The mayors of Louisville and Lexington met today at the Kentucky History Center, in Frankfort, ostensibly to discuss economic development issues with other business and government officials. But we are in the midst of “March Madness,” so the conversations naturally devolved into NCAA Final Four trash talk.
During a break between meetings, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer gave Lexington Mayor Jim Gray a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey, and Gray gave Fischer four bottles of Alltech's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Fischer said he hoped the whiskey would “take the sting” out of UK’s predicted loss against the Louisville Cardinals next Saturday. He hinted that Wildcat fans needed to “start medicating” as soon as possible.
Gray told Fischer that he appreciated the bottle of the wonderful whiskey, distilled in Woodford County, but cautioned that it was "high octane ... which encourages fantasies." He then gave the bottles of ale to Fischer, saying that he hoped they would provide the "generous lubrication" Cardinal fans will need to help their loss go down easier on Saturday, when they play against the Wildcats in the NCAA Final Four tournament in New Orleans; the first NCAA basketball tournament duel between the two schools since 1984.
The two mayors have evidently made a friendly wager on the outcome of Saturday’s game. If the Cards win, Mayor Gray will wear red to the final championship game. If the Cats win, Fischer has promised to wear UK blue to the game.
After a short spate of b-ball trash talk, the two mayors returned to the regular meeting of the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement, an initiative to develop advanced manufacturing jobs in the region.
At his afternoon press conference, good ol’ Gov. Steve Beshear—himself a UK graduate—displayed the bipartisan finesse for which he is widely known. When asked about which team he will be rooting for in Saturday’s game, the Governor said that he will be wearing a neutral shade of green, and will alternate seats with former Louisville mayor—now, Lt. Governor—Jerry Abramson, with each planning to spend equal time cheering for the Cardinals and the Wildcats. It’s called diplomacy.
WDRB-41: Louisville, Lexington mayors make friendly bet on the big game
Courier-Journal: Kentucky-Louisville Final Four game spurs mayors' wager
Read our own John Lewis’ take on Saturday’s game.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions). The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America. Photo credits: Kentucky.com, WDRB-41.