In Other News… Louisville tops Kentucky, viral tirade at Jefferson Mall, best country ham in the world, Lawrence celebrity nicknames

Kentucky’s John Calipari and Louisville’s Rick Pitino

Battle for the Bluegrass: It’s that time of year. A special time, when loved ones gather in festive colors of blue and red to shout things at the top of their lungs at each other. The television. Other inanimate objects.

The time of year for the annual Battle of the Bluegrass. Wednesday night, your No. 10 University of Louisville battling basketball Cardinals hosted the No. 6 winning Wildcats of Kentucky, also yours.

This one was another nail-biter. Down by three points with only three seconds left on the clock, Kentucky’s Malik Monk attempted a three-pointer to tie the game. His shot bounced off the rim into the loving arms of Louisville’s Deng Adel, allowing the Cardinals to hold on for the win — an appropriate finish for a Cardinals team thriving on defense.

Final score: Louisville 73, Kentucky 70. Recap at USA Today and ESPN.

NCAA expertly predicted the outcome within a single point; their prediction: Louisville 72, Kentucky 70.

Sporting News quotes University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari after the loss:

“I’m telling you, it’s Dec. 21, we start four freshman and a sophomore. We’re not ready to come on an opponent’s court against a top-10 team and win.”

Yahoo Sports calls the game “another instant classic.”

Bleacher Report says the game solidifies the Cardinals as an “elite” team.

The Los Angeles Times underscores how the rivalry has been going with its headline: “Louisville finally beats Kentucky.”

The “finally” makes it in because this marks only the second time coach Rick Pitino’s Cardinals have won since Calipari took over coaching duties for the Wildcats in 2009. Louisville last came out on top in 2012.

SB Nation offers “3 things we learned in Louisville’s upset victory.” They say Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo and Louisville’s Quentin Snider and Deng Adel played well and Louisville is glad they won.

They just give that analysis away for free.

There’s that old saying that a native Louisvillian has two questions upon meeting someone new; where’d you go to high school and who do you like: Louisville or Kentucky? ESPN talked to a few of Louisville’s international players before the game. They didn’t necessarily get the fuss at first, but it didn’t take them long to catch on.

Egyptian Anas Mahmoud didn’t know the rivalry — didn’t even know Kentucky was a thing — before coach Pitino came along. Said Pitino: “If you said to Anas, [about Kentucky] ‘Anas, their fans don’t get married on a game day, and they don’t have funerals on a game day,’ he would find that a little different.”

“When you talk about Egypt in 2011, 2012,” said Mahmoud, “there were a lot of problems going on, and sports wasn’t really the big thing.”

That’s beyond understatement.

Norwegian Matz Stockman also has a different perspective:

“I sometimes think it’s funny how serious certain fans from both parts take it. Grown-up fans talking trash about 18-year-old basketball players? Sometimes I think they should realize [what they’re doing].”


Said coach Pitino of Mr. Stockman:

“With Matz, it’s all so different for him because in Norway, what’s the big deal about missing one pick-and-roll on defense?” he said. “Here, it’s a big deal. So it’s getting him used to this basketball culture, and it takes time.”

That’s just Norway. I don’t know if you’ve ever been, but Norwegians take a certain amount of pride in not getting worked up about much of anything.

The woman in our next item is not Norwegian.

Unhinged mall lady

Season’s Greetings: A woman at a JC Penney in Jefferson Mall wasn’t exactly feeling the reason for the season this week when she when she unleashed an ugly tilt-a-whirl of racist crazy on two Latina women in line in front of her. The video was picked up by TIME, NBC News, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post.

Rennee Buckner of Louisville filmed the incident. Her Facebook post read:

This Hispanic lady was purchasing items and the transaction was almost complete, then her friend brings up some shirts to be added to her purchase instead of getting in line. And this lady went off!!!

Which is pretty much what happened.

Video below. Foul language warning.

I should have issued a foul attitude warning there too. She pretty much hit most of the boxes on the xenophobic rant checklist:

“Go back to where you came from”
“You’re in America” reminder
Accusation of low-income status/government assistance
Admonishment to learn/speak English
Sorry/not sorry for poor behavior
Unnecessary cursing (optional).

Others in line appear to be silent as the tirade goes on, but Ms. Buckner posted that the video didn’t cover the whole incident and said people did intervene and attempt to quell the situation.

Ms. Buckner has since deleted the post and her account after the number of posts, including a wave of criticism directed at her for filming rather than stepping in. She is not speaking to the media; her pastor, Timothy Findley Jr., has been serving as her spokesperson.

JC Penney released the following statement:

“We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores, and are working with our associates to ensure any future incidents of this nature will be addressed quickly and appropriately. JCPenney is asking for the community’s help in identifying the two women who were targeted for such remarks, as we would like to reimburse them for their entire purchase and offer a sincere apology for their experience.”

Jefferson Mall and JCPenney are working to identify the woman to permanently ban her from the mall. I’d think that easy. You go back to the clerk and ask, “Hey Kenny — remember the lady who unleashed a whole bag full of awful on those two women the other day? Did she pay with a card?”

Mayor Fisher posted his response to the incident in a series of tweets:

Hamming it Up: The New York Times chronicles the tradition and legacy of country ham in Murray, Ky. The Bryants have been selling their hams for three generations and every year, folks pop out on a single day in December to pick up their hams from the back of a truck at Billy Dan Crouse’s car lot.

The Bryant hams have been a holiday tradition for over 70 years. The Bryants and the Crouses were bootleggers back in the 1940s. Mr. Crouse has passed, his car lot sits vacant, and the elder Mr. Freddie Bryant lay recovering from shoulder replacement in the hospital, but their sons John Bryant and Christian Crouse kept the tradition alive this year.

Said Mr. Bryant, the younger:

“We made moonshine and country hams — that was the life. And now we just make country hams.”

The customers say it’s worth the travel and worth the wait because not many people know how to do real country ham anymore.

In a Pickle: Last week, we talked early reviews for Jennifer Lawrence’s sci-fi extravaganza “Passengers.” This week, more reviews have poured in and critics still aren’t feeling it much. To that, Vulture says fault lies not within our stars, but within the script. They trace the journey of the script from Hollywood’s Black List, the most popular unproduced scripts-in-waiting, to Keanu Reeves to Sony to Cineplexes. It’s a complicated and fascinating look into how these things get made, how they change and what can turn for the better or worse from development to production.

Variety reports while promoting the film on “Watch What Happens Live” this week, Lawrence appeared with her best friend, Laura Simpson, and the two played a game called, “Shush, You BFF Lush.” Guests were asked a question; they could either answer or take a drink.

One question: “Without naming names, what’s the meanest thing your BFF has said about a celebrity.”

Ms. Simpson said Lawrence has “a lot of nicknames for certain celebrities.”

Nicknames like “that lady” or “Pickle.”

Ms. Lawrence added, “The lady has different variations; there’s the raging lady, the lady in red, the lady in waiting.”

Video below:

Hey listen — happy holidays to you and yours. I hope it’s a great one. I know things have been a little tense around town, around the country, around the world; I know Megan’s already strategized four dozen different scenarios and outcomes for potential political discussion she hopefully won’t need. And so I wish you a moment of peace and love this weekend. And if you need to get away, there are so many good films out in the world right now, I also wish you movies. So to sum up: the peace, the love, and also “Star Wars” and “Fences” and “Jackie” and “The Arrival.”

Per always — big year-in-review column next Friday.

See you next week.