Feathers & Fur: Two Days to Tip Off

ukuoflThere was a knot in my stomach when I awoke this day after Christmas.

I’m sure some of it had to do with the generous portions x2 I consumed yesterday at a lovely late afternoon holiday repast with old friends.

But there’s more, right?

There’s that basketball game coming up Saturday afternoon. And not much of importance really to divert our attention from it until they actually play the danged thing, so we can move on to real life.

This queasiness arrives each year as if on schedule, and has since Louisville vs. Kentucky became an annual rite of winter in ’83 after the one and only Dream Game in Knoxville the spring before. Turns out that season began and ended with Wildcat victories over the Cardinals, the first by 21 in Lexington, the last by five in the NCAAs, also in Lexington.

Since then, but for that national semi-final in New Orleans the season before last, the games have been for bragging rights only. Not that that isn’t of consequence. Not that the outcome really affects any movement on the Enmity Scale. Win or lose, pUKe and Loserville and Tards et al remain firmly apart of chat room vocabulary.

The teams move on with the season. The verbal jousting continues ad nauseum.

I note that, with tip off drawing nigh, the smacktalk does abate somewhat. Nervousness over the outcome does tend to quell some, but not all, bravado. It was certainly that way between the fan bases in Knoxville 33 years ago, and my sense is it remains.1

All that said, there is something about this year’s game that seems, I dunno, more intense.

Given the team’s results so far, the game appears a legit toss up. UK’s talent and home court advantage is matched by U of L’s experience and confidence.

The variables are too many to fully consider.

If the Cardinals double team Randle, does Young have his way with Blackshear and Hancock? Do Smith & Jones blow by the Twins? Do the Twins fly over Smith & Jones?

What happens if the Cats, who have been playing with a very short bench, get in foul trouble? What if they don’t? How do neophytes Mango and Rozier react in the hostile alien environment? How do the Cats react if Behanan becomes the beast that slayed the Wolverines? How do the Cards cope if Cauley-Stein is a swatmeister?

Too much to consider. Too much time until tip off.

This meeting, this battle between the past two national champs, this game between two intriguing teams, each remaining a mystery, somehow seems more important. It isn’t, of course. But, it has that feel.

Thus my stomach is filled with barbed wire. And I’m not sure there’s enough Pepcid AC to ease the discomfort.

— Seedy K


One thought on “Feathers & Fur: Two Days to Tip Off

  1. Well, i noticed two things….

    (1) Your flag has your Cayuts on top…and..

    (2) You have now labeled me as a “dunderhead”..

    I guess it could be worse…I could be a caterwauling Cayut fan…like you….

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