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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

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Hey local bands! Do you want to play the UK Football pregame concert?

Hey local bands! Do you want to play the UK Football pregame concert?

UK Football’s pregame concerts have become a tradition, and with the season right around the corner, UK is looking for a local band to play the concert before the home opener on September 9. Once the nominations are in, fans will be able to vote for their favorite.

To submit your band, please email BBNfirst@uky.edu with the following information or fill out the form at ukathletics.com/openingact. Nominations will be accepted through July 26.

The pregame concerts will once again be held on the plaza outside Gate 12 of Kroger Field. A schedule for this year’s concerts will be released at a later date.

Just saying, if UK gets the Gin Blossoms like Missouri, I’m totally driving up:


Lexington grandmother calls out rude grandson in epic Kroger comment card

Lexington grandmother calls out rude grandson in epic Kroger comment card

Kids, here’s a helpful tip: Don’t ever tell your grandmother to just “google” something or you might wind up on the bad end of a story gone viral.

Today’s awesome and cautionary tale comes to us from the Euclid Kroger, where a grandmother sent in a comment card to thank one of the store’s employees for helping her get the yogurt-covered cranberries she’d been craving. The customer wrote that the employee was a “fine young man” who went to the trouble to “help an old lady like me” — unlike her grandson Tyler, who just tells her to “google” stuff when she asks him for help. Check out her note, which the store posted on its Customer Comment of the Week sign:

Photo via imgur.com

“I have trouble with all this new technology and it is nice to know that there are bright young people out there that will stop and help an old lady like me,” the customer wrote. “As I was leaving the store, I couldn’t help but wish my own grandson could be more like Nathaniel.

“I know that’s terrible of me to say as a grandmother. Don’t get me wrong I love my Tyler to death, but he is so rude to me sometimes. Whenever I ask for computer help he just tells me to google it. He dresses in all black and it really disturbs me. His mother says it’s only a phase. I hope so.”

Come on, Tyler. Be more like Nathaniel.

[H/t Kentucky.com]


Scary Skill Positions; An Early Look at Southern Miss

Scary Skill Positions; An Early Look at Southern Miss

Pic by UHCougars.com

Are you pencil or Sharpie confident in the Cats winning its opener in Hattiesburg? UK is an early thirteen-point favorite and will be seeking redemption. Offseason motivation should look no further than week one. Let’s take a July look at the Golden Eagles.

Overview

Head Coach: Jay Hopson, 7-6 at Southern Miss

2016 Results: 7-6, beat Louisiana 28-21 in New Orleans Bowl


OFFENSE

Pic of Ito Smith by Sun Herald

Southern Miss lost four-year starting quarterback Nick Mullens who passed for 11,994 career yards. Sophomore QB Keon Howard was forced into action following a Mullens concussion against Charlotte a year ago. The rookie struggled as he turned the football over at a high rate (5 fumbles vs. Old Dominion) and lost both starts. Howard is talented and was vastly recruited out of high school after passing for over 10,000-yards. Kwadra Griggs will also compete for the job. Either Howard or Griggs will have elite skill-position talent to ease the post-Mullens transition.

Ito Smith was one of the best running backs the Wildcats faced in 2016, period. He dominated the second half and finished the Golden Eagles’ upset win over the Wildcats with 173-yards. Smith is special as he’s the only active FBS player with over 3000 career rushing and 1000 receiving yards. He’ll be joined by Biletnikoff watch list receiver Allenzae Staggers (63 catches, 1165-yards, 7 TDs) as well as fellow pass catchers Korey Robertson and Isaiah Jones to form one of the most formidable skill groups that Kentucky will face in 2017.

Tackle Ty Pollard and guard Devin Farrior are the offensive line’s only returning starters. It must replace all conference center Cameron Tom which will be as challenging as replacing its starting quarterback.

Returning Statistical Leaders

-Returning Starters: 6

-Rushing: Ito Smith – 265 carries, 1459 yards, 17 TDs

-Passing: Keon Howard – 22/50, 365 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs

Receiving: Allenzae Staggers – 63 receptions, 1165 yards, 7 TDs, 18.5 yards per catch

2016 Offensive Standings

-Scoring: 32.8 ppg (Conf USA-5th)

-Rush: 174.5 ypg (Conf USA-7th)

-Pass: 298.2 ypg (Conf USA-4th)

-Total: 472.8 ypg (Conf USA-4th)


DEFENSE

Pic of Xavier Thigpen by Hattiesburg American

Safety D’Nerius Antoine and DE Dylan Bradley were highly impactful in USM’s win over Kentucky last September. Much like QB Nick Mullens, the pair is now in the NFL. Hopson will deploy a nickel based defense in the opener. Expect safety/nickel Picasso Nelson and linebacker Sherrod Ruff to lead a unit that finished first in Conference USA’s total defense category by allowing just 324-yards per game. DE Xavier Thigpen led the team in QB sacks and will provide pressure off the edge. 

Returning Statistical Leaders

-Tackles: Picasso Nelson – 48

-Interceptions: Picasso Nelson – 2

-Sacks: Xavier Thigpen – 5

2016 Defensive Standings

-Scoring: 29.5 ppg (Conf USA-4th)

-Rush: 149 ypg (Conf USA-4th)

-Pass: 174 ypg (Conf USA-1st)

-Total: 324 ypg (Conf USA-1st)


What does all this mean?

I expect M.M. Roberts Stadium to be filled to its 36,000 seat capacity on September 2; a significant portion will be wearing blue. First year defensive coordinator Matt House can anticipate a heavy dose of RB Ito Smith as USM offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will likely test the UK defensive line early in the contest. Smith is arguably the nation’s best RB in the screen game which will be utilized to steady its new quarterback. WR Allenzae Staggers vs. Derrick Baity and or Chris Westry will be worth the price of admission. Staggers will be one of the cornerback duo’s top challenges in 2017.

Kentucky will benefit from an experienced and highly talented linebacker corps and secondary to match up against an inexperienced quarterback. The Cats can present an overabundance of pre-snap looks that can quickly transition following the snap of the football which can complicate matters for a new signal caller. Thus, Dawson may keep it simple early with Ito Smith right and Ito Smith left.

Concerns for the Cats when Southern Miss has the football

Easy, prevent big plays. Trust me on this: strip the logo off the helmets and understand that Ito Smith and Allenzae Staggers are two of the better offensive players that UK will face in 2017. A missed tackle against either of these two could lead to an explosive play touchdown. The loss of center Cameron Tom decreases its capability in the physical run game. Tom’s absence plus three new OL starters could allow the UK defensive line to establish early confidence. But, expect Shannon Dawson to frequently test the Kentucky front. UK can’t allow early, physical run-game dominated drives for scores.

Concerns for the Cats against the USM defense

Easy again: UK cannot afford first half turnovers or miss during sure-completion passing game scenarios. Do-it-all defender Picasso Nelson will be Stephen Johnson’s key defensive read. Nelson is active vs. the run, in pass coverage, and frequently used as a blitzer. Kentucky has a significant depth advantage for the 4:00pm kickoff which will assuredly call for extremely hot weather.

Eddie Gran’s ability to challenge the Golden Eagles’ lack of front-seven depth and inexperience with a physical run game could be the difference. It could be wild early on, but Kentucky’s offensive line should win the battle of attrition in the trenches. As the BBN witnessed in 2016, if the Cats jump out to an early lead it must extend success into the second half.

Stay tuned for much more.


CBS Sports picks Kentucky as an SEC dark horse

The SEC media may have picked Kentucky to finish fifth in the SEC East, but one national writer thinks the Cats will be one of the league’s dark horses this season. CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli picked the Cats as one of three teams he believes can surprise people in the SEC thanks to a favorable schedule and an experienced offensive line:

The Cats will get both Tennessee and Florida in Lexington, which helps offset facing Georgia in Athens. Also, the cross-divisional draw is about as friendly as it can get when we’re talking about playing the SEC West as the Wildcats pull Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

Also, while Kentucky finishes in the middle of the SEC pack when we rank the teams by returning experience, it has one of the most experienced offensive lines in the conference. That can go a long way in the SEC. Maybe a SEC East title is too much to ask, but this Kentucky team is poised to be a thorn in the side of the SEC East this year.

I’m so on board with that prediction that I’m willing to overlook Fornelli picking Tennessee as another potential SEC dark horse. Check out his reasoning at the link below, along with his case for Missouri turning the corner.

[CBS Sports: Don’t sleep on Kentucky or Tennessee in the East]


ESPN picks Pitino over Calipari as head coach of college basketball dream team

ESPN’s stirring the pot today with a controversial selection that should get everyone in the Bluegrass talking. Myron Medcalf picked his “perfect college basketball team” for the upcoming season, and not only did he not select any Kentucky players, he chose Louisville’s Rick Pitino over John Calipari as the head coach. Don’t worry, he’s not totally insane; Medcalf chose Cal to be an assistant coach, along with Michigan’s John Beilein and Villanova’s Jay Wright.

Why Pitino over Cal? Medcalf argues Pitino would best “manage egos and build a variety of personalities into a motivated and competitive vessel.” Funny, seems to me that Calipari does that better than any coach in the sport and he’s got practically a new roster every year.

Even though Cal and Pitino hate each other, Medcalf believes they’d be the “perfect coaching combination.”

“Yes, Calipari under Pitino,” Medcalf writes. “Could you imagine? We can. The two would comprise the perfect coaching combination. Pitino’s defensive strategy with Calipari’s fluid offensive approach would make this group a monster against any opposing all-star cast.”

Talk about a pair of egos to manage. Click on the link below to see the 10 players Medcalf selected for his dream team. Spoiler: there are only three freshman, and none of them are going to Kentucky. See that, Kevin Knox? That’s what we call bulletin board material.

[ESPN]


Stephen Johnson on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List

Another day, another UK Football player on a national award watch list. Today, it’s Stephen Johnson, who is one of 47 players on the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior or fourth-year quarterback in college football.

By now, you know about Johnson’s heroic junior season. After Drew Barker was injured two games into the season, Johnson stepped in and took the reins, showing the incredible poise that would become his trademark. He went 5-4 as a starter, completing 145-of-265 passes for 2,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 97 times for 327 yards and three scores.

Johnson’s best performance came against Louisville, where he led the Cats to a thrilling upset with a career-high tying three touchdowns. There were a lot of great moments from that game, but the most iconic may be Johnson smiling and nodding to himself before throwing a touchdown pass to Garrett Johnson on Kentucky’s opening drive:

We love this sh*t too, Stephen. Let’s do it again this season.


@ESPN_ReceDavis

There’s a College Football Playoff bracket on the UK Football weight room wall

@ESPN_ReceDavis

How high is UK Football aiming this year? Apparently, the College Football Playoffs. Check out this picture of the playoff bracket on the wall of the UK Football Training Center, as captured by ESPN’s Rece Davis:

Shoot for the moon, right?


Interested in writing for KSR?

The time has come again. We are looking for new, talented writers to join our team! 

Are you a college student who has a passion for writing about UK sports? Are you interested in pursuing a career in the sports media field? This might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Many of our writers get the chance to cover the John Calipari Fantasy Experience and also get credentialed to UK sporting events. We’ve had numerous writers go on to get internships and full-time jobs at ESPN, various television and radio stations, Hearst Magazine, major newspapers, athletic conferences, and more. Being a KSR writer can also be a great experience to see if the media field truly is for you in the long-term.

Our focus is to find writers who attend college in the state of Kentucky (UK, Transy, EKU, Centre, etc), so that you are able to cover events on campus or in the community. If you also have experience in photography, video, editing, photoshop, etc let us know.

Writing for KSR is a great opportunity and a lot of fun, but our writers also put a lot of hard work and effort into this position. If writing about UK sports is your passion, it should be a great experience and we encourage you to apply.

Here’s what you need to apply:

1). Cover letter explaining why you’re interested in writing for KSR. Give us a little background information as well (who you are, where you’re from, etc)

2). Resume

3). A writing sample of your best work. This can be a previous piece from school that you believe is strong but also include a sample piece you would write for KSR.

4). Class/work schedule so we know when you are available to write

Email all the above materials to KSRapplication@gmail.com. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 11 at 5pm. Good luck and we look forward to reading your submissions!

Note: We are only taking 4-5 writers this time around and have a quick turnaround to select writers, so submit your application right away. We can’t accept submissions after 5pm on August 11th. 


WATCH: This UK Football “Game of Thrones” promo is awesome

WATCH: This UK Football “Game of Thrones” promo is awesome

Like winter, football is coming, and if you love “Game of Thrones” and UK Football, you’ll really love this promo made by Grant Peters (@GP_Tre_Ball) combining the two. Turn up the volume and get ready to be hyped:

Well done, Grant. Even Vince Marrow is a fan:

…Or, should I say, Vince “Snow”:


Tim Couch takes over KSR (Wednesday Show Thread)

Are you ready for some football? Today, UK Football legend TIM COUCH takes over the KSR airwaves alongside Ryan Lemond. Tune in to hear Tim’s thoughts on UK’s upcoming season, their big win over Louisville, and whatever surprises Ryan has in store for him.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio


Wednesday’s Top 10: Getting over that hump

Wednesday’s Top 10: Getting over that hump

You know what Wednesday is? It’s Hump Day, and during one of the slower weeks of the summer, that is certainly something to celebrate. Shoutout to Beth, an avid UK and KSR fan, for repping the Cats while in the Dominican Republic doing humanitarian work. Great picture, Beth. This Top 10 is for you.

1. Bovada updated the over/under win total for UK Football

The oddsmakers at the popular online sportsbook set Kentucky’s win total at 7 for this season. We’ll do this a lot over the next few months, but I’m picking the Cats to go OVER with wins over Southern Miss, Eastern Kentucky, Florida (I’ve already talked myself into this), Eastern Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt. It’s still July, so I reserve the right to change my picks before the season begins…but, because it’s July, if my picks turn out to be correct, I’m a freaking genius.

2. Thoughts on the UK Football Media Guide cover?

They’re really committed to that handwriting font, aren’t they?

3. Stephen Johnson, Alex Montgomery, and Lamar Thomas went bowling

The kind with bowling pins, of course. Who won is still up for debate:

Hopefully we’ll get to the bottom of this when Thomas and other UK coaches host the show on Friday.

4. Nerlens Noel is still waiting for an offer from Dallas

Noel was traded to the Mavericks near the end of last season and it seemed like a good match, but he’s still waiting on them to extend what his camp is calling a “realistic offer.” With the Mavericks still weighing options on Summer League players, it seems negotiations have stalled, leaving Noel in yet another frustrating situation with a front office.

Make it happen, Mark Cuban.

5. Recruiting link of the day: “Why UK will lose out on Romeo Langford”

The Courier-Journal’s Fletcher Page penned an article yesterday outlining all the reasons why five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford will go somewhere other than Kentucky. Basically, he argues that Calipari got in the race for Langford too late and is focusing on a variety of five-star recruits right now, whereas schools like Louisville and Indiana are honing in solely on the New Albany native. For more of this reasoning, check out the link below.

[Courier-Journal]

6. NBA rumor of the day: Boston wants Anthony Davis

Who doesn’t, right? On Monday, a report came out that the Boston Celtics will make a “strong run” for Davis if the Boogie/Brow situation in New Orleans doesn’t work out this season. Should they be able to pry him away from the Pelicans (he’s under contract until 2020-21), that would make them the latest superteam in the league. Make of that what you will.

7. This pool at LSU is awesome

@LSU

I’m jealous of just about anyone with a pool these days, but this brand new one at LSU might take the cake. Check out the Tigers’ new outdoor leisure pool, which is only 3.5 feet deep and includes four bubbler lounges. Kindsey Bernhard, when you get to Baton Rouge, I expect a full review.

8. The results of the Mt. Rushmore of Calipari haters poll

The top four vote-getters in the Calipari haters Mount Rushmore are…Bobby Knight, Pat Forde, John Chaney, and John Feinstein. Here are the complete results:

Items Number of Points Number of First
Bobby Knight 26611 1227
Pat Forde 25228 880
John Chaney 14166 509
John Feinstein 12355 401
Rick Pitino 10950 238
Jeff Goodman 10364 99
Pete Thamel 9343 115
Jim Calhoun 9227 133
Dan Shaughnessy 8254 145
Dana O’Neil 1036 3

Shoutout to the following write-in votes:

  • “My stupid cousin”
  • Colin Cowherd
  • John Higgins
  • Shep Smith
  • Matt Jones
  • and “You forgot that Memphis Commercial Appeal sports writer”

9. Is it just me or are the mosquitoes worse than ever this year?

Mosquitoes love me, which is especially unfortunate since every bite I get turns into a welt. Are they as bad in the Bluegrass as they are in Nashville this year? Over the past few weeks, I’ve been swarmed, most likely while watering flowers at night, and other than soaking the bites in scalding hot water and dousing myself in stinky, sticky bug spray, I’ve got nothing. We’ve tried spraying our yard with Cutter Backyard Bug Control, etc., but clearly it’s not working. Is it worth it to have our yard professionally sprayed, or does that only work when your neighbors do the same?

10. Today on KSR: Tim Couch

The Deuce is loose on KSR in approximately one hour. Anyone else wearing their Couch Browns jersey?


Who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of John Calipari haters?

Who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of John Calipari haters?

The news that John Wall will be in the UK Athletics Hall of Fame stirred up some of John Calipari’s critics online, notably John Feinstein. Feinstein has been a longtime Calipari and Kentucky hater, and upon hearing the news of Wall’s honor, brought up a bet he made with Calipari when Wall went to the NBA back in 2010. Calipari bet Feinstein that Wall would graduate from Kentucky within ten years, which Feinstein just felt the need to mention yesterday on Twitter. When asked by a fan if I considered the tweet trolling, I said that the timing absolutely suggested it. For that, Feinstein blocked me, confirming his status as one of the biggest Cal haters ever.

The interaction got me thinking: if we were to make a Mt. Rushmore of Calipari haters, who would be on it? It’s summer and we’ve got nothing better to talk about, so let’s break down ten contenders, starting with Feinstein.

The Contenders

John Feinstein

Feinstein doesn’t just hate Cal, he hates Kentucky. The Duke graduate has criticized the Cats for years, going back to his days covering the 1978 Duke team that lost to UK in the NCAA Championship. He’s called Adolph Rupp a racist, accused the program of cheating numerous times, and blasted UK fans for their reaction when Rick Pitino took the job at Louisville. When Calipari came to Kentucky, it was the perfect storm for Feinstein, who has seized every opportunity to criticize both ever since.


Bobby Knight

How does Knight loathe Calipari? Let me count the ways:

  • In December 2009, Knight blasted Calipari during a speech at the Indiana Hall of Fame, blaming Calipari for the lack of integrity in college basketball: “You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”
  • In April 2011, he accused all five starters on UK’s 2009-10 of not attending spring classes. (He was later forced to apologize by ESPN)
  • In March 2015, he refused to go on “Pardon the Interruption” to discuss the probability of Kentucky going 40-0.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but yes, Knight really, really hates Cal.


Pat Forde

If the fact that Forde bought an entire bar a round of drinks when UK lost to West Virginia in 2010 wasn’t indication enough that hates Cal, his article about how Cal made his bed and needed to lie in it after the 2014 loss at South Carolina should be. Thankfully, that season turned out to be a pretty good story, so I’m sure Cal slept just fine.


Dan Shaughnessy

The Boston Globe columnist has hated on Calipari for years, calling him everything from a “snake oil salesman” to a “glorified AAU bag man” and analogizing him to Bill Cosby. When UMass announced they were retiring Calipari’s jersey in 2015, Shaughnessy blasted the school, calling for them to “vacate” the decision and referring to Cal as “college basketball’s all-time bag man.”


Jeff Goodman

Goodman’s disdain for Calipari and Kentucky is no secret. In 2012, Goodman even accused Cal of trying to get him fired from one of his reporting jobs. Since then, Goodman’s jabs have been more subtle, but there’s no denying true hate runs underneath.


Rick Pitino

Pitino actually helped Calipari get the UMass job, but the relationship turned frosty once Cal took the job at UK and started beating Rick every year. Both deny it publicly, but it’s clear the rivalry between the two is just as heated as the rivalry between the two teams.


John Chaney

A lot of people may hate Calipari, but only one has actually tried to kill him (that we know of).


Dana O’Neil

Once part of the ESPN triumvirate of Calipari hate, O’Neil has backed off in recent years; however, when Cal came to Kentucky, there’s no denying she was one of those who leapt at the chance to talk about the negatives but disappeared when there were positives. Along with…


Pete Thamel

Who can forget Thamel’s quests to take down Eric Bledsoe, Enes Kanter, and Nerlens Noel? Definitely not DeMarcus Cousins, who confronted Thamel about his Bledsoe hit piece at a Derby party several years back. Thamel’s thirst for Calipari dirt was unparalleled from 2009-2012, to the point that his colleagues in the media called him out for going too far.


Jim Calhoun

I’m not sure what offends Calhoun more about Calipari: that he keeps winning or that he can’t pronounce “clam chowda” like a true New Englander.

 

Who do you think belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Calipari haters? I weighed in with my four picks in the graphic at the top of the post, but I’m giving you the final word. Vote for four below and I’ll share the final results tomorrow morning:


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s

has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for

the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.

You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us Via Email

#10 Roy Combs

We’re getting the gang back together!

#9 Derrick Clemons

Sounds like paradise to me.

#8 John Riley

Time flies when we’re having fun.

#7 David Walls

So… Matt can get people out of speeding tickets now? That has to qualify him for 40 under 40.

#6 Larrin Collins

Boom. Roasted.

#5 Derrick Clemons

How many biggins is that store going to win by?

#4 Matt Huff

There’s never a bad time to rep KSR.

#3 Patrick Butcher

Gosh!

#2 Bam Adebayo

Happy 20th to Bam!

#1 Jason Burnett

This is amazing.


@MaggieDavisKSR


This Marvin Bagley Highlight Reel is Ridiculous

At Kentucky Sports Radio, we cover recruiting in the most ridiculous manner possible.  Nothing is more ridiculous than Marvin Bagley’s new highlight reel.

The top-ranked player in the class of 2018 is a younger Kevin Durant.  Throwing around NBA MVP-comparisons is risky business, but Bagley fits the bill.  A 6’11” athlete that thrives on the perimeter, in two-and-a-half minutes you will see him do pretty much whatever he wants.  He hits threes, he creates posters at the rim, he even blocks Bol Bol.

There’s a lot of buzz following the Peach Jam that Bagley will reclassify and play for either USC or Duke in 2017.  Bagley will visit Duke this week, but never say never as long as John Calipari is recruiting at the University of Kentucky.


This is What Kentuckians Hate More than Anything

This is What Kentuckians Hate More than Anything

If out have hate in your heart, let it out.  The people of Kentucky have spoken, and surprisingly it’s not Rick Pitino.

There is a dating app that pairs individuals not based on their similarities or shared interests.  Hater pairs up people who hate the same things.  They compiled the most hated topic in each state.  In Kentucky people hate “friends that ask you to help them move” more than anything.

As a person who moved ten days ago, I’m happy to have a friend who prides himself on having two skills: playing sand volleyball and helping friends move.  Unfortunately, I do not believe there are many others in Kentucky like my friend Patrick.

In case KSR needed any more reasons to hate Indiana, Hoosiers hate bloggers.  Good news Hoosiers, this blogger hates you too.