Five games in, UK is 4-1. Be truthful, raise your hand if you projected that →
By Freddie Maggard on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 8:00pm
My friend Jeff Piecoro had the unenviable task of covering the Cincinnati Reds on the same day as the EKU-UK football game. I got the call from the bull pen. Mixed emotions ensued: excitement to be in the Big Boy Booth, and pity for Jeff for well, having to cover Reds baseball. The show must go on. The following are lessons learned from a broadcast booth rookie:
Tom Leach is the Picasso of the Press Box
His “charts” are color coded, alphabetized, and best I could tell, encrypted. The manner he described game action had me mesmerized. In the first quarter, I found myself just listening to Tom as if I had my head set on in the stands. A Leach glare was all it took to remind me that I had to eventually talk. Can be best described as being a Peyton Manning receiver. Tom was going to throw me open, just don’t drop the pass.
Don’t drink 4 Diet Cokes prior to entering radio booth
You can figure out why on your own. The first half couldn’t end quickly enough.
Sitting down hindered enthusiasm
Standing and talking is much more natural. With 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, I couldn’t take it anymore. Stood from that point on and throughout overtime. Conversation flow and perspective came much easier while semi-pacing.
Stat folks are everywhere
A spotter sits between Tom and Jeff. In front the spotter is a giant computer screen with updated numbers. Once I warmed up, I started spouting stats that made me sound a whole heck of a lot smarter than reality. Papers also come flying after each quarter. Keeping up with current sheets was a challenge.
There’s a fine line between objectivity and being a complete homer
As the game wore on, the latter won out. During UK’s final touchdown drive to send the game into overtime, I’d broken out pom poms.
No matter how much you prepare, it’s impossible to memorize numbers on opposing teams
By the time I realized who made the tackle or catch and looked down to get a name, the next play had started. I extensively over-used “EKU defender” or “Eastern’s 6’6” receiver.” Rookie mistake.
Staying away from “we” was difficult
I’m five months into a part-time media career. I’m just now understanding the proper use of “it” instead of “them or they.”
When UK faltered, so did I
Not so much in anger, but in maintaining composure. Couldn’t find the mute button, so at times of intense ineptitude, I just shut up. Restraint is a PhD level of broadcasting. Emotion did override common practice. After sustained incompetence, kinda lost my cool. But not too bad.
It’s ok to be quiet to let the radio audience hear the crowd
Small problem, until the end of the fourth, not too many moments for the crowd to roar.
Said, “Have to credit EKU” at least 59 times
Looking back, were the smartest words said all night.
When the play starts, shut up
That’s when Tom works his magic. Again, working with him was an incredible and memorable experience. Even with doing a weekly radio show with Leach, observing him in his element was a whole new reality. When we entered the booth, Tom was like a boxer in the ring. All business. It’s really cool to see in person.
By C.M. Tomlin on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 7:15pm
Cat fans, meet Luke Klausing. He’s one of us — an eight year-old card-carrying member of BBN, a die-hard fan and a lover of all things UK. He’s our friend. Luke also lives with the Cystic Fibrosis — but with our help, maybe Luke and others like him can find a way to beat the life-shortening genetic disease.
This Saturday, Luke’s family and other families touched by Cystic Fibrosis are spearheading and hosting CRAFT Louisville, an age 21+ party featuring craft beer, bourbon, wine, pizza and music at the 2nd Street Bridge Streetscape in Louisville from 7-10 pm. Regional breweries, the city’s top craft pizza makers and Louisville’s best local bands will be on hand and proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a search for a cure continues.
There’s no UK game this Saturday so there’s no excuse not to help make this event a success, gang. Plus, you’ll be within shouting distance of the YUM! Center if you feel so inclined to hurl some creative jokes toward the house Pitino built. Luke himself has procured many of the items for the event’s live auction, including a signed Randall Cobb football. He also sent Cal a personal invitation to the event (I posted it below, and it’s awesome). More info on the event, the lineup, the vendors and the tickets can be found at the CRAFT Louisville website. Let’s help Luke and kids everywhere like him this weekend. It’s a whole bunch of your favorite things in one place, it’s a great cause and it sounds like an awful lot of fun.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 6:15pm
It’ll be a soggy Friday night for football, but for four of UK’s 2016 in-state commitments, it’s Senior Night. Landon Young (OL), Drake Jackson (OL), Davonte Robinson (DB), and Zy’Aire Hughes (ATH) are all playing their last regular season game at home tonight. Grab your poncho and go see them at one of the following stadiums:
- Landon Young, Lafayette: vs. Clark County, 7:30 p.m.
- Bonus! Check out two of his teammates, junior five-star Jedrick Wills and quarterback Walker Wood. If I were a betting woman, I’d say Mark Stoops may stop by this one.
- Drake Jackson, Woodford County: vs. Anderson County, 7:30 p.m.
- Davonte Robinson, Henry Clay: vs. Scott County, 7:30 p.m.
- Zy’Aire Hughes, McCracken County: vs. Henderson County, 8 p.m.
What about Kash Daniel? Paintsville is at Fairview tonight. His Senior Night is in two weeks against Raceland.
By the way, did anyone else spot Landon Young congratulating Patrick Towles on Saturday?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 5:15pm
On Wednesday, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn admitted he doesn’t know who his starting quarterback will be against Kentucky. So far, the quarterback battle has been between Jeremy Johnson, who started the first three games, and Sean White, who started the last two.
Now, it looks like there may be a third contender. Alabama radio host Keith Hill tweeted today that he’s hearing JuCo quarterback Jason Smith could also be thrown in the mix. Hill says Smith reminds the staff of former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, who led the Tigers to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Smith enrolled at Auburn in January, and has only played wide receiver for the Tigers thus far. As a JuCo QB, he threw for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for another 10 touchdowns in 10 games.
While dual-threat quarterbacks are Kentucky’s kryptonite, I’m going by the old adage that if you have three starting quarterbacks, you actually have none.
Here are Smith’s JuCo highlights if you’re curious:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 4:30pm
We’ve talked plenty about the new Commonwealth Stadium, but the progress on the new football training center deserves a mention too. @UKAthletics tweeted out these pictures of the construction yesterday, and it shows you just how massive this new $45 million, 100,000-square foot facility is going to be:
That big flat patch of dirt will be training fields and a good portion of the wall that faces it will be glass garage-style doors the staff can open during good weather. This facility will be HUGE for the future of the program. I’d go as far to argue it will have just as big an impact as the renovations to the stadium.
For more details on the facility, check out my feature from this summer. Here are renderings of what it will look like once complete (July 2016):
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 3:30pm
One of the most impressive features of the Joe Craft Center are the large posters of each UK player in the NBA that line the walls of the practice gym. Today, @CoachCalDotCom tweeted out pictures of the new posters that went up of the 2015 Draft Class, highlighted by the #1 pick Karl Towns.
They also updated the posters that needed it:
In the immortal words of Roy Scheider, pretty soon, we’re going to need a bigger gym.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 2:43pm
Earlier this week, EKU canceled classes after officials found threatening graffiti in a men’s bathroom. The message read “Kill all by 10-8-15” and the administration took it seriously, shutting down classes and moving the football game on Saturday to Georgetown.
Turns out the EKU basketball team isn’t practicing on campus either; according to this photo from WTVQ’s Kennedy Hardman, UK opened up the Joe Craft Center for EKU to practice in, a very cool gesture. Head coach Dan McHale tweeted his appreciation:
— Dan McHale (@CoachMcHale) October 9, 2015
Awesome. Good on ya, Cats.
That’s not the last we’ll see of the McHale, Bradley, and the Colonels this season. UK plays EKU in Rupp on Wednesday, December 9.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
Earlier this week, we found out that Auburn’s star wide receiver Duke Williams was dismissed from the team for an incident at Skybar, a local nightclub. Turns out Williams did quite a lot in that nightclub.
Witnesses say Williams punched four people in the bar: two security guards, a bartender assistant, and Auburn reserve center Xavier Dampeer, his own teammate.
What ticked Williams off? Apparently, a member of his posse was kicked out of the bar for not removing his sunglasses, which violated the bar’s dress code. After trying to use his celebrity to get his friend back in, Williams was thrown out himself, and that’s when the major drama started. Not surprisingly, witnesses say Williams was intoxicated at the time.
Williams was one of Auburn’s leading receivers, with 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown this season. If those numbers seem low, it’s probably because Auburn’s passing offense is ranked 116th in the country according to cfbstats.com. Now they’re down one more receiver amidst a quarterback battle. After Florida, I don’t want to go there and say the stars are aligning for a UK win, but thing are certainly looking up for the Cats.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 1:15pm
Andy Katz’s three-point shot today is all about the Louisville scandal. Katz spoke to an NCAA expert who gave him the rundown on the penalties the Cards could face. The expert said IF the allegations are proven true, Louisville would be subject to a Level 1 case. What does that mean? According to Katz:
- Recruiting sanctions
- Coach game suspensions
- Scholarships taken away
- Postseason ban
The expert also said the NCAA will require full cooperation from current players, former players, and recruits, and that historically, if the allegations aren’t categorically denied immediately, that’s not a good sign for the school. So far, no one in the Louisville administration, especially Rick Pitino, has denied anything except knowledge of the situation.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 12:33pm
Rawle Alkins is considered the second best shooting guard in the 2016 class. He’s scheduled to take an official visit to Kentucky next Friday for Big Blue Madness and the Cats have a 53% lead in his Crystal Ball. A few minutes ago, he sent out this tweet:
— Rawle Alkins (@Iam_RawleAlkins) October 9, 2015
Huh??? Buffalo wasn’t even on Alkins’ list. Gotta be a joke, right? Actually, yes, yes, it was:
Checked up on Rawle Alkins' tweet. He hasn't committed to Buffalo, a source says. "He's messing with everyone."
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 9, 2015
Alkins later tweeted that people at his school were playing with his phone and that he’s not really committed. Why Buffalo? His teammate Jalen Harris committed to Buffalo on Monday.
Buffalo basketball fans be like:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
There are a lot of great road trips for Kentucky basketball fans this season, but the most exciting matchup may be UK vs. Duke in the Champions Classic on Tuesday, November 17 at the United Center in Chicago. Want to go to the Windy City to see the Cats take on a longtime rival? Tickets go on sale Monday at noon.
Oddly, UK/Duke is the first game of the doubleheader and will tip at 7:30 p.m. Kansas/Michigan State will tip at 10 p.m., even though, to me, it seems the lesser of the two games. But whatever. At least we won’t be dragging as much on Wednesday morning.
Don’t forget: Monday at noon. Go ahead and set a reminder on your phone.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 11:00am
For years, the University of Louisville has had a major problem with the way its athletic program deals with women. What do you expect when its two major coaches, Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino, have a sordid history with women, the former an affair with a woman in a restaurant that resulted in him paying for her abortion and being extorted, and the latter an affair with an employee that resulted in him getting fired. And now, the partially-confirmed allegations that a Louisville staffer paid for prostitutes to entertain players and recruits, some of which were underage.
It’s sad that it took a scandal like this to open the national media’s eyes to the problem. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg took Louisville to task this morning for “teaching its male athletes that women can be used and discarded.”
We keep looking at this story about prostitutes through the wrong lenses. We see it as players having casual sex, which goes on everywhere. Or we wonder what the NCAA will do. We’re missing the point. If Louisville is guilty, the school has created a dangerous environment for women, and it has opened itself to lawsuits from all angles.
More logic where that came from over at SI.com, so check it out.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 10:00am
I’d argue that Skal Labissiere uses social media to interact with fans more than any other player we’ve had at Kentucky. Skal regularly tweets, Instagrams, and SnapChats pictures of his experience as a Kentucky player, and welcomes feedback from fans. Last night, he reached out to the BBN to get some help picking the song he’ll come out to at Big Blue Madness:
There’s over 300 responses, here are my favorites:
- By far the most popular answer was “Jumpman,” Drake & Future. I guess that makes sense because he can, you know, jump, man.
- “Scholarships,” by Drake, which includes the famous line “I rock Kentucky blue”:
- A few people suggested the Undertaker theme, but after Enes did that, I don’t think it can be topped. Retire that performance in the rafters.
- Bushbkbush suggested “Short People” by Randy Newman, which made me laugh:
- Honorable mention to laurenkaylalewis, who suggested “Barbie Girl.” I like you all too much to include the video for that.
Give Skal your suggestions in the comments.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 9:45am
Good morning, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from the Yum! Brands Restaurant Support Center at 1441 Gardiner Lane in Louisville for the Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru” benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank.
Matt and Ryan are live from the can drive, which runs from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and they’re got some prizes to give away. If you bring at least 18 canned goods, you will be entered into a drawing for either UL-Duke or UK-LSU basketball tickets. The winners will be announced at noon.
Something tells me they’ll have plenty to talk about…
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WCBL (1290am): Benton
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WTCO (1450am): Campbellsville
WAIN (1270am): Columbia
WCYN (102.3fm) Cynthiana
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WTHX (101.5fm) Elizabethtown
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WWXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WPAD (1560am): Paducah
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
PRTC TV Channels 209 & 409: Jackson & Owlsey Counties (Replayed at 1 and 6)
On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WWTF (1580am): Lexington, 4-6pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2015 @ 9:00am
Over the past few days, I’ve done something I’ve never done before: listen to UofL talk radio. How could I not? The prostitution scandal has captivated the Commonwealth and while many of his Louisville colleagues are sticking their heads in the sand regarding the story (cough, Jody Demling, cough), Tony Vanetti is standing tall as the voice of reason.
Yesterday on the “Afternoon Underdogs,” Vanetti called out the Pitino apologists and took UofL President James Ramsey to task for his odd handling of the situation, calling for him to be presidential instead of pushing all of the power in Tom Jurich’s hands. As the dominoes continue to fall around Louisville basketball, Tony is calling it like it is, going as far to say that Pitino cannot survive the scandal. No matter how many times his fellow media members say Pitino didn’t know what happened or how heartbroken he is over it all (“It happened in his brother-in-law’s dorm!!”), Vanetti is right when he says none of that matters. This happened under Pitino’s watch and as Tony put it, “Would Rick keep Rick?”.
In fact, the only time I’ve felt bad for the Cards in the past week is when Tony told the story about how excited he was watching Pitino’s plane land in Louisville fifteen years ago and how his boss, a Kentucky fan, warned him that two things would happen during Pitino’s reign: he would win a lot of games and he’d break your heart. That pang of deja vu actually had me feeling sorry for our rivals.
Regardless, Vanetti was great yesterday, so much so that angry Louisville fans questioned whether or not he was working for KSR. He’s not, but Tony, the door’s always open; in fact, you can have the KSR shirt off BTI’s back.
What will happen with UofL today?
A rundown of what happened yesterday in the prostitute scandal:
- “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Dick Cady said on KSR that he expects Katina Powell will speak to the NCAA
- Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle confirmed the escort allegations to the NCAA
- An anonymous former Louisville player confirmed to Eric Crawford that strippers were in the dorm rooms
- UofL President James Ramsey threw his support behind Tom Jurich, but did not mention Rick Pitino
- Rick Pitino gave another bizarre interview, this time to Terry Meiners. Meiners grilled Pitino, who was defiant when asked if he would resign. “I don’t know what resigning would accomplish,” he said. “I think that’s the cowardly way out.” He ain’t leaving on his own, folks. His ego is too big.
What will happen today? I can’t wait to find out.
No one is having more fun with this than the San Diego Strippers Twitter account
SoCal strippers have standards, yo.
In UK land, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo will start his official visit
The third best power forward in the 2016 class will arrive in Lexington soon, and, although most believe NC State is the favorite after snagging his AAU teammate Dennis Smith, John Calipari has been putting on the press recently. Hopefully Bam enjoys campus and seeing what it’s like to have your basketball practice televised nationally. Yes, Bam, we talkin’ bout practice.
A trip to Keeneland can’t hurt, either. Just saying.
UK will wear blue vs. Auburn
The game is less than a week away, but UK wants you to get your outfit ready. Yesterday, they released this poster on Twitter calling for a Blue Out, which includes the players. Does this mean we’ll see the blue chrome helmets too?
I don’t listen to Drake’s music a lot, but that “We rock Kentucky blue” quote is gold. Just fine with that being a slogan.
Rupp Arena’s got one more prize to give away today on Twitter
To promote the Kings/Pelicans exhibition game next Saturday at Rupp, the folks at Rupp Arena have been giving away prize packs all week on Twitter. Today is the final giveaway, and they’ve hinted that it may include SIGNED shoes from DeMarcus Cousins. Whoa. Keep your eye on their Twitter account (@Rupp_Arena) from 8:30-10:30 a.m. ET to participate.
I’m going to see Florence & the Machine tonight
I’ve been a fan for years, and have only seen them live as the opener for U2 a few years back. The forecast looks sucky for an outdoor show, but hopefully Mother Nature will work with me starting at 8 p.m. I also hope she’ll play this song, which is getting a lot of run on my iPhone these days:
It’s a slow build, but when the tempo picks up about 1:45 in, there’s no better running song in this world, I’m convinced.
Matt and Ryan are live at the Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru”
Yum! Brands is celebrating its 18th anniversary with a Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru” benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank today from 5 am to 5:30 pm. Matt and Ryan will do the show from the Yum! Brands Restaurant Support Center (1441 Gardiner Lane) in Louisville from 10 a.m. to noon. If you bring at least 18 canned goods, you will be entered into a drawing for either UL-Duke or UK-LSU basketball tickets. The winners will be announced at noon. You ready?