My second night of writing in one week…I am feeling the vibe
There is a lot to get to tonight and I want to finish in time to get back to Succession on HBO (which isn’t great but is very entertaining because every single character is despicable). Tonight we are excited to announce the $5,000 KSBAR Hammer Bowl Challenge. Over a year ago, when we first conceived the idea of opening KSBar, part of the rationale behind it was we wanted to have a location to do events and promotions that before, were impossible. I always love Bowl season…it is 16 days of daily Bowl games, often with stupid names and usually in locations that seem far from ideal (can you imagine making a Bowl game and then finding out you are playing in Detroit?). Over the years we have talked about ways to have a KSR Bowl Challenge, but they have usually fallen through due to a lack of coordination or time to put it together. Not this year…after partnering with out good friend Darryl Isaacs (the Heavy Hitter/Hammer always comes through), we have created a KSBar Bowl Challenge that will allow someone to win $5,000 and a host of other people to win smaller prizes. Here is how it works:
1. During every Bowl game of Bowl season starting Saturday, whoever picks the Winner/Point Margin of each game the closest becomes a finalist for $5,000. You will choose who you think wins the game, the margin of victory and (as a Tiebreaker) the actual score. Whichever person is the closest, becomes a finalist….we will have 41 finalists, one for each Bowl game
2. These 41 Finalists (or a proxy of their choosing) will come to KSBar the night of the National Championship (likely Alabama vs Clemson) and compete in a contest throughout the game to win $5,000. Players will be eliminated throughout the night as the game goes along, until the last 3 people go for $5,000. It is that simple
MATT, HOW DO I PLAY???
It is this simple…every day a Bowl game is played, if you come into KSBar at some point before the game and fill out an entry, you are in the contest…you don’t have to purchase anything (although we of course would like you to, since we have great food and an amazing Beer selection), but all you have to do is come fill in a slip before Kickoff. It’s that simple. So for instance this Saturday, there are five games…come in at any point and whatever game hasn’t started, you can enter. Next Tuesday, there is one game at 7 pm…come in anytime before 7 pm, fill out the card and you are in.
And as a Bonus prize, beginning Tuesday and on every non-Saturday of Bowl season, we will give $100 to whoever has the score the closest that is left in the Restaurant when the game ends…so if you are the kind of person that likes to hang out until late on a Tuesday when MAC teams play Football…you have a great chance at cash.
So that’s it…come in to the Restaurant, feel out picks and win. Become a finalist (which 40 of you will do) and $5,000 could be yours. And for those of you that LIVE TOO FAR AWAY TO COME IN, I will be having contests on Radio, Social Media and this Blog for a handful of the games so you can participate too. Thanks to the Hammer for being a part of it and we can’t wait to see you at KSBar every night to win
With that a couple of other thoughts….
Quade Green’s Departure
I got word of Quade leaving Kentucky last night and was disappointed with the news. He informed the coaching staff yesterday that he was going to leave and they asked if he would take a night to sleep on it and make sure. Because of the possibility of a change of heart, I only tweeted out the tease this morning and then at 1:30, UK and Quade made it official. The ending isn’t a huge surprise as the relationship between UK and Quade has been rocky from the beginning. Green was never the Calipari prototype of Point Guard that he prefers…he is undersized, isn’t particularly quick at getting to the whole, his defense is lacking and his score-first mentality is mostly with jump shots. That formula worked with Tyler Ulis because he was phenomenally tough, could disrupt with steals and became a very good passer. Those traits did not pass onto Quade and it made a square peg in a round hold.
Quade was very close to transferring last year and I think he considered it strongly. He ultimately came back, believing he could play some off-guard and still succeed in Year 2. But his defensive issues made it almost impossible for Calipari to trust to play him and the emergence in the last two games of Ashton Hagans, led Quade to decide to leave (he only played 8 and 10 minutes in the last two games). As I said on radio today, I think Quade is a good kid who will be a very good college basketball player in the right system. I don’t think he is a pro and I think the disconnect between what he thinks he is and what Calipari/Scouts do, ultimately led to the problems here. He was not a malcontent but he was a bit of a grump and I think he never truly embraced the UK model. I hope he has a ton of success and I think wherever he ends up (he will have lots of options but I think Washington is the early leader) will get a good player.
Quade’s departure does however showcase one of the issues and difficulties of recruiting at Kentucky under John Calipari. There are two types of players that truly excel and work here…top-level talents who have NBA potential and are here for 1-2 year apprenticeships and are ready to sacrifice to learn and move to the next level and 4 year players who understand what they are, accept their role and want to help the team and wait for their moment (think Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Julius Mays, Reid Travis, etc). The latter group isn’t a very large one and for the most part has only been populated by kids from Kentucky or Grad transfer. What I don’t think works here is the mid-level talent that believes he is a One and Done but is actually a 4 year college contributor. Players like that at Kentucky (including transfers from Stacey Poole to Charles Matthews to Marcus Lee to Ryan Harrow to Quade Green and players who leave and don’t get picked where they believe they should like Gabriel//Briscoe, etc) just don’t seem to excel here. I think they pick Kentucky because of the dream of a 1-2 year path to the pros…but when that doesn’t happen, they don’t feel there is a place for them and they leave or don’t reach their potential. I think part of the fault comes from a delusional sense of their ability (both the players and those around him) but it also comes from a culture that UK has to change…one that seems to suggest if you don’t make it after 2 years, you are a failure. I don’t think that culture is anyone’s fault but it doesn’t make it easier
I wish Quade the best. Just like Charles Matthews, I will pull for him wherever he goes. As for this team, I don’t think it will have a huge impact on how Kentucky plays. Hagans/Quickley will get his time and Calipari will look to Baker to replace his three point shooting. The key to this team’s success won’t be whether or not Quade is on the team…it will be getting better PG play, PJ Washington showing consistency and Tyler Herro making shots. If those happen, UK will be fine. If they don’t, they won’t.
I will leave you with one of Quade’s best moments, his game winner versus Vandy
So after the loss to Seton Hall on Saturday, I decided to make the trek to Broadway and see the most hyped Broadway production since “Phantom of the Opera” and catch “Hamilton” in all its glory. I came into the show a complete virgin…while I obviously had heard about it for years, I had never listened to any of the music or read any of the dialogue. I knew the story of Hamilton because I had read the book the play was based upon but otherwise, I came in fresh, hoping to experience it with sight, rather than just audio or Youtube clips. I can say after the experience, that it was amazing. There are very few times in life when you hype something up in your mind to a high degree and then it exceeds your hope, but that happened to me with “Hamilton.” I went expecting to see a cultural phenomenon, but instead found myself engulfed in the experience in a way that I can say has never happened to me at a live theater performance. Look, I have been to my share of plays and musicals and have enjoyed them throughout my life (I once yelled at Ashley Judd post-“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” from the audience and said “Cats won” after a UK game ended that went on during the performance…she smiled and pumped her fist). But never have I gone to a performance, forgot I was watching a production and been completely encapsulated in what I was viewing.
I really am in awe at what they were able to do…the musical takes an American Founding Father that most knew (if they knew him at all) simply as the “Treasury guy” and places him in his historical context in an amazing entertaining and innovative way. When you can find yourself not only bouncing to a rap battle diss track between two founding fathers that is focused on the topic of whether there should be a nationalized bank, but actually learning while doing it, you have to shake your head and simply say, “well done.” Lin- Manuel Miranda’s work is that of a genius and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The performance I saw obviously didn’t have the original cast, but those playing the characters were all tremendous singers, highly entertaining (I would enjoy playing the King George part, who kills) and were worthy of the material. I know some of you have seen a performance, and many others of you have heard the soundtrack, but if you ever get a chance to see it LIVE, please do so. It is extremely expensive in New York, but will be playing in Louisville in March and hopefully you can find a way to weasel in and catch it.
I actually have more to say, but I will save it for another day. Before you go (WARNING….NOT STICKING TO SPORTS), take a second and watch this interview I did with GOP State Rep Jason Nemes. I like Jason a lot and he is one of the authors on two bills that I bet many of you care about this legislative session in Frankfort…Sports Gambling and Medical Marijuana. We discuss both below and it is a good conversation