It's the kind of pandering that always seems, to me, out of place in UofL athletics. Maybe it's because I enjoy a healthy dose of self-deprecation, or maybe it's because I've grown up around so many UK fans where ceaseless self-congratulation is ingrained in the DNA, but I always cringe at that kind of talk.
All I ever wanted, all any program can truly ask for, is a chance. There's been so much posturing and so many posers in the endless conference reshuffling, and I've partook in my fair share. But feeling "wanted" isn't what this is really about. UofL is not "better than" UConn in any way now (and as we proved in football last week, perhaps worse). There's no Cardinal team, from basketball to rowing, that is more worthy now that we've been tapped by the magic wand of the ACC.
But what we do have, the great gift of today, is a place at the table. It's a place where your successes and your failures are your own, a place where media markets or geographic condescension cannot dampen ambitions or preclude our passion from meandering into areas that are supposed to be off limits for a school like UofL.
Words like the Collision Course. Phrases like "longtime head coach Charlie Strong". Possibilities like "The Cardinals have had their way with Roy Williams and the Tarheels in recent years".
We are guaranteed nothing, of course. But we're not hamstrung anymore, either. The safe harbor of the ACC provides us the opportunity we always wanted as a program. Opportunity itself.