Reds Honoring UK Hoops Team a Heated Topic?

If you’re not aware of this, I don’t where you’ve been. Prior to this evening’s Reds-Giants tilt, the Reds will be honoring the University of Kentucky’s mens basketball team on their recent NCAA Championship. This has some people up in arms.

Celebrations are good, right? Just ask BP. He did after he took Adam wainwright deep. (Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

Nuts. It’s completely nuts, I say. Baffling even.

A question I saw said something like this…How can a team based in Ohio recognize a team from Kentucky? When you leave GABP, see that land on the other side of the river? It’s Kentucky.

I understand there is a portion of the Reds fan base that is anti-UK. Hey, I’m not a member of Big Blue Nation myself, but I have those close to me that are. They live in Ohio and did not attend UK.

As already pointed out by Lance McAlister, the Reds Caravan does make a stop in the Lexington area, an area that is only 84 miles from Cincinnati. Geography denotes that Cincinnati is in Ohio and Lexington is in Kentucky. State lines do not prohibit one from rooting and supporting a team outside his/her “home state”.

(If you haven’t done so, do read Lance’s take on this.)

I’ll take this to other “local” colleges.

Let’s say Indiana University had won. Bloomington is considered a part of Reds Country. There’s a Reds Caravan stop there and it’s 127 miles from GABP. Not in Ohio…

So let’s “go” to Ohio. What about Ohio State then? I know there are more than a few Reds fans in Columbus…and a Reds Caravan stop there, too. And Columbus is 107 miles from GABP. Simple math dictates that Lexington is closer than Columbus. I hear you, Buckeye fans…it’s in Ohio. Read on.

And perish the thought had Louisville gotten by the Wildcats in the tournament and claimed the title. Point of order…there’s a Reds Caravan stop in the Louisville area as well. (Talk about a portion of the Reds fan base that is anti-UK.) L’ville is 99 miles from Cincy. Another in Kentucky…

Outside of the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, you have three major universities all with good hoops squads. All are a part of Reds Country. These areas are all a part of the organization’s marketing base. It’s their territory. In this instance, state lines mean nothing. And if you think about, Cincinnati is a melting pot in and of its own. Those with “history” in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky can all come together in one major city. And become Reds fans…

The melting pot thing. UK grads are ingrained in the Cincinnati area. Almost 11,000 according to the UK Alumni Association. With those almost 11,000, they could have children that are also UK fans.

Side note. Before you denounce the deal about Cincy not being a major city, check Nielsen. Cincinnati is a US top 50 market. Granted, it’s the smallest among all MLB markets, but it’s still a top 50 locale. That is always a desired point when it comes to media and advertisers. That’s why you will see media members leave Cincinnati for bigger markets. Having been on TV or radio or even worked as a media member behind the scenes within a US top 50 market holds some value.

Another side note. The Reds Caravan also makes a stop in Bowling Green, Kentucky…213 miles from GABP. The Reds geographic “area” is pretty darn broad. It’s expansive and the organization should take every possible means to draw people to GABP.

Getting the picture here?

I saw a comment on the Reds Facebook page where it was stated the Reds were doing this just to sell tickets. Of course they are…and there’s not a thing wrong with that. Higher attendance can lead to more income. More income can lead to nicer things like finding the means to tell those outside of the Reds fan base to stop their worrying about where the Reds are getting the money to pay Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto and Sean Marshall.

(Mini rant over.)

But there’s something strange in looking at tonight’s festivities. The Wildcats are being honored on an evening where the promotion is Bark in the Park.

And now, Alanis Morrisette is going through my head…

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Topics: Cincinnati Reds, MLB, University Of Kentucky, University Of Kentucky Basketball

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  • JustinHamilton

    Well…take it from a guy who both bleeds blue completely to the bone and who also is a huge Reds fan (heck, I even wrote about them once upon a time :P). Kentuckians may compose a larger portion of the Reds fanbase than Ohioans. It is every single day I go to work that I talk to multiple coworkers who live and die by the Reds. Every diehard baseball fan in this area of Eastern Kentucky? Reds fan. In fact, above any other sports team, my father and I in the small town of Salyersville, KY always bonded over Reds baseball more than anything, even UK basketball. I say that to say that I think it is awesome that the Reds recognized the UK national championship. It is a point of pride for the whole region and, because UK fans are completely nuts, probably proved to be a huge draw for the Reds. It’s a win-win. I can’t for the life of me understand why Reds’ fans would be angry at this. Unless of course ulterior motives (most likely in the form of IU or UL allegiances) cause a big case of sour grapes. I know I can say full well that as a UK fan, if UL would have won the title and been recognized at GABP I would have been proud to see them there.  

  • beeker

    This is one of the DUMBEST controversies I can remember in my 22 years of living in Cincinnati. I am definitely NOT a UK fan, but I cannot understand how honoring the national champs (who play less than 90 miles away) has been met with this reaction.
    Then again, given the inferiority complex of UC fans and the arrogance of OSU fans, maybe I can.

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