I was born a Louisville Cardinals fan, really. I was born Wednesday February 9, 1983, Louisville was playing Tulane in Freedom Hall. My parents were even watching the game when I decided it was time to come out. When my parents made it to the hospital the doctor was not there to deliver me. Where was he? He was at the game.
As my dad has told me many times, the doctor came into the delivery room just in time wearing a red Louisville sweater, red golf pants and red and white argyle socks. My parents celebrated a nine-pound baby boy and a 73-56 win that day.
I was taken to several games and practices as a kid, still to this day watching the Cardinals are the best memories of my childhood. I do not recall though much talk about the Kentucky Wildcats. That came later.
My family had moved only a quarter mile, but we moved. I didn’t change schools, but I was still on the look for someone to play with. Across the street there was a boy who was about the same age. He had a really awesome basketball goal and a pool, so I set out to become friends with him. I knocked on the door and we began to shoot some hoops.
He ask me, “What team do you want to be?” Without a hesitation I said Louisville. I was ready to shoot like Dwayne Morton and represent my beloved Cards.
“I’ll be Kentucky,” he immediately shouted.
He then got his boombox ( what we used in the early nineties to play music) and said, “First I have to listen to this.”
A rendition of Jamal Mashburn’s “Monster Mash” began to blare through the speakers.
We played a couple of games to 21 for the next hour of so. In that time, trash talk was uttered after each basket and a rivalry was born inside of me.
The Louisville vs. Kentucky rivalry has changed a lot since that day, but that is the day it began for me. I don’t own much blue, John Calipari makes my stomach turn everytime he says the word tweak and I have been known to talk a little trash.
When did the rivalry start for you? Comment below and share your story.