Seeing red over blue: should it be okay to wear UK apparel on campus?

By on September 27, 2011

By Derek Dvorjak–

Maintaining the stereotype of their fan base, many University of Kentucky fans are unaware they attend the University of Louisville. Confused, they come to campus wearing UK shirts, hats, fanny-packs, etc. The collective twang of “C-A-T-S” echoes across Louisville, even when we aren’t playing Kentucky. Why does this small group of U of L students display support for our biggest rival? Many say they’ve been UK fans their entire lives, or that they grew up around Lexington. Some have relatives who attended UK, or some other relationship to that campus. The excuses vary, but the fact remains that they now attend U of L for one reason or another. The University of Louisville has an opportunity or an advantage for these students that UK does not. Therefore, every time you see a student at Louisville decked out in blue, you are witnessing the results of a contest that U of L has already won.

Anyone in a UK shirt will tell you this isn’t true. Their reasons for attending U of L are separate from their support for UK athletics, but they refuse to separate their support for UK from their attendance at U of L.  This logic is parallel to that of attending a high school based on a geographic district or academic preference, but continuing to flaunt the colors of that school’s number one rival.  It might be a display of pride to represent UK, but it is obstinate pride to represent UK on Louisville’s campus.  The values of the UK fan at Louisville are conflicting; they are attending a school they don’t support.  In this state of doubt, they display blue to maintain their sense of identity.

Reasonably, the majority of Louisville students are passionate about their chosen university.  Only a small minority clings to their support for Kentucky.  Chances are that current UK athletic supporters will never convert to U of L fans. However, as our university continues its academic expansion into UK territory, our athletic expansion will follow.  A new generation is growing up in an era of Cardinal dominance.  U of L will surpass UK in every area in the years to follow, and there will be no question that Louisville has the strongest fan base in the state.

Your school or your alma mater should always hold a special place in your heart. Once you pursue higher education and the community lifestyle that envelops it, your identity should no longer be about where you came from, but the collective experiences you share with other members of that community during your short but meaningful time there.

A buckeye by heritage with 2 siblings attending OSU, I will always root for that team, but if they ever played UL my allegiances lie with my Alma Mater- the university that accepted and educated me, and the community I helped to build. All hail!

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Photo by Cailtin Williams

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One Comment

  1. TG

    September 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    All you gotta do is say “24-17” when walking by.

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