Some fans of the University of Kentucky are perhaps taking their basketball a little too seriously.
Anyone who has watched the NCAA Tournament this year has undoubtedly seen this commercial from UPS called The Logistics of a Game-Winning Shot. It features the 1992 NCAA regional final between Duke and Kentucky which the Blue Devils won on a last second shot by Christian Laettner.
The video is undoubtedly a painful memory for UK fans, but it is apropos of the moment. It is possibly the greatest game in the history of the NCAA Tournament, and certainly one of the most memorable moments associated with March Madness.
But, it has angered some UK fans who feel that UPS is rubbing salt in the 20 year-old wound. Lest it seem as though it is a tiny subset of Kentucky fans, the complaints have grown loud enough that UPS PR Manager Mark Dickens has posted a long piece on their blog about why UPS feels the commercial is justified.
UPS has left the comments open on the posting, and that is where things got truly zany. The first dozen or so commenters are all in the vein of Terry Wilder who posted:
Do you really think using this ad will boost business? I will not use UPS again. I will use Fed Ex or the U.S. mail. I'm sure you don't care, however it will make me feel better every time the U.S. mail truck or the Fed Ex truck makes my deliveries. Hows that for logistics?
Undoubtedly, Wilder is a passionate fan, but he is not the only one. Thirteen of the 37 comments either call for a UPS boycott or insist that the poster will never use the company again.
Some fans even accuse UPS of trying to rattle Kentucky's current team by airing the spot. It bears mentioning that some of the Kentucky players were not born when the game was played, in fact, Kentucky's oldest player Eloy Vargas was about 3 and a half years old when the game was played.
It bears mentioning that UPS is based in Louisville, Kentucky, about 75 miles from the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. It seems that some of the anger stems from a betrayal, by a company that many Kentuckians view as local.
More than anything, it shows the incredible power of the NCAA Tournament and the fierce loyalty that college basketball fans have.
But what do you think? Have Wildcat fans gone off the deep end, or do they have a point? Is it smart business for a company to trade on the loyalties of sports fans? Have your say in the comments below.