Because the image never gets old.
By now you have certainly heard about Tennessee putting the F-U-N back in felony gun charges. As no real consequences have been decided upon yet – other than Pearls temporary time outs – the only thing that’s left to be debated is what would have happened if this incident had taken place at Kentucky. Or you know, any school with standards. But for this arguments sake, let’s say Kentucky.
When it boils down to it, I’ve never been much of a conspiracy theorist. I believe we landed on the moon, I don’t think that 9/11 was an inside job, and I highly doubt that BTI and Kate Martin are the same person (though come to think of it, I’ve never seen them post at the same time…) Up until this year, I never believed in an Anti-Kentucky ESPN bias. But one way or another, the evidence continues to pile up against the world wide leader. There is a possibility the new hate has been bred by our quick ascension back to the throne of college basketball, or perhaps it’s just spurned media member that hate our head coach. Maybe Rick Pitino is promising to stay away from their wives if they continue to deride the Kentucky brand, but one way or another ‘media incidents’ continue to happen.
That is why I am convinced that if the same scenario that happened at Tennessee, were to happen at Kentucky, not only would it have been the lead of shows from PTI to Outside the Lines, it would have found it’s way into four of sports centers top ten plays of the week. Whether you think it’s fair or not, Kentucky has become the team to hate this year. Not in the way that people hate Duke because they look funny and spend just as much time on the floor as a Porcini’s dessert special, and not the way that people hate the Patriots because they are cheating dirty scumbags (and don’t forget, that’s coming from a fan.) No, the hate we see this year stems from jealousy. ESPN knows that all other fans are envious (even if they won’t admit it) of the quick turn around Cal has brought to us, and because of this, they pander to the masses.
So yes, if there was an incident even half as big as what happened to the volunteers (and really, the fact that they are doing service hours as punishment is only part of the irony of their mascot name,) that happened at Kentucky, you would never hear the end of it. And rightfully so. As the Blue Blood of College Basketball, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. If we break it, we expect to be called upon it. But it is because of the increased expectations that we have an increased level of success. I for one, don’t mind one bit that the rest of college basketball deems Kentucky of more importance than Tennessee. In fact, I might be offended if they didn’t. All it really means, is that Kentucky has to strive to deliver success with class, at all times.
Will Lentz is the 2009 Who Wants to Be a Blogger Champ, even if everyone likes Kate better. His parents included. For Bar Mitzvah’s and Bachelor Parties, he can be reached at [email protected].