I've been to the lovely burg of Louisville more than a few times. But I figured, hey, might as well check the map anyway, right? I clicked on over to the Google machine, typed in "Louisville, Ky.", and ... yep. It's there, right where it always is. Latitude: 38.23. Longitude: 85.67. And very much in the state of Kentucky.
Why did I do this? Because Kentucky coach John Calipari had me doubting my geographical chops. This weekend, as he hobknobbed with Kentucky's Big Blue Madness ticket campers -- the same maniacs featured in Thursday's rather amazing video -- Calipari delivered a none-too-subtle shot at UK's rivals to the west. You can see the video here. Here's the comment in question, helpfully transcribed by Mike Rutherford at SB Nation:
Among other things, Calipari noted that part of what makes Kentucky basketball great is that it's the only real program in the state.
"It's a unique thing," Calipari said. "There's no other state, none, that's as connected to their basketball program as this one. Because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State, California has UCLA, North Carolina has Duke. It's Kentucky throughout this whole state, and that's what makes us unique."
Louisville fans are reacting with the expected levels of hostility. But I would encourage them not to fall into the trap. Of course Calipari knew what he was saying here. He's a master at this sort of thing, an unparalleled genius at stoking the fires of the UK-UL rivalry into something like a year-round hate-in. Louisville fans hate Kentucky fans. Kentucky fans hate Louisville fans. (Sing it with me: It's the circle of life, it's the path unwinding.) Calipari could have cited his team's traditional blueblood status, or its chief position in the hearts of most of the Commonwealth's basketball fans, but that would have been too easy. Instead, he chose to pretend Louisville doesn't exist. How very diabolical.
My only question: If Calipari's counterfactual were true, would that mean Louisville is actually in Indiana? Or does it merely cease to exist, swallowed up in the time-space continuum? If there is a parallel dimension to our world, do UK fans wear red and UL fans blue? Where does the plot device from "Source Code" fit in?
Now my head hurts. Thanks a lot, Coach Cal.