Part one in an eight part series previewing the 2014 Kentucky Football Wildcats. Barring →
By Drew Franklin on ©7:00 pm
After visiting 24 affiliates across the entire state of Kentucky, the Kentucky Sports Radio tour is now down to its last two stops: Lexington and Louisville. Tomorrow morning’s show will be broadcast live from All Sports in Fayette Mall in Lexington and you are out of your mind if you don’t go. (Or at least make a valiant effort.)
Matt and Ryan have two very special guests lined up for the show, beginning with Mark Stoops in the building at 10:30. Then new UK assistant basketball coach “Slice” Rohrssen will make his first KSR appearance, in person, at All Sports.
And if that’s not enough to get you out to the mall, the last two remaining games in the UK ticket giveaway are the Louisville and UCLA games. Someone in the building will walk out with two tickets to one of those games, while another fan earns one of the final spots in the Bahamas drawing.
You won’t want to miss this one, BBN.
Karl Towns and his new haircut did what all new student-athletes do the first few months they’re on campus. He went to Raising Cane’s for chicken fingers, french fries, no slaw, with an extra sauce — Caniac size, I assume.
He also ran into Stone Cold Willow, Cane’s cashier extraordinaire and one of the few names that carries more weight in Lexington than his own. Big man on campus, meet big man on campus.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:30 pm
Coach Cal is in Las Vegas for the next few days, working the Team USA Basketball Fantasy Camp. Today he swung by USA practice to catch up with some of his former players: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Derrick Rose.
Andy Glockner snapped this photo of Cal cutting up with Wall and Rose during a break in the action. I bet he’s telling them how good his new crew is in Lexington.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:05 pm
UK’s BBN First website is considerate of your Commonwealth Stadium renovation concerns and it doesn’t want you to feel left in the dark with the project’s progress. So today, the website posted a story with Russ Pear, UK’s senior associate athletics director for facilities and operations, along with some changes you can expect to see at games this fall.
Pear, who spends more time with Commonwealth than I do with the computer, is involved in all aspects of the project. “I am listening in on meetings and listening to contractor meetings and they are talking about this or that and I am like, ‘OK, why are we doing that?’ and making sure that our interests are being met,” he said.
He warned fans that CWS won’t look its best this upcoming season, but it’s a sacrifice UK must make to keep things moving along while ensuring the safety of fans at games.
To do so, expect several changes to what you’re used to seeing, including:
– Rows 22-39 in sections 219-232 will closed, but fans with season tickets in those areas have already chosen news seats.
– Gates 10 and 11 will be also be closed. Fans entering on that end will need to enter through Gates 9 and 12.
– Other gates will be open but some are under construction, so guests will need to follow the direction of traffic control/safety staff when entering and exiting.
– All concourses will be open during games, though some are much narrower than before.
For more from Pear on the construction and the plans for the winter, read the full story here.
738 hours ’til kickoff…
By Corey James on ©4:21 pm
Welcome back everyone! I feel like this is the third or fourth county I’ve called my ‘home away from home’ but having lived here for the last 10 years, I guess it’s just home. Take a seat and let me give you the tour of the green pastures and white picket fences that make up Fayette County!
Located in central Kentucky, Fayette County was founded in 1780. Fayette was one of the original three counties created from the larger Kentucky County, Virginia. Along with Jefferson County and Lincoln County, Fayette separated from Virginia in 1792 to make up the state of Kentucky. At that point it contained land from 37 present day counties and parts of 7 more. Fayette was named after Marquis de Lafayette, a French major-general of the Continental Army under George Washington. Working as a go between with France and the Colonists, Lafayette was instrumental in France providing their support against the British, ultimately helping the colonists win the Revolutionary War. For his accomplishments in serving both France and the United States, he was officially known as “The Hero of the Two Worlds.” Lafayette died in 1834 and is buried in Paris, under soil brought in from Bunker Hill.
As most of us know, Lexington is Fayette County’s seat and largest city. Of the approximately 310,000 citizens in the Lexington area, nearly 40% have bachelor’s degrees making Lexington one of the Top 10 Smartest American Cities according to a US News report. Along with that distinction, Lexington is known as “The Horse Capital of the World” as it is surrounded by over 400 horse farms. The 1,200 acre Kentucky Horse Park was the first non-European city to hold the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and brought in over a half a million visitors. With some of the best equine care facilities in the world located in Lexington, legendary horses like Cigar and Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin are just a few of the retired horses that call Lexington home. As these legendary horses are sent here to stud after racing, many of the most famous horses in racing have been born in the farms around Lexington. The most famous of these horses, you may have heard of him, was Man O’ War. During his career, Man O’ War won 20 of 21 races including on his way to the elusive Triple Crown. He’s been ranked the #1 greatest horse in racing by multiple media outlets including Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press.
Of course you can’t talk horses in Lexington without mentioning what is
arguably the most beautiful horse track in the world, Keeneland. Each April and October, the greatest horses from around the world make their way to Lexington to run on this gorgeous oval track. Founded in 1935 on 147 beautiful acres, Keeneland runs numerous Stakes races each April as preparation for the Derby in May. Race fans can watch their horses as they parade around the paddock before entering the tunnel under the stands onto the track. Fans can either make their way out to the stands or hang by the betting booths as they sip on their bourbon and watch the horses circle the track. Keeneland’s beauty has much to do with their stake in tradition as not a lot has changed since their opening in 1935. For this reason, movies like Seabiscuit and Secretariat have been shot here. Come on out this fall (October 3-15) and definitely don’t miss Keeneland’s first Breeder’s Cup in 2015!
So Lexington also has this university you all may have heard of, University of Kentucky? Yeah? That’s good. As you all know, Lexington is home to UK and all of her 29k+ students. UK is Lexington’s largest employer. having about 14,000 employees as of 2012, when the hospital was only 7,000 feet tall. Housing 16 colleges, a grad school, 4 professional programs, 99 masters and 66 doctoral programs, UK is the state’s highest ranked research university. (Sorry Chester) Of course you all only come to this site for one thing, county posts. Oh, and occasionally UK sports stuff. I’m not going to overload you with the history of UK sports as you’re a good fan and already know everything there is. So let’s run through this real quick … Winningest men’s basketball program of all time. 8 National Championships. First to 2000 wins. Winningest Cheerleading squad of all time with 20 National Championships. Multiple National Championships in cross country, gymnastics, and even a co-national champion football team in 1950! So yeah, we do alright for ourselves …
Of course we can’t mention Lexington universities without giving a shout out to Transy. Founded in 1780, Transylvania University is the oldest in Kentucky and among the oldest in the country. Transy has educated the likes of 2 US vice presidents, 2 US Supreme Court justices, 50 US senators, 101 US representatives and 36 US governors. However, some of their more important alumni include Matt Jones, Tomlin, Turkey Hunter, Hubby, Mosley and miss Ally Tucker.
Finally, I can’t bring you to my city without letting you know of the great spots to eat and grab a drink. Lexington has tons of amazing food options depending on what you’re hungry for. Looking for a nice steak and some sushi? That’s a BHG specialty. Check out any of the Malone’s spots for a great filet (go oscar style) and some fantastic sushi. If you’re looking for more of a home cooking feel, you can’t go wrong with Ramsey’s. Their chicken and dumplings changes lives. Other great options include Dudley’s and Tulips if you’re looking high end, Shamrocks and Winchell’s if you’re looking for more of a local feel, or anything on Jefferson Street . My personal favorite is a little restaurant/bar over on Leestown Rd called Thoroughbreds. Pop in there, ask Andy for a cold beer and have Hattie cook you up some of her famous meatloaf. And make sure you get the baked beans. Trust me. As for a grabbing a drink, you’re in luck! Lexington is experiencing a craft beer explosion in town, and we’re all benefiting. West Sixth Brewery on Sixth and Jefferson offers numerous IPA as well as lighter options. The other popular craft brewery in Lexington, Country Boy Brewery, offers some great options as well. I usually have to decide between their Cougar Bait American Blonde or their Shotgun Wedding Dark Brown Ale. If you’re more of a wine-o, check out Enoteca which literally means ‘wine library’ in Italian. And for those of you looking to get a little wilder, please see my Tin Roof picture above.
So there we are. Next time you come to Lexington for a football tailgate, or a day at the races, you’re fully prepared to see everything great Fayette County has to offer. After all this excitement, we’re going to need a quiet place to relax, maybe do some hiking. Carter County, here we come!
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 ©3:22 pm
Malik Newman has a brand new entry in his blog over at USA Today and it includes an update on the timetable of his decision. The Kentucky target plans to cut his list to a final five or six schools in three weeks when he returns from his trip with USA Basketball. Kentucky will undoubtedly remain in the mix.
And though he’s already cutting suitors from his recruitment, Newman is in no hurry to come to a final decision. “I think that I’m gonna wait until the late signing period,” he writes. “I’m not in a big hurry; I plan on taking my time with this process.”
He will set his official visits shortly after he announces his list.
By Nick Roush on ©2:30 pm
[Warning: If Remember the Titans is your favorite movie, you're going to absolutely hate this. Send your hate to @RoushKSR. Really, I don't mind]
It’s that time of the year again. Without entertaining sports on television, it’s time to kick back, pop in that old Varsity Blues VHS, and take a stroll down memory lane.
Sports movies are rarely critically acclaimed features, yet they sell like hotcakes. Just like Christmas season, every year in early August a new football movie hits the silver screen (see: The Rock’s Gridiron Gang and this year’s When the Game Stands Tall). The thing that holds this popular genre together is five simple words: based on a true story.
There aren’t many sports movies that survive the test of time without the semi-holy phrase. Burt Reynolds, Bill Murray and Michael Jordan had to provide star power to turn The Longest Yard, Caddyshack, and Space Jam into classics (if you don’t think Space Jam is a classic, ask a member of the UK basketball team). The unfortunate part about using the phrase “based on a true story” is that sometimes the stories are about as true as the story of Michael vs. the Monstars.
Friday Night Lights is, and will forever be my favorite sports movie. Most people hate it because (SPOILER) they lose in the State Championship to the misfits from Dallas Carter. That is the reason I love the movie: the loss and trials of the season are a genuine depiction of the emotions and pressure that comes with sports. It shows that you can learn from every experience, because in life we will likely experience more losses than wins. The filmmakers use the camera in a documentary style to put you directly in the scene alongside the players as music from Explosions in the Sky gets your heart pounding. The feeling only becomes more tangible when you realize that the insanity of Texas High School football isn’t much different than Kentucky basketball.
No matter how much I love Friday Night Lights, the story of the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers is not the same. Here are a few examples:
- “Waterbug” Chris Comer wasn’t just Boobie Miles’ replacement. He’s actually one of the school’s best running backs to ever put on a uniform, shattering the school record for rushing in a season in 1988 before leading the team to an undefeated National Title season in 1989.
- Permian didn’t reach the State Championship in 1988. They did in fact lose to Dallas Carter, but it was in a sloppy game at Texas Memorial Stadium that the Panthers could have easily won. After blocking a Dallas Carter punt in the rainy red zone, Permian only managed a field goal, leaving the door open for a fatal blow. See for yourself:
OK so that wasn’t too bad. “Based on a true story” gives you some wiggle room to the make the plot juicier (even though it was unnecessary in the book), but it doesn’t mean you should blatantly disregard history.
Disney made a ton of money (grossing $115 million) from Remember the Titans, but for anyone that lived in NOVA in the early 70′s, Disney made an ass of themselves in their depiction of the story. Yesterday Deadspin ran a profile on Greg Paspitis, a kicker for T.C. Williams’ coach Herman Boone in ’77 that spends his life as an historian of the area. Every time Boone is glorified by the media or paid more than $10,000 for speaking engagements around MLK Day, Paspitis sends a care package of the truth about Boone. I had always heard Boone was a jerk, but never knew of the magnitude of his asshole-dom and the Disney fabrication until yesterday. If you don’t mind, I’m going to poke some holes at Titans for a minute:
1. T.C. Williams should have gone undefeated and won state; it wasn’t a surprise. For comparative reasons, let’s say Male, Manual and Central combined to form one high school. With a pool of athletes double the size of any other school, their only competition would be St X, Trinity and Scott County (maybe). T.C. Williams was so dominant because they were so much larger than anyone else in the state, dominating opponents by a score of 357-45 during their 13-win, undefeated season.
2. Gerry Bertier was not paralyzed during the State Championship game. Your eyes watered watching Bertier’s Momma enter the stands during the final game, but Gerry Bertier’s tragic auto accident did not come until after the season. However, Bertier was as dominant as you might think. Paspitis’ numbers indicate that in ’71 Bertier had 42 sacks, causing offenses to lose 432 yards total. Taking Bertier out of the equation would have put the Titans on their heels in the final game, but that was simply not the case.
3. T.C. Williams did not win on a big play from “Sunshine.” They actually routed their opponent 27-0; not exactly a barn-burner.
4. Herman Boone isn’t the same as Denzel Washington. Denzel’s Boone was an innovator that took a school fighting against integration into the promised land. There were racial tensions in NOVA in the 70s, but the schools that formed T.C. Williams had been racially integrated since 1965. Boone was an assistant for two years at T.C. before becoming a notorious head coach. His practices in the movie at Gettysburg College seemed crazy, but they weren’t even close to the real-life Herman Boone insanity. Boone was fired in 1978 after a player mutiny for his abusive practices, both physical and verbal. Unfortunately, many still believe the Denzel myth, with Herman Boone’s namesake adorning the trophy for the winners of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
I can beat a dead horse with inaccuracies in sports movies (in any movie, really), but the fact is we need romanticized sports movies to remind us why we love sports. Sports in the 21st century are surrounded with more scandal than sport: Tiger Woods’ affairs, Ray Rice’s two-game suspension, Georgia football’s seven arrests during this offseason alone, the list goes on and on. The high-quality production and dramatic story-telling of sports movies helps us forget about the
demons athletes our society has produced, and helps us remember why football or basketball are so important to us.
No matter how much is “based on a true story,” we will always Remember the Titans, the Mighty Mighty Titans.
If you’d like to check up on the REAL Permian Panthers, visit MOJO Land where you’ll see just how much they love their high school football in Texas.
By Drew Franklin on ©2:02 pm
“A Unique Voice That Will Move Us,” it says. And of course it was shot vertically.
Love it. I hope he wins the trip to the Bahamas so we can shoot another one.
By Drew Franklin on ©1:03 pm
So you heard Jon Rothstein’s report from UK basketball practice and you’re still a little skeptical of his high praise and higher expectations. No worries. Today we followed up with Dino Gaudio of ESPN, who is equally impressed by what he witnessed in the Joe Craft Center.
Gaudio was a guest on Kentucky Sports Radio radio this morning and he said he believes Kentucky is as talented of a team as he has seen in the last decade. And just think, he is seeing them now, in July, without Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles.
Gaudio also said, with a drastically improved set of twins and an improved Dakari Johnson inside, the Cats will run the table in the SEC this upcoming season. He loves Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, too.
Hear for yourself:
Or listen to the entire show from Maysville:
By Drew Franklin on ©12:15 pm
Byron Scott was officially re-introduced to Los Angeles yesterday in a press conference to formally announce his new position as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and of the many nice things he had to say about his return to his old franchise, Julius Randle drew some of the highest praise. Scott, like Mitch Kupchak, was surprised L.A. was even able to get the former Wildcat with the seventh pick in the draft in June.
“I think the sky is the limit for him. He’s definitely very talented. To get him at No. 7 is a steal. The kid was probably Top 3,” Scott said. “I love his attitude. I love the way he a attacks the basket. I love the way he rebounds the ball. He brings some things to the table that will definitely help us.”
Randle was here in Lexington at the time of Scott’s press conference, hanging out with fans at Fayette Mall last night.
He will soon return to Hollywood to get to work with his new coach and team.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:45 am
Never mind the fact Kevin Durant will consider teaming up with John Wall in Washington in 2016. I want you to look at his legs in that photo. Those are hockey sticks and I’m fascinated by this shot from USA Basketball camp yesterday.
And about the Wall/Washington thing, Wall and Bradley Beal are already lobbying for Durant to form a ‘Big 3′ with the Wizards when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in two seasons. Durant is from the D.C. area and yesterday he told reporters, “We’re going to put it out on the table. It’s been talked about.”
But before that’s seriously being considered, Wall wants to reach the NBA Finals next season. He told the Washington Post that is his goal for 2014-15.
Seriously, though. Look at Durant’s legs. Hockey sticks.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:53 am
Matt tracked down another college basketball analyst who had the pleasure of seeing the Cats practice this week and he invited him on this morning’s show for his take on the squad. This time it was Dino Gaudio, who told Big Blue Nation they should be “crazy excited about this team.”
Gaudio followed that up with a bold prediction, saying, “I don’t want to put a jinx on them, but I’m pretty sure nobody in the SEC will beat (Kentucky) this year.”
“These guys are as talented of a team as I’ve seen in the last ten years,” he added.
By T.Walters on ©10:30 am
Jon Hood is catching heat from some UK fans on Twitter for a tweet he sent about Scott County basketball coach Billy Hicks following the KHSAA’s death penalty to Cordia. Hood tweeted:
So if Cordia is getting in trouble for recruiting, when does Scott County and the famous Billy Hicks get sanctioned?
— Jon Hood (@jonnylightning4) July 29, 2014
Only difference between them both, is that Cordia was reckless and didn't seem to care. Scott County was/is sneaky.
— Jon Hood (@jonnylightning4) July 29, 2014
Today he explained it:
“Look I said what I said as a general statement. I said what everyone has been saying for years, but never would publicly. I wasn’t attacking anyone, again, just a general statement. I haven’t run my mouth at all. I will not. As far as the people talking about being classy you all are the ones attacking me. I said my piece and now I’m done. Let it go and it goes away, keep bringing it up and it stays.”
General statement, huh?
By Drew Franklin on ©10:04 am
Maysville, who up? Kentucky Sports Radio radio is in town for a live two hour broadcast and you’re crazy if you don’t make an effort to stop by. Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond are at Mann Chrysler for Wednesday’s show and they’re looking for fans who would like to win tickets to a UK basketball game and spot in the drawing for the Bahamas.
Or join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9fm): Columbia
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
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
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
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
WPAD (1560am): Paducah, 11-1pm
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City, 2-4pm