Picking my least-favorite Trump Administration official is a little bit like picking my least-favorite Reba McEntire song…there are many terrific choices but only one Stephen Miller or “Fancy.” In addition to his hideous policy views, he seems to be one of the more unlikeable people in public life in my lifetime. But after this past weekend, I must say that I have a newfound respect for his gumption. It takes a certain type of person to go on national television with spray-on hair, and Stephen Miller is just that type of person. He went on “Face the Nation” this weekend to debate immigration and rather than simply facing what life has given him, or combing it over like his boss, he went with the spray-on look…a decision that simply doesn’t work in the era of HD television. It was shocking, it was hilarious and it was a highlight of my weekend. Look I know my hair isn’t great and it is thinning as I get older…but if I ever choose spray-on hair and am painting my head, you have my permission to hold me down, shave my head and commit me to a rehab institution. I am holding all of you to this.
With that said, a few thoughts on a Monday:
— I was really pleased with the Cats’ performance vs Utah. Yes, I know Utah isn’t very good and I realize that UK faces a much taller order next week versus North Carolina. But Kentucky needed a good game against a team that can shoot from deep (the one thing Utah can do) and they needed to show they could play after the departure of Quade Green. Both things occurred on Saturday and thus I was pleased. Keldon’s threes were a great addition, but what most pleased me was the improved play of PJ Washington/Tyler Herro, the terrific perimeter defense from the UK guards and the continued beast mode of Reid Travis down low. For Kentucky to be successful, all of those things have to occur regularly. Keldon won’t shoot 8-9 every game, but if the four big players (PJ, Keldon, Reid and Herro) bring it every night, Kentucky can beat most anyone in the country.
— Vegas casinos today released Conference Tournament odds (when did this start being a thing?) and the SEC is fascinating to me. Auburn is the favorite at 2-1 (Why?) followed by Tennessee at 3-1 and UK at 4-1. I LOVE the bets of Kentucky and Tennessee…first I think right now the Vols are the best team in the conference and playing in their home state, while Kentucky has shown under Calipari that they will win 75% of the SEC Tournament titles and will have a home court advantage throughout the Tournament. I would (if in Vegas) immediately place bets on BOTH Tennessee and Kentucky and feel very good about one of them hitting. As a matter of fact, I am calling someone in Vegas to do that right now. I will see you to cash out in March.
— For the record, I really hated the Calipari “we will act like we won” comments from after the Seton Hall game. I know that Calipari is trying to motivate his team, not bog them down with stress, etc. But this is Kentucky…we don’t do moral victories. And if ANY other coach in America had said that same comment, we would torch them on here. I remember the famous Butch Jones “Winners in life” and Bill Self “we didnt lose, we just ran out of time” nonsense and this felt like it sat somewhere in the same ballpark as those nonsense feel-good moments. I like my Calipari swashbuckling and with confidence, not handing out orange slices after losing to an unranked Big East team. The Seton Hall game wasn’t the end of the world, but we didn’t win, so we shouldn’t act like it. Saturday’s game was much more our speed.
— I have decided Jemarl Baker is the best shooter of all-time. IF you disagree, I don’t care. The evidence I have is substantial…he is 2-2, his first shot didnt make the net move and Shai Alexander told me he was the best shooter on the team last year. That is really all the evidence that a human being should require. Calipari hinted tonight on his radio show that he would play more over the next couple of weeks…I hope that is the case because if he can shoot like that and be serviceable on Defense, Kentucky won’t miss Quade very much at all.
— Benny Snell and Josh Allen playing in the Citrus Bowl is a really a terrific development for this program and says a lot about those young men as people. I would have totally understood if either didn’t play…Josh Allen is a top 10 pick and the risk he is putting forth is substantial. Benny Snell plays the most demanding position in sports and risks injury every single time he takes a hit. Both guys could have made the decision not to play and it would have been rational. But the fact that both are playing, giving up their body and letting it go for the team…well it is exactly why we love them so much.
— Matt Bevin calling a legislative session the week before Christmas with 4 hours notice, in order to pass a Pension Bill, rather than waiting for the new Legislature to take office and doing it in two weeks is so perfectly him (if I write more, you just have to deal with some politics…sorry). I wish political parties could come to an agreement amongst themselves to simply not do shady stuff and be transparent….neither of which are political, but are just good for government. Doing a one-week session with no notice to pass a bill that will dramatically effect the lives of millions in the state, and doing it in a way that will probably still be Unconstitutional is insanely stupid and bizarrely arrogant. But here we are, face to face, a couple of Silver Spoons, waiting for Bevin screw up again.
— Have you seen the new trend of having recruits take pictures with their fathers in the gear of the teams they are visiting? It is apparently happening everywhere and the pictures are all over social media. But I want to focus on one player with Kentucky whose father took a picture in the Big Blue…my only question is, does he have eligibility left? Seriously those arms on a dude that age? That is Vince McMahon-esque, without the 5 thousand dollar suits. If I were on Instagram, I would #LifeGoals
— Go watch “The Green Book”. It is a feel-good, crowd-pleasing movie that many woke folks on social media are blasting for being simplistic about race relations. Be that as it may, it is very well-done and I found it a great way to spend two hours. The two main actors are terrific in telling the true story of a white Italian driver in the early 1960s who drives a black musician around the South, so he can play classical music in order to break the stereotypes of the day. Their relationship is sweet and regardless of whatever faults one can find (which is true of most movies), I think the message is a positive one and in a time of great divide, it would bring most everyone together. The portrayal of a night in Louisville isn’t great for our state, but truth is truth and I didn’t let it get in the way of what was otherwise a great movie…plus its a movie you can see with your family over Christmas and everyone will be entertained and not offended (which we all know is really hard to find). Go see it. Its worth it.
— The KSBar $5,000 Hammer Bowl Challenge is underway. If you forgot the rules, they are simple:
1. Come in KSBar any day there is a Bowl Game…pick the Final Score. If you get the closest for that game, you a finalist for $5,000
2. All Finalists come the night of the National Championship game and one person wins during the game…its that simple.
3. During every game, whichever person is in the Bar and has picked the score the closest when the game ends, wins $100 on the spot.
We have three Finalists already:
Cure Bowl — Mark Garrison (who got the Cure Bowl score exactly right)
Las Vegas Bowl — Eric McCorkle
New Orleans Bowl — Tim Beaven
It’s easy and its fun….we have games every night this week starting with the CheriBundi Bowl tomorrow night (UAB and Northern Illinois). Come in any time before 7 pm tomorrow and make the pick. Watch the game and win the $100. Its simple, its easy and you can get semi-rich. The schedule is below.
— I would like to finish with this. This weekend we lost one of our most loyal KSR Fans. Rose Lykins of West Liberty has been with us since the early days of KSR. She would call in with updates about life on Caney Creek and stories about the adventures of her and her dear husband, Chubb. They traveled all around Eastern Kentucky to see us on our tour stops, often bringing jars of moonshine to the crew and always full of happiness and joy. When West Liberty was hit with a tornado, she became the impetus for KSR coming to town for a fundraiser and that show ended with John Calipari making a surprise appearance via helicopter to help raise money for the town. She was giving in all that said she did, a person who lived life to the fullest and a model for keeping a positive attitude even during life’s struggles. We will miss her a great deal on KSR and we want to give our prayers to her family and friends. Her official obituary is below. We love you Rose.
Rose Anne Lykins, resident of West Liberty, KY, passed away on December 16, 2018 at St. Claire Medical Center, Morehead, KY, at the age of 64. Born on February 10, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, a daughter of John Hermon Stumbo and Helen Marie Bliffen Stumbo. She was a member of the Christian Church of West Liberty, KY. She was a regular lister and caller of KY Sports Radio, an avid U.K. fan. She was a retired court recorder for the state. She was preceded in death by her parents, John Hermon Stumbo and Helen Marie Bliffen Stumbo and one sister Linda Marie Hill. Surviving is her husband Mark Lykins of West Liberty,KY. One daughter Ashlee Jo Stumbo of West Liberty, KY and one son Jeremy Alexander Stumbo of Ashland, KY. Two sisters, Sallie Jo and Phillip Nickell of Grassy Creek, KY. Karen Lou and Cecil Daniel of Paintsville, KY.
Funeral services will be 11:30am Thursday December 20, 2018 at Herald & Stewart & Halsey Chapel with Bro .Danny Collins officiating. Burial in DeBorde Cemetery, Malone, KY. Visitation will be 6:00pm Wednesday at Herald & Stewart & Halsey Funeral Home, West Liberty, KY. Pallbearers will be Shannon Burke, Blake Burke, David Easterling, Mike Lykins, Charles Cain and David Osborne.