Louisville Cardinals 73, Kentucky Wildcats 70
December 22, 2016
You Don’t Have to Like Pitino to Love “The Team”
December 23, 2016

Everything look good? Check.
Closet doors locked? Check.
We should be good to go, right?

I mean when we feel like we look good and keep our closet doors locked…we’re fine. However, if we open up some of our doors and go into our past (with our skeletons)… how do we look? Maybe not as nice?

Let’s go on a trip (pun intended)… let’s take it back to 2007-2008.

I’m playing in a basketball league in Northern Kentucky. We’re getting bodied… I mean bodied. A mercy rule was upon us (where the opposing team was going to beat us by 20+ or more). All we were waiting on was the clock to tick down to two minutes left, so the refs would call the game.

As the clock is ticking down to the 2:00 mark, and I know the refs are about to blow their whistle… I do the unthinkable. I act like I’m shooting a 3/4 court shot and instead throw the ball right at my defender’s lower-front area. He immediately gets up in my face, and what do I do? I say, “It slipped… I’m sorry man…” and then my teammates defend me saying, “Trust us… he wouldn’t do that on purpose.” But I did. I was so mad that I wasn’t playing up to my level, so I took it out on an innocent rec league defender. Fortunately for me… he didn’t react how some people could have… like the guy who did this to me:

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That same year, I’m playing in a basketball tournament down at EKU. My team was called “The Pink Ponies”:

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Yes… we had a Pink Pony mascot that we would sit on while we were on the bench. I was the least athletic out of this whole group. Again, not playing up to the level that I thought I should be playing I kept holding the opposing player. After holding him throughout the game, he got sick of it… got sick of me… and deliberately elbowed me in my face. Did I deserve it? Probably. I was intentionally holding this guy just to get on his nerves. Why? Because of my performance… nothing he really had done.

What’s the point? I think guys like Grayson Allen may struggle with a similar thing. All day on Twitter I’ve read comments completely trashing the guy. Say what you want. Was he wrong for intentionally tripping? Absolutely. Should there be disciplinary actions like a suspension? Yes. But what good does it do to bad mouth him especially if we take a trip down memory lane ourselves to see if we’re any better?

He’s a kid. What’s worse… a kid tripping a player (yes I know it happened last year, and I definitely think he needs to learn his lesson), or a grown adult bashing a kid on social media? We need to worry about ourselves. Let Duke be Duke and take care of Duke. We as Kentucky fans need to worry about Kentucky… that’s it. Focus on OUR team, not anybody else. The way Allen acted after the foul is even more troublesome to me, but they’ll figure it out.

The reality is, we lost to Louisville… which is going to hurt for a long time, but don’t get caught up in bashing a player from another team. I noticed several Kentucky fans ignoring our loss last night just to take shots at Grayson… almost to cover up the loss of our Wildcats. Our shot selection was terrible last night, our defense got lost in the Louisville mix, and Monk/Willis didn’t perform offensively like they had been. It happens. We have to be focused on our team though as our primary focus. As I wrote in this article, Kentucky fans get a bad rep, and I think if we take time out of our day to post so harshly and negatively about an opposing team… we’re living up to that rep. (I’m not talking about an occasional meme… some of the comments I read today were just over-the-top and so disheartening…)

In my opinion, especially from my personal past… I’m no better than Allen… we grow and we learn… that’s the hope at least. Maybe you don’t agree with this post, or maybe while you read it… you went down a trip of your own… just think about it… worry about ourselves. Let them be them and you be you. #WeAreUK… that’s all we need to be worried about… UK.

GO CATS!!!

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