picture by Clay Jackson
I’ve been inside the grand canyon. I’ve been inside the White House. Last Friday night, I entered something more awe-inspiring, more spectacular, more exclusive than any place I ever have or ever will visit. A place more mysterious than a school lunch, more secure that a Mormon‘s pledge of abstinence. Yes, I entered inside the huddle with one Robert Bromley. I was so close to him during his post game interview of Patterson I could smell the mixture of Cool Water cologne, confidence, and yesterday’s ho that has become his trademark scent. How did I get in this rarified air? I am a newsman, or at least I was on Friday night.
Sent on assignment to cover the fighting whatevers vs. our beloved Cats, I became the second member from this outfit not named Matt Jones to venture into the bowels of Rupp to represent KSR in an official capacity. It was a truly great experience and the following our some of the highpoints I can share. This being my first game, there are a bunch so if reading is not your thing, move right along:
— Clarion is bad. John Wall is good. Earth shattering, I know.
— Laodu is AWESOME. For those who don’t know him, he is a Chinese journalist on loan from his home paper covering UK basketball for a year. He is inspired by Alan Cutler and hopes to make moustaches and cowboy boots the new “it” look in Asia. He had me at hello. He thought Laodou was too difficult to pronounce (its not) so his media credential reads “Michael”. I call him Wang and reminded him not to tell anyone he’s Jewish.
— Oscar Combs is as nice in person as you would imagine. He seemed optimistic that although I was covering my first game and he his thousandth, I could catch up to him. He probably went to bed 11 hours before me last night so I’m not sure he factored that in when hypothesizing I would live long enough to make this a possibility.
— Tom Leach was extremely pleasant and stated he had heard of me. However, he left it at that.
— Media members get free popcorn. I abused this privilege and would’ve had my keyboard covered in grease had I not forgotten my laptop. Yes, I was covering the game for a website and had no computer. That’s how I roll.
— Alan Cutler, in post game interviews, controls his camera man’s movements by merely moving his eyebrows. They are more in sync than Stockton to Malone.
— I have not see one crease in any ball caps possessed by our players. Their bills are flatter than Sienna Miller.
— DeWayne Peevey is in charge of the media and runs the show in the post game pressers with Cal. He does not look like a man to be messed with. I will call him “Mr. Peevey” until I get to know him better and then ease my way into the less formal “sir“.
— Every button above the nipples on a Kenny Walker shirt is superfluous and not to be utilized.
— John Wall is very humble. If I was 18, the best college basketball player in the country, and on the cusp of becoming a mulit-millionaire, I’m not certain I would have the patience to constantly field formulaic questions with even more formulaic answers in the waltz that is a player/reporter interview. Although his mind may have been at two keys, his answers were spot on. I think. My mind was at two keys at this point.
— I’m not down with “Rupp” arena dancing guy. Yes I read his story and I appreciate it how much he loves being the dancing guy, but west end zone dancing guy at Commonwealth could teach him a thing or two about showmanship.
— There needs to be a push made for a “Kiss Cam” at both aforementioned venues. Also, it should not be optional. Two people get put on screen, they must kiss. This would require a good faith effort of the camera men not to get all Mackenzie Phillips out there or worse. If I happened to get on screen anywhere near a dance cat, I’m getting to second. I have bail money.
-Near the end of the game, UK officials came by and gave me and other media folk a slip of paper to request players or coaches that we would like to interview after the game. However, said slip of paper did not require the requests to be of players or coaches involved with either team or even alive. Matt forbade me from submitting my list.
— Scott Padgett kinda/sorta looks like Ben Affleck. I sing “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” under my breath every time he walks past me. I encourage everyone to do the same.
— Darius Miller’s confidence is hiding in a box somewhere with Falcon.
— I now know what seat Jerry Tipton sits in during the post game press conference. Much like Deebo, that’s now my seat.
Now back to BTI’s whatever it is he does here.