Some dreams are just nightmares that never seem to end. This one began in November and I can only hope it will be over before April. After living in Northern Kentucky to attend school for three years, I was fortunate enough to have gotten a job in the eastern part of the state. The only problem was that it didn't start for nine months and I needed a place to live in Louisville during that time. Enter Big Smurf.
Now, don't get me wrong, Big Smurf is an admirable guy and one of my best friends. He was always willing to give me good advice during law school and even took me to Pat's Steakhouse when I passed the bar. I know what you are all saying: what a great guy and friend Big Smurf must be! Well that's true, but there is a slight problem: Big Smurf is a blue blood to the bone marrow and having grown up with Louisville fans pestering him all his life, Big Smurf can't stand my beloved Cardinals. His Dad, Big Sir Smurf, raised him proudly in the Big Blue tradition and when Louisville loses, I can expect a several text messages mere moments later, both father and son bonding together, taking joy in my misery.
I knew it was going to be a rocky ride in early November after arriving home after work. While standing on the street a significant distance away from the entrance to the building, I could hear joyous screams and clapping. After entering the complex, I realized it was coming from Big Smurf's condo. I thought "man, something great must have happened to Big Smurf today, he is so happy." Before I opened the door, I could hear the television and suddenly remembered why Big Smurf was jumping for joy: Mighty Marist was playing the Kentucky Wildcats and all was right in Big Smurf's world. From this moment on, my experience living with a Blue Blood only began to get worse.
1. The Smirk
Fortunately, Louisville's season got off to a great start. However, to Big Smurf's delight, Louisville was etching out close wins against questionable competition. "You guys are just terrible! Ohio?! Seriously?!" Fortunately for me, Big Smurf spent New Years in Miami and I didn't hear much from him after Kentucky beat Louisville. I was hopeful that the reason for his lack of communication was a new year's resolution to be more tolerable during basketball season. However, I quickly learned Big Smurf lost his I Phone while partying it up in South Beach. When I asked him whether his Uncle World Wide Wes set him up for a night out with Lebron while he was in Miami, he wasn't very amused.
Our first (and decidedly last) game watching experience together came a few weeks later at a magical place called Hooters. Big Smurf was craving some Hooters wings and was looking forward to watching the Cats take on South Carolina. Had it been a serious Louisville contest, there would have been no way in hell I would have attended Hooters with him. I wrongly thought Mike Brey's unwatchable Burn Offense would be no match for the Cardinals. When the buzzer sounded, Big Smurf's lips spread across his face like a kid on Christmas. Although his smile showed no teeth, it was absolutely the most sadistic thing I have ever seen in my life. There is nothing that he could have said to me at that moment that was worse than being in the presence of that smirk. I immediately thought of Eric Cartman's quote from South Park: "He He He He He! Youuuuu Lost!" I kept quiet on the car ride home and hoped there was enough alcohol left at the house to get me through the night.
2. The Seton Hall Game
Big Smurf began to get worse as the Cats kept winning and ascended to the Number One spot in the polls. Louisville, on the other hand, dropped a clunker to Providence and I was about ready to find something else to do with my time rather than obsessing over the basketball team. When Louisville went up on Marquette 18-2 in Wisconsin, I immediately got a text from Big Smurf, informing me that "there was no way in hell Louisville was going to keep its lead." Optimistic about a positive outcome, I kept my mouth shut, hoping for that great moment where I would get a chance to rub a victory in his face. That moment, unfortunately, never came...
Louisville won a few at Pitt and against Villanova and consequently, my self-esteem began to improve. However, Big Smurf's confidence was at an all time high and his arrogance often soured my mood. Louisville got off to a good start against Seton Hall and you can guess what happened next, a text message from Big Smurf:
Big Smurf: This Seton Hall team is terrible! I wouldn't get too excited about winning this game.
Me: Well, they have Herb Pope and Jordan Theodore, two of best players in the Big Eas....
Big Smurf: THEY ARE NOBODY!
Me: Well, they are 18 in the RP...
Big Smurf: I DON'T CARE ABOUT STUPID COMPUTERS. I HAVE WATCHED THEM ONE TIME, THIS GAME, AND THEY ARE AWFUL!
Me: OK Jay Bilas, whatever man.
3. The Great SOS Debate:
Last night, Big Smurf and I were sitting around watching Two and a Half Men and of course, Big Smurf started an argument. When two lawyers who love to argue live in one condo and cheer for opposing rivals there is likely always an argument going on. I don't know how Big Smurf remembers it, but I think it went a little something like this:
Big Smurf: We need to clean the apartment this weekend, lets do it Saturday
Me: Game day man, no can do.
Big Smurf: Rutgers at 4, right? They are about as terrible at basketball as you are at cleaning your bathroom!
Me: Well they beat Florida, likely the second best team in the SE....
Big Smurf: Are you guys ever going to play anybody?!?!
Me: Well our SOS is higher than yours, so I guess I'll ask you the same que...
Big Smurf: WE ARE THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY!!!!!!!
Me: Yeah, well, what does that have to do with strength of schedule? Don't you think its hypocritical of you to bash Louisville's scheduling when Kentucky's is wors....
Big Smurf: WE ARE GREAT! WE HAVE PROVEN OURSELVES TO EVERYBODY!
The conversation then some how got on the subject of recruiting and that is just a place no Louisville fan should attempt to wax eloquently on at this juncture. Hopefully, Big Smurf and I will always be buddies and we will just have to disagree about our basketball.
After pondering what I am going to do this weekend, I am suddenly worried about two things: 1) Louisville beating Rutgers and 2) If I am going to have a place to live after Big Smurf reads this slightly exaggerated story. Here is hoping to a successful end to the season, for the good guys anyway.