I have been a ’L-raiser for as long as I can remember. The University of Louisville has given me years of entertainment, and has been the subject of many years of undying fandom on my part.
Hours were spent watching games in the living room with my family, and I do not even know how much money I’ve spent just to watch my favorite team in person.
The Angry Bird, the Yum! Center and the stacked basketball roster Louisville brings to the table each year is more than enough to make me proud to be a product of such a great city, with an even greater athletic program.
With that being said, I love Murray State, too. The only thing I’m not used to is being in an environment where the majority of people bleed blue by default. That’s right. I am surrounded by University of Kentucky fans on every corner of campus. Nothing sticks out worse than a lone, red ranger in a Big Blue Nation.
While most would say if you can not beat them, join them, I simply couldn’t. Watching the semifinals of the NCAA tournament in the Regents College lobby last year reinforced how alone I was.
I was the only Cards fan among Anthony Davis’ personal cheerleading squad. Even when Louisville lost, I was already pre-planning my trash talking for next season. However, before I opened my fat mouth in pure jealousy of the Cats winning the National Tournament, I thought about something.
Being a fan of any sport, in a way, is a passage of self-identity as well as an unofficial club. Fans of the same team stick together. It applies anywhere.
When Murray State went to the OVC tournament, more Racer fans showed up to Municipal Auditorium than fans of Tennessee State. Tennessee State’s campus is roughly 15 minutes away from where the tournament took place, so it speaks volumes of how loyal a community of sports fans can really be.
Even though the basketball team is not having as historic of a season as they were last year, students still show their devotion by waiting in that annoying, long line to get tickets.
It is exciting, as a sports enthusiast, to see so many fans of teams in different regions coming together and finding common ground. I can honestly say I have never met a St. Louis Blues fan, or a hockey fan for that matter, until I came to Murray State.
While I once pledged undying allegiance to Louisville, and deemed any other college team irrelevant, I have grown to adopt an athletic tolerance.
Even though we are not the athletes, we should still be expected to have the same amount of dignity and sportsmanship the players need to express whenever they play a game.
While I may not like your team, I respect that you are a sports fan just like I am. It is a common bond we share.
Instead of constantly battling each other, we should come together with the shared interest of watching games.
Though I bleed red and always will, I am officially waving the white flag. I won’t wear your team colors if they do go on to win the Big Dance this month, but you will certainly get a congratulations. I have a dream that my fellow Louisville fans will one day live on a campus where they will not be judged by the color of their jerseys, but by their love of the game.
Here’s to you, sports fans.
Column by Carly Besser, Assistant Sports Editor.