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Booker Mays is alive and well, everybody. Mays, who you’ve probably seen all over the internet this week, is the Arkansas State wide receiver who faked his own death on a fake punt in the Red Wolves’ loss at Miami. He said he had one job on the play: take one step back and fall down. “I was supposed to get the attention of the defense while my teammate got the touchdown,” he told ESPN.
“I was talking to the guy across from me, saying, ‘Wow, there is some thick air down here in Miami,” Mays said. “I sold out for the play. I was all in.”
It didn’t work, at all, but it did get the attention of the worldwide web. Mays said it’s been “totally crazy” since the video started spreading on Monday.
My favorite part of the whole thing: No one acknowledged it after the play. Nothing from the Miami defense, nothing at all. Everyone acted as if that was normal and went on about their football.
Love the idea and Mays’ execution. It’s a shame his teammates ruined a good thing.
Mark Stoops was a guest on KSR.
Stoops made good use of the bye week by spending time talking to Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond on Tuesday’s edition of KSR. Stoops is always good when he comes on the show and Tuesday was no different as he reflected on Saturday’s loss and looked ahead to the rest of the season.
Listen below as he talks heartbreak, improved Patrick Towles, young talent and high expectations:
Lots of good stuff there.
Stoops admitted Boom Williams would’ve been in trouble had he not broken loose.
Regarding Boom Williams’ ill-advised but perfectly executed touchdown scamper to lead off overtime, Mark Stoops told reporters after practice, “He’s in a decent bit of trouble if he doesn’t make it. Yeah, he is, especially if he takes a big loss, but his instincts took over and that’s good to see. As coaches, we all understand that. We have to play with great fundamentals. You have to do what you’re supposed to do. Sometimes ability takes over, and I’m all for that.”
Stoops told KSR he was saying the same thing we were as the play developed: “NO! NO! NO! NO! YES! YES! YES! YES!”
Neal Brown added, “He understands he has really top-end speed. He ran away from some really fast guys. He turned the field on some really fast guys. So that was a huge play.”
Williams said, “I always trust my speed.”
The Orlando-Sentinel has a great piece on Garrett Johnson.
The last time Garrett Johnson was in The Swamp, he left in a huff. He was miffed. He wanted a scholarship offer from the Florida Gators and he didn’t get it.
On Saturday night, he left The Swamp disappointed, once again, as his Kentucky squad lost a triple-overtime battle with the Gators 36-30.
This time, however, it was at least bittersweet. He proved a point. The UK freshman receiver showed the UF coaching staff what they missed out on by not going after the former Winter Garden West Orange standout. (Read more)
Johnson torched the Gators for 154 yards and two touchdowns, the first UK freshman with two TDs since Randall Cobb in 2008.
UK will play Louisiana-Lafayette next season.
And in a newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium!
UL-Lafayette is 0-38 all-time against the SEC.
Recruits were impressed by Kentucky’s effort in The Swamp.
Tyler Thompson reached out to some of UK’s elite recruits in the 2015 and 2016 classes to ask what they thought of the Cats’ performance in Gainesville. She got ahold of Tavin Richardson, a three-star wide receiver considering UK, Louisville, Central Florida and Nebraska; 2016 No. 1 center Drake Jackson of Woodford County; and wide receiver CJ Conrad, who is already committed to UK and ignoring interest from Ohio State.
Read what they said here.
Matt from Richmond is ready for Tent City.
Fans will race to set up their tents around Memorial Coliseum when UK blows the starting whistle here in about six hours. Many fans have been lined up across the street since Monday, waiting to pounce on a nice piece of real estate. KSR will have plenty of photos, video and stories throughout Wednesday and the rest of the week when the action picks up.
Boom and Tymere Dubose stopped by on Tuesday.
John Wall ranked No. 31 in SI.com’s Top NBA Players and he’s not happy about it.
Sports Illustrated is in the process of ranking the best 100 players in the NBA and John Wall isn’t a fan of where he fell. Wall, ranked No. 31, took to Twitter to let fans know he is using it as motivation. When SI responded, he said, “No need to be sorry, you made your decision… Thanks.”
— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
More Motivation, Love it…#wizsquad !!
— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
@si_nba no need to be sorry, u made ur decision…Thanks
— John Wall (@John_Wall) September 16, 2014
The countdown will continue on Wednesday with some of the top 30.
Calipari visited Skal Labissiere on Tuesday.
Labissiere is scheduled to take his official visit to Kentucky this weekend.
Cal reportedly visited Malik Monk, too. That makes two visits to see Monk since the fall recruiting period began last week.
After a flood of orders through the office, $20 general admission Vanderbilt tickets can now be purchased online.
Go to UKFootballTix.com to purchase yours now. Be sure to click ‘Student General Admission’ on the map.
Apparently things got a little busy for the ticket office Tuesday morning:
We are experiencing a high call volume this morning. Please be patient as we provide service to each customer #BBN
— UK Ticket Office (@UKTix) September 16, 2014
By Drew Franklin on ©10:20 pm
UK football’s Mark Stoops, Bud Dupree, Za’Darius Smith, Landon Foster, Mike Douglas, Christian Coleman, Khalid Henderson and Max Strong join Kelly Mason and Marcus Lee in the Whipped Cream Challenge, the new viral campaign in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:57 pm
Florida is currently up 20-17 on the Cats in the replay of Saturday’s game on SEC Network. Tune in now to catch the fourth quarter and overtime, if you can stomach it.
That’s channel 517 on Time Warner.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:19 pm
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is in Lexington tonight, doing things Michael Kidd-Gilchrist does. First he stopped by the UK Soccer game to watch the Cats defeat Xavier 1-0 in overtime. Then he made his way over to Raising Cane’s for a Caniac Combo.
Does this mean we’ll see MKG at the Big Blue Madness campout? The safe bet says absolutely.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:00 pm
In case you missed it — and until it was posted on KSR, everyone missed it — new Louisville radio host John Ramsey fired a very weak shot at Big Blue Nation in the form of a parody postgame show, mocking Dick Gabriel, Oscar Combs, Matt Jones and the UK fan base. On paper, that bit has some potential. (Let’s be honest with ourselves here: BBN has its flaws.) But Ramsey’s effort was beyond a failure and it was painful to hear. It was the classic case of someone trying to be funny, likely laughing at their own material while writing it, without getting a single laugh from anyone else. It was awkward. I’m embarrassed for him and whoever made the call to give him a microphone. Both will soon be fired.
With Ramsey’s botched attempt at humor also came an article on UofLCardGame.com, one you can’t convince me Ramsey didn’t write himself. The only way I’ll believe Ramsey didn’t write it is if Charlie Springer, the author who posted it, comes forward and says Ramsey held him against his will and told him what to type. I found it funnier than the bit that was intended to be funny because it’s so obvious Ramsey was behind it. That, or Springer owes him money.
Tonight, I will break down the article and translate it for everyone not named John Ramsey. He probably has his wife read it aloud to him every night while he stands shirtless in front of the mirror, and that’s fine, but we’ll get to the truth of it here on KSR:
John Ramsey, a longtime local radio personality and comedian, has joined the ESPN 680 radio lineup. He’s a staunch University of Louisville fan with the knowledge of the local sports scene to quickly become a force.
If John Ramsey is a comedian, I’m an astronaut. Comedians do comedy. Comedy makes people laugh. In no way, shape, or form do I believe John Ramsey has made someone laugh. Ever. He will ‘quickly become a force’ right after I land on the moon.
He’s going to provide a strong counter-punch to Matt Jones, the biased University of Kentucky fan, blogger and commentator, who delights as much in disparaging UofL athletics as he does in covering UK sports.
You mean he will copy the show’s format because none of his other shows amounted to anything.
One difference is that Ramsey, a Ballard grad, actually played sports, including football and track. And he’s much more sophisticated in his delivery, with a quick wit, humor and a wide assortment of skills.
Oh boy. I bet Louisville fans can’t wait to hear his track and field reports on the air. Louisville radio has longed for a voice with experience in track and a couple downs for the ’78 Ballard Bruins football team.
You can’t deny his ‘wide assortment of skills,’ though. I’ve known a lot of women with deluxe monthly tanning packages and none of them have been able to obtain that shade of bronze. That comes from two-a-days in the instant bed with a full body spray every other Sunday. Achieving that color of artificial is a skill. Looking like leather takes hard work, talent, and the economy-size bottle of Pauly D’s “Single and Ready To Tingle” indoor tanning lotion. It takes skill, a skill that John Ramsey perfected.
Ramsey strongly favors UofL even though he was once a member of UK’s track team. “What I didn’t like was the whole elitist thing with UK where they didn’t want to play UofL for so many years, like they were so far above us,” he said Monday on his 10 a.m. radio show. “It’s all about relationships with me. I got to know UofL coaches like Denny Crum, Howard Schnellenberger and other coaches over the years, and I’m a UofL fan.”
He went to UK? Um, ok. There goes UofL fans’ argument about Matt going to Duke.
Among Ramsey’s considerable talents are his skills as an impressionist, often mimicking Howard Schnellenberger, Muhammad Ali and the late Howard Cosell. He had the hosts in stitches on ESPN’s Early Birds show with a recent Schnelly call-in. Ramsey and Ali are, in fact, close friends. Watch for his exposure to quickly expand at ESPN.
HE HAD THE HOSTS OF THE EARLY BIRDS IN STITCHES, PEOPLE. DON’T YOU GET HOW FUNNY HE IS? THE HOSTS WERE IN STITCHES. HE WAS SO FUNNY, THEY WERE IN STITCHES.
While I can’t say I’m familiar with his impersonations of Howard Schnellenberger, Muhammad Ali or Howard Cosell, I bet he makes a good “54-Year-Old Man Who Grunts At The Gym” or “Old Creepy Guy Who Winks At The 18-Year-Old Starbucks Barista When She Remembers He Likes Nonfat Milk In His Frappuccino.” He looks the part for those two, no doubt.
He continues to host WAVE 3 Listens Live daily at noon on TV, and has worked for several local radio states over the last 15 years. He also is vice president of marketing and government affairs for the Ali Center and has worked in sports marketing at UofL. He also has performed at the Comedy Caravan.
I assume ‘several local radio states’ means several local radio stations, which I read as, ‘can’t keep a radio show.’ As for his set at the Comedy Caravan, I have no doubt he opened with, “I just flew into Louisville this morning and, boy, are my arms tired” — that’s a John Ramsey joke.
Another John Ramsey joke: Louisville selling him as the new Matt Jones. Just Little Brother bein’ Little Brother, I suppose.
By Corey James on ©8:00 pm
For most people around the country, tonight is no different than any other Tuesday night. Grab a bite to eat, relax, catch the next episode of Sons Of Anarchy. But, for those of us in and around the Big Blue Nation, our Tuesday night is a little different. We’re gathering camping gear, make sure our air mattress pump is fully charged, and packing a cooler. Because while they’re waking up at 5am to get to work, we’re in a mad dash across Avenue of Champions (fittingly) to secure our spot for the Big Blue Madness Camp Out. Well I don’t want you randomly sprinting across the street unprepared. I did a little recon at Memorial today, so let me show you what I found and offer a few tips to help make your camping experience a little easier.
First off, let’s familiarize ourselves with Memorial. Above you’ll see an aerial view with a rough directional outline. Running north to south along the front of the arena is the aforementioned Avenue of Champions. West to east on the north side, you’ll find Lexington Avenue. As you can tell, Google Maps hasn’t made a pass over in a while as the north parking lot is now a few large residence halls as well as the Craft Center being completed. I’ll give them a call. Anyways, first thing first, let’s take a look at the weather for the week. Unlike past camp outs, the forecast for the next few days looks PERFECT. Except for a few chilly nights (beggars can’t be choosy), the forecast looks great. TIP: Pack yourself a hoodie and some sweat pants to bundle up in at night. Sunglasses and sweet tea during the day.
Now, having established the great upcoming weather, a good camper must also consider what has happened previously. As most of you know, a major cold front blew through the Commonwealth last night, and with it came some serious rain and chilly temperatures. This combination has made for several muddy areas around the arena, mostly near the south and west sides. The sun in the next few days should help dry up the ground, but until then you’re going to have some areas that are still very wet. Below you’ll see a map where I’ve circled in red the areas I found to be muddiest. These are typically low lying areas, and while they’re flat, which makes for some good sleeping, they are where the water from the higher areas drains. TIP: Even though your tent may be ‘waterproof’, assembling your tent on the top of a tarp will provide insulation from the wet, cold ground.
Bathrooms. You’re going to be outside for 3 full days eating, drinking and enjoying yourself with folks from 700 other tents. Nature will be calling. A strategic tent placement based on the location of the portolet banks can make the difference between a leisurely stroll to the restroom, or 3 torturous days spent downwind from some foulness I can’t even imagine. On the map below, you’ll see red dots where portolets have been set up. While they have done a good job scattering these around the area, I’m a little worried about the number of them. Fifteen portolets may be more than enough (which isn’t necessarily a good thing if you’re sleeping around them), but if we see the same 700 tents as last year, that’s roughly one portolet per 46 tents. Happy trails. TIP: TAKE TOILET PAPER!
After checking out the site, the weather, and the ‘facilities’ I’ve come up with the three places I see as providing the optimum camping experience. While this isn’t taking into account the ticket distribution being based on location, a tent placement here should still easily get you in the door. Two of the three best spots, all circled in green below, are on the south side of the building. One butts up next to the Qdoba/Pizza Hut building. The corner is a flat corner that sits on a high spot. This area will give you provide you coverage with a few small trees as well as a concrete wall on one side, with a bank of hedges on another. Just across from the parking lot from that is a large tree on top of a hill. This area will be the driest spot out there, as well has being protected from the sun pretty much all day. Finally, the third best spot will be the one next to the basketball courts on the northeast side. Why? Because you’ll inevitably be able to see someone get dunked on.
Good luck to all you out there. Hope the weather stays as planned and keep in mind during your sprint across AoC that even though you’re wrestling for spots, we’re all on the same team. #CATS
By Nick Roush on ©7:30 pm
Usually our Wildcats are crumbling as Bye Week approaches, but this team isn’t your “usual” Kentucky Wildcats. The team is using the week off to mend wounds and re-energize the roster, but they’d rather be back on the field.
“If it was up to me, I’d love to go play. Guys are in good spirits, we have a lot left in our tank,” Stoops said.
His players echoed that sentiment. After a critical film session, Blake Bone saw obvious areas that needed improvement. It hasn’t been two days and he’s already prepared to display his changes on the field, “I don’t think any of the guys in the locker room really want to take a day off. This is the week we need physically wise, but mentally we’re ready to go.”
After an amazing homecoming performance, Garrett “Juice” Johnson is on the same bandwagon, wishing to continue without pause. Despite leaving Gainesville with one of the best games from a wide receiver Kentucky fans have seen in years, it still wasn’t enough, “I didn’t get everything I wanted, because I wanted to come out of there with a W.”
It’s going to be a long eleven days waiting for Vandy, but these Cats are going to make sure it’s an even longer 60 minutes for the Dores’ next Saturday.
More Notes and Quotes
- Last week Mark Stoops called the Florida game a “measuring stick” to see exactly how far his Cats have come. They came home empty-handed, but the results fit the bill:
“Obviously we had the opportunity to win at Florida. I’m proud of that. I’m proud that we had a fighting chance, absolutely. And I said that going into the week, I made no bones about it, I wanted to see where we were at. I wanted to see if we could go play with Florida at Florida. I felt like we could, I felt very confident about it and I was glad to see that we did that. Disappointed in the outcome.”
- As I said earlier, the Bye week serves two functions: 1. Get guys healthy, and 2. Give the freshmen/redshirt guys more reps than normal.
1. Zach West and Jeff Badet are the only two major concerns for Stoops. Other than that, they should be 100% healthy. The biggest benefficiary of the additional time off will likely be Javess Blue, who should be prepared to go back to full time duties before the Vanderbilt game
2. The big names the coaching staff plans on redshirting –Drew Barker and Thaddeus Snodgrass — logged a ton of reps today. TV Williams, who hasn’t seen as much playing time recently, will also benefit from the Bye Week.
- Swindle’s false starts were crippling. Neal Brown was not amused at all by Jordan Swindle’s three false start penalties Saturday. Described by Brown as an “undisciplined issue,” the penalties were drive killers, with the Cats failing to reach the end zone during a single drive that Swindle jumped before the snap. To those that think “it’s just 5-yards,” those little things are the difference between being a winner and a loser.
- Patrick Towles had an excellent game Saturday, even if you didn’t like his stat line. He stayed poised in a hostile environment and put the ball where it needed to be in the biggest situations. Moving forward, Neal Brown still has plenty of things to work on. This week’s emphasis:
1. Improve decision-making on combo pass plays
2. Release the ball faster on screens
3. Improve in the quick passing game; it isn’t fast enough, yet.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©7:00 pm
KyWildcatsTV has a neat feature called “Coaches Cutups” in which Mark Stoops and Jeff Piecoro break down game film, this time it looks like from the season opener against UT-Martin. Football die-hards, this one’s for you.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©6:24 pm
Some early 2015 scheduling news for you: Louisiana Lafayette’s athletic director Scott Farmer announced on a radio show this afternoon that the Ragin’ Cajuns will play Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium next season. This past weekend, the Ragin’ Cajuns lost to Ole Miss 56-15, but made a cool $925,000 off the game. Next season will be the first meeting between the two teams, and UL-Lafayette is 0-38 all-time against SEC squads.
There’s a little bit of a Kentucky connection: UL-Lafayette’s head coach Mark Hudspeth was high school football teammates with UK Hoops coach Matthew Mitchell. We actually linked a pretty interesting story about their connection on this site last week, so check it out.
By Courtney Sealey on ©6:00 pm
Well, it’s that time of the year again, the time that BBM Campout begins and football season comes to an early halt to make room for basketball. *sigh* It seems like throughout history we have been forced to have to pick between football or basketball and I don’t understand it. Does it REALLY have to be that way? I don’t think so.
This concept is not new. It seems like for the longest time fans have just attended football games to get their sports fix until basketball season starts. Even Jared Lorenzen on the show a few weeks back that he dreaded the thought of Big Blue Madness because the fans go with it. I don’t know when this started or why, but there are two things the football program could do to help ease that for this year.
One thing they have already done, they have the fans attention. After playing what is arguably one of the best games in recent history, fans were left wanting more even though that game was a loss. We all saw a potential in that team we didn’t think we would see for at least another season. Now, with an important Vandy game next on the list, excitement and moral is at a high it hasn’t been since before Coach Brooks retired to the country club and lake out West.
CJ Johnson and Ryan Flannigan already have the right idea on what they second thing is, interacting with fans at the Big Blue Madness Campout. Last year several teams attended the campout, giving out free food and schedules reminding the fans they were a program too. Why shouldn’t the football team? If they have ever done it on a large scale in the past I haven’t seen it. I believe fans would be just as excited to have Drew Barker and Matt Elam show up to their camp site as much as they would the Harrison twins.
I think the campout is looked at completely in the wrong way. Right now, it is the dreaded ‘end of football season’, but I see it as one big public relations event waiting for the football team to utilize it correctly. More football players need to be seen more often in bigger numbers to interact with fans, giving out schedules/small giveaway items and getting them pumped up for the next game and the rest of the season. Other teams are out their promoting themselves, so why not football? In a way the campout should be a bonding experience for all of Big Blue Nation, not just basketball.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:18 pm
If you haven’t already made plans to camp out for Big Blue Madness tickets, you better go buy a tent right now. UK just sent out a release saying that John Calipari will surprise “dozens” of fans tomorrow with Tempur-Pedic pillows, and a very lucky fan will receive a Tempur-Pedic mattress, which will be set up on site by the Tempur-Pedic team. Campers who “appear to be the most in need of an upgrade to their sleeping situation” have the best chance of winning the prizes.
The campout officially starts at 5 a.m. tomorrow. Calipari is expected to arrive with the pillows at the main entrance of Memorial Coliseum around 1 p.m., so make sure you’re there, because those pillows are little puffs of heaven. He’ll also say a few words to the crowd.
FREE TICKETS AND TEMPUR-PEDIC PILLOWS?!?!?! LET’S GO!
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:00 pm
Craig Watts is a 2016 four-star cornerback from St. Petersburg, Florida, and according to the Tampa Tribune’s Lynden Ostrander, he’s narrowed his list to three and the Cats made the cut, along with Ohio State and Florida. Watts is considered the 14th best cornerback in the 2016 class by Rivals, and the 229th best player overall. Ostrander says Watts will make his decision “soon.”
Until then, watch him work:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:00 pm
Kentucky didn’t leave Gainesville with a win on Saturday night, but they did earn some respect. Taking the Gators to three overtimes opened the eyes of many in the national media and showed the nation’s elite recruits that Stoops has the program going in the right direction. I contacted a few of UK’s top recruits on Twitter to get their reaction to the game, and I think you’ll like their answers.
Tavin Richardson is a three-star wide receiver from South Carolina, and the Cats are in his top four, along with Louisville, UCF, and Nebraska. Richardson says UK has been recruiting him harder than any school, and he’ll take his final official visit to Lexington on December 14. The 6’3″ 200 lbs. Richardson said UK’s performance has him believing in Stoops. “I thought their performance was great, had some mistakes but they gave them a good game and play hard!” Tavin said. “Yes that does make me believe in Stoops and what he is doing for that program and the future will be great!”
2016 offensive lineman Drake Jackson is the best center in his class, and has made it well known that UK is his leader. The Woodford County native has offers from the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, and considerable interest from Ohio State, but says UK’s effort against Florida “solidified” his belief in Stoops and the program. “I loved the game. I believed in Coach Stoops beforehand, but the performance solidified it. The offensive line had a great performance.”
CJ Conrad is one of Kentucky’s highest rated commitments so far in the 2015 class, and borrowed a phrase from Patrick Towles when he said UK’s performance showcased “the new Kentucky football”: “I wasn’t really surprised because I knew we were on the rise. It’s the new Kentucky football and people should get used to us competing in games like that because Coach Stoops is doing an awesome job with this program.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:00 pm
By now, you’ve heard of Kelly Melton and the Kickin’ it 4 Kelly campaign. In November 2012, the 6-year-old Melton was diagnosed with Leukemia and for the past two years, he’s been in a constant battle with the disease. Kelly has had his ups and downs. His friendship with Nerlens Noel is well-known, and Nerlens has taken him to the Derby two years in a row. Kelly is also close with UK kicker Max Strong, UK Dance team member Sarah Amalia, and several football and basketball players, who visit him regularly in the hospital.
With the Melton family feeling the financial pressure of two years of medial treatments, Nerlens and the Kickin’ It 4 Kelly team sent out an email to the UK student body today to ask them for prayers and donations. Right now, the family has $100,000 in medical bills they’re not able to pay, and although Nerlens says the Meltons “are the must humble people we have ever met,” he wants to help alleviate their financial burden. Read the entire email after the jump, and click on the link below to donate:
To help raise awareness for pediatric cancer and Kelly’s fight, Marcus Lee and Landon Foster took part in the whipped cream challenge:
Marcus gave the Harrison Twins 46 hours to complete the challenge, so hopefully we’ll see some more videos soon…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:30 pm
Here’s some awesome news: Marlana VanHoose will sing the national anthem for the UK/Vandy game on September 27. If you don’t know her story, she was born blind and suffers from cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from achieving her dream. VanHoose has performed at several UK Hoops games, NBA games, MLB games, and this will be her second time performing in front of the Commonwealth Stadium audience after singing at the Spring Game earlier this year.
Here she is bringing the UK Hoops crowd to their feet back in February:
Drew Franklin would kill me if I only posted one video, so two more are after the jump.