Tubby Smith wants UK fans to live long and prosper. And to get off his ass as well.
UPDATE: Dick Vitale just said on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” that Kentucky’s recruitment of an 8th grader was “just for headlines….and unhealthy”. React.
1. So that we all can move away from the Merlene Davis article from a couple days ago, here is the Courier-Journal’s “unbiased” article about the honoring of Tubby Smith. I am pretty sure I had heard this before but in the article Tubby talks about moving back to the Bluegrass after he retires from coaching. And, Tubby bet on Denis of Cork in the Derby, so he made a buck or two.
NOTE ON THIS: I HAVE NO SAY ABOUT THE OTHER POSTS ON THIS SITE, BUT AS FAR AS MY POSTS GO, ANY COMMENTS THAT ARE AIMED AT CRTICIZING TUBBY SMITH OR “TUBBY-BASHING” AS ITS BECOME, WILL BE DELETED!!! THIS SITE IS AIMED AT SUPPORTING UK SPORTS, AND THAT TYPE OF NEGATAVISM IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SAYS, “NEGATIVE”. I DONT CARE HOW COMMUNIST IT SOUNDS, BUT THE COMMENTS SECTION HAS BECOME SOMEWHAT RIDICULOUS IN ITS ALMOST IMMEDIATE TURN INTO A TUBBY DEBATE. SO DON’T BOTHER COMMENTING ABOUT TUBBY UNLESS ITS ABOUT THE LINK ITSELF. IF YOU WANT TO WHINE AND MOAN LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN GO OVER TO THIS MINNESOTA BLOG AND HAVE AT IT. WE ARE NOW A YEAR REMOVED FROM HIS TENURE. MOVE ON!!!!!
2. Great article by Pat Forde about the Kentucky Derby and I will only give you the first line of his article, a perfect statement about this year’s race:
“Thoroughbred racing at its best, thoroughbred racing at its worst”
You saw a horse I think will win the Triple Crown, and you saw the most “popular” horse coming into the race break down. I won’t repeat too much of what I wrote Saturday night, but I think horse racing may never recover to even sniff its popularity of 30 years ago. And I am tired of hearing about the attendance of the Derby Saturday showing that I am wrong about its popularity. Hardly anyone is there for the race and those that are there can’t even see most of it. Three major reasons for the decline of racing:
1) There has not been a great horse (i.e. Secretariat or Seattle Slew) in 30 years. In the way that horse racing is setup, the only way you become a great horse to the public is to win the triple crown. Curlin and Cigar are/were great horses, won a ton and did it dominating fashion, and neither is strongly remembered by the average person. Big Brown would greatly help the sport winning two more times in the next couple weeks.
2) The breakdown of Eight Belles is just one example of horse injury the racing public has seen fairly recently. Ruffian and Barabaro are the two most prominent examples. A very irnoic moment actually occured Oaks day, where a horse named Chelokke, who won the inagural Barbaro Stakes last year, broke down in a race at Churchill. The horse has only been given a 50% chance of survival. The die-hard racing fans know this is part of the sport. But, most people (myself included) are not die-hard. And when they see animals that are “loveable” die in front of their eyes, its something that is permanent.
3) Online wagering: This will never change, because its bring alot of money to the sport, but attendance has declined sharply at racetracks because people can now watch nearly all races at home and wager online. If you have never been to the track for just a regular racing day (meaning non-Derby, Oaks, or Keenland opening), seeing the horses upclose is a truly great experience.
3. Not a good weekend at all for the UK baseball team as they were swept AT HOME by LSU, and trust me this is not the LSU of old. This was an LSU team with a losing conference record coming into the series. Everyone assumes that UK is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, they are not. Much like college basketball, a losing conference record is death for a college team, and right now UK sits at 11-13 in conference. I’ve seen two projections, both of which have the Cats as a 3-seed, which is college baseball terms means some of the last at-large teams.
4. The Courier-Journal has released its “Super Five” team, naming the Top 5 players in the Class of 2008. For the first time in 14 years, Louisville gets a player on the list with Samardo Samuels. Ron Mercer is the last UK player to make the list. Its great to look through the list of past teams (going all the way back to 1973) and see which guys panned out, and which didnt. UK has had 12 guys total in 35 years, and most have worked out. But, you also have Jay Shidler, Dwight Anderson, Eric Manuel, Shawn Kemp, and Roderick Rhodes on the list as well. Point being, everyone should back off a few steps before proclaiming these recruits as savoirs or busts before ever seeing them play. You never know how a guy will improve and respond to college ball until he steps on the floor.
5. Celtics absolutely looked great yesterday, and it makes you wonder why it took 7 games to dispatch of the Hawks. But, the only way the Eastern Conference becomes interesting is if the Celtics and Pistons play. Sorry, but Lebron doesn’t have enough pull yet, at least until he has other stars around him. If you didn’t see it, Rajon Rondo may have been fouled as hard as I’ve seen all year by Marvin Williams. Rumors are spreading Rondo whispered while going down “7 national titles to 4”. That might be just a rumor.
6. Non-sports post: check out this kid’s reaction to stealing his grandmothers car, wrecking it and then being interviewed by police. Say hello to your next criminal ladies and gentelmen. By the way, this kids SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!