cultural heritage

The joke runs, that in Kentucky college basketball isn't a religion— its Serious. Think Futbol in Brasil, or Baseball in NYC. When it is in season, how the team is doing directly controls everyone's happiness/misery.

"Hey, how are you doing?"

"Dude, the 'Cats lost last night."

Anyway, back home, the well being of the wildcats permeates the air, the drinking water. It is so pervasive, you only notice it when you are outside the state, and you realize that there seem to be things more important then who is starting in the Sweet Sixteen.

And in Central Kentucky, there is no greater enemy then the U of L team, and no man hated more then Rick Pitino. Pitino was a hot shot Coach that came in the 90s, to bring back the Wildcats, after a devastating corruption scandal had the team banned from playing for 2 years and the team in shambles. Pitino did so, and was the adopted favorite son of the bluegrass. My Mom lived in his neighborhood, and they had a real problem of people driving down the deadend street, just so they could see the coach's house. After Pitino won their second NCAA, he left Kentucky, to go Pro, coaching for the Boston Celtics. People at UK were sorry to see him go, but he was a yankee, and a little hard to deal with. But Multimillion dollar a year pro players are different to coach then college players, and Pitino never succeeded in Boston. So after his contract was up, he began looking coaching at the college level again. He ended up taking the job over at the University of Louisville. Needless to say, the fact that he had gone over to the other side did not go uncommented upon in the eastern half of the state. In fact everyone took it rather personally, in that of all the places he could have gone, he went to the UofL. Sure Hussein and Bin Laden are bad men, but Pitino is evil.

So here is the story of what is going on back home. Long story short, last minute free throw by a UK player wins the big game over UofL, and insures a Merry Christmas across half the state. That kid now has a guaranteed political future in that state.