Today is the 143rd birthday of the best Presidential candidate to ever appear in a Viagra commercial, Bob Dole. Dole, who spent the better part of his lifetime in public service, first as a member of the armed services in World War II (picture above) and then a long, illustrious career in the Senate from Kansas, has become an exalted figure in recent years for good reason. After losing in his race for the Presidency against Bill Clinton in 1996, Dole showcased a different side of himself after the race, endearing himself to the American public that had turned its back on him in the election. In his famous appearance on David Letterman, he showed a jovial, funny personality that began a second career for him as an entertainment figure. Dole has always been a favorite of mine, harkening back to the old Conan O Brien “Dole” voices and his appearance on SNL. But regardless of his entertainment value, Dole should be best remembered for his time as a member of America’s “Greatest Generation” and a true example of a person who spent a lifetime serving for and giving back to, his country. Bob Dole is an example of the best personal qualities in America’s leaders and the country could use more like him.
A few notes…
(1): We had Billy Gillispie on the show tonight and while there were some technical difficulties, it was a good chance to hear the Coach talk about the season ahead. Like some of the other folks from UK who have spoken this offseason, Gillispie was very high on Josh Harrellson and Darius Miller, calling the latter one of “the finer kids you will ever see.” He mentioned that he expected to have a different team next season, one that lacks a bit in scoring, but is a bit longer and more athletic than the team last season. He expressed interest in renewing the UNC series for years to come and said that his philosophy is to try to struggle as many good games as possible because “that is why kids come to Kentucky.” There wasnt a great deal new in the interview, but it was a good chance to hear the Coach’s views going into the new season. Plus, you got the added advantage of hearing what sounded like a gypsy band playing in the background (complete with mutiple cymbals), which added to the overall ambiance of the proceeding. We thank Billy for coming on with us and continuing to provide support to our attempt to keep a UK presence in Louisville.
(2): Big football news tonight comes from Jeff Drummond as he reports that Qua Huzzie (one of the truly great names in high school sports) has committed to Kentucky for football. The LB from Legrange, Georgia is ranked #39 at his position in the country and picked the Cats over South Carolina, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss, continuing Kentucky’s football success of picking up guys who are picking the Cats over other BCS programs. Huzzie continues the Legrange pipeline to UK….one that has been extremely fruitful and stocks up the UK program. A big get for a defense that continues to get deeper and deeper.
(3): Bad news on the UK football front as well however, as UK WR Kyrus Lanxter was injured in a drill and will miss the next few weeks. Matt May reports that there was some sort of issue with Lanxter running into a set of items used for another drill, and that he got caught up and injured in the process. He may be back in time for the opening week, but the injury continues to provide difficulty for the position that is of the biggest concern for the Cats going into the season, the Wide Receiver position. Getting one or two big play guys from that position that we havent seen step up previously, will be a big key in keeping the offense clicking on the level it has in the past couple of seasons.
(4): Watch this week as ESPN does its College basketball program prestige rankings, with the top schools to be released Monday. The formula attempts to make an objective determination as to which schools have the highest prestige level since the NCAA Tournament went to 64 teams in 1985. The determination is made using points awarded for such achievements as winning the national championship, making the Final Four, Sweet 16, winning the conference tournament and regular season title, etc. In addition, points are subtracted for NCAA violations. Looking at the criteria, it strikes me that Duke will be first with either UNC, Kansas or UK in the second through fourth slot, depending on how the points flow out. It is an interesting system ESPN devised, one that has its faults, but will provide a starting point for the arguments going forward. Looking at the time frame as a whole, I think Duke likely has to be first (as much as I hate them), but after that, a case can be made for all three teams at second….we shall see how it comes out.
More throughout the day as we count down the days to the season….and a media member that will likely gets some strong opinions coming this afternoon…..