Ah yes, it’s that time of year again. It comes around this time of year every year (except last year during COVID) where our state becomes divided when the in state rivalry between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals takes place. The Kentucky/Louisville rivalry is one of the (if not the most) passionate rivalries in the NCAA in both basketball and football. What exactly fuels this rivalry between the two schools, is it the close proximity, Rick Pitino flipping the bird as he left Rupp Arena, their obnoxious fanbase, or all of the above? Here’s how some Kentucky fans responded to the question:
Most of you agreed that it's because we unfortunately have to deal with Louisville fans in our day to day lives, they're close to us, their unbearable fanbase, or maybe we're just born that way? As Kentucky fans we're wired to have a dislike for Louisville, however, some fans have a straight up hate for the 'dirty birds.'
Over the years, UK fans have been lucky to have some phenomenal athletes that have embraced the rivalry themselves. Here are a few of my favorite photos of UK athletes giving the infamous 'L’s down' sign. Whether it is Kash Daniel, Josh Allen, or Benny Snell (who experienced several UK/UL rivalry games), one and done players such as KAT, Hagans, or Booker, or even first year players such as UK quarterback, Will Levis, they know that when they came to Kentucky that this rivalry was a part of the deal. When it comes to playing Louisville the week before the game the atmosphere around campus changes and you can feel the sense of pride the players take when it comes to this game.
As you can tell by the attitude from both the Big Blue Nation and the players, this rivalry really runs deep in the bluegrass. It is not just basketball or football in the mountains of the bluegrass state. We take a lot of pride in our Wildcats and we will stand up to anyone (especially Louisville fans) when they disrespect our team. I just wanted to wish everyone in the #BBN a happy Louisville Hate Week and GO CATS!