By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 14th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
We’re very proud of the work our friend Ramel Bradley is doing with AppHarvest, and on Sunday night, they’ll both be featured on 60 Minutes.
The famous CBS News show recently spent a week in Eastern Kentucky to learn more about the high-tech agricultural company that’s building giant greenhouses to grow produce and create jobs in a region that desperately needs them. The “Rise of the Rest” Fund recently invested in AppHarvest as part of its focus on working with entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley and other coastal tech hubs. The fund is managed by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case and best-selling author J.D. Vance (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and is backed by more than 30 iconic business leaders, including Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.
As part of the feature, 60 Minutes crews filmed Ramel leading the agricultural entrepreneurs class at Shelby Valley High School in Pike County. Talk about must-see TV.
Here’s a preview:
“75% of venture capital money went to three states: California, New York and Massachusetts… not in the middle of the country and we just have to change that.” Billionaire investor Steve Case looks to bring that change, Sunday on 60 Minutes https://t.co/S0GbKt3Kb1 pic.twitter.com/276DZh4Pig
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 13, 2019
Sunday night, 7 p.m. ET. Set the DVR.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 14th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
This morning, multiple tornadoes touched down near Paducah, causing significant damage. So far, there’s only been one injury reported, and it’s not life-threatening, which is pretty remarkable when you see the footage and pictures of the storm and its aftermath.
— Live Storm Chasers (@Livestormchaser) March 14, 2019
This is the school, Ryan and the girls where in the car on that street as the trees fell and watched it happen.
Ryan Long grabbed this photo. One of the tornados damaged this church by Barkley Regional Airport in McCracken County. pic.twitter.com/hbJD9ShpJe
— Eric Chumbler (@EricChumbler) March 14, 2019
TORNADO – Paducah, KYPermission: Jared Borum
Posted by Live Storm Chasers on Thursday, March 14, 2019
Wild. Everyone stay safe as these storms make their way across the Bluegrass (and Nashville) today.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 07th, 2019 @ 3:30pm
We’re getting close to that time of year when Louisville becomes preoccupied with all things Derby, and to celebrate, the Louisville Bats will become the Derby City Mint Juleps for two games next month.
This morning, the Reds’ AAA team and Four Roses Bourbon announced that on April 13 and 27, the Bats will wear special Mint Julep-themed uniforms to kick off the start of Derby season at Louisville Slugger Field. Mint Juleps will be sold, along with Derby City Mint Juleps merchandise. Here’s a better look at those uniforms, which honor the drink, the Derby, the city of Louisville, and the sport of horse racing:
A dash of Louisville, a twist of Derby, and a whole lot of baseball makes one strong cocktail. On April 13th and 27th, we become the Derby City Mint Juleps. pic.twitter.com/oAMNUG70qb
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) March 7, 2019
Can’t wait until next month to get your hands on some Derby City Mint Juleps gear? It’s already up for sale on derbycitymintjuleps.com.
Warren Central student suspended for refusing request to stop sitting in other team’s student section
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 01st, 2019 @ 1:45pm
In January, Warren Central student Keylin Haynie attended his school’s basketball game at South Warren. At one point, he got up from his seat and walked over to the South Warren student section to talk to some friends he grew up playing baseball with. A Warren Central teacher came over and asked him to move back to the visitor’s side, but he refused. Little did he know that decision would result in his suspension from school and being kicked off the baseball team and out of the Junior ROTC program.
As you might expect, Haynie and his mother appealed the suspension, which would force him to miss six days or attend Jackson Academy for 25 days, and started an online petition, which has over 4,000 signatures. The Warren County Board of Education held a public hearing over the matter last night, which lasted over six hours. The school argued that they wanted Haynie to move back to their side to prevent an altercation, referencing his history of bad behavior, but Haynie insists he was just chatting with his friends.
“They brought up the fact that I need to move and the principal was going to give us a referral if we didn’t move,” Haynie told WNKY40. “I’m just sitting here socializing. There’s nothing wrong going on.”
“He wasn’t doing anything, and he still has that right,” said Stephanie Tracy-Bundy, Haynie’s mother. “If he’s not doing anything, [the teachers] should’ve never approached him in the first place.”
According to WBKO, the school board decided 5-1 to extend Haynie’s time at Jackson Academy by another 25 days.
UPDATE: Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton submitted this statement to KSR about the matter.
“Typically, we would not comment publicly on a student disciplinary incident; however, in this case, the parent requested that it be made open to the public. Based upon much misinformation, I find it important to provide clarity by sharing some important facts surrounding this entire situation. First, the safety of students and staff at school events is paramount and school officials have an obligation to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of students, staff, and spectators at all school activities and school sponsored events.
It’s important to note that in an effort to prevent a potential situation that could endanger the safety and welfare of those in attendance, multiple students were directed to move out of the opponent’s student section and most of them complied. Those who didn’t were held accountable for defiance of authority in accordance with Board policy. Unfortunately, the parent, student, and his attorney have taken the position that he did not have a responsibility to comply with multiple requests from adults.
I am proud of how multiple adults, including Principal Mike Stevenson and assistant principal Rita Daniels, tried to de escalate this student’s situation before it became a disciplinary incident. But this is not solely about where a student was sitting in the stands or a singular incident that occurred at a basketball game. There are more than 6 hours of testimony and 2 ½ years of behavior records the Board members carefully considered and the facts, taken as a whole, speak for themselves. I encourage everyone to review the entirety of this information before passing any judgment.
Moving forward, our community can trust us to continue adhering to all Board policies in an effort to ensure schools’ activities are safe and enjoyable for all involved.”
By Hey Kentucky! on ©February 25th, 2019 @ 9:45pm
During Kentucky’s legislative session, one topic is receiving extra attention: sports gambling. Representative Adam Koenig stops by Hey Kentucky to talk about his bill that would bring legalized sports betting to the Bluegrass.
Want more Hey Kentucky? Check out the rest of Monday’s show from Louisville with Matt Jones and Chip Cosby.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 22nd, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Believe it or not, Top Chef‘s time in Kentucky is about to come to an end. This week, the chefs take one last lap around the Bluegrass before heading to an exotic location for the finale. To the recap!
Quickfire Challenge: Oh yeah, the gardens!
In case those not so subtle shots of the gardens outside the mansion in the past few episodes weren’t indication enough, the chef’s homegrown veggies are the center of this week’s Quickfire Challenge. Tom wakes the chefs up and tells them to come outside. As they stumble around sleepily, I marvel at the fact that they’re all still asleep at 7:50 a.m. That elimination challenge must have kept them up pretty late.
Once in the gardens, Tom introduces Ouita Michel, a Bluegrass culinary pioneer who owns several restaurants in the region, including the Holly Hill Inn in Midway. Not surprisingly, Kentucky girl Sara geeks out a little. Tom also announces that the Last Chance Kitchen winner will be rejoining the competition. (Oh yeah, Last Chance Kitchen!) After beating out Eddie with a fantastic Hidden Valley Ranch dish, Michelle is back, and I don’t think we should forget that her grandmother was a shaman for the most dangerous cartel in Mexico. She’s got sneaky staying power, y’all.
I digress. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the Quickfire Challenge is to harvest the vegetables from their gardens and make a garden-focused dish. The winner will get $10,000. Some chefs (Sara, Kelsey) have taken better care of their gardens than others (Eric), giving them more to work with. After some mild drama (Kelsey burns her hand, Michelle can’t get all of her veggies on the plate), Justin’s radish salad wins.
As Justin is basking in the glow of his $10,000 win, we find out that only five of the six remaining chefs will move on to the finals, which will be held in…Macau, China! Also known as, the Las Vegas of Asia. Or, that place they went in Skyfall. Sucks that one of these chefs has to miss out on that.
Elimination Challenge: Honor thy Mentor
The chefs head to Keeneland, specifically the Sales Pavilion. They’re greeted by Padma and Ouita, who give them their task. For their final meal in Kentucky, the chefs will make a dish inspired by their own “pedigree,” (GET IT, LIKE HORSES) meaning they will make a thank you dish to their culinary mentor, who will join the judges for dinner at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. They’ll have $500 to use for ingredients, but there’s a twist! They’ll get to bid on specialty items, like fish, ham, steak, and vegetables in addition to what they buy at Whole Foods. This whole auction bit is pretty lame, honestly, but at least the Keeneland auctioneer gets some screen time.
Once all the ingredients are in hand, it’s back to Louisville. Here is each chef’s dish and the judges’ reaction…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 15th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
After cooking for John Calipari and the BBN at Rupp Arena last week, Top Chef: Kentucky tackles two more of the state’s icons: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Muhammad Ali. To the recap!
The episode opens on the six remaining chefs in the Rupp Arena visitor’s locker room, where Sara is still reeling from the waffle mix drama. She apologizes to Adrienne for lashing out, explaining how much Rupp Arena means to her because her grandfather used to bring her to Kentucky games growing up. I hear that. Thankfully, they bury the hatchet and everyone moves on. The chefs drive back to Louisville, and the camera pans over their gardens at the mansion. Remember those? You know they’ll come up again.
Back in the kitchen, the chefs are greeted by Padma and Art Smith, an award-winning chef who loves fried chicken so much he copied Colonel Sanders’ facial hair. For the Quickfire Challenge, chefs are tasked with creating their own blend of herbs and spices ala Kentucky Fried Chicken, but the twist is, they can only use herbs and spices they can identify while blindfolded. Sara and Kelsey are the only two chefs who are even remotely good at this, identifying twelve and eleven spices, respectively. Eric gets seven and Adrienne, Eddie, and Justin six. Justin couldn’t even get salt right. I’m not a chef, but how is that even possible?
So, Sara has a huge advantage and ends up winning, in large part because everyone else undercooks or overcooks their chicken. Congrats, Sara! You don’t get immunity, but you do get $5,000, which should buy plenty of tickets to Kentucky games. Also, now I want fried chicken.
This week’s elimination challenge shines a spotlight on The Greatest Kentuckian: Muhammad Ali. The chefs are asked to make a dish inspired by one of Muhammad Ali’s fights as part of a six-course meal for a charity gala. They’ll have 30 minutes to menu plan, $550 to spend at Whole Foods, three hours to prep and cook, and an additional two hours to cook at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville. This week’s guest judge? Laila Ali, Ali’s daughter. That’s pretty awesome, and everyone fangirls a little bit.
We can see why our judges are fangirling—preach, @TheRealLailaAli! ????
— Bravo's Top Chef (@BravoTopChef) February 14, 2019
The chefs have to decide who is doing which course/famous fight, and Sara initially balks at taking the Fight at Freedom Hall because it means she’ll have to make another Kentucky-centric dish. She makes two of the other chefs draw for it and she ends up with it again, so, you know, tough titties. Little does she know this will end up being a blessing in disguise.
Here’s each dish and the fight it’s inspired by:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
A picture is captivating the internet today and it comes from my hometown of Danville, Kentucky, where a man caught a 20 lbs. goldfish at a private pond this past weekend.
What you are witnessing is NOT national geographic! It is not a stolen image or edited photo! This is my brother!! Who…
Hunter Anderson, an avid fisherman who works at a bait and tackle shop in Danville, went to the pond with his girlfriend because he heard there were goldfish and koi there. He was right in a big, big way. There’s plenty of debate over whether the catch is a goldfish or a large koi, but there’s no denying it’s a beast. A beast that likes Lee’s Famous Recipe biscuits.
“Believe it or not we ate at Lee’s earlier in the day and I took a piece of Lee’s biscuit and put it on a hook and that fish ate it,” Anderson told WKYT.
The best part? He put the fish back.
“I thought it deserved to swim another day. Maybe somebody else will catch it. Maybe a kid can catch it and be as happy as I was. I was jumping for joy.”
That sound you just heard was Kash Daniel’s truck peeling out of the parking lot as he heads to Danville.
It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. I want to shed light on this amazing industry and what it means for Kentucky.
We can all agree that February is the worst month of the year, correct? The NFL is over, March Madness doesn’t start for another month, Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday of all time and it’s still cold.
Thankfully for craft beer lovers in Kentucky, there is one thing to look forward to in February, Tailspin Ale Fest.
Tailspin Ale Fest is a winter warmer beer festival held at Bowman Field in Louisville. The event will be held next Saturday, February 16 at 3 pm – 7 pm (2 pm -7 pm for VIP).
Tailspin founders Trevor Cravens and Tisha Gainey knew the historic and iconic airfield would be the perfect location for their winter warmer.
“In my experience, some of the best festivals I’ve been to around the country have as much to do with where they took place as much as they did with what was going on at the event,” Cravens said.
Bowman Field was established in 1919 and is one of the longest continuously operating general aviation airports in the United States.
“We love making it [the airfield] a focus of the beer community for a day,” Cravens said.
Unlike the past five years, no part the festival will not be held inside one of the hangers. Everything will be “outside” under 40,000 square feet of tents with lots (and lots) of heaters.
A beer festival outside in February? Cravens believes that’s the best part.
“We absolutely embrace that it’s outdoors. We kind of think that’s part of the fun, that’s part of the attraction,” Cravens said.
“I would be the first to tell you that doesn’t mean you don’t have to dress warm for the weather. Thankfully we’re in Kentucky. Just because it’s February doesn’t mean it has to be too cold. It’s been 14 degrees at Tailspin and it’s been 68 degrees at Tailspin.”
The weather and location aren’t the only two things that make this beer festival unique.
“Honestly, what truly makes Tailspin stand apart from any event we do, and this is important to craft beer enthusiasts, brewery participation. Ninety-eight percent of the breweries represented at our festival will have a brewery representative.”
“And that’s really important to us and people who’ve been to beer festivals,” Cravens continued. “No one can talk about your beer as well as you can.”
Many of those representatives will be from breweries across Kentucky. Kentucky breweries will have their own area at the festival called Kentucky Heritage section. Cravens put the Kentucky breweries next to each for more than geographical reasons. He put them next to each other because there is a solidarity among them.
“It’s comradery for them. They all know each other. They all want to be around their friends. It’s also a strong statement about what’s happening in Kentucky beer. In the past and probably even now some people look at our state and think it’s lagging in beer, but the truth is there is a lot of really really good beer coming out of Kentucky.”
According to a study by C+R Research company, Kentucky has the 2nd largest brewery growth during the past four years. Kentucky experienced a 43% percent growth in the number of breweries since 2015. Kentucky currently has 1.6 breweries per 100,000 residents at least 21 years old.
And, as you can expect the Kentucky Heritage section is always the most popular at the festival.
“That particular area is usually one of the more crowded sections of the event. People like to know what’s in Kentucky that I can’t get here [Louisville]. We do have some breweries in other parts of Kentucky that aren’t heavily distributed in Louisville. So they get a chance to come up and show off what they’re doing.”
Tailspin will be serving over 250 from 75 breweries across the country. The festival will also feature photo-ops with pin-up girls, a silent disco, a Magnolia Photo Booth, the Bourbon Barrel Beer Bar and the Cider & Sour Bar.
“We don’t have a lot of flagship beers,” Cravens said. “We spend a lot of time and a lot of resources procuring the beers for the festival. A lot of them are, like I said it’s a winter warmer, so a lot of them are bigger beers, barrel-aged stuff and higher ABV. That is in itself what makes Tailspin a special event.”
There is something for everyone at this festival. Beer lover or not, you won’t want to miss this winter warmer. Get your tickets now!
[Ed. Note: This recap contains spoilers for the episode that aired tonight. If you didn’t watch live, consider yourself warned.]
Finally, the Top Chef: Kentucky episode we’ve all been waiting for! This week, the chefs cook for John Calipari, the judges, and a group of fans at Rupp Arena, which Kentucky girl Sara calls the dream of a lifetime. Will it become a nightmare over a box of waffle mix? To the recap!
Quickfire Challenge: Fort Knox of Bouillon Cubes
I’m guessing Fort Knox didn’t make the cut of attractions the show will visit because it’s (sort of) featured in this week’s Quickfire Challenge. Bullion is what you call gold or silver in bulk, so the chefs must solve riddles to open a vault of — wait for it — bouillon cubes. The bouillon cubes will be the only seasonings they’re allowed to use to make a dish for Padma and this week’s guest judge, Ed Lee, a Top Chef alum, James Beard Award nominee, and head chef at 610 Magnolia in Louisville. He’s a pretty big deal on the Bluegrass foodie scene, or, as Kelsey calls him, a “Kentucky King.”
The chefs quickly solve the riddles to open the case of bouillon cubes (although Adrienne guessing lettuce as another word for money has me seriously questioning her intelligence) and get to work. While they cook, we find out that Sara’s mother used bouillon cubes and hot water as a cold remedy (gross) and Eric did his thesis on bouillon cubes (weird). These emotional ties help both land in the top three along with Eddie, but Eddie’s Vegetable Caponata gets the win, which will give him an “incredible advantage” in the elimination challenge.
Spoilers for the Elimination Challenge through the jump…
By Drew Franklin on ©February 04th, 2019 @ 6:26pm
If you’ve ever wanted to star in a romantic comedy alongside Drew Barrymore, here’s your chance.
Barrymore is coming to Kentucky to film scenes for her new movie, “The Stand-In,” about an actress (Barrymore) who trades lives with her stand-in, hence the name of the movie. Shooting locations include downtown Lexington and downtown Versailles. It will shoot later this month.
The Lexington-based production studio, Wrigley Media Group, is asking for extras in Kentucky to potentially appear in the movie, presumably in background shots with no lines or credit whatsoever, because that is my understanding of the role of an extra. I know I said you can star with Barrymore and that’s not exactly true but it’s kind of close because you can say you were in a movie with the Hollywood star and that is still closer than you’ve ever been.
So, to follow up on this opportunity, simply click this link right here and fill out the form. But let me warn you… I will also be auditioning for one of the extra spots, and though I’ve never met Drew Barrymore, I think we have pretty great chemistry going all the way back to our younger days. I was a big E.T. fan and she was in E.T. I watched it all the time and even had an E.T. metal lunchbox. And then there was the time a young Drew Franklin stumbled upon a Playboy magazine with “DREW” in big letters and Barrymore on the cover. I didn’t open it because I wasn’t 18 at the time but it really grabbed my attention because it had my name on it. I think they have to pick me.
According to Google Trends, Kentucky’s most popular Super Bowl snack is taco salad.
Google Trends are always a fascinating glimpse into the regional delicacies and traditions, and their Super Bowl breakdown of the foods searched for most uniquely in each state is no different.
Last time I checked, taco salad is not a regional delicacy and tradition in Kentucky. Google is a liar.
I’m really glad I don’t live in Mississippi, Massachusetts or Iowa.
What’s your favorite Super Bowl snack? And, do you make taco salad? Let us know in the comment section.
After partying on Lake Cumberland last week, Top Chef: Kentucky hops on the Cumberland Parkway and takes I-65 South for a quick trip to Nashville. To the recap!
The chefs arrive at the Grand Old Opry, where they’re greeted by Padma in a denim jumpsuit and slicked back hair because NASHVILLE, Y’ALL. The Quickfire Challenge is actually pretty cool: make breakfast, lunch, or dinner for a mystery country music star based on their rider, aka preference sheet. The singer likes eggs, oatmeal, and red meat, and. Once the dishes are complete, Padma introduces the mystery star: Hunter Hayes. Kelsey immediately freaks out and says she’s been a fan of his since high school, which is odd because I think she’s actually older than him, but hey, at least there’s one country music fan in the house. Despite being super paranoid about people watching him eat, Hayes picks Eric’s oatmeal, Sara’s cauliflower, and Adrienne’s steak as his favorites. Ultimately, it’s Adrienne’s simple steak that wins, which is really impressive because she was so sick on the drive down that she made them pull the car over so she could puke. Adrienne gets an extra hour to cook in the Elimination Challenge, a pretty huge prize.
For this week's Quickfire Challenge, our cheftestants must whip up a meal for a famous country crooner that hits all the right notes! ?
— Bravo's Top Chef (@BravoTopChef) January 31, 2019
It’s NASHVILLE, Y’ALL, so the music theme continues as the chefs are tasked with creating a dish inspired by a music memory. They’ll have two hours to prep and cook and an additional two hours the next day. They’ll serve the dishes at a restaurant downtown for a group of Nashville culinary elites, Kings of Leon lead singer Caleb Followill, his wife, model Lily Aldridge, and of course, the judges.
Here’s each chef’s song and corresponding dish:
Last night, Josh Allen was named the Herald-Leader’s Sports Figure of the Year, another well-deserved honor. Benny Snell and Mark Stoops also finished in the top five, further proof of a banner year for Kentucky Football. Here’s the top ten:
1. Josh Allen, UK Football
2. Benny Snell, UK Football
3. Justify, Triple Crown winner
4. Mark Stoops, UK Football
5. Asia Durr, UofL Women’s Basketball
6. Sydney McLaughlin, UK Track & Field
7. Rachael Denhollander, Louisville attorney and former Michigan gymnast who helped bring Larry Nassar to justice
8. Rondale Moore, Purdue Football, Trinity HS alum
9. Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers, Henry Clay HS alum
10. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz, UofL Basketball alum
How did the KSR crew vote? It probably won’t shock you, but our ballots were decidedly UK-centric.
1. Mark Stoops – Stoops proved the doubters wrong by leading Kentucky Football to its first ten-win season since 1977, and he did it with a strong rushing attack and defense, not a flash-in-the-pan gimmick that’s brought the program national attention in years past.
2. Josh Allen – A former two-star recruit, Allen is now a projected top three NFL Draft pick after a historic senior season at Kentucky; if that’s not proof that Mark Stoops’ method of discovering and developing talent works, I’m not sure what is.
3. Benny Snell – From his first carries as a freshmen, you knew Benny Snell would be special. His hard-running style, mega watt smile, and infectious personality made him a rockstar, right down to when he dropped to his knees in the end zone after breaking Kentucky’s all-time rushing record, a picture-perfect moment.
4. Justify – “It will be a long time before another horse wins the Triple Crown,” they said after American Pharoah did it in 2015. “Not so fast,” said Justify.
5. Dontaie Allen – If not for a season-ending knee injury, the Pendleton County star would probably have finished his high school career as KHSAA’s all-time leading scorer. Instead, he’ll bring Bluegrass roots back to Kentucky Basketball.
6. Neal Brown – After turning heads for four seasons at Troy, the Danville, Kentucky native is finally joining the majors at West Virginia, which could heat up the recruiting wars in the Commonwealth for years to come.
7. Sydney McLaughlin – The best one-and-done Kentucky’s had in years.
8. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – On a team full of fresh faces, Shai stood out for his relentless work ethic, which turned him from a four-star recruit into a lottery pick.
9. Craig Skinner – Capturing Kentucky fans’ attention in sports other than basketball and football isn’t easy, but Skinner has managed to do it, turning UK Volleyball into a perennial powerhouse.
10. JJ Williams – The face of a rising Kentucky Soccer program, Williams led the Cats to a historic season before being selected 18th in the MLS Super Draft.
1. Benny Snell — Not only did Snell break an elusive all-time rushing record to lead UK to its first ten-win season in 41 years, he made Kentucky football cool. That kind of infectious energy is something that cannot be taught or replicated.
2. Justify — He could not be slowed by the wettest Derby in history, nor was he fazed by Pimlico’s fog. Unfortunately, American Pharoah’s recent run took away too much of the spotlight from Justify’s Triple Crown victory.
3. Mark Stoops — The SEC Coach of the Year could have (and probably should have) won the national award as well for turning UK into a 10-win team.
4. Josh Allen — Arguably the greatest defender in school history, an NFL general manager will lose his job for passing on Allen.
5. Sydney McLaughlin — What records didn’t she break?
6. Josh Paschal — The Kentucky defensive end was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the preseason and finished the year on the football field. His fight and determination to beat cancer motivated his teammates and inspired fans across the Commonwealth.
7. Rondale Moore — Moore immediately grabbed the spotlight, setting an all-purpose yards record in his nationally televised debut, before he became the catalyst in an upset victory over Ohio State, a win that galvanized the Purdue community amidst Tyler Trent’s courageous battle against cancer.
8. Cameron Lancaster — Louisville City became the first USL team to go back-to-back, thanks to Lancaster’s efforts.
9. Craig Skinner — Few Kentucky teams can say they went undefeated in conference play, and Skinner’s 2018 team is one of them.
10. Johan Cedergren — UK’s best men’s soccer season ever would not have happened without Cedergren.
1. Josh Allen — Defense was the key to Kentucky’s historic 2018 football season and Josh Allen was the face of it. In my opinion, Allen is the best to ever do it in Lexington; and though the same can be said of Benny Snell, I give Allen the slight nod because he was also the best in the entire country and should be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
2. Benny Snell — Like Allen, I think Benny Snell is the best to ever play his position at the University of Kentucky. The numbers speak for themselves, but he also had that charismatic personality rarely seen out of the football program. Putting him second wasn’t easy.
3. Justify — Only two record-breaking seasons from Kentucky football players can top a Triple Crown winner. If Justify had suited up with Allen and Snell in the Citrus Bowl, I might’ve put him first.
4. Mark Stoops — A case can be made for Mark Stoops at No. 1 on this list, but a big part of his success came from the play of Allen and Snell. Of course, he recruited those two under-the-radar prospects and helped mold them into the otherworldly talents they became, but I still have him running third among the three Sports Figure of the Year contenders from the football program. It’s crazy to think the head coach of UK’s first 10-win season in forever would finish fourth in the voting, but here we are.
(I feel good about my top-four picks after they finished in the same order.)
5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — I admit Gilgeous-Alexander is a little high on my list — he didn’t even make the Top 25 in the overall voting — but I remember when he walked onto campus as a four-star recruit and I remember when he single-handedly won games for Kentucky and then I remember him being picked 11th overall in the draft and now the Clippers love him. It was a very impressive rise in one year and he is still rising.
6. Rondale Moore — A former Trinity star, Rondale Moore led all of college football in receptions in his true freshman season at Purdue, and earned First-Team All-American honors as an all-purpose player. On top of that, he probably played a big role in Jeff Brohm turning down Louisville, which I found HILARIOUS.
7. Sydney McLaughlin — I don’t know exactly how many records Sydney McLaughlin broke at UK but it was a lot. And then she signed a mega-deal to be the new face of New Balance and she’ll be one of the superstars for the U.S.A. in the next Olympics. Kentucky was lucky to have her for a year.
8. Donovan Mitchell — As much as it pains me to admit it, I enjoyed watching Donovan Mitchell’s unexpected rise to stardom with the Utah Jazz, especially in the playoffs. And if not for a second-year Ben Simmons taking advantage of a loophole in the system, Mitchell would’ve been the NBA’s Rookie of the Year last season.
9. Vince Tyra — Former Kentucky baseball standout Vince Tyra took on a shitty job as the leader of a shitty athletic department. He got a sympathy vote from me for all he has to deal with, and it looks like the Chris Mack hire is going to work out.
10. Justin Thomas — As a big golf fan, I had to include Justin Thomas, last year’s winner of the Sports Figure of the Year award. He was the tour’s money leader with $8,694,821 in earnings in 2018.