Redsageddon, Vitriol, Hypocrisy and Fear of Flying
Ok, so there appears to be a great deal of consternation in Big Blue Nation about vitriol hurled at the University of Kentucky and its National Championship basketball team regarding them being honored at tomorrow’s Cincinnati Reds game in Great American Ballpark. Lance McAlister of WLAP sister station ESPN 1530 in the Queen City reprinted comments posted on the Reds official Facebook page as part of his blog. Click on the link there and scroll down to the UK logo to see the ugliness. You can also see the entire thread here, but Lance hit the highlights.
My only question is, what did you expect? Look, I say all the time on First State Financial Sunday Morning Sports Talk (9 am-Noon every week on NewsRadio 630 WLAP and wlap.com) that I grew up an Ohio State football fan. It’s the team the Ohio side of my family followed and they were great, so it was pretty easy. But in all honesty – family (both by birth and by marriage) and any good friends I have who are Ohio State fans exempted – Ohio State fans are complete lunatics without any sense of perspective.
Have you watched an Ohio State home game lately? The stadium is filled with 50-year old men in face paint – many of whom have never set foot in another building on the Ohio State campus.
Look, I get that most of the past two sentences are sort of pot and kettle comments coming from Kentucky, but when was the last time you saw a grown up in face paint in Rupp Arena, much less Commonwealth Stadium. It just doesn’t happen.
The rest of the Reds appearance hostility comes from University of Cincinnati fans – a fan base that may well have the biggest inferiority complex in the history of sports. That can happen when you are perpetually the second best football program in your state (third best probably when Jim Tressel had Youngstown State rolling) and have been the second best basketball team in your own city for the lion’s share of the last two decades (Go Muskies!). Plus it’s almost like Bearcats fans still blame UK for them having to hold the ball for hours on end when the basketball teams met in that 24-11, 1983 thriller. Yeah, you read that right. It happened in NINETEEN 83, not 1883 and I said basketball, not foootball.
It’s also amusing to watch Ohio State and UC fans throw around words like “cheaters” and “punks” at Kentucky basketball. Never mind that Ohio State basketball has been on probation much more recently than Kentucky (2006 for three years) and that Tressel resigned in shame as the Buckeyes head football coach after it was revealed that sweater vest full of integrity knowingly played ineligible players and lied to his athletics director and the NCAA about it (find something like that in John Calipari’s past, I dare you).
Then throw in the fact that under Tony Yates, Cincinnati basketball was a train wreck on and off the court, and that there was more trouble when Bob Huggins took over (including Art Long’s famous police horse punching incident in 1995) and Bearcats fans calling Wildcats players anything short of Boy Scouts is laughable.
The reason why the Reds are honoring the Kentucky basketball team is simple (by the way, the Reds have recognized all kinds of championship teams, including UC football conference champions and the National Champion soccer team from my beloved Northern Kentucky University – GO NORSE!!!). Once upon a time, the Reds were a strong regional franchise. They covered most of Ohio (remember the Indians used to be completely dreadful), much of Kentucky, a lot of Indiana and a huge portion of West Virginia. The 1994 strike all but ended that. Now with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips locked up long term and the Reds facing a gajillion-dollar payroll, it would be nice to start to rekindle that interest and draw fans to the park from a wider area. It’s a marketing move aimed at the Reds fans and potential Reds fans on the “good side” of the Ohio River.
If that bothers UC fans, maybe they should win something in the next generation or two. Seriously, 1962 was a LONG time ago. If Reds fans are willing to jump ship because the team chooses to honor a team in blue in an effort to reach out to more fans, then the franchise is better off without them.
GO CATS! GO REDS!!!
Fear of Flying
Look, I know it’s probably bad karma to be typing this at 30,000 feet, but with all due respect to Louis CK, flying isn’t amazing. It’s horrible. Getting anywhere takes forever. Nobody’s happy. Airports are soul-crushing nightmares. And we’re still not even to the abject terror off getting into an aluminum (steel?) tube that hurtles along at 500 miles an hour up in the sky.
My biggest issue with flying is that I have little faith in aerodynamics. It’s different than hot air balloons. I understand the concept of density. Thin the air in the balloon with heat and it will rise above the thicker air around it. It’s the same concept that makes pebbles sink in water, but aircraft carriers float.
Aerodynamics are much trickier. There is wing angle and airspeed and lift and whatever. I don’t buy it. I’ve always been convinced that planes flew only because all of the passengers REALLY need to get somewhere, so they believe with all their heart that the monster machine they are screaming through the sky in is capable of it – it’s more Uri Geller than Orville Wright.
That’s right. I believe in telekinesis more than I believe in ALLEGED physics.
Then there’s this classic from Bill Cosby.
Safe travels, everybody.