Over the last decade, Louisville football and basketball fans have watched Kentucky Wildcats players and fans flash the prominent “L’s Down” hand signal. Why Cards fans shouldn’t let it get under their skin.
It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps the same can be said of irritation as well. For Louisville football and basketball fans, they know that far too well.
University of Kentucky athletes and fans have adopted the “L’s Down” hand gesture, signaling a subcultural phenomenon from Lexington to the backwoods of Kentucky, and all around the world.
Louisville athletics have utilized “L’s up” since the early 2000s in a similar fashion to “The U” at Miami or “The O” at Oregon. The majority of colleges across America have adopted something similar, throwing them up at the nearest camera or opposing fanbase after something exciting happens.
Of recent, Texas Longhorns faculty, students, and fans have taken offense to the “Horns down” trend circumventing the Big XII conference where opposing fanbases turn the Texas Longhorns hand signal upside down as a way of mocking their tradition.
Many around Texas have since called for the conference to punish opponents who use the hand signal, with one “national etiquette expert” sighting that it could “easily escalate into an act of aggression.”
If you live in or around the state of Kentucky, chances are you’ve seen the L’s down gesture used ad nauseam in recent years. If there is a camera and a Kentucky fan present, the L’s are being thrown downward. Sporting events, concerts, weddings… you name it, and chances are the L’s down gesture has been given.
Instagram alone yields thousands of search results for the #LsDown hashtag, and Twitter has even more.
“Accepted to the most prestigious high school basketball game? Time to clown Louisville.”
“Happiest place on earth? Boom, not anymore Louisville.”
As juvenile as it may seem, if you’re a Louisville supporter, don’t take the hand signal to heart. There’s something to be said of opposing fanbases having your team on their mind at all times.
If Texas was an irrelevant program, they wouldn’t have thousands of people concerned about trying to get under their skin. You don’t see anyone throwing a Charlotte 49ers hand signal down. Of course, you don’t, because nobody cares about Charlotte.
The point is, The University of Louisville lives rent-free in Kentucky fans’ heads 365 days a year. Why be upset about that?
If Benny Snell wants to go to 6 am workouts, grind with his teammates, and dedicate his entire life to being a successful football player yet the first thing that enters his mind when he scores a touchdown is trying to upset Louisville players and fans, that says a lot more about his character than anything else.
Instead of being offended by your uncle Carl ruining your wedding pictures by making a goofy face and chucking up and upside-down L. embrace the hate. You’re doing something right, Louisville.