Jeremy Wahman: What the Rivalry Means to Me

What The Rivalry Means To Me….

What the rivalry means to me….cant be just summed up. My hatred for the University of Kentucky goes back to when I was just a little boy. My parents allowed me to choose which team I wanted to represent. My dad was born in Indiana so Hoosier hysteria ran rampantly thru his blood. My mom was born in Sweeden Kentucky, until she moved to Louisville she didn’t even know it existed (see what I did there), she bled blue. Coming from a UK entrenched family it was automatically assumed that me and my little brother followed suit. But there was just one problem, I hate the way that the UK fans I knew treated anyone who liked UL. In a time where UK was all-white and UL let african-american people play on their team, it was a racially charged environment and I wanted no part of that behavior. I cant tell you how many times as a kid I sat down with people and heard, I cant believe they think them (expletives) are gonna be able to play with us. Or UL is disgusting for letting them (expletives) play on their team. That was enough for me to tell my mom the following the first time she asked this question: So who are you gonna cheer for? UL or uk? I said Louisville with no hesitation. She asked why? I told her the exact reasons why and she never bought another uk thing for anyone in my house ever again. When me and my brother started pulling for UL, Dad followed suit and he had always felt that way about the uk fans we were around so he was more than happy to cheer for UL alongside IU. It was amazing to see the same people who spit out the racial slurs in 1980-1990 change their tune in the early 90’s once uk let a few african americans on their team. They didn’t like it at first but when they started winning a little I started hearing…hmm them boys aren’t that bad and as long as they can make baskets we will tolerate the. Makes me sick to this day because my grandma and mom and dad taught me and my brother from day one not to look at a persons color and treat them any different. I thank them for that. Still to this day I truly believe that the older generations still around have those same feelings harbored. So to you the rivalry may just be another game but to me its the way I was raised, the person I became and a way of life. Oh yeah and did I mention I hate uk?

Jeremy (#55)

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