By Paul Sykes

Let me make this perfectly clear. I know Kentucky has a good basketball team. I’ve got the same kind of boastful and arrogant UK friends you do. They tell me this is the dawning of a new age in UK hoops. John Calipari is the promised messiah, the wizard of Lexington. They say John Wall is the best basketball player in the history of the game.

They also tell me my University of Louisville basketball team is undisciplined, erratic, weak in the paint, coached by a man of serious moral turpitude. We are little brother.  We are insignificant.

Is it all more the reason why I look forward to a Louisville win in Rupp Saturday. We ruin the prom queen’s coronation. The fly in the soup.

Ah yes, Rupp Arena. I do not like Rupp Arena. It will be filled as usual with wild-eyed, blue-clad zealots who will have dozens of comments about my red sweatshirt and Cardinal cap.

I will receive incorrect change at the concession stand, my path blocked in the concourse and vivid descriptions hurled at me from the same lips that sweetly sing hymns on Sunday. Rupp of the steep stairs and wooden bleachers. The shrill voiced public address announcer. The enemy’s place

It does not matter. I will go unaffected. I realize that despite all the Coach Cal rhetoric about how this game and crowd reaction should be focused on the players and not other sidebars, I will be a strange man in a hostile land. Surrounded by pompous and proud. Biased and boorish. The rivals.

I love it. To go into Rupp and slay the dragon; to walk thru the belly of the beast with the win on my shoulder…this surely is a belated Christmas gift that even red suited Santa would acknowledge with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho”.

Earlier in the week I reveled in a UK bowl loss. But now, it’s all about Saturday. For two hours I will root against the rival. I will lose my objectivity and snarl at every whistle, ruling and court action that goes against Louisville.

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By Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes owns Paul Sykes Advertising and does contract work for other advertising and publishing firms. The proud husband of Sonja, he has a fascination with bears, bars and Cardinal sports. He's also the moderator of

10 thoughts on “Fearless Louisville Fan Going To Rupp”
  1. You’re a braver man than me, Paul. You really should be taking a couple of very large offensive tackles with you. I just hope that you are rewarded for your courage and bring us home a victory!

  2. I don’t trust myself going over there, not even with duct tape over my mouth. I was raised in the area and know those people all too well, having had to defend my team preference often as a teenager.

        1. Good clip. Still like the original parody of it about the Dallas Cowboys and Eli Manning a bit more..but very entertaining.

          Back to bowl game mania. Hot wings are ready!

  3. Paul, you brought up those fans that “sing hymns on Sunday.” I picture a gigantic blue cross in the coRruPPt Arena parking lot, a preacher in a redneck pope mobile (use you’re imagination) since it is winter, and thousands of UK fans bowing down to the cross and the singing those hymns. Thanks for the laugh, go Cards. Good luck down there tomorrow Paul. I wish I had a ticket. I’d be right there with you.

  4. Loyalty to a particular team can come from so many different types of circumstances that the exception is the norm and the improbable the standard. I grew up in a pro-UofL enviroment. My late father was a Cardinal fanatic. Yet, one of my brothers is a die hard UK fan. We attribute that to his peer group from high school.

    Paul grew up listening to UK broadcasts from Cawood Ledford with his dad and brothers. Yet, he’s one of the biggest Cardinal fans around and so are his brothers.

    Although where one lives or grew up might be a major factor on who you might cheer for, exceptions apply. Witness our neighbor, who has lived in Louisville all his life and is a die hard Tennessee fan. The reason? Trips as a child to visit his uncle in Knoxville and football games attended there growing up.

    My mom, who is a dyed in the wool Irish fan, because of the Catholic connection.

    The main thing is, if you’re a fan of whoever, do your best to support your team in a positive way and be tolerant of the other fanbases around you. I really enjoy Rutgers women’s basketball for example. My second favorite team in the Big East. Why? The amazing story and personal triumphs of C. Vivian Stringer.

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