When Louisville plays in Rupp, there’s some red, but it’s a smattering.
I’ve been there once for the game, DeJuan Wheat’s and Jason Osborne’s first as Cardinals, the year the tilt opened the season in November ’93. A pal’s brother in law was an assistant baseball coach. He was out of town, so he gave us his tickets. We did not wear red. But the people in the seats around us knew we were aliens, and treated us so.
Here’s what happened the first time I stood up. It was way before tip off. The teams were warming up. I merely wanted to stretch my legs. The guy behind me told me to “sit down and shut up.”
My pal’s brother in law was severely chastised and advised never to give his seats to U of L fans again.
When the game was played in Freedom Hall, there would always be a Blue presence, perhaps 500-1000 Wildcat fans scattered around, mostly in the cheap seats.
The one previous game in the Yum! was an entirely different story.
There were several thousand of the Big Blue Nation in attendance, a good many in the primo seats courtside.
Tom Jurich can be as pissed about as he wants — Rick Bozich wrote about it yesterday here — but Louisville’s AD has nobody to blame but himself.
It’s U of L’s fault.
I’m not going to go on and on as I have before about how long time die hard Louisville fans who were season ticket holders for decades were thrown under the bus when seats were divvied up in the new venue.
But it’s fact. Those dedicated fans bought tickets because they cared, and had done so for a long time, many since the days when Louisville played at the Armory (Louisville Gardens). Most would never have considered giving tickets to a UK fan. Sure it happened now and again, but it was rare and never happened twice.
Those seats are now owned by corporations or less devoted individuals who view it as a business expense. So when a supplier or good customer says, “Hey I’d love a couple for the UK game,” they say, “Of course.”
I’m so very sure there will be way more Blue in the crowd this afternoon than there should be.
It will piss me off no end.
But I’ll know whose fault it is.
– Seedy K