I've spent more autumn days in Louisville or Lexington around blue-clad folks pontificating about "what Kentucky means" to them than I'd care to recall. The lion's share of these same people have also felt the need to tell me about what Louisville means to them. I never asked.
With the 2012 installment of the Battle for the Governor's Cup now just three days away, it's my turn to tell you what Kentucky means to me.
Kentucky is the unfortunate looking guy/girl who inexplicably weaseled their way into the hottest and most popular group of classmates, mainly by utilizing self-deprecating humor. Kentucky is quick to cut itself down when around said demigods, but spends each second of its time around mere mortals doing nothing but bragging about the elite circle it belongs to.
Kentucky is getting obnoxiously drunk, falling down and shouting hateful and slurred obscenities, but thinking it's "classy" because all of it occurs in a dress and with a slight Southern accent.
Kentucky is claiming superiority over a rival despite being the only one of the two to ever storm the field and tear down the goalposts following a series victory.
Kentucky is believing you're 19 forever. It's not understanding that the actual 19-year-olds are making fun of you for being blacked out and at Tolly Ho at 4:30 in the morning when you're 37 and have two kids.
Kentucky is giving off the impression of being poorly educated...while attempting to make a joke at the expense of someone else's level of education.
Kentucky is horror stories about ghetto-life within the city of Louisville. It's the tale of Kentucky's cousin Tommy, who was beaten, robbed, raped, stabbed, shot, murdered and given an unwanted liver transplant all in the span of seven hours somewhere on the streets of Louisville's "North End."
Kentucky is never having actually been to the city of Louisville.
Kentucky is truly believing, without any hint of sarcasm, that John Calipari could lead the UK football team to the BCS.
Kentucky is not knowing how many yards a pass interference penalty is worth.
Kentucky is humor that only Kentucky finds funny. It's telling the same joke - which wasn't funny to people other than Kentucky to begin with - so many times that even Kentucky wouldn't laugh if it weren't being both told and received by Kentucky.
Kentucky is sending a poorly-worded email of hate after having stopped reading seven lines ago.
Kentucky is letting Kentucky define every aspect one's Kentucky-self. It's somehow being able to tie or relate each and every realm of life back to Kentucky.
Kentucky is defending anything and everything about Kentucky, and not seeing anything wrong with that.
Kentucky is a life fraught with delusions of adequacy.
Kentucky is being both overly hateful and unbelievably sensitive at the same time. It's being able to dish out everything and take nothing.
Kentucky is being hypocritical whenever it's convenient for Kentucky.
Kentucky is getting more excited about a 16-year-old's commitment than an actual Wildcat victory.
Kentucky is a giant balloon of arrogance that immediately collapses to nothing at the slightest prick.
Kentucky is the sanctimonious religious leader with the pedophiliac past he's convinced himself never happened. Kentucky will deny this past until its voice gives out, even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary and an option to have the slate wiped clean following an admission.
Kentucky can only feel good about itself when it believes it's making others feel bad.
Kentucky is deserving of every loss that comes its way, especially the one coming on Sunday.