Kentucky Wildcats: College Basketball Champions Get Booed in Cincinnati

Joshua RamseyAnalyst IApril 25, 2012

Coach John Calipari throws out the first pitch at yesterday's Reds ve Giants game.  Cincinnati honored the UK Wildcats with a pre-game celebration.
Coach John Calipari throws out the first pitch at yesterday's Reds ve Giants game. Cincinnati honored the UK Wildcats with a pre-game celebration.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Yesterday the Cincinnati Reds did something that they always do—they invite championship teams to a home game and showcase that team before the game.  This is nothing new by the Reds organization. But what a stir it caused this week.

Being that Cincinnati is a mere hour-and-a-half drive from Lexington, and with just a river separating the city and the state of Kentucky—there are a number of UK fans in Reds country.

So, why was there so much hoopla with Kentucky's visit to the Buckeye State this week?  Fans from both sides of the whipping stick were all up in arms.  

UK fans were claiming to never again attend another Reds game if fans booed.  UK haters were claiming to never attend another Reds game if Coach Cal and the boys showed up.

Media types fueled the fire on sports talk radio so much that you almost felt the need to be prepared to protect yourself when entering the stadium—no matter what side you were on. But, from all of this, I really only ask one question.

Was it really that big of a deal?  Let's look at this event logically.

To all the University of Kentucky haters out there who claimed outrage that your Reds would invite the NCAA champions to a game—grow up.  Do you not have better things to do than worry about who the Reds are reaching out to?  

You need to understand that Reds country reaches far and wide—well beyond the boundaries of the great Queen City.  The Reds have media affiliates throughout Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.  Therefore, they reach out to all of their fans.

I will, however, say this in your favor—you by all means reserve the right to boo.  Isn't that what sports fans do at games to their "enemies"?  It is every fan's right to cheer his/her team on and boo those teams that he/she does not like.  I'm cool with that, and Kentucky fans should be cool with that, too.

Which leads me to them.

Kentucky fans are an obnoxious bunch (as are Ohio State fans).  Let me ask you Kentucky fans just one question: How would you react if The University of Cincinnati or The Ohio State University basketball teams showed up to be honored at the Kentucky Derby? 

Yep, struck a nerve, didn't it?  You see, UK fans, you would react in the exact same way if those teams invaded your turf.  So, why do you threaten to not attend any more Cincinnati Reds games in the future if opponents of your team boo?  It's absurd.

I can only imagine the whining, the crying and the outrage coming from the blue state if the Ohio teams were invited to be honored at the Derby.

One other item that I really could not understand this week when listening to UK fans talk—why would they punish the Cincinnati Reds organization by no longer attending games if other fans booed?  

Bob Castellini and the Reds did you a great gesture in honoring your team.  Use some logical thinking here, people.