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Blue and red do not mix: UK vs. Louisville local divide

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- March Madness reaches a boiling point in Kentucky as Louisville and UK square off in the tournament.

It pairs two legendary programs from a state that is mad about basketball 12 months of the year.  And when they play each other, it divides the loyalties of family members, neighbors and co-workers.

Red and blue might combine to make violet but there's no mixing of those colors at 800 Violet Road in Crittenden.  Dr. Jack Lenihan went to dental school at Louisville.  Dr. Cara Copes went to UK.  They are both flying their school colors and their office is half red, half blue. 

Patients are taking sides, too.

Dr. Copes said, "We catch a lot.  Both ways. We have Louisville fans and obviously a lot of Kentucky fans but they are in and give us a hard time, too. They say, 'I want to see the UK dentist.'"

Dr. Lenihan said, "I actually had a patient yesterday who said 'I don't know if I want to see you today.  We should wait until after the game.'"
        
As fans from both sides would rather have a root canal than see the other side win.  I intentionally wore red and blue Friday to be objective.  But I have to admit I'm pulling for UK.  My daughter goes to school there.  But my photographer, Ed,  is helping us stay balanced as a Louisville fan.

Ed's Louisville shirt almost got him indicted when we showed up at the Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney's office Friday morning.  Prosecutor Rob Sanders is a die hard UK fan and his staff is all in blue.

All but one.  One lone Louisville fan, Kate Bennett, was ordered not to wear red this week.  Her office door has been the target of some Cardinal hate mail. Nothing criminal, but hardly civil.

Kate Bennett said, "I would say, I know Mr. Sanders might disagree, but it's been a hostile work environment."
 
Your thoughts on that Mr. Sanders?
 
He said, "I don't think having poor taste in college athletics is a protected class.  So I don't think there's any lawsuit out there.  At least not a successful one."
     
Bennett cleaned things up Friday.  But if Louisville loses, you can bet more mail will be delivered on Monday. 
      
Red and blue definitely take sides Friday and show it at work.  But UK and Louisville fans share some common ground.  They may be rivals...But they share an enemy.

One Louisville fan and one UK fan said, "Oh for sure, Duke.  Duke. Absolutely Duke. I hate Duke.  Everybody hates Duke.  Everybody was so glad to see them lose last week. It was wonderful."


Follow Joe Webb on Twitter @joewebbwkrc and LIKE him on Facebook


VIDEO HERE
 

 

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