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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Rivalry Day


Merrian-Webster defines "rival" as "one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess".

On first glance, that doesn't seem to capture everything that is a rivalry.  But when you stop and think about it, it is the core of the concept.  Only one team can hold bragging rights for the state of Kentucky in women's basketball.  In a series like UofL and UK, someone is a winner, and someone is a loser in the game, only one can be that winner.

But what makes a rivalry different than any other competition, as all of the above holds true for any series between two teams.

Frquently, there is a geographical component.  Most of the great rivalries (at least at the college sports level) are between teams that are relatively near each other.  Duke vs UNC, Pitt vs WVU, Ohio State vs Michigan; all of these schools are relatively close to each other geographically.

OK, that's interesting and all, but that certainly can't explain the phenomenon.

What I think may be one of the most important factors is relatively equality between the teams.  As
much as there's a tendency to trash talk a rival, and brag about how much better your team is than the rival's team...ultimately, most rivals have a relatively balanced competitive landscape, and tend to be from relatively similar school.  When you look at UofL and UK, you end up seeing a lot of similarities.  The schools are in the ballpark of the same size (UK is a bit larger, but not radically so), they're located in the two largest cities in the state (Louisville is definitely larger than Lexington, but they're both mid-sized cities in the overall scheme of things), they have a broadly similar set of academic programs available (yes, each school has programs unique to itself, but there are many degree programs in the same fields at both schools).

Rivaly, it seems, is largely about similarity, competitiveness, and least broadly.

I mentioned this on the Cardinal Couple Radio Show yesterday.  Rivalry games aren't fun when they're blowouts all the time.

So, when you're on that message board, or poised over the "Publish" button on that comment box, maybe take a second and think about the broader picture.

The trash talking and posturing can be fun (though I personally find I tend to tire of it fairly quickly), but maybe think about whether you really want a blowout of a game and the other team to be totally humiliated.  You probably don't, in reality.  It's OK not to admit that on that message board, or comment thread, but do keep it in the back of your mind, and consider, even if just for a moment, that the folks on the other side of that rhetorical Maginot Line, assuming they think it through like this, probably feel the same way.

The Deets

Gameday is here.  Louisville vs Kentucky.  Arguably, one of the greatest overall basketball rivalries of all time, comes to Louisville today.  2pm is the tip and for you out of towners, it is available on the ACC Network Extra.  If you're in town, well, it's still available on the ESPN streaming setup, but really, there's no excuse for not getting down to the KFC Yum! Center today.

 It is a Red Out, so wear red (and, yes, we accept that "The Guv" will be in blue today, that's fair.).  It is the annual Pack The House Promotion as well.  Today is also a Toy Drive for Family Scholar House, a fantastic organization that strives to break the cycle of poverty and support single-parents working to get a college education through housing and so many other programs that celebrate and support both the parent and the children's work in their education.

You can get a $4 ticket for admission either by showing your Kroger Plus Card for the Pack the House promotion, or by bringing a toy for Family Scholar House.  At this point, you're probably going to be sitting in the upper deck as more than 11,000 tickets have already been sold (as of the latest I heard yesterday), but the atmosphere should be electric, and the basketball should be amazing between two Top 20 and undefeated, teams.

We started a "name the winner and score" prediction revelation yesterday on the radio. On the Cards winning side of the ledger, Paulie sees it 78-73, Daryl 79-63, Jared 84-78 and Worldwide Jeff McAdams 86-83. We've also had people weigh in on the score verbally. Sonya went 55-49 UofL and Paulie's pal Hollywood says 100-79 UofL. Via comments on the site here, we've had Joe Hill 67-58 Cards, K.Starks 82-64 Cards, "The Guv" 77-61 UK and an e-mail from "someone who is well familiar with the UofL WBB squad" who went 77-67 Cards.

You can weigh in also in the comments section. We'll send you either a Panera or Famous Dave's Gift Card if you pick the winning team and are closest to the final score.

Fire away!

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Daryl joined Paulie, Jared, and I in the studio yesterday for the weekly Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, and a fun time was had by all.  We had a great hour-long discussion about the African Pygmy-Kingfisher.  I learned that they are a monogamous breed of birds whose habitat is pretty much all of African with the exception of the Sahara.  They burrow, or inhabit the abandoned burrows of other animals....

Wait, that's not right.

We had a great discussion about the upcoming rivalry basketball game of course.  Jared, Paulie, and Daryl previewed the UK team and what we should expect from this game.  I fiddled with knobs and buttons and forgot to double-check that the audio stream was coming across on Facebook Live at the beginning...sorry for that.

You can check the replay, including the pantomimed intros, at:

Daryl is deciding on permanent walk-up music, so if you have suggestions for her, throw them in the comments.



  1. Paulie, this one goes to the Cards. I'll say 62-57.

    Had a women in store last night who bought every red bowl, plate and solo cup on our shevles. I stupidly asked if she was hosting a game day watch party. She brilliantly replied that she was a UK fan and wanted to spoil any potential UofL parties by buying these items and donating them to Goodwill.

    It takes all types.

    Curtid "Red until I'm Dead" Franklin

  2. GO cards!!!! beat cats

  3. I see a high scoring game. UK hasn't experienced the type of speed UofL can harness and it will be the difference. I also expect a ton of whistles, especially with Denise Brooks and Joe Vaszily being two of the officials.

    Let's go with Cards 91 - Cats 69.

    Leaving now to head to Louisville. Got my red on and I'm ready to rock!

    Nite-nite Cats.

    Blue Lou

  4. Inside, I'd love to CRUSH my rival, everytime.
    Outside, understood it's not so much of a rivalry if it's always one-sided.
    But still, I hate UK (team wise) and want to see them CRUSHED today.
    A win will suffice, though😁

    1. Cards made it interesting. Cards free throw shooting absolutely stunk in 4th. Tired players? Walz played just seven mostly. I was disappointed Kylee and Arica weren't out on court more, but, it's a win over the Cats. I'll take it.

      Nick O.

    2. I agree more AC & Kylee they both play good defense,
      good win Go Cards!!


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