Crazy has come to Kentucky, but don't fool yourself there in Kansas or California or the Carolinas or wherever it is you call home. Crazy could come to your house, too. Crazy knows no borders, and when the crazy that has come to Kentucky creeps into your yard, maybe you'll remember this story and try to stay sane.
|Kentucky fans love their Wildcats, but some are crazy about it. (Getty Images)|
That's the thing about crazy: It's plain as day from the outside, but on the inside? Where crazy is common? Undetectable. Incomprehensible. Crazy? Us? Crazy is for other people. Not us.
Yes you, Kentucky basketball fans.
You've gone crazy. And you've gone crazy in a way that has sent me over the edge.
See, I've seen this sort of thing before. Normally I bite my tongue, but enough is enough. Most fans are reasonable -- loyal as a Labrador, but reasonable -- but the tail that wags this dog is completely nuts. The lunatic fringe of any fan base can make or break its entire reputation.
And Kentucky, you've been broken.
Sorry. Crazy has risen to the top, like curdled cream, and if you're not in that big blue lunatic fringe, take it up with those who are. They're the ones making you look ridiculous by turning on a local newspaper, and the reporter who covers the UK men's basketball team, in a way that literally is bordering on criminal.
In recent days the publisher of one of the most prominent websites devoted to UK athletics, www.kentucky.rivals.com, posted a message that decried "some really inappropriate and borderline criminal comments" written by UK fans about the Lexington Herald-Leader's UK beat writer, Jerry Tipton.
"We have removed dozens of topics that violated board rules and others that just went beyond the grounds of human decency ..." publisher Jeff Drummond wrote. "There have been threats of bodily harm, threats of property damage and even death threats. To me, that's a sad and pathetic commentary on a certain segment of our fan base."
It's difficult to pinpoint where this all began, because Tipton has been covering UK basketball for 27 years. As the best reporters do -- and Tipton is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame -- he has written stories that angered the school and its fans. So has the Herald-Leader as a staff, including the Pulitzer-winning expose of Eddie Sutton's scummy program in the 1980s.
Angry fans have long memories. So this explosion of crazy has been building for years. All it needed was a spark.
An Internet recruiting writer provided it.