Is the Kentucky vs. Louisville basketball game an awesome fan experience or agony?
Awesome. Informal extremely good; excellent.
"The NCAA Tournament is truly awesome!"
Agony. extreme physical or mental suffering.
"Aaron Craft crashed to the ground in agony after missing the potential game winner"
Awesome. The city of Louisville has had a “local” team, either the city or state’s team, in the elite 8 every year since 2008, and this year will be no different. Seven straight years to prove that while we all have our preference, red or blue- hoops in this part of the world is pretty awesome.
Agony. One of these teams is going to see their season end very early Saturday morning. While it is awesome that we know one of these squads is going to be moving on and playing for a trip to the Final Four, we know as we sit here mid-week, that someone is going down.
Awesome: In fact, the last time either of these two teams lost in the NCAA tournament was when Kentucky beat Louisville in 2012 Final Four. Which is fantastically awesome. The only team to beat these major college powers from Kentucky in the last three tournaments has been the other major college power from Kentucky.
Agony: The time off in between games, in particular the 5 days after the match-up was officially set. This allows for all sorts of debate and all sorts of debate is what has been had. And if you think the past few days have been agony, wait until you are at work Friday afternoon at 2- still 8 hours from game time and 3 hours till quittin’ time.
Which brings us to my main point. Is the Commonwealth Clash something that is awesome to you or agony?
Awesome: I mean it could be like 2012 with both of these teams in separate brackets, both playing to try to reach the season’s final weekend. (For that matter they both played in separate tournaments a year ago!) The teams do not need to meet in the tournament, giving ALL local fans the opportunity to cheer their team as long as possible.
Living in the Louisville area we all have people we know, people we like who cheer for the “other guys.” Wouldn’t we want them all to be happy as well. The added bonus to this is that if, somehow, your team loses, at least your neighbor, or the guy in the next cube won’t have the smug satisfaction that they knocked you out. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
And for many fans, having the opportunity to be that smug person is exactly what makes the rivalry game in the tournament so awesome. If your team wins, think of the fun you will have and think of how quiet that annoying guy in the morning meeting will be Monday.
Finally you have all the trash talking that I know you all have been doing all week, because I hear it everywhere I go. Russ Smith. Julius Randle. Fans love to brag about their stars. The Harrison twins. Steven Van Treese. “They are coming around, may be the “x-factor” we need you know.”
Or you can go negative…”40-0, I wish Kentucky and Cal would go 0-40 every year.” “3 titles are cute, but that’s a long way from 8.” Just letting the other guy have it because usually you can’t trash talk in polite society. That can be really awesome.
Agony: But man that trash talking can be agony. I mean we are all here tying to get stuff done. Walk the dog. Finish the TPS reports. Get this workout in. This game, which we love, is a darn distraction. A distraction you can’t get away from, because it is so omnipresent in our town.
I know a Cards fan that cuts anyone off in any conversation about the game. “I’m not talking about that. We will see Friday.” Testy. I know a Cats fan that immediately upon Kentucky winning was worried about going to work with their Cards fan co-workers on Monday. MONDAY, that’s a whole week’s worth of basketball related anxiety!
And the trash talking can get really mean can’t it? Robert Morris. Karen Sypher. Two names I do not need to hear anymore, these are the first things pulled out when things get really going.
Then we have the result, the aftermath if you will. And it is this potential aftermath that we all fear through our trash talking that creates the real agony of this week. If your team wins it is so awesome. But inside there is that fear…If your team loses… oh boy, then the agony REALLY starts. Cards fans went through this in 2012. That experience has them like Mel Gibson in the 90’s- ready for Payback.
If they win it’s going to get bad UK fans.
Meanwhile Kentucky and their fans missed the tournament a year ago and struggled at times during this season and they had to suffer the insults that went along with that. That experience has them like Edmund Dantes just before becoming The Count of Monte Cristo, ready for revenge.
Cards fans who are sick of hearing from BBN will be in for more agony if the Cats win.
So what do you think? Is the rivalry game, in the tournament, with a week to think and talk and brag about it an awesome thing? Or is it just a recipe for a week plus of a-g-o-n-y? Let us know in the comments below or in my email inbox firstname.lastname@example.org