Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Only in the South: Kentucky fans scapegoat a referee and attack his out-of-state business

It's well known that some college officials have day jobs to go back to during the week. It just happens that one referee is feeling a long distance backlash after Sunday's North Carolina-Kentucky Elite 8 game in the NCAA basketball tournament.

John Higgins owns a roofing business in Nebraska, and you'd think he'd have a nice plane ride back home after the game, won by North Carolina, 75-73. But, in the eyes of Kentucky's rabid fan base, Higgins screwed over the Wildcats with some questionable fouls during the game. Now, I didn't see the game myself, so I can't judge, but it's clear that some of the more brain-dead Kentucky fans took things to far by finding the Facebook page of John Higgins Weatherguard, Inc., in Omaha, and leaving some nasty comments.

It's one thing to be upset with the man and his secondary job, but to disparage and trash his primary business? Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. I get that they treat college hoops in Kentucky like a secondary religion in much the same manner Texans obsess over football, be it high school, college, or the NFL's Cowboys and/or Texans. But, here's the problem. Obsessing over sports is not the be-all and end-all of anything.

Let me give you an example. I work in an office where the company president is a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan. The office manager is a fan of both UAlbany and Syracuse football & basketball. One customer service rep is a Mets fan, like me, and also roots for the Cowboys. One of our sales reps is another Mets fan. None of us obsess over our teams. We just take things one game at a time, one day at a time. Where the Kentucky fans have a problem is that they leave common sense at home when they go to the games or, if the Wildcats are on the road, to the nearest sports bars. Kentucky hasn't had a pro basketball team since the original ABA folded, taking the Colonels with them, so the Wildcats' hoops teams are treated as if they're the #1 gate attraction, aside from the Kentucky Derby in May.

Bottom line: Kentucky fans owe John Higgins an apology, especially once it's proven he doesn't have it in for their team.

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