When will we ever learn? Never, I guess. But we should. This year’s UK and UofL gridiron game should teach us lessons we could have absorbed long ago. But it won’t. Among them:
1. When picking sides, never bet against the best player. Ever.
The Lamar Jackson fumble game is an anomaly (I’ll get back to that word in a few moments). A real one. Because in that case the team with the best overall player lost. Usually they do not. Yesterday we all knew who the best football player in the game was. Lynn Bowden. By a lot. That should have been our first clue.
2. The Lines matter.
Not the betting lines. The offensive and defensive lines. And UK has perhaps the best O line in the country. That is not hyperbole folks. Most of us should have been looking in the trenches. But we weren’t.
3. Statistics are valuable parts of an argument, but cannot be an argument in and of themselves.
Many UofL folks tried to use statistics to prove UK’s schedule was soft, that the UofL’s offense was better, that UofL had the better team. The stats they used were not wrong and were in fact, well facts. Sort of.
But, facts or statistics ill interpreted and out of context are hollow. When Mark Ennis compared Micale Cunningham’s stats to Lynn Bowden’s he declared UofL to have the advantage and scoffed at those who valued Lynn Bowden more. Again, his stats weren’t wrong. But he read them with red shaded glasses which led him deeply astray.
4. Fan based media and real media are not the same.
We at The KY Sports Guys run a small, fan based website and show. While we try to be objective and feel our views have merit, we recognize that we are not experts nor objective reporters. We are a couple of guys who like UK and sports and music and a thousand other things.
This is why we rarely make predictions. The Mark Enniss and Lachlan McLeans and John Ramseys and Mark Blankenbakers of the world are us, but with a bigger market and UofL specific shows and sites. You can make a list of similar folks who cheer for Big Blue.
None of these people should be confused with objective media like friends of the show John Hale, Dominque Yates or others whose job it is to provide objective reporting and analysis.
The fan based stuff is like WWE, it is for entertainment only and should never be confused with real reporting. Ever.
So when Mark Ennis declares a UofL advantage at nearly every position including QB and punter (the guy didn’t even know who Max Duffy was). we need to all take it for what it is. Ridiculous supposition from a guy who knows about as much about it as you or me or any random person you may stop to talk to on the street.
Heck, Lach doesn’t even know what an anomaly is. (it is a deviation in a result from other results.)
This is not to say folks shouldn’t listen or read the stuff we put out. I hope you do. But know what it is you are getting.
5. Lastly, rivalries involve bravado and chest thumping and trash talk and moral equivalency.
The last take away is that any take you may have about the lack of decorum from the opponent and the class of your team in this rivalry is bunk. There will be L’s up. And L’s down. And more. If you think either side is more chivalrous than the other, you are out to lunch. Both sides are competing for the same turf and the same prize. It will be ugly. If you don’t enjoy that, leave the TV off, stay away from Twitter, and go watch a movie or something.
Until next year when we will have forgotten all of these lessons…