Usually this time of year is dedicated to major smack talking done by both Kentucky and Louisville fans. It used to be that the Governor's Cup showdown was coming around the bend. The game has since been moved to the last weekend of college football for both teams. So instead of the usual banter that goes back and forth before an upcoming contest, we have a lot of unknowns heading into that game. Who knows what the records will be for both teams, what injuries may have decimated a particular squad, or even what Mother Nature may sling onto the field come late November. So many unidentified variables kind of make it difficult to read too much into it at this juncture.
But those facts haven't slowed down the media hype and the overreactions of a particular fan base. First it was Mark Stoops not showing up to a luncheon in July for a game that won't be played until the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Whether you cared or not, Stoops took a black eye and apologized for the mix up. Of course Louisville fans treated this as if Stoops was actively trying to cancel the series.
The latest entry into the annals of July football smack talk is that Kentucky was allotted 5,500 tickets to the November 29th football game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and returned 2,500 of them. The narrative reading that Kentucky fans don't care about the game, don't care about the team, and have basically tucked tail in submission while conceding the game to the Cards.
Over at Card Chronicle, this was made into an entire post entitled "Kentucky Returns More Than 2,000 Governor's Cup Tickets". The author of the post ended it by saying, "Well, that's typical".
Louisville backers that frequent the Twitterverse were more than happy to announce Big Blue Nation's flub to the world as well as every Cardinal fan boy radio host in the city.
Of course Kentucky fans were made to look as if they only purchased 3,000 tickets and the university had to give the rest back to Louisville because they just couldn't sell them.
But here's the thing: Kentucky didn't return over 2,000 Governor's Cup tickets. Jason Anderson of the radio station ESPN 680 in Louisville has a show daily in the afternoon which I listen to because he is one of the few media personalities in the city that is truly unbiased. He interviewed both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville and found that Kentucky is indeed allotted 5,500 tickets per agreement, but only accepted 3,000 of them.
The official email from the University of Louisville never once said anything about "returned tickets". Here is the email in full:
Thank you for your support of Louisville Athletics! The University of Kentucky did not take their full allotment of visiting team tickets for the UL vs. UK game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 29th. We have a limited number of tickets to sell to this game, and are offering these tickets to our season ticket holders first!
Each ticket is $56, and you are limited to 8 tickets. Each order will include a $10 mailing fee. No phone orders will be accepted.
To purchase tickets login to your My Cardinals Account . If you need assistance with your My Cardinals Account, please contact the Athletic Ticket Office at email@example.com OR 502-GOCARDS.
Did you see any mention of returned tickets? Neither did I.
Why did Kentucky only accept only 3,000 tickets? There are a number of reasons. The aforementioned uncertainty is one reason. What if Kentucky has only one three or four games at that point and Louisville is sitting pretty with 10 victories? What if the weather stinks? What if both teams are awful? What if there are people out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday? Etc...etc...etc...
The fact is that the tickets through the University are $80 a pop. That's a lot of money to a cheap dad like me that has Christmas presents to think about. There are other venues in which to buy tickets. I have been to three Kentucky vs. Louisville games in PJCS and I never once bought them from Kentucky. I went through a secondary source.
Season ticket holders have complained that it is an extra charge to their package to have the Louisville game thrown into the mix. About $200 extra.
As for Kentucky, whatever tickets they don't sell they are left paying for out of pocket. They accepted 3,000 as a reasonable amount they will sell for certain. Fans can get tickets from other sources if they want.
What this comes down to is Louisville fans, their media, and local sycophants collectively thumping their chest over a trumped up story that is nothing more than falsehoods fashioned by clever word play and the omission of facts.
But this irks me to no end. What does it matter? There will be more than 3,000 Kentucky fans at that game. And who are these Louisville fans to call out Kentucky fans? They can't even fill their own stadium when they have a team that is flirting with a BCS bowl on Senior Day.
This is as ridiculous as it gets, folks. Louisville fans high-fiving each other over a non-story in July over a game that won't be played until there's frost on the pumpkin. But what can we expect out of a program that welcomed back with open arms a guy that ditched them and left two programs, one professional and one collegiate, in complete disgrace while embarrassing himself and his family.
Well, that's typical.