clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A NOTE TO KENTUCKY

New, 440 comments

IT’S OKAY AND EVEN GOOD TO CARE ABOUT ONE SPORT

THIS SHOULDN’T HAPPEN TWICE TO YOU IN A YEAR IT’S JUST NOT HEALTHY

People should be fine with Kentucky being one of two basketball-first schools in the SEC. This goes for Kentucky fans first, not that they needed permission. Kentucky fans have always been completely at ease with having fun indoors with or without the permission of their pastor, and will talk about it in public happily and openly. They’re unique in the SEC for that, and should be applauded for it.

THAT QUOTE NO ONE EVER LOOKS UP

After all, basketball is good. It is, stop being silly, it’s a perfectly great sport. It’s a sport with some really large advantages over football, when you think about it. It’s fast, and rarely swallows up five hours of a Saturday afternoon when SOMEONE* decides to go to triple overtime or something on top of all those CBS commercial breaks. It rarely involves waiting for the doctors to verify someone isn’t dead on the field/court of play before resuming play. It’s fun, no one seems to get CTE from playing it too much, and it has dunking. Nothing with dunking on someone can be too bad.

*SOMEONE is inevitably, like, Arkansas and Ole Miss, and everyone hates everything that happens in it and it ends in tears even for the victor, who’s just shook after the whole thing and wants it to be gone from their memory ASAP. It’s great for the rest of us, so please: never stop playing this kind of soul-traumatizing game.

ABOUT HOW IT’S NOT LOSING THAT HURTS

It has its perks like that. and how Kentucky also happens to have John Calipari, one of the few college coaches honest enough to just admit this is a business, and that his job is to get people into the NBA so they can make money they otherwise are forbidden to make in college. Mind you: John Calipari will still take that check, thank you very much, for coaching this college basketball team, but he’s as close as you’ll get to a principled bandito in college basketball as you’ll get.

This is not an aside, but an additive detail disclosing full personal bias: He wore a full baby blue Memphis tracksuit on Best Damn Sports Show once, and that was easily half of the reason to like him. He looked so damn comfortable in it, and not at all like Niko Bellic from GTA3 or Steve Carell from Foxcatcher—the two people every other white man on the planet resembles when trying to wear a full sweatsuit or tracksuit in public. Don vibes for daaaaaaaays.

John Calipari could sell us dynamite underwear in a forest fire, and it’s important to admit that at all times when discussing why you like him, or any other salesperson of great authority. Know your specific gullibilities. Write them down on a card, if it helps.

BUT THE HOPE KILLING YOU? YEAH, THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T WANT KENTUCKY FANS CARING ABOUT TWO SPORTS

Now look at that. Those are Kentucky fans chasing the dragon of a.) their basketball team coming from behind late and tying the game against North Carolina with next to nothing left on the clock, and b.) watching that tie turn a season-ending loss with a late dagger from UNC’s Luke Maye.

Look at them: these authentic surrender cobras, coaxed into existence spontaneously and from the hearts and souls of these horrified fans. If this moment were a drug, it would be a schedule one substance. You would do serious time for holding more than five grams, which would not be a problem because no one, ever, would use this drug for recreational purposes.*

*Except people who hate Kentucky basketball, so...Louisville fans, we guess.

If you can enjoy that: do, we can’t stop you. The lesson for us and anyone reasonable watching is that we don’t like feeling that way about one sport, much less two, or god forbid three at once. Mark Stoops’ team beat Louisville and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson last year after a putrid start, finished 7-6, and are in the top 25 for recruiting. They should return 17 of 22 starters, and in a terrible SEC East you can be at least “not timid” about Kentucky’s overall prospects for a winning season.

Go easy on that. Kentucky football likes to take its best expectations and burn them for kindling to keep warm while waiting for basketball season to start. Y’all are devoted to one thing to the point of sorrow to one thing, and that’s enough. In a day with 24 hours and only so many tears to shed, that’s definitely enough, especially when you care as much as you do about basketball.

We mean, this was the reaction when you were one of the best eight teams left in the nation losing to one of the other best teams in the nation.

FOR REAL WASN’T THE BLUEGRASS MIRACLE ENOUGH WARNING FOR Y’ALL?

Not that you were going to go full-on insane for the football team anyway, but part of journalism is providing service to the public, and our service today is: don’t overbill yourself emotionally, your family and at least one streamable cable drama needs that energy once basketball is done with you. Another purpose of journalism is to inform. Fun fact you already know! Basketball will never, ever be done with you, Kentucky.

(GIF via James Dator at the mothership)