There’s no love lost between Louisville fans and Kentucky fans when it comes to college hoops in the Bluegrass State, and as the teams prepare to meet Friday in Indianapolis with a spot in the Elite Eight at stake, even politicians are taking sides.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was asked Monday about negative reaction from Wildcats fans in town after proclaiming Friday "Cardinal Red Day" in Louisville. His response, according to the Card Game blog, was straightforward and seemingly uninfluenced by the prospect of losing favor among the residents who elected him.
"They say they’re never going to vote for me again," Fischer said, according to the site. "I’m willing to take that risk. I remind them I’m the mayor of Louisville and not the mayor of Lexington."
A Vanderbilt graduate, Fischer took over the mayor’s office in 2010, replacing longtime Louisville mayor and current Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. But while his anti-Kentucky sentiments may have been fostered in the SEC, it’s pretty clear that it’s his pro-Louisville stance taking the lead now.
After all, this isn’t the first time Fischer has dissed UK since taking office.
"We have two very different approaches to running a program," Fischer told the Washington Post in 2012. "UK has a one-and-done approach. We don’t. Plus, we have a new arena here, and the ‘Cats have arena envy. We got the best arena in the world, and they can’t handle that."
Kentucky beat Louisville 73-66 when the teams met in December and topped Louisville in a national semifinal in New Orleans in 2012. (Louisville, you’ll recall, won last year’s national title and beat Kentucky in the teams’ 2012 regular-season meeting on New Year’s Eve.) We’ll see who is envying whom after the teams meet Friday night.
Now, for some links:
• Roger Goodell says Jim Irsay’s recent arrest will leave him subject to discipline, but he has not yet penalized the Colts owner.
• As the Louisville hoops team returns this weekend to the site of Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury from last year’s tournament, some are wondering: Where is Ware?