state. Granted Kentucky lags in education and income, and tends to lead in tobacco use and unemployment, but it is where I was born and my family still lives. Many of my fondest memories are set against the backdrop Western Kentucky. To me, this weekend represents an opportunity. It’s a chance to show the country that these two schools and their fan bases can co-mingle on a national TV, be passionate, be supportive, and not let things get ugly. It’s a chance for the commonwealth to put it’s best foot forward on a national stage and could be the perfect lead into the Kentucky Derby on a world stage only 4 weeks from now.

So tonight, Final Four eve, the Bluegrass is on the brink (Divided We Fall). Only one of the schools will advance to the championship game on Monday. If it’s Louisville then they earned it. Coach Pitino will have his team prepared and he will have the upper hand over his chief in-state rival. If it’s Kentucky, then they are fulfilling what many thought at the beginning of the season. Calipari will be in a title game again and have a chance to wipe away past alleged transgressions. Either way, a team from Kentucky will play for the title ( United We Stand).

That is fine with me….I just hope it’s UK.

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