You may have noticed this morning that the hair on your chest was a bit thicker, your voice a bit deeper and more intimidating, and your 15-inch pythons have miraculously been upgraded to 16's. That's because today is the manliest of manly days in the Derby City, the day the Keg of Nails comes out of hiding and makes all other rivalry trophies shit their plaques.
There's no reason to try and hide it, I love the Keg of Nails. Officially, it's my fourth favorite keg, just behind keg of beer, keg of money and keg of Preston Knowles.
Of course the reason the keg is showing its burly mug is because the Cardinals and Bearcats are preparing to duel for its services for the 49th time. The winners will earn the right to hoist the keg for a solid 15 minutes, and then quickly put him back in his case because the dude's a bad ass and does not enjoy being touched.
Now I'm every bit as down on the season as each of you, but I'd be lying if I said that having preseason goal #4 on the line tonight doesn't have my interest piqued. Dominating a rival (five straight, nine of ten) is awesome. It's undeniable. And anyone can dominate a rivalry when they're consistently fielding the better team, but it's almost more awesome when you toss in a couple of years of underdog victories. Being able to tell opposing fans, "your best teams couldn't beat our Syracuse-defeated teams," is one of life's simple pleasures.
A win tonight isn't going to save the season, but a loss might be the shove that sends the hangers-on over the edge, and the folks already over the edge over a second, even wider and simpler to traverse edge.
That keg does not leave the Bluegrass State.