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UK vs Duke Brings Out Silliness in Kentucky Senate Race


Sometimes stories are so ridiculous that you cant even make them up. Case in point, the absurd way that US Senate Candidates are utilizing March Madness. Most of the time, when politicians try to become “men of the people”, they end up looking silly…think Dukakis in the tank, McCain using “Joe the Plumber” and John Kerry shooting geese. Be who you are, and chances are if you are running for office, you are neither (a) cool or (b) a man of the people. Its ok, embrace it.

Now we have this US Senate race in Kentucky in which both the Republican and Democratic Primary features a UK grad vs a Duke grad. So what do the politicians do…try to out “BLUE” each other and make clear that their opponent went to the other school. First came Trey Grayson, with this advertisement about his opponent Rand Paul, who went to Duke Medical School:

Not too bad…Grayson is a true UK fan and during our podcasts, he has shown to be the biggest Cat fan of the candidates. He makes not of Paul’s Duke ties and says, “hey folks, vote for the Cat.” Now one could argue that making light of Paul going to one of the best medical schools in America may seem strange, but whatever…its all in good fun.

So if you liked subtlety, then maybe something was in Grayson’s advertisement for you. But not from my fellow Democrats. Yes the boys in Blue, found a way to take what should have been a subtle slap and turn it into something ridiculous. Attorney General Jack Conway went to Duke and is running against Daniel Mongiardo, who went to Kentucky. Mongiardo wanted to have a “friendly wager” in which he would put up “hunting lessons in Western Kentucky” for Conway up against “golf lessons at a Louisville country club” if either’s alma mater went further in the tournament. Notice the subtle “I am country and he is elitist” theme, which is ridiculous since both men are rich and neither could hunt their way out of a paper bag. Conway rejected the idea, because he is a UK fan over Duke, and then Mongiardo sent out this press release:

Mongiardo campaign spokesperson, Kim Geveden said, “We are disappointed that Jack Conway could not get into the spirit of the NCAA Tournament shared by millions of Kentuckians. I guess the fact that Jack is trailing Daniel by 18 points in the latest Bluegrass Poll has removed any sense of humor Jack may have had. But he really should lighten up and take Coach Cal’s advice — ‘have fun.’”

“It’s too bad Conway is so sensitive about attending Duke that he cannot identify with the good natured fun of the NCAA. After all, even in these difficult economic times, a love for Wildcat basketball during March Madness is a common bond shared by Kentuckians of every political stripe and economic standing. It’s too bad Jack Conway doesn’t understand that,” Geveden added.

Geveden dismissed Conway’s claim to have picked Kentucky over Duke in his NCAA bracket saying, “Real Wildcat fans aren’t fooled by Jack’s claim to having picked Kentucky over Duke. While it is interesting to watch Jack flip-flop on his allegiance to his alma mater, we can’t help but wonder how Jack’s fellow Dukies will react when they learn that one of their own has apparently forsaken them and Duke Blue Devil fans everywhere.”

Mongiardo had wagered that if his Wildcats lost and Duke advanced farther in the NCAA tournament than U.K., Mongiardo would purchase a hunting license for Conway and serve as his personal hunting guide on a turkey hunt in western Kentucky. If Conway lost and Kentucky advanced farther, Conway would serve as Mongiardo’s personal golf instructor at Louisville’s Audubon Country Club, where Conway is a member.

That press release reads as if it was written by the lamest person who thinks they are cute in the state. Here is a little secret folks…I run the largest Kentucky blog on the internet and probably put more hours into following Kentucky basketball than any person that doesnt work at, or play for, the program. And you know what, I WENT TO DUKE. Why? Because it is a good school, even if it is full of the dorkiest, most annoying basketball fans in the world. And you know what else? I HATE THEIR BASKETBALL PROGRAM with a passion that isnt really matched by anything except for my dislike for Jay Leno, Skip Bayless and black olives. And you know what else? IF YOU ASKED ME TO BE FOR DUKE, I WOULD PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. I hate them that much. Does that mean I am not a Kentuckian or that I couldnt name every UK player since the late 1940s when you wouldnt know what a Carlos Toomer was if he came and sat on your lap? I dont think so.

So no, Mongiardo you didnt score any political points…you looked like John Kerry shooting the geese…talking about something you dont know in a way that makes you look smug and ridiculous. I have no dog in the Senate fight and three of the four candidates (besides Paul) have been on our podcast and all seemed likeable. But folks, you are running for Senate, not for President of the UK Alumni Assocation. If going to Duke means you cant cheer for UK, then you come take Kentucky Sports Radio out of my cold, dead hands. Or at least debate Bryan the Intern…whichever you prefer.

Article written by Matt Jones

75 responses to “UK vs Duke Brings Out Silliness in Kentucky Senate Race”

  1. WH

    NERD FIGHT!!!!!

  2. BigBlueWestCoast

    Hilarious. Ridiculous.

  3. really

    I love how we value education in this country.

  4. lexintonian

    the sad thing is this probably will help steer some votes

  5. AFBlue

    The whole is stupid!

  6. Justin

    These politicians are idiots

  7. actually

    they really went and done told he !

  8. AFBlue

    thing is stupid…now I feel like them!

  9. ladylove

    haha.. matt the way to fix politics, let them go huntin, and eventually the country boy with some common sense will get a chance

  10. lexslamman

    Rand Paul… Duke fan. Who would have thought it possible?

    Then again, of course he wouldn’t cheer for a team from a public institution.

  11. bidcaller

    Matt, my brother. I also HATE black olives. All is well. I am a conservative but I would probably vote for you if you campaigned against offering black olives in the free world.


  12. RKA

    It’s not sad it’s hilarious …… It won’t steal some votes it will absolutely demolish Rand Paul……He has no idea the about the people he is trying to appeal to.

  13. Richie Farmer

    You went to DUKE!!!!! i am deleting this link!! you dirty dookie! lol.. jk

  14. BFrey

    Straight from The Onion…right?

  15. Hibber

    I think the funniest thing about this whole article is I’m reading it next to a Trey Greyson “Beat DUKE, Vote Greyson” web banner ad. LOL.

  16. Mack

    Jay Leno?

  17. Cobb
  18. peyton

    Hey matt, you forgot to add your dislike for DOGS!!!

  19. Mack

    How about out of BTI’s cold, dead hands.

  20. Chest Rockwell

    Just how shitty is Dan Mongiardo’s press release?

    Use of the phrase “flip-flop”? Check.
    Use of the phrase “these difficult economic times”? Check.
    Shot at opponent via “the polls”? Check.
    General smarminess? Check.

  21. Just call me Tay

    This stuff is embarrasing for our state. It is the sad affair of politics in our country. Politicians will do anything to get elected. The people are their last concern. This is the majority of politicians, regardless of party. Their enablers are the dumb people who get swayed by such BS.

    I wish some of them would watch John Adams on HBO and understand what real leaders are made up of.. George Washington could have been President for life.. as close to a King as you could be but he turned it down. There is not a single politician that could come remotely close to the founding fathers. Pathetic

  22. TampaCat

    Matt, did you just call duke a bunch of “sniches?” way to go dog! You’re such a lil “devil!” 😉 all puns intended!

  23. Matt says

    I don’t even like dogs! I most certainly don’t like devils!

  24. Tom Cruise

    Mongiado, Mongiado, Mongiado, Mongiado. You’re being glib.

  25. CalifCatFan

    Damn, Lawdog, you are hitting on all cylinders. I just heard the replay on your debate with Clay Travis, and you are smoking, my friend. No one messes with Matt Jones…bad haircut and all.

  26. Team Blue

    Can we PLEASE get the podcast on iTunes! It’s still not on there

  27. LOL

    This was actually really funny. I mean what was Rand Paul thinking saying that? Obviously Grayson was joking and this ad seems to be very tongue in cheek. He scores points with me by being funny, being relevant and hating Duke.

  28. JollyRoger

    Grayson is desperate. He’s down 15 points in the primary and his solution is to attack Paul for being a Duke grad?

  29. KadizKat

    Politics aside, can anyone steer me to a site where I can hear Tom Leach call of Cousins’ tip-in?

  30. TampaCat

    Anyone catch this? Calipari had some interesting comments on John Wall. “He wants to stay,” Calipari said. “We’ll have to talk about it afterward.”

  31. C-A-T-S

    Grayson and Conway win this round.

  32. Chest Rockwell

    @10 lexslamman – quite witty, my friend!

  33. jaxcats8503

    Glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t see it on iTunes.

  34. nybrasky

    Well played by Grayson…not so much by Mongiardo. Get a new spokesperson and PR team.

  35. GoCats!

    Let’s send them both jerseys and call it even.

  36. sunnycat

    I thought this was Kentucky Sports Radio NOT Kentucky Politics Radio

  37. Ashley Judd, I'm available

    – Vandy will dominate Murray St.
    – Florida will win one game.
    – Villanova will go to the Final 4.
    – We will lose to Vill because of less experience.
    – Travis Ford will win one game.
    – Richmond is For REAL!!!
    – Georgetown may win it ALL.

  38. UK2K

    Sports+Politics=BCS/MLB drug testing/expanding the NCAA tounament/NOT GOOD

  39. diehardblue

    where can i get the tom leach audio for the cousins tip in???????

  40. KadizKat

    #39 very good question if I do say so

  41. Nick

    All politicians are jokes, and I’m sick of them all.

  42. uk3

    but we all know politics is about appealling to the largest group – and that is always the ingnorant poeple who seriously base voting decisions on stuff like this. I think it is great.

  43. RobCary

    I was driving back through TN today and heard your discussion with Clay Travis. Well done Matt!! He had a very difficult time in answering your arguments and had to admit he had no facts to back up his feelings about Calipari.

  44. WildcatFanEastKY

    I think these two are morons, everyone running right now is, they are all pro coal which is going to leave KY even farther behind then it already is and they have no real ideas to help Kentuckians. And no real motive but to have their egos stroked by getting elected to the senate. We have had to put up with terrible Jim and Mitch for 20+ years now and then we are supposed to chose between these buffoons!! CHILD PLEASE!!!!! No wonder KY has 30 of the nations 100 poorest counties right in the heart of the commonwealth. PLEASE GET RID OF THE SENATE THE ARE ALL USELESS!! We don’t need them!! At the very least impose term limits!! Anyway GO BIG BLUE!!

  45. Kravitz

    All i can say is DORK.-with all the intense political issues facing Kentuckians and this is his play? sad. MAtt Jones went to Duke…so what. i have sat next to Trey in his fathers seats at Rupp….i was chest bumping after dunks while he was giving his best Judge Smails golf clap.
    i felt much dumber after watching this ad.

  46. Julius Ceasar

    #44 – That is exactly how I felt about the Senate. Until I got stabbed! Beware the “ides of March!”

  47. KarlRove

    If you think that stuff is bad, just wait and see what Ritchie Farmer wheels out when he runs for Governor.

  48. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy

    Trey Greyson is a TOOL

  49. WildcatFanEastKY

    #46 Unless in times of war when then thew Senate was dissolved anyway right? Not to mention they had no checks and balances as we are supposed to today.What I meant by that was that the house is fine on its own it is not as divided along partisan lines and seems to be able to pass legislation much more effectively. I feel like in these times of a 24hr news cycle that partisan lines and blame game politics are really driven by the Senate. Why should it be up to 100 people to decide whether something is right or wrong for 300 million. The Senate is an outdated idea that even when the legislative process was crafted was said to not be necessary by Thomas Jefferson himself. All i am saying is we need something closer to a parliamentary system, or term limits with campaign finance reform.

  50. SkyAntoine

    I would rather my children be penniless and toothless with an 6th grade education than get an education at Duke. But…that’s just me. Go Trey!

  51. TSmithPage

    I thought Matt went to Transy. Law school doesn’t count. yitbos. 🙂

  52. OwensboroCatFan


  53. kyblue96

    Mongiardo your political games will have one consequence in this race… your dumbass will probably get the entire Kentucky blasted in the national media for being crazy. Thanks dummy

  54. jayZEEblue

    Dumb ad., may appeal to morons but most of them dont even vote.
    Trey Grayson went to HARVARD FOR undergrad….??!!
    I guess its a bad thing thing that Paul went to one of the best Med. schools in the Country? .
    focus on the issues idiots.
    GO CATS!

  55. Dustin Anderson

    I’m with you, Matt. I went to Univ. of Florida law school, and you can’t find anyone who hates the Gators more than I do. One quibble with your post: you might not agree with McCain’s politics (I don’t either, but I suspect for different reasons), but dude was a POW for over 5 years. That gives him a man of the people poser pass in my book.

  56. KY Girl in Blue

    I would do many many things to see Matt punch Mongiardo’s campaign manager in the face. Or the ‘nads, I’m not that picky.

  57. Shelby County

    You’re right Matt, it can be used as a “cute” little political jab. But surely to goodness people won’t really base their vote on this. Duke or no Duke, Matt’s the man.

  58. The Onion
  59. Apolitical

    Mongiardos stuff is a bit ridiculous, but I though Trey’s commerical was pretty funny. Just a little shot that almost makes fun of itself.

  60. Nathan

    They are all Doctors or Lawyers, I wont vote for either regardless of what university they attended. To me Paul is like a carpetbagger, Greyson is a dweeb, Conway might be ok, and Mongiardo likes them young, but was Bunning any better?

  61. lexslamman

    When Ronald Reagan got Alzheimer’s Disease, how could they tell?

  62. lexslamman

    They shouldn’t even call the spine removal process ‘Law School”

  63. Syrin

    I went to grade school and high school with Jack Conway. He was a pompous as hell back then. I can’t imagine that has changed.

  64. catsin02

    I can handle that Rand Paul went to Duke medical school I can’t handle former Democrat and “Slick Willy” supporter Trey Grayson running in the Republican primary

  65. Chipper

    An ad with Carlos Toomer sitting on a candidate’s lap just might be effective. An ad with Art Laib in it would cinch the election.

  66. bballdoc

    OK,confession time. I grew up in central KY and went to Duke, class of ’73. The first time I came home for Christmas vacation, it was Duke vs UK in the UKIT. Dan Issel against Randy Denton, a center who reminds me of Zoubek: tall and that’s about it. Issel ate his lunch and UK was up 20 at halftime. I was a little conflicted in my loyalty for that first half, being a freshman in a new school and all. NEVER AGAIN. Thank you, Dan Issel, for reminding me of what’s what.

  67. scfcats

    They should’ve run against Louisville fans, then maybe I’d consider voting for them.

  68. JeffCoUKFan

    Say what you will, but the Grayson ad was hilarious. I read on a news site that Grayson folks even admitted it was in jest. I like that he is a UK fan who doesn’t take the whole political thing too seriously. He gets it.

    Mongiardo just blew it. He took the fun out of the Grayson ad by going way over the top. It was clearly a political stunt. He lost points in my book. I am convinced neither he or Conway are true fans.

    Conway scores points in my book for pointing out that Mongiardo is just using the Cats as a political tool. Paul loses points because he doesn’t understand the passion of the Big Blue Nation. We are serious about our Cats!

    Go Big Blue!

  69. Jack Conway

    I said on the KSR podcast that I root for Duke. I am out of touch.

  70. Kravitz

    # 68 if that ad is “hilarious” you should consider some other hobbies outside of dungeons and dragons with your middle aged buddies. And Grayson of course isnt using it as a political tool. wow.

  71. denise

    I thought Mongiardo went to Transy.

  72. Kentucky Truth

    Interesting that this politician is using sports to divert attention from the real issues facing this country. Grayson is a traditional Republican in the mold of the other neo-cons. He will only expand government and it’s role in Kentuckians’ lives. This guy completely insults the intelligence of all Kentucky voters thinking he can manipulate sports to win votes. Please, Kentuckians, step beyond that. This guy offers nothing of real substance or change. Vote for liberty.

  73. David Jacobson

    IT ISN’T IN JEST when it is the one ad that he is spending the most money on. Grayson says its in jest, but he’s 100% serious and putting his money into this in a big way (bumper stickers and all.) It’s a funny little side note in a debate that could win points, if done artfully. However this is his main argument of why we should elect him. Grayson has just stumbled over the edge to become embarrassing at this point. He’s embarrassing for Kentucky, and UK, and I’m beginning to think we also need a new Secretary of State. He’s being made fun of all over the national media, we really don’t need this kind of attention, we need a Senator, not a late night joke.

    If UK picked their basketball players this way, where would they be today? If he were serious about watching UK basketball, he would have learned that you make your choices based on ability, not nepotism. We sure don’t want to pick our Senators this way either.

  74. Terry Blake

    Matt’s last 2 paragraphs made me hot:). I would have his baby

  75. Simon Kenton

    I am DEFINITELY not a republican, but nor am I a democrat.

    Still, I will take the lesser of 2 evils, and I actually like Trey Grayson. He’s my next door neighbor, AND truly a good guy. That’s from personal experience. After my talks with him, he is surely no homer on either side of the fence.

    He is very intelligent and has a great personality. Plus, he’s a moderate, and that’s what we need in a state/national/international world of ridiculous extremists.

    Plus, he’s a UK boy. We need more reasonable guys like this. ‘
    Yeah, I’m biased, but I’m no sucker either. He’s your guy, especially after a dinosaur like Bunning.