Dec 14, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Xavier Musketeers forward Isaiah Philmore (31) shoots during the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats forward Jermaine Sanders (15) at the US Bank Arena Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Addressing The Animosity Of Cincinnati Bearcats Fans Towards Xavier University

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Full disclosure, before you get into the meat of this post know that this entry has nothing to do with anything news related. Most content on this blog revolves around the happenings in and around UC’s athletics programs. It might be as simple as reporting an update on the football or basketball program with the news wrapped in a point of view from myself or one of our excellent staff writers. But you’ll find none of that here.

Instead this is a 100%, full-on opinion piece on a trend between UC basketball fans and Xavier University I’ve been noticing over the past few seasons. I’m not sure where it began, probably back in the 90’s when both programs were strong and throwing fuel on the fire of a rivalry game that had been played regularly since the mid-1940’s. It was when now common phrases like “Friends don’t let friends go to Xavier” and “Xavier girls are ugly” got their roots.

And quite honestly the games between the Bearcats and Musketeers were downright fun. Since the 1990 season Cincinnati and Xavier have roughly split the series with some pretty outstanding games for both fanbases. UC fans got their’s, a 75-55 drubbing of Xavier in 2001. And the Musketeers got others, like an upset of #1 ranked Cincinnati in 1999. It was games like those that only intensified the contests. As such fans on both sides rallied around their team and most importantly the hatred toward the opposing school.

But the “rivalry” has grown stale for this fan. It’s boring to me, now. It’s just one more game among roughly 30 that I have to worry about every season. I only give a hoot about Cincinnati’s “crosstown rival” maybe one day of the year. The other 364 days I’m concerning myself with other things like, I don’t know, living my adult life. Think about it. The Musketeers are but one opponent in roughly 30 on UC’s schedule. Statistically that game is insignificant in deciding the outcome of the Bearcats’ ultimate goals, conference and national championships.


Dec 19, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats guard Sean Kilpatrick (23) lays up in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at U.S. Bank Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Musketeers 60-45. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

So Xavier means nothing to me. You know who I care about? UConn, Memphis, Louisville, and the other teams in the AAC who truly make an immediate impact on Cincinnati’s conference championship and NCAA Tournament hopes. I mean, it’s February 26th. UC is ranked 11th in the country and play the 26th ranked Huskies on Saturday to take one step closer to an American championship. Does anyone really care that UC lost to Xavier in December? I don’t.

Yet some people get so worked up to the point of antagonizing Musketeer fans every time they lose. Not just against Cincinnati but anytime during the regular season even as deep as February. Some have gone so far as to create Twitter accounts like this and this. Let’s be real, those are pretty humorous in their own right and I do find myself laughing at their tweets every now and then. But after those few seconds of chuckling under my breath, I go back to not obsessing about a school the fraction of UC’s size with a pittance of the basketball history.

At the end of the day Xavier is just another school with just another basketball team who happen to win a good amount of games and who Cincinnati is forced to play on an annual basis for god knows why. Sure XU shares the same grounds in southwest Ohio as UC but that doesn’t mean we need to give them the time of day. It’s like keeping tabs on what the Cincinnati State Surge are doing on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter. Bearcats basketball and the University of Cincinnati as a whole surpass Xavier so many ways that even bothering to acknowledge the Musketeers or their fans seems petty.

UC is the bigger school with the larger endorsement and hundreds of thousands of more fans rooting for a far more historically successful basketball program. And those fans should start acting like it.

I realize I’m probably in the minority here. In fact, I know I am. As a Bearcats fan living in Cincinnati I’ve been, like you I’m sure, conditioned all my life to hate Xavier. But I just can’t bring myself to feel that way anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the Musketeers but I don’t hate them either.

I nothing Xavier University.

So I advise you as Bearcats fans to consider all of these factors if you decide to get into a verbal tussle with a Xavier fan. Personally, I wouldn’t engage with them at all but if you must, take a step back and remember all that you read here. Or don’t, that’s your prerogative as a free, gun-wielding American. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

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