This weekend, two great warrior castes will enter into what has become an annual contest of grit and will.
The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville football teams will meet at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The athletes, primed by a rivaled history and a tradition of smash-mouth determination, will be propelled by throngs of fans in red and blue, basking in their reflected glory.
Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of ardent shoppers will take to the battlefield that is Black Friday shopping — big-box stores, mall parking lots, discount retailers with crazy one-day only low, low prices. They, too, carry a legacy of past travails and a determination to best their rivals in the aisle.
They fight not for themselves, but for the family and friends who will soon don red and green and be wowed by their awesome gifts, unaware of the toil and sweat that went into their moment of joy.
The respective wars will be waged swiftly and bravely with the "win" column defined by not only a score — on the field or at the check out — but also in the spirit and heart of the competitors.
The whole birth of Jesus and time with the family aside, what says more about how America celebrates the holidays than football and shopping?
For your reading pleasure, Herald-Leader artist Chris Ware presents a guide to this Black and Blue weekend.
Shopper: A standout topper, maybe something colorful and knit, can be crucial to finding shopping partners in a crowd.
Football: A good helmet is a must to protect the athlete's precious noggin.
Shoppers: Waterproof mascara: No one wants to look smudgy mid-day or streaky when you weep with joy over finding that Princess Elsa doll from Frozen at deeply discounted price.
Football: Eye black. Designed to cut glare, it's also become a decorative statement. Nothing says "I'm ballin" like some manscara.
Shopper: Christmas sweater, leggings and knock-off Uggs.
Football: Pads, jersey and cleats
Shoppers: The Lexington Herald-Leader's advertisements can be used to map out a cohesive shopping strategy.
Football: Collection of routes and schemes to defeat the opponent.
Drink of choice
Shoppers: Double espresso
Football: Sports drink
Post-game drink of choice
Shoppers: Boxed wine.
Getting to the end zone
Shopper: Twofold — a sturdy shopping cart to plow through the crowded aisles, and a willing accomplice to hold your place in long checkout line.
Football: Beefy blockers to plow through the opponent's line.