Remember that year, 2006? I know I do.
What a wonderful year. Belmont’s first NCAA tournament berth, the first year of the Sign, freshman hi-jinks on the grounds of Lipscomb in the early morning hours, and realizing that they do blast “contemporary Christian” music at 3 a.m. like some sort of communist propaganda being pumped into a communist occupation into that dreadful place.
2.4 miles. 2.4 miles is what separates Good from Evil, happiness from shame, and the “Christian institution with a strong Baptist heritage” and “that weird Church of Christ one”.
We are the closest geographic rival in the NCAA Division 1 sports. The next being Cincinnati and Xavier, at 4.4 miles. And we’ve all seen what that kind of distance can do in a rivalry.
(We don’t need fists, we prove it on the court)
What a tremendous claim in a rivalry, being the closest geographically. And what a history it has been between us. In what will be the 129th installment of the Battle of the Boulevard, Lipscomb leads the series 72-56. This is an unfortunate fact, but while they may lead in the rivalry, our successes as an institution since joining NCAA lead them like the Star led the Wise-men.
“Why the journalistic bias?” You may be asking. The reason is, I hate Lipscomb. I once lived closer to it than Belmont one year and my soul was sucked out little by little. It was like living next to Azkaban.
But, in all seriousness, I hate Lipscomb. I hate the fact it tries to act like us and that it is so much worse than us in every way- except the whole Amy Grant thing every Christmas. Oh, and they had Tim Tebow speak one time.
I hate Lipscomb’s colors, I hate their grammatically incorrect mascot name, I hate their stupid fans, and their stupid band, and… well.. everything.
Before you start getting all mad, its important to note that I have friends who went or currently go to Lipscomb. It happens. And how those very few that have Lipscomb and Belmont stickers on their car don’t have to whip themselves in penance at night boggles my mind.
Lipscomb is Belmont’s arch rival. And with our victory lap around the Atlantic Sun conference this year, I find myself growing quite sappy at the thought of us not being in the same conference as the Bisons next year. It actually deeply saddens me.
You see, I went to a small high school. No football team. Then I went to Belmont, no football team. I loved sports, but quickly found many around me just didn’t care. But Belmont basketball was the thing. It was OUR thing. It was a great thing. Belmont basketball had a profound history. It had great potential. It was early Mid-Major magic before my eyes, with the very possibility I was watching a Cinderella. I fell in love. And I have always hated her foe. Lipscomb. I will always.
But the very thing that makes me love Belmont basketball is Lipscomb, you see? It’s a strange sort of symbiosis. It’s the underlying plot theme in every great story ever written, in every great movie, in every great life. Good and evil.
And, I fear, as we put away our Atlantic Sun warm ups, change the website logo, delete, add, edit, and move on- I feel like we will realize what we left, in a sobering moment.
Alcoholics call it a “moment of clarity”. The religious call it “divine inspiration”. Whatever its called, it be will a deep feeling of sadness.
That awful school down the road with which we’ve practically held hands with through the NAIA to the NCAA will not be beside us this time. Like embattled brothers forced apart, we will realize, only apart, that the very same lifeblood that courses through our veins, courses through theirs.
And we will be gone.
I may hate the crap out of you Lipcomb, but I respect you.