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Really Kentucky?

Hard to believe what was happening on the field during pre-game warm ups Saturday. UK players on the Louisville side of the 50-yard line, a place they had no business being, jawing at University of Louisville players, attempting to antagonize them.

A 13-point underdog also stomping on the Cardinal logo, seeking to shift the focus from football to the lowest common denominator, an approach reeking of desperation.

Suddenly, UofL and UK players are mixing it up around UofL’s 40-yard line. A video shows UK’s Jeff Badet, a redshirt receiver from Orlando, jamming UofL’s James Quick in the chest with his hand, later pushing UofL Coach Bobby Petrino from behind.UKvsUofL

The melee breaks up briefly, the coaches seemingly getting things under control. But no, it breaks out again near the Kentucky sideline. The video showing Petrino jaw to jaw with a UK assistant, a photo showing Petrino tugging at the assistant’s jacket. Not surprising, given the lack of control by the officials.

After the fracas finally subsides, numerous UK players rush to the south end of the field, raising their hands with their middle fingers extended toward UofL fans and students.  Still another display of lack of discipline, further blemishing the image of the university the UK players represent.

Nothing yet from the local sports media, which made so much of a single UofL player “throwing the bird” at UK fans in Lexington a few years ago. So many photographers on the sidelines, so few photos of this particular segment.

The Kentucky coaching staff clearly wanted its players to come into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium with an attitude, seemingly confirmed by Bud DuPree, a senior defensive end. “Anytime you’re in a great atmosphere, you need an edge,” he said after the game. “We came out before the game and got an edge. It was great. It just couldn’t hold up.”

Whether UK got an “edge” from the pre-game antics is debatable. Not unusual for an underdog, driven by adrenalin, to grab an early lead in a rivalry game. Probably wasted a lot of energy with those pre-game antics.

Whatever the motivation, UK lost more than another football game.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

8 thoughts on “Kentucky stoops to attitude game, loses that one, too”
  1. Whatever the strategy, it only postponed the inevitable. Although I must give Kentucky credit — they’re the only team that stomped the bird to lose by single digits. In a sense, they got away with it, but in the end, they’re headed for a fourth straight trip to the Toilet Bowl.

  2. I would like just to be able to give Kentucky credit for showing up and playing a hard fought game but what I witnessed at the game personally was just a morsal of some the infantile behavior that was displayed by our visitors. Everyone that watched the game, either saw or has heard about the skirmishes before the game even started but they probably didn’t hear or see was some of the obscene gestures that some of the Kentucky players were making to the fans . Wow, Mr Barnhart you must be so proud of how your student athletes represented your University. I didn’t realize that the “Show of the State” meant showing your behinds.

    1. Bradley, thanks for bringing up the obscene gestures. Many people who witnessed the obscene gestures appear to be in denial, some saying the UK players were doing upside down L’s. But it did appear to me that’s that was what happened. The state sports media made a huge deal out of one player, Brent Giacomini, doing it in Lexington. Their asses were clearly on display Saturday.

      1. I would just like to point out that the gestures didn’t go unnoticed by those who matter. A UK commit was at the game and afterwards pulled his commitment. My guess is he wasn’t very happy with the way the UK players conducted themselves on the field.

  3. I saw the UK players taunting the fans in the Crunch Zone before the game … I arrived at 10:30 on Saturday to see UK warming up on the Cardinal side of the field. Bud Dupree came out of the locker room and with arms raised and went straight towards the Louisville bench. At that time Louisville only had the special team players on the field. The UK assistant coaches later were observing the Cardinals doing pregame drills on the Louisville side of the field. The stomping on the logo at midfield was not only UK players but UK coaches as well. The UK coaches had to repeatedly be told to move away by U of L officials, referees and later police officials. So many UK players were involved it would be had to believe that the UK coaches did not instigate the incident. Bottom line: extremely poor sportsmanship or I suppose to use one of Barnharts favorite words “nice”.

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