There’s pretty much only one reason I look through the media guide each season: the →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 pm
I’ll be honest, guys: I was struggling for a news and views honoree this evening. For a split second, I contemplated dedicating the night post to the new “50 Shades of Grey” trailer, but virtual stones immediately started soaring towards my face. (However, if that is your thing, you’ll love Hoda and Kathie Lee’s reaction.) After perusing the celebrity birthdays, I considered the incomparable Estelle Getty only to realize I’d dedicated the night post to her two years ago, rolled my eyes at the other celebrity birthdays (Matt LeBlanc? Snooze), and finally came across this picture of the Iowa State 400-pound bench press club on Twitter.
Now, there’s a lot going on in this picture. Let’s start with the fantastic mullet in the back, all “Imma kill you” in the front and “Let’s chill with a cold one” in the back. Next, you’ve got Mr. Bucket Hat Long Hair, who looks like Magic Mike, a fisherman, and a 90′s rock band bassist all in one. The other guys seem pretty normal, save the fact that they’re draped in heavy chains, the accessory of choice in weight rooms across the country. My favorite guy might be the one who is being held up push-up style by his friend with the big bicep sleeve. The push-up gave him a mean case of creepy eyes, but you can tell he’s still friendly by the two thumbs up. It’s all good. Just fun times here in the 400-pound bench press club.
Consider this my challenge to the UK football team to come up with a better picture. Can I get two thumbs up for the news and views?
Will it be Kentucky or Florida for George Brown?
Friday at 1:30 p.m., we will finally find out where George Brown, a three-star offensive tackle from Cincinnati, will go to school. The drama has been building around Brown’s decision all week, with everyone trying to read the tweet leaves and figure out whether the 42nd best offensive tackle in the country will choose Kentucky or Florida. Brown visited UK for the Friday Night Lights camp last weekend, and by all accounts, had a fantastic time, going so far as to tweet that he’s got a “UK hat on my head and it won’t come off.” Well, Brown visited Florida early this week, and judging by all of his activity on Twitter, the UK hat may have come off. He unfollowed most UK players and coaches, followed a dozen or so Florida players and coaches, and Will Muschamp accidentally tweeted a congratulatory DM that may have been meant for him. If the signs weren’t bad enough for the Cats, Brown’s buddy Tevon Coney, a three-star inside linebacker, tweeted that he’s going to whichever school Brown picks, and right now, Florida is a 87% favorite in Coney’s Crystal Ball. The Cats are also recruiting him, but not considered a major player at all. Ugh.
HOWEVER, experience has taught us that it’s best not to read too much into teenagers’ Twitter accounts, and not just because it’s creepy. You never know, Brown could be messing with us and trying to put out a smokescreen to heighten the tension for his big announcement. Stranger things have happened, and the UK staff says they’re still confident. Regardless, all of the drama will be over in 15 hours.
Time Warner and the SEC Network reach an agreement
Probably the most exciting news for UK fans on Thursday was the announcement that Time Warner and the SEC Network have reached an agreement. TWC and Bright House Networks will carry the SEC Network when it launches on August 14, which means if you have Time Warner, you won’t miss out on the Cats’ last three games in the Bahamas as well as two of the football team’s first three games of the season. DirecTV is now the last major cable and satellite provider not to pick up the SEC Network. We’re hearing they’re working on it, and hopefully the announcement will come before the launch on August 14.
The freshmen held a photo shoot in the locker room
After doing a real photo shoot in their uniforms on Thursday, the freshmen held their own little photo shoot in the locker room, which means we finally have pictures of them in UK blue and white. Karl Towns also hinted that he might change up his hairstyle soon, tweeting “Definitely looking to do something with my hair. Time to go to the hair wiz @THEwillieCS15 for some inspiration.”
Please no bleach, Karl. Please no bleach.
Football Fan Day is set for August 9 at 9 a.m.
On Thursday, UK announced that the annual Fan Day will be held on Saturday, August 9. Players will start signing autographs at 9 a.m., and an open practice will follow at 10:45 a.m. While that’s pretty early and definitely puts a damper on any tailgating plans, the event is still a great way to meet the players and get your first look at the team in action. I can only imagine how many pictures we’ll have of normal-sized people next to a larger-than-normal-sized person, like Za’Darius Smith.
UK also announced that they’ll have three open practices for fans and media the mornings of August 11, 12, and 18. If you’ve ever wanted to write your own practice report for the site, this is your chance. Make us proud.
Winston Guy’s Throwback Thursday picture is great
While in high school at Lexington Catholic, Guy dressed up as Stevie Johnson for Halloween. Both are now playing pro ball, Stevie for the San Francisco 49ers and Winston for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cheick Diallo’s Throwback Thursday picture is pretty great, too
The 2015 power forward posted this shot of himself with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis at the Nike Big Men Camp last month. He looks pretty at home with La Familia, doesn’t he? UK is currently tied with Kansas at 42% in Diallo’s Crystal Ball.
Calipari and Kenny Payne watched recruits in Vegas
John Calipari is still enjoying the dry heat and cold gyms in Vegas, watching Stephen Zimmerman, Skal Labissiere, and Jaylen Brown in the Adidas Super 64 event. Cal made me proud when he was sighted at an In ‘N Out, a requisite stop on any Vegas vacation. He also took this selfie with a fan:
It’s good to see Cal looking tan and relaxed again. I’m hoping I’m the same way after my trip to Florida next week.
Don’t worry, I’ll still be here in the morning to get you through the George Brown announcement. Matt and Ryan will be at the BW3′s in Paducah to wrap up the second to last week of the KSR Summer Tour, so stop by if you’re in the area for two hours of Cats talk and delicious wings. See you then.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:30 pm
There’s pretty much only one reason I look through the media guide each season: the fun facts about each player at the end of their bios. Reading what each player’s hidden talent, nickname, or favorite thing about UK is may be the best way to get to know them. So, to save you the time of flipping through each bio, I did it myself this morning, and came up with this list of 22 fun facts about UK’s 2014 football team:
1. Despite the fact that most of the players were toddlers during his prime, Michael Jordan is still the most famous athlete in sports.
When asked what sporting event they’d most like to witness, past, present, or future, several players said they wanted to see Michael Jordan in his prime (Josh Clemons, Josh Forrest), or specifically his “flu game” (Drew Barker, Thaddeus Kuzunas, Ashely Lowery). Three players said Jordan is the athlete with which they’d most like to trade places (Shaquille Love, Ramsey Meyers, Miles Thompson). To me, this is further proof that Jordan is still considered the greatest basketball player of all time, or, at the very least, “Space Jam” was the most popular kids movie in the mid-90′s.
2. UK beating LSU in 2007 is UK football’s most famous moment for this generation
UK’s football tradition isn’t exactly great, but we’ve had some big moments in the past decade. The biggest is UK’s upset of LSU in 2007, and four players–Mikel Horton, Jacob Hyde, Matt Howard, and DJ Warren–said that’s the sporting event they’d most like to witness past, present, or future.
3. Tre’ Dunn and Eli Capilouto are workout buddies
Senior linebacker Tre’ Dunn’s profile might be the best of all. He says he wears the number 26 because “2 multiplied by 6 is 12 and 12 is the greatest number.” When asked for one thing he couldn’t live without, he said “my organs.” I mean, that’s just straight up logic. The coolest thing about UK for Tre’? “Hanging at the gym with Eli Capilouto.” We need video of this.
4. The Blaylock Twins are very musical
Junior linebacker Daron Blaylock says that if he could go back in time, he’d like to go to Woodstock, and his hidden talent is Guitar Hero. In fact, he claims he has “a voice of Fergie and Jesus combined” when he sings. His twin, safety Zack Blaylock, may have one of the most unexpected go-to hype songs on the team: “Sweet Dreams.” I’m assuming he means “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics, which is just awesome.
5. Javess Blue’s hidden talent shouldn’t be a surprise
Javess Blue says his hidden talent is tumbling but KSR readers learned all about that during his recruitment.
6. Darryl Long’s hidden talent is writing poetry
Get ready to swoon, ladies.
7. Some more random hidden talents on the team…
- Grant Aumiller used to bass fish competitively.
- Matt Howard is really good at quoting Forrest Gump. (I think this calls for a quote-off with Drew Franklin at Media Day)
- Farrington Huguenin can stand on his hands for a while.
- Travaughn Paschal claims that he can fly (Hmm).
- Patrick Towles can play the harmonica.
- Tyler Brause is really good at precision long-range shooting.
8. Jason Hatcher’s dream job other than the NFL is owning an animal hospital.
9. John Gruenschlaeger listens to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion to get ready for a game
That flute solo is really stirring.
10. The “dream jobs” are all across the board
The players were asked what their dream jobs are other than playing in the NFL. There was a wide variety:
- Junior long snapper Kelly Mason: Actuary
- Senior wide receiver Demarco Robinson: Jungle Explorer
- Freshman offensive lineman Josh Krok: DEA agent or US Marshal (he’ll be a hit at parties)
- Freshman offensive lineman Nick Richardson: architect
- Sophomore wide receiver Jeff Badet: financial advisor
- Senior tight end: Steven Borden: Professional surfer
- Junior offensive tackle Shaquille Love: chef
11. Freshman linebacker Dorian Hendrix meditates every day.
12. Stanley “Boom” Williams’ reason for picking the number 18 will make you love him
The freshman running back says he picked the number 18 to “follow the legacy of Randall Cobb and Jacob Tamme.” Yep, fan favorite already.
13. Here are just a few of the players’ nicknames:
- Josh Clemons: Big Zoo Doo
- JoJo Kemp: Jojo on the Go-Go
- Nico Firios: Greek Freak
- Khalid Henderson: Lee-do, Shotta, Waka, and Blondey
Who needs four nicknames?!?
14. Jacob Hyde and Jordan Swindle can wiggle their ears
I bet you’re trying to wiggle yours right now, aren’t you?
Earlier this week, UK released its Kickoff Playoff, a three-round tournament of eight songs selected by eight UK football players to determine which song will be played before kickoff in the season opener. Fans are asked to vote over on the BBN First website, with the first round wrapping up this week and semifinal voting taking place next week.
Tonight, I put together our own Kickoff Playoff bracket with eight song suggestions from eight KSR personalities. We ask that you eliminate four from the tournament tonight by vote and we’ll trim that to two next week. In the end, we’ll put our winning song up against UK’s winning song for the ultimate Kickoff Playoff championship.
Here are the eight songs we came up with:
Jared Lorenzen – “Hells Bells” by AC/DC
Matt Jones – “Victory” by Puff Daddy
Bryan The Intern – “Whoomp! (There It Is) by Tag Team
Ryan Lemond – “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil’ Jon
Shannon The Dude – “For Those About To Rock” by AC/DC
Tyler Thompson – “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Drew Franklin – “Jungle” by X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons
CM Tomlin – “Magnificent Seven Theme” by Elmer Bernstein
Listen and vote below:
“Hells Bells” vs. “Victory”
“Whoomp! (There It Is)” vs. “Turn Down For What”
“Whoomp! (There It Is)”
“Turn Down For What”
“For Those About To Rock” vs. “Lose Yourself”
“For Those About To Rock”
“Jungle” vs. “Magnificent Seven Theme”
“Magnificent Seven Theme”
By Corey James on ©7:00 pm
Hello ladies and gents. Did you enjoy Pikeville? Me too. Let’s grab a Diet Dew and hit the road, as we have about 4 hours ahead of us on the Hal Rogers Parkway. Monroe County, here we come!
Founded in 1820, Monroe County is named after the 5th president of these United States, James Monroe. Monroe was the last president of the original Founding Fathers, and the third of them to die on Independence Day. Monroe and his Vice President Daniel Tompkins were in office from 1817 to 1825. Tompkins is the namesake for Tompkinsville, Monroe County’s seat. This makes Monroe County the only county of America’s 2,957 to have the county named after a President and the county seat named after his VP. One more quick fact, Tompkins died only 99 days after his vice presidency, the shortest duration of any VP. You can thank me when you nail one of these questions in Final Jeopardy one day.
Speaking of, let’s take a look at Tompkinsville. Tompkinsville is one of our smaller county seats, with only around 2,500 people living in its 3.8 square miles. Settled around 1790, Tompkinsville was the site of John Hunt Morgan’s first raid in 1862. As they would eventually be known as Morgan’s Raiders, J.H. Morgan and his posse rolled into Tompkinsville and attacked Major Thomas Jordan’s 9th Calvary, defeating them and capturing 30 prisoners in the process. They also took wagons, horses, mules and supplies before burning down the original courthouse and moving on. They eventually moved north where they fought in Lebanon KY before riding through Springfield, Bardstown and Garnettsville before heading into Indiana. You’re learning so much today!
So let’s talk about today. When people talk about Monroe County and Tompkinsville, the word I keep hearing is barbecue. Monroe County is home to no less than 7 separate but delicious barbecue joints, all of which feature their traditional vinegar based barbecue sauce. You can pop over to the small town of Gamaliel and grab some food from JayDee’s BBQ or Collins BBQ. Or you could hang in Tompkinsville and hit one of their four BBQ restaurants. Word on the street (aka my friend Dustin who’s from there) is that if you’re looking for the Tompkinsville staple barbecue joint, you need to hit up France’s on Fourth Street. Make sure you get that shoulder plate, which is pork shoulder either dipped or sprinkled in their delicious vinegar based sauce complete with baked beans and coleslaw. If you’re not in the mood for barbecue, which is weird, then you should try Dovie’s. Dovie’s was founded just before World War II, and has been serving their famous burgers ever since. They even won Kentucky Living Magazine’s Best Hamburger in the State back in ’05. If you’re a calorie counter, you may want to keep driving as the Dovie’s burger comes deep-fried with their special sauce. You can also get deep-fried hot dogs, bologna and egg, ham and cheese or ham and egg sandwiches as well.
I went looking for some activities and events to help us work off some of this food, and I don’t see that happening. Although, they easily have some of the more interesting events I’ve found thus far. We missed May’s Fountain Run BBQ Festival but we can still catch August’s Watermelon Festival on Main Street. This includes a beauty pageant, car show, parade with floats and of course, food. The watermelon seed distance spitting contest is my personal favorite for obvious reasons. But, if that’s not your thing, let’s play marbles. Yes, those marbles. Tompkinsville is home to the Monroe County Marble Super Dome. Here you can play the game of Rolley Hole. In its simplest terms, Rolley Hole is a combination of golf, pool and croquet. Two person teams compete against one another with the intention of moving marbles around a 40′x20′ marble yard and hitting your marbles into three holes in succession. I’ll let my boy, 2012 National Champion Marble Player Paul Davis tell you more about it via this KET video. Start it at the 9:40 mark and enjoy. Seriously, it’s definitely worth the watch!
And with that, another county is in the books. I’ll see you on the marble field and remember, if you have questions about the Annual River Race, give Donnie a call. We’ve been on the road for a while and I need to swing by my place and let my dog out. So next on the list, let’s check out Fayette County!
Remember, if you want your county’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, or cool town event featured, hit me up at CoreyKSR@gmail.com and we’ll get it on here!
By Drew Franklin on ©6:40 pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©6:14 pm
After being snubbed by Team USA earlier this summer, it looks like John Wall will participate in Team USA’s camp in Las Vegas starting on Monday. ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Wall was a “natural invite” for USA Basketball, and joins Chandler Parsons and DeMar DeRozan as additions to the initial Team USA roster, which also includes fellow former Cats DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. After the camp, the roster will be cut down to 12 players for the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain.
Yiggy yes y’allin, we be John Wallin’…
By Drew Franklin on ©5:30 pm
Earlier today we told you the date and schedule for Fan Day, and now we have a little more details via the official press release from UK.
In case you missed it, Fan Day will be Saturday, August 9th at Commonwealth Stadium. The autograph session with the players will begin at 9:00 am and last through 10:15 am, before the players take the field for an open practice with the coaches at 10:45 am. Admission and parking are free of charge. Fans can also pick up the new 2014 UK football posters and schedule cards.
If you can’t make it out for Fan Day, Mark Stoops will also open up three additional preseason practices to the public. Those practices will be on the mornings of Monday, August 11, Tuesday, August 12, and Monday, August 18. Times and further information will be released another day.
UK cornerback J.D. Harmon tweeted photos of a black UK football helmet with a blue UK logo on the left side and a chrome number on the right. It appears to be the homemade work of a fan but still cool nonetheless.
I might believe it if not for it being in someone’s backyard.
By Drew Franklin on ©4:15 pm
After leaving many of us worried it may never happen, Time Warner Cable and the SEC Network announced today that they have agreed to a deal. TWC and Bright House Networks will carry the new channel when it launches on August 14, adding another 60 million households nationwide.
“We know we have customers who want the SEC Network, and are pleased to bring it to them,” said Andrew Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Content Acquisition for Time Warner Cable, in the official press release. “This deal will help ensure that fans and alumni of SEC universities won’t miss any important games.”
The deal leaves Direct TV as the last major entity to not to take the SEC Network, but it is expect to happen soon, before the launch.
HUGE NEWS. Hug someone and celebrate it, folks.
By Drew Franklin on ©3:30 pm
By C.M. Tomlin on ©2:30 pm
From: Ray “Rock” Oliver, Strength Coach
To: Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coaching Staff, Men’s Basketball Team
Re: Changes to Strength Training Schedule (Effective Immediately)
July 24, 2013
Coaching Staff and Players,
As you’re by now probably aware, hot yoga has recently been added to the pre-season regimen. This suggestion recently came to us from former player Randall Cobb, who recommended it as a worthwhile way to strengthen muscle control and elasticity. We’ve done the research and run the numbers and the statistical results seem to be there, so we feel like it is a good addition to the training schedule. This “alternative approach” to strengthening and agility has spurred our staff to look into some other possibilities which we will be adding to the schedule in the near future. These will include:
-Below-Zero Zumba: Combining the muy caliente moves of hip-hop and samba dance with the muscle-tightening physiology of movement in sub-freezing temperatures, this technique will help to replicate the feeling of tensed muscle which continually need loosening. Once the body is trained with a sense memory to continually be in the process of loosening these muscles at all times the body can begin to perform at its most peak level. Parkas will be provided.
-Underwater Jazzercise: A proven fusion of jazz dance and resistance training, each sixty-minute underwater jazzercise session will include intermitten air breaks and waterproof earphones as you both melt away the pounds and create your body into a stronger, leaner machine to the tunes of acclaimed jazzercise musicians The Hugh Price Experience and Quiet Fire.
-Crab soccer: Supporting limber joints and muscles is key to preparing your body for the season ahead, so a round-robin crab soccer tournament will begin on August 7 and continue in a double-elimination fashion in heats until August 29. This is not a place for laughing and horsing around. Horsing around will begin on September 4.
-Horsing around: Tapping into the feral nature of athleticism, we will engage in exercises designed to connect to your spirit horse, a free creature pushing its endurance to the limit as it tames the open fields of your mind. These exercises will both include emulation of and connection to the unbridled horse which lives inside your soul.
-Spinning: Stationary bicycle riding with a weighted flywheel at increasing intervals.
-Spinning: Spinning around in the dark with glowsticks to ambient chill music as you raise your consciousness to the universe and its many unparalleled wonders.
-Respect to Gaia: No strength and agility would be possible at all without blessings from Earth Mother Goddess Gaia, birth giver to the gods of the sea and sky. Awaken your soul with her abundant gifts and drink from the cup of blessings bestowed upon you while you bask in the loving gratitude of the togetherness of earth and her eternal sustainability. Also three sets of squats.
See you in the weight room!
By Drew Franklin on ©1:30 pm
Kentucky leads George Brown Jr.’s Crystal Ball prediction with 88 percent of the vote, but GatorBait.net, the Florida 247Sports affiliate, still expects him to pick the Gators. “We continue to hear the Gators are confident in landing the three-star prospect,” the site’s Recruiting Insider writes.
Brown, set to announce his decision tomorrow afternoon, recently took a visit to Gainesville (his final visit before deciding) and immediately unfollowed almost all UK-related Twitter accounts, while adding several Florida assistant coaches, beat writers, players and former players. If you read into that stuff, it could be a very telling sign.
But the UK staff is also confident it will land Brown tomorrow at 1:30 pm, says Chris Fisher, which means one side is in for a letdown. Kentucky was at one time the very heavy favorite for the offensive lineman from Cincinnati, and he has taken at least six unofficial visits to Lexington.
24 hours until he tells the world…
By Drew Franklin on ©12:45 pm
According to the NCAA, lacrosse is the leading sport in smoking weed in college athletics with 46 percent of its players reporting marijuana usage. Coming in at second is swimming, followed by soccer, wrestling, baseball and football. Then there is golf and tennis before getting to basketball, while track comes in at dead last.
Roughly 21,000 student-athletes were surveyed regarding their substance use habits and I’m sure all of them were completely honest in their answers. See the results below in a fancy little graph:
And here’s the drinking habits compared to the smoking. Half of student-athletes drink both in- and out-of-season, says the NCAA.
Party on, Garth.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:00 pm
Your University of Kentucky football program will hold its annual ‘Fan Day’ on Saturday, August 9th at Commonwealth Stadium this year. The autograph session with the players will begin at 9:00 am, followed by an open practice at 10:45 am.
Last year’s open practice/scrimmage was played in the rain, but it was still a very fun event with a surprisingly good turnout for the weather. I spent most of the time watching Za’Darius Smith do pushups on the sidelines in full pads because he was out with a tweaked ankle. It was my first time seeing him in person.
You should go this year and show your support for the Cats as the season opener draws near.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:30 am
There is now a 25 percent chance we will hear Three 6 Mafia in Commonwealth Stadium before the opening kickoff in 37 days. The fans voted Braylon Heard’s suggestion of “Who Run It” into the next round, ahead of Mike Douglas’ “Head Bussa” suggestion. “Who Run It” will meet “Knuck If You Buck” in the semis.
Today’s matchup is Blake McClain and C-Murder’s “Down” versus Javess Blue and Jay Z’s “Encore.” I don’t think Javess stands a chance at seeing his suggestion advance, although I may be wrong. To me, it’s a good song but way too slow for a football game.
“Down,” on the other hand, is the best beat of the entire contest but it’s the most vulgar song imaginable. UK would have to go with the instrumental version, which I still think is the best of the bunch. I believe it was used at Big Blue Madness recently, too.
Do your part and VOTE NOW
Voting for KSR’s Kickoff Playoff goes live tonight.