Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fans Got Taste of Own Medicine?

When I recently heard University of Kentucky fans taking umbrage at their welcome to Bloomington’s Assembly Hall I couldn’t help but chuckle since I experienced exactly the same thing … only at the University of Kentucky.

As memory serves me, Kentucky had lost seven of its last eight football games to Louisville, including four straight. Louisville was coming into Commonwealth Stadium ranked among the nation’s elite under first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe. The UK natives were restless. They smelled blood in the water. They were right.

The insults started as soon as I turned off Versailles Road toward Commonwealth and continued for the next four hours until I merged onto I-64 West finally headed safely home. I was called every profanity imaginable. Even women and children weren’t spared, particularly as we drove past the frat houses to the parking lot.

Granted, there must have been some reasonable UK fans in Commonwealth that day. I just never came across them. I’ve traveled to games all across the country, including college football meccas Tennessee and Ohio State, and have never been treated any worse. In fact, my lasting memory of that day is of rushing from the stadium after a last-second Kentucky win while rabid UK fans followed, cursing at my sister. 

After that day, I’ve made every effort to treat visitors to U of L’s games especially well. People shouldn’t be verbally assaulted simply for following their favorite teams. However, if Kentucky fans got a little of their own medicine in Bloomington (and I really question that based on my own experiences at Assembly Hall), then so be it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can-Do Reality Television

In the early days of reality television, it seemed the gimmick was mostly about drinking too much and provoking people to fight with show such as “Cops,” The Real World,” “Big Brother” and even more recently, “The Jersey Shore.”

“I can do that,” I would say to myself.  In fact, that’s pretty much how I spent college.

As I got a little older, reality television started to evolve. It became more about adult themes, such as home renovation, with shows like “This Old House,” “Trading Spaces,” “Flip This House,” “Flipping Out,” and “Designed to Sell,” “While You Were Out,” “Take Home Handyman” and “Over Your Head.”

“I can do that,” I would say to myself. At the very least, I could be the boneheaded husband who needs to be bailed out. I’ve been doing that for years with my dad.

Reality television then tackled food with shows like “Iron Chef,” “Top Chef,” “Chopped,” “The Next Food Network Star,” “Take Home Chef,” “Dinner Impossible” and “Best in Smoke.”

“I can do that,” I would say to myself. No one can question my authority on eating. Just give me a Weber grill, a secret ingredient and 20 minutes.

Of course, with all that eating, reality television was bound to discover weight loss with shows like “The Biggest Loser,” “Celebrity Fit Club,” “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss,” “Food Revolution” and “Heavy.”

“I can do that,” I would say to myself. I once lost more than 60 pounds before finding a lot of it back. Point me toward the Lean Cuisine and a $250,000 prize.

Once everybody got fit, reality television found something for them to wear with fashion shows such as “Project Runway,” “Ambush Makeover,” and “What Not to Wear.”

“I can do that,” I would say to myself.  No one looks more outdated than me. Check out the black socks and sweatpants.

Lately, reality TV seems to be mostly about going into The Bayou and wrestling alligators, wild hogs and various other beasts with shows such as “Swamp Brothers,” “Swamp People,” “American Hoggers” and “Billy the Exterminator.”

I can do … oh, never mind, I better stick with the partying, painting, eating, exercising and shopping.