LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has called for Friday to be Wear Red Day in honor of the University of Louisville Cardinals NCAA Sweet Sixteen game against the University of Kentucky Wildcats, but some UK fans are reminding the mayor, many members of Big Blue Nation call Louisville home too.
In Lexington, the entire city revolves around the University of Kentucky, but in our metropolitan city, the state's largest, a lot of UK alums are raising families here. And at least this week, the 'Ville is a city divided.
"Everybody expects everybody from Louisville to be Louisville fans, but were not," explained UK Greater Louisville Alumni Club President Kevin Connell.
The UK Alumni Association said nearly 21,000 University of Kentucky grads are living in the city of Louisville. You can then throw in plenty of non-grad Cat fans.
"I saw a study," Connell said of Cats vs. Cards fans in the River City, "They said it was evenly split, around 46 to 42 percent or 44 to 43 percent."
When you're on the road in Louisville, as soon as you see a Cards license plate, there's a Wildcat one right behind it. Big Blue Nation is represented in the park and at the gas station. Right next to a red house, there's a blue house.
Connell said the person who's most confused is Mayor Fischer. "I'd like to remind the mayor, he proclaimed Friday as Wear Red Day, but Mayor Fischer half your constituency bleeds blue," he laughed, "So I don't know what you're going to do about that."
Like many homes in the 'Ville, the Cunningham family lives in a house divided.
"I wish it was an all blue UK flag, but unfortunately they're UofL fans," said daughter and UK grad Kimberly Cunningham referring to her mother, Paulette Cunningham.
Kimberly Cunningham said of her mom, "She came into my bathroom and I said 'oh, I can't talk to the enemy so, we're going to have to wait until after Friday night to see who wins and I don't even know if I'll be talking to you then.'"
No worries, the maturity runs in the family, "A lot of smack talking going on," said Paulette Cunningham said.
"I think the Cards are going to win absolutely," she added, "I'm not going to be the one who's going to be upset at the end of Friday night."
Kimberly Cunningham said of her mother, "She actually snuck a note in my work bag this morning saying something about how the birds are going to get the kitty cats."
Paulette Cunningham smiled and yelled, "Go Cards!"
Both sides of the Cunningham family said they love the rivalry and they are proud that the state is well represented with both teams in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, unlike those teams from Tobacco Road. By the way, Cards and Cats fans can find some distant view tickets for Friday night's game on sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday. For ticket information, click here.
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