A ballad of love and hate

All of that about being neutral, doesn’t apply here.

When it comes to this subject I am completely biased, actually. I am not going to try and hide it and say my emotions don’t run wild on this one day a year.

Today, UK plays Tennessee in Lexington. For the past 22 years, no matter if the battle was in Lexington or Knoxville, the tale has ended the same. UK has come out on the bottom. Last year was a heart breaker in Knoxville after UK had outplayed the Vols all day. I remember standing in the endzone, watching UK on about the 4 yard line. UK had plenty of time to score, but after Andre’ Woodson caused a delay of game, hopes of breaking the streak were left to be played next year in Lexington.

Learning the rivalry

I grew up on the state line. Literally. Middlesboro is five minutes from Tennessee. Our area runs wild with orange and blue. I was in first grade and was friends with a second grader who was a raving wild Tennessee fan. He told me I should like Tennessee. Sure, I thought. I didn’t know any better. I came home and the first thing I did was tell my dad, “I like Tennessee.” I remember he looked at me, and said, “No you don’t. That’s not funny.”

In this area, the rivalry is as important as religion. Preachers bring up scores during sermons, and wear their teams colors in their ties to the pulpits. In this area, this rivalry is the only thing as prevalent as religion. To some, it is their faith.

It used to be that UK was a given to win basketball, and Tennessee would surely take football. Since Kentucky’s own, Chris Lofton, arrived in Knoxville, along with Bruce Pearl, it’s hard to say in basketball. This year, Tennessee is a likely favorite to take Kentucky in basketball. Phillip Fulmer, or the great pumpkin as UK fans like to call him, brings his Vols to Lexington intending to keep the streak, but more importantly to be a contender for the SEC championship. As the Cats have arrived lately in football, they have a serious chance to step up today.

So in a few hours, the battle will begin. UK will face off with UT in Commonwealth Stadium. Both teams have played shaky lately. I’m ready to see the streak dropped. I have covered the past two meetings between the Cats and the Vols, but this year I’m sitting at home with my dad to watch it.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, history will start over. The Wildcats have made made many first this year and brought new hope to Kentucky football. It would be a shame to see it all fall today and the Vols go on to the SEC Championship. Also, if the Vols lose, and Georgia goes on to win the SEC Championship, Georgia might get in to play the national championship game. We need an SEC school in that game since LSU lost.

Aside from all of the streaks, accomplishments and failures between the teams, I just want to win. Heck, even Lee Corso says the Cats are to win.

If Corso believes, anyone can.

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One Response to “A ballad of love and hate”

  1. fingers crossed, kid.

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