A quick Friday night shout out to Alonzo Mourning, an underappreciated NBA star of the past. While Mourning goes down as one of the better second level centers in NBA history, his work off the court is what makes him stand out to me. He has given more to charity over the years than any player not named Dikembe Mutumbo and is currently in Haiti doing relief work for the devastated citizens of that country. Lots of athletes do nothing for others…some give money and that is noble. But it takes a special person to go the extra mile and actually DO work for those less fortunate. Mourning has always been one of those guys and I salute him.
— Speaking of the Haiti situation, UK is going to hold a Hoops for Haiti Telethon on Sunday from Noon to 4:30 pm, with the first hour and half broadcast live on WKYT. John Calipari will be on the event and will have guests ranging from Joe B Hall to members of the current basketball team. We will have some more info on this in the coming days, but I am very impressed with Calipari and UK for doing it. No other school in the country would even attempt such a thing and it says a lot about this coach and this program that it thinks such grand thoughts about the world beyond its college basketball borders.
— The Cats play Auburn at 4 pm on Saturday in a battle of potentially the best and worst team in the SEC. Jeff Lebo is in the last year of his time at Auburn (that is an educated guess) and it will be the first sellout of a game there this season. The Cats are favored by ten and on paper should run over the Tigers. But they will get Auburn’s best shot and the arena will be rocking, as it was in the old days when UK came to town. Another good test for a team that has passed them all so far.
— Calipari said today that he wanted to pack Rupp Arena for College Gameday on February 13 for the Tennessee game. His goal is to set the attendance record for the show and he wants to see a full building when Reece, Jay, Digger and (Knight?) come to town. I was at the last Gameday and there was a good crowd, but nowhere near capacity. To pull this off would be quite impressive. We will be podcasting all day live from the Hyatt and hope to help with the crowd buildup…and oh yeah, a group unlike any other (including Tucker Max and Gregg Doyel) will be on the scene all day. It should be fun so mark your calendars.
— Something called Footballscoop.com reported that UK hired someone named Cliff Snow from East Carolina to be on the staff at UK. HE was the Director of Football Operations at ECU (the job where you do logisitical work for the team) and now could have some similar job at UK. I was as excited as I am sure you are.
— I love this video of the media bickering before the Lane Kiffin goodbye press conference for a number of reasons. First, I love Tennessee S.I.D. Bud Ford and it is cool to see him work his magic. We have known Bud for a number of years and he has been good to the KSR Crew since before there was even a KSR Crew, so watching him do his thing is awesome. Second, (as apparently noted not only by my friend who told me via the phone but also a commenter on Deadspin…see lame jokes do travel) I cant believe the guy on the right walks outside with his “landing strip in the front” haircut and thinks it looks good. But most importantly, watching the media fight over nothing is exactly the type of silly, petty ridiculousness that goes on behind the scenes in Lexington all the time. This time it was just on camera. Oh yeah, and since I grew up with Knoxville local news, it is good to see some faces from the past (like Bob Kesling).
— Speaking of Knoxville, UT fans are trying to talk themselves into liking new coach Derek Dooley and getting excited because he said the word “britches” at his press conference. Macon Vol Fan has been on suicide watch all day but texted me tonight and said he had gotten “one heck of a football coach.” Hey if you are 17-20 in the WAC, you just have to get a job in the SEC…it wouldnt be fair if you didnt.
— Watch how Cousins and Bledsoe play today. It is the only game all year in their home state and they both have followed Auburn their whole lives, with Bledsoe a fan and Cousins a fan of Bama. Both are amped for the game and it will be interesting to see how each handles that energy.
We have a big day today, as we build for a LIVE BLOG at 3:30 pm for the Auburn game. Stay tuned and then get ready to chat it up….Cats vs the Flying Matt Geigers (he played there for two years before he transferred). It should be exciting….