Caitlin Herrington: Remember, you chose WKU

Friday, Sept. 14, Editorial Cartoon

Caitlin Herrington

OK, I get it. You’re a born-and-raised Kentuckian. You were brought up to “bleed blue” and adore all things rogue feline. You yelled “Go Cats” and knew the fight song by the age of 5. UK has that whole national championship/eyebrow thing going for them. I get it — I do.

But somewhere along the way, you grew up and made one of the biggest decisions in your 18 years of living — where to go to college. 

And that’s when the bleeding turned to red — which, by the way, is anatomically correct — and a conflict was born.

That conflict hit a high note when our occasionally tongue-tied football coach mentioned that he doesn’t like Hilltoppers wearing UK gear on the Hill.

Yeah, it sounded bad, but I’m glad he said it.

When a student has been wearing royal blue since birth and makes the choice to attend the school to the west, that student is making that decision for himself (or herself). It wasn’t based on the fact that their momma’s brother’s cousin’s dad’s entire family — if they even went to college — attended UK since the beginning of time. It was based on the fact that, for that particular student, WKU was the better choice.

And that’s where my intolerance of the mass of blue shirts walking around the Hill begins — especially this week.

Nobody forced UK fans to come to WKU. If your life goal was to get into UK, and Willie called it right and you didn’t get in, shouldn’t WKU be considered a blessing that we would be here for you? If that was your goal, why didn’t you transfer to UK once WKU had given you the tools you needed? If you’re such a die-hard UK fan, wouldn’t you want to support that school in every way possible — including with your tuition dollars?

I’m not of the opinion that you can’t wear gear from other schools. That’s ludicrous. But I am of the opinion that you should support the one you attend.

My family heritage is tied to Mississippi State. I’ve gone to State’s games and I’m glued to the TV when they’re playing. And, yes, sometimes I wear Bulldog gear to class. But should the stars align and WKU be slated to play State, I’d proudly wear red and wave my towel. I expect nothing less of the UK fans on this campus.

My pride, my allegiance and my heart will always be with WKU, because I chose this university — as did the other 21,000 students on the Hill today. It was based on academics, yes, but being fully immersed in this school means supporting WKU through thick and thin. And what an exciting time this is to be a Hilltopper!

I wouldn’t trade my experiences on the Hill for anything, and if these UK fans can’t say the same, maybe they’re in the wrong place. 

If their loyalty has been to UK since birth, maybe they should go to Lexington. Or maybe should grow up and realize that they’re here because WKU offered them something that UK never could.

Caitlin Herrington is the College Heights Herald’s fall 2012 managing editor. This is her column for the “What Color Are You Wearing?” face-off with the Kentucky Kernel columnist Cody Porter.