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.

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