Kentucky Basketball: Cartoon in Louisville Paper Is Sad on Multiple Levels
To say that the Kentucky Wildcats' season has gone a little awry would be accurate. It would also be a bit of an understatement.
The defending champs didn't return any starters from last year's team.
Inexperience, a lack of cohesion, effort and toughness have all plagued UK at various times this season.
A couple of sophomores with substantial playing experience would have made a difference for sure.
Things really took a bad turn during the game against Florida on Feb. 12. Freshman big man Nerlens Noel was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Things didn't improve in Kentucky's next game at Tennessee on Feb. 16. The 88-58 loss was their worst defeat of the season and most lopsided ever against the Vols.
Opposing fans and rivals are all taking delight in seeing Kentucky struggle.
It's hard to believe that anyone could be giddier than little brother. That would be Louisville for the uninformed.
However, this is all part of it. It comes with the territory.
When things are going well, it's easy to read or listen to all the good things that are being said and written about Big Blue. When struggles persist, shots will no doubt be taken.
Marc Murphy of the Louisville Courier-Journal was sure quick to draw his opinion of what's going on at UK.
Isn't that nice?
Kentucky could very well be in the NIT this year. However, if you are going to make a joke about it, is there really a need to center it around Nerlens Noel's injury?
Leave the 18-year-old young man out of it.
Granted, it's just a cartoon, I get that. In the fine print—yes, there's actually fine print—he even writes "Get Well Soon Nerlens" in the bottom right corner.
I guess he thought that eased the sting a little bit.
Murphy and/or the Courier-Journal should have taken the Steve Spurrier approach. When taking jabs at one of your rivals, keep it corny and cheesy.
Who can ever forget, "You can't spell citrus without UT"? That's timeless. No injured Vols players were involved. It was a perfect shot. The "Ole Ball Coach" is the best at it.
Murphy could have worked in a "Can't spell NIT without the Kentucky Wildcats" or something to that effect.
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For future reference, when it's corny and cheesy, no one thinks it's classless.
On the court, jokes from Louisville firing shots is downright comical. As everyone in the Bluegrass state knows, UK has the edge in championships 8-2.
Are there any other programs out there with only two titles that claim to be a legit "basketball power" the way Louisville does? If so, they don't make as much noise about it as little brother does.
The 1980s was a productive decade for U of L. They cut down the nets in 1980 and 1986. Outside of that, there hasn't been much going on for them.
Exactly how long is the Cards title drought? They won their second title on March 31, 1986.
Michael Jordan's NBA career was in its infancy. He hadn't even had his famous 63-point game against the Boston Celtics yet.
One year later, he would get his first title shot and come up one point short against Indiana.
Speaking of Indiana, Hoosier fans should be a little miffed at Louisville, too. Check the history of IU's last two titles.
Both followed Louisville championships. In 1980, U of L won it all. In 1981, Isiah Thomas led Indiana to the title.
Again, in 1987, Indiana's title followed U of L's 1986 championship. Seems like the Hoosiers are tired of waiting. Tom Crean's club is one of the favorites to win it all this season.
When you get down to it, the Cards forgot that the number of fingers pointing back at them is greater than the one that they are pointing.
The joke has been on them for nearly three decades now.
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