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aUKward Fan Photos: Chapter 11


I don’t know about you guys, but I still hate Duke. And Laettner for that matter. Though we took the loss last night, I was encouraged by the flashes of good play and can’t wait to see this team in January.

If the loss still has you down, that’s understandable. It’s odd for us to lose a basketball game. We’re not sure how to react. If you need cheering up, you’ve come to the right place. Mr. Aaron has an aUKward Fan Photo for you.

Tonight’s photo comes from KSR writer Kristen Geil via her mother Patti.


Kristen writes:

“In 1997, hope sprang eternal in my home in Lexington. My bangs were finally growing out of that awkward “I thought it was a good idea to cut them myself” stage, and Orlando Smith had just been hired as the new head basketball coach. My mom took my little sister Rachel and I (ages 4 and 7 at the time) to an event at the Marriott introducing Smith to some of the people who would eventually cause him to go grey. It was there that we first heard the famed story of how Tubby got his nickname, and the man himself was nice enough to pose for a picture with the two of us. This picture is still sitting on my sister’s dresser in our parents house, encased in its novelty frame, as I’m sure it will remain for all eternity.”


What do you say we get to the goods?


Lots of good stuff here. Here is Kristen’s take, included in her email from above.


“Some points of interest:

1) You can only see my bangs in this picture. That’s because I insisted that my mom put my hair in a bun because I wanted to be “dressed up” when I met the man who would guide us to a national championship. This hairstyle is in stark contrast to my casual t-shirt and mesh shorts combo.

2) I rocked that Wilson wristwatch like I was J Cole. “It cost me a lot, my chain and my watch. They say time is money but really it’s not.”

3) You’ll notice that Tubby signed my t-shirt. Later, Hal Mumme would sign that same t-shirt. Patti has since threatened to sell it on Ebay.

4) Apparently my mom thought it a hilarious rite of passage that my sister and I had to have bowl cuts until we were about six years old. Rachel, unfortunately, was still in that stage of life. Luckily, her blue jumper/white tee combo clearly conveys that she is a girl.

5) Get down, Tubby, go head, get down. No wonder his teams were known for defense.”


There’s not much left for me to say after that extraordinary explanation. I enjoy that the t-shirt is “All Sport” brand. I’m not sure if that means:

1.) It was produced by the same company as the crappy carbonated sports drink.
2.) You can play any sport while wearing it.
3.) It’s a shirt for a fan of all/any sports that Kentucky plays.


Also, notice how young Tubby looks. His ten years in Lexington aged him considerably.  Gillispie’s two years in Lexington intoxicated him considerably.


Thanks to Kristen for being a good sport and passing this on. If you have an aUKward Fan Photo you’d like to pass along, send it to me on twitter @AFlenerKSR or preferably by email at [email protected]

Article written by Aaron Flener

John, I was first team All-State. I can put the ball anywhere I want to. I'll make it rain out here.

11 Comments for aUKward Fan Photos: Chapter 11

  1. UK94
    10:20 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know anything about rumors of someone hiring a pilot to fly a plane with a banner on the back that will read “Bring BP to UK” out at CWS on Saturday.

  2. Tubby Smith
    10:21 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I still wonder sometimes if I will ever get a jersey with my name on it hanging from Rupp’s rafters, like the other national championship-winning coaches.

  3. mudcreekmark
    10:28 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    2)Pitino handed a NC team to Tubby. Plain and simple. Once Tubby had to recruit and actually develop his own players you see how that played out.

  4. abcd
    10:44 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    @mudcreekmark What go 23-0 in SEC play with arguably one of the least talented teams every to play at Kentucky?

  5. catcrawler
    10:51 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    3) Tubby also outcoached the immortal Coach K in his run to a title. That’s the sign of a good coach, taking an unfamiliar team and beating other several good teams with good coaches

  6. bigbluejon
    11:24 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t be a d!ck #3, Tubby had his good years. One day his name will be in the rafters at Rupp, whether you like it or not.

  7. burger
    6:46 am November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Hanging in the rafter in Rupp is for Legends.

    When it’s debatable if you should or shouldn’t be up there or… while it might lead to fiery discussion, by natural occurrence it’s not the ingredients of a legend.

    Tubby had a lot of time to etch his name in the Hallowed Vastness of the Heavens of Rupp Lore, yet it’s just not a clearly obvious thing. That’s where you stop.

    Remember, we don’t build trophy cabinets for Elite Eights (or Sweet Sixteens… I can’t believe I just said that – recent activity in Bloomington, IN forced my hand, sry).

  8. GummyBear
    9:23 am November 15, 2012 Permalink

    3.. You are wrong. Plain and simple.

    7.. You are right and wrong. Hanging in the rafter is for legends (or at least should be). But Tubby reached that mark when he won the National Championship.

  9. bicat76
    9:36 am November 15, 2012 Permalink

    BCG drank heavily so he would be preserved and not age as bad a Tubby.

  10. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:23 am November 15, 2012 Permalink

    This pic is great. How did her mom get Tubby to get down and give that peek-a-boo look?

  11. Randy Marsh
    10:27 am November 15, 2012 Permalink

    Very funny…although I must say I’m disappointed at the All Sport diss. The lemon-lime All Sport, with its glorious flavor and carbonation – especially its carbonation – was just what I needed after playing basketball.

    #3 – You will continue to be blasted for your ignorance. As many here have mentioned, Tubby and those players earned and deserved that title. Were we not know as “The Comeback Cats?” To come back game after game requires coaching. Also, did you forget that 02-03 team? I’d say it was a top 5 Kentucky team; we only didn’t win it all because of an injured Keith Bogans and a super hero Dewayne Wade.