February 9th, 2011 10:47 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Kentucky, Tennessee
Tags: Scotty Hopson, SEC, UK, Vols Bruce Pearl
There is no love lost between Kentucky and Tennessee. The two border rivals have hated on each other for more than 200 contests. While the Wildcats have dominated the series, they haven’t quite dominated the Vols as much as they’ve dominated everyone else in the SEC. Tennessee’s 60+ wins against the Cats have served as a serious annoyance to the Big Blue faithful.
Now toss in the return of a showman coach who wears a bright orange blazer against UK (and who won at Rupp in his very first game there back in 2006) and you can understand why the atmosphere was a bit more charged than usual in Lexington last night.
UK fans had a number of chants ready for the Vols’ Bruce Pearl when he took his place on stage. “Bar-be-cue” was the most creative. “Cheater” — when yelled by fans of a program that’s spent many nights in the NCAA pokey itself — was the most ironic.
Apparentely, some Cat fans actually managed to get under Pearl’s skin. According to the website KentuckySportsRadio.com:
“In a pivotal game for the Cats, the Rupp Arena crowd was great. they were loud and directed a lot of heat at Scotty Hopson and Bruce Pearl, who engaged in some verbal sparring with some fans at halftime and had the police called over to try to have the fan removed from the game.”
Pearl will have to get used to the chants and name-calling. For as long as he’s Tennessee’s coach — and no one knows for sure how much longer that will be — Pearl will never enter another SEC arena without hearing the word “cheater” echo down on him.
Even in Lexington.
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