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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Cawood Ledford’s Wednesday News and Views

“Hey Cawood, are the Cats gonna win tonight?”

This question started many a call-in show for the radio legend, and consequently, starts many a pregame chat between me and my parents. Like clockwork, each game day, my parents call and ask that question, and until my husband, a Tennessee native, asked me why, it didn’t seem the least bit odd. It still doesn’t, really. In a time before live blogs, Twitter, and television, Cawood was the Voice of the Wildcats, his voice as synonymous with the team as the coaches, the players, or even the court that would later bear his name. His voice was both soothing and stirring; in our house, you knew not to speak when Cawood was speaking, not for fear of what your dad might do to you if you did, but because you wanted to heard what he’d say yourself.

Cawood was deeply respected by his peers for his style and professionalism, but to his fans, it was his passion that made him family. As Oscar Combs said, Cawood was “your eyes, your ears, your judge, and your jury for everything that happened on the court.” Oscar’s right; at times, you could tell if the Cats were winning or losing just by the tone of Cawood’s voice. For a fanbase that is so intrinsically attached to its basketball team, he was the perfect storyteller.

On this day eleven years ago, Cawood succumbed to cancer at the age of 75. Feel free to share your favorite Cawood memory in the comments section.

— On Tuesday, we headed back to work and moved on from Sunday’s painful loss to the Cards. There were a few roster shakeups, including the promotion of Aaron Boyd and Daryl Collins to starting wide receivers, alongside La’Rod King. Boyd jumped EJ Fields for the spot after trying a career high for catches against Louisville, which is something considering Boyd is now a senior. But, it’s never too late, even for “Oh Boyd,” who Joker says is finally buckling down and buying into the system. He’s also keeping his mouth shut, which is a blessing, even if it results in a tamer Twitter feed. We’ll always have that trip to Europe…

— Daryl Collins’ ascent to the starting lineup is no surprise after an impressive debut and preseason. Need another reason to get excited about Collins? Randall Cobb, to whom many have compared him, told Collins he could be the next Kentucky football star this summer. If Golden Eyes says it, it must be true…

— On, on to happier things. Tickets are still on sale for the Alumni Game on September 15th through Ticketmaster. Keep waiting for a roster of who’s playing? Well, apparently, that’s against NBA policy, but Calipari assured reporters on Tuesday that the rosters will include most of your favorite NBA Cats. He also said the 1996 team really wanted to be involved, but knowing their limits, didn’t want to take on what is basically a who’s who of today’s NBA (fair enough). Instead, Derek Anderson, Anthony Epps, Walter McCarty, Jared Prickett, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner and Antoine Walker will take on Cal’s Fantasy Camp All-Stars. That didn’t stop them from trying to recruit the team’s only remaining NBA player, Nazr Mohammad, whom Cal joked they couldn’t have because they “wouldn’t let him play when he was here.” From running after the team bus to being the last remaining NBA player on the ’96 squad. Not too shabby, Nazr, not too shabby.

— One detail Cal was allowed to divulge was that select families from West Liberty will receive grants directly from the players: “The best thing will be in the game, if we have three, four five families from West Liberty that get grants directly from a player. John Wall gives this family a grant whose house was wiped out and they had no insurance. Think about that.” A big hug from DeMarcus Cousins is just an added bonus. In addition to the West Liberty Recovery Fund, Cal said the following charities would receive proceeds from the event: Samaritan’s Feet, 4 Paws for Ability, and Everfi Financial Literacy.

— Recruiting tidbits! On Saturday, the Cats will host Huntington Prep stars Dominic Woodson and Teki Gill-Caesar. Woodson, a four star center ranked 36th in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, does not have an offer from the Cats, but has received “interest” so far. Gill-Caesar is a four-star wing player recently ranked 18th in the 2015 Scout.com rankings. If you know your prep schools, you know that both are teammates of the highly coveted Andrew Wiggins. In fact, Cal is so interested in the Huntington Prep pipeline that he’s traveling to West Virginia on Sunday, the first day of the fall contact period, to check in on Wiggins and catch Woodson and Gill-Caesar in action.

— Karl Towns announced on Twitter on Monday that he officially had an offer from the Cats, and on Tuesday, he opened up about it to SNY.tv:

“It was a just great feeling. The whole staff liked what they saw with me with the Dominican team even though they just wanted to see what I can do. Kentucky is definitely a program that can make me the best player I can be.”

— Things are not getting better for Billy Gillispie. Sources close to the Texas Tech program told CBSSports’ Jeff Goodman Gillispie “reneged on several promises to coaches, kept players in scholarship limbo, causing them to miss opportunities and money, and also practiced injured players so severely that they openly wept in practice.” Sound familiar? Scroll down to Matt’s post to read more about it. All those in favor of going to Lubbock and pelting him with Pop Tarts, say “aye.” Aye.

— Finally, happy birthday to one of the newest Cats in the Lodge, Julius Mays. Julius, tell me what Mrs. Calipari’s infamous birthday brownies taste like. I’m dying to know.

That’ll do for now. We’ll be back soon. In the meantime, enjoy the familiar tones of Mr. Cawood Ledford:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

33 Comments for Cawood Ledford’s Wednesday News and Views



  1. z
    11:02 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    1st



  2. Big Blue Daddy
    11:06 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Caywood was awesome… “Master from 20… Beauty!” … “Walker with a two hand stuff shot…”… “Chapman from 3…mark it down!” I fell asleep listening to that voice twice a week as a child. Memories!



  3. Big Blue 66
    11:07 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    i listened to Cawood for many many years, and most of the time listened to him with the TV turned down, but never was he more important to me as a UK fan than when we were under probation and he was all we had to create the mental image of the game. The LSU game when we beat Shaq and company was increadible and many others. The Best ever



  4. blueballer
    11:21 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t have any specific story about Cawood. Didn’t know him, or anything like that. But I grew up poor. For a few years we didn’t even have a tv. We would gather around the radio, and listen as Cawood made the game come to life in your mind. He could descibe the game and paint a more vivid picture than I have ever seen on my 52″ LED high def tv I am fortunate enough to own now. We are very lucky to have Tom Leach calling it now. Nobody can ever be Cawood, but Tom is as good as you will find. Two class guys. Ralph Hacker…not so much. Glad he retired. Sorry ralph, just being truthful.



  5. UKBlue
    11:25 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Ever since Cawood stepped down, we have had nothing but a bunch of substitute teachers. These sports people today couldn’t walk in Cawood shadow.

    As Clinton said about Obama, this guy wouldn’t have been allowed to carry our bags a couple of years ago. You can never replace a legend, there isn’t one person in the media that could carry Cawood bags.



  6. DerbyFan
    11:48 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Well spoken Mrs.TT! Being a Louisville native I was not much of a Kentucky fan until I came to school at UK. The annual call of the Kentucky Derby made me a Cawood fan since I was a kid. I also recognized as a youngster that if we were at someone’s home watching a UK game people usually turned the radio up and the TV down. I knew there had to be something to that. I actually credit Cawood for making me a UK fan more than any coach or player. When I came to UK as a freshman it was Cawood that actually made me feel at home in Lexington rather than my hometown. Whether the Cats were kicking ass or bearing “Kentucky’s Shame” it was Cawood that gave UK sports and the fans a sense of integrity. God rest your soul Cawood! You will never be replaced.



  7. JBR
    11:59 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Ummmm…have we fired Joker yet?????



  8. Tennesse Wildcat
    12:18 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Or Cawood would start out the broadcast with” Hello everybody, this is Cawood Ledford from Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington.” Some of my favorite memories were as a kid listening to the games, marking the score of each team on a sheet of paper, with Cawood saying “Shidler from 25, got it! Macy has ice water in his veins. Macy from 20, gooooodddd!!!! Alley oop to Bowie, dunk! No one will ever come close to Cawood as far as I’m concerned. He was without a doubt the voice of Kentucky Basketball. Currently, I am very happy that we have Tom Leach at the helm. He gets it!



  9. Tennesse Wildcat
    12:22 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    By the way, I always listen to that linked Cawood Warm-up and the youtube version of Happy Chandler singing my Old Kentucky Home on Winston Bennett’s senior game in 1988 before big games. This always seems to work wonders. Call me superstitious, but I don’t care.



  10. Buckets
    1:12 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Finally, Mrs. Thompson dedicates a night post and I actually know who the person is 🙂 Hearing Cawood’s voice makes me feel like I’m 12 years old again. RIP, Cawood.



  11. carnifex
    1:44 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    When I was a teenager, my dad took me to Lake Okeechobee, in the southern tip of Florida. We would bass fish during the day. but at night, I would go out to our car, and turn on the radio, and listen to the cats play, and Cawood calling the game. I would have to fiddle with the dials, tuning WHAS in and out, trying to keep the signal. Now you can’t do that. There are too many radio stations. I know because when I’m down there I still do it. Never be another Cawood.



  12. carnifex
    1:51 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Other times, I remember laying in front of a big gas heater at my grandparents up in the mountains. It’d be colder than hell outside, and icebox temperature anywhere else in the house, so I’d lay there with my pillow listening to Cawood. I’d usually fall asleep sometime in the first half, and always wake up in bed the next morning. Untill I got older I had no idea how that happened.



  13. iucansuckabigblue.....
    3:33 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I was just a kid but I can still remember hearing your voice. Much missed. God needed the best announcer.

    For you Cawood –
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xoutet_kentucky-basketball-simply-the-best_sport

    1.20. Simply the best. Rest in peace.

    GBB!!!



  14. jj
    6:04 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Going from left to right on your radio dial…



  15. goodtimes
    7:24 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Listening to the games with my dad at the kitchen table. Cawood calling the action and my dad keeping his own box score, we’d talk about everything and anything, best times of my life, thanks for the memories Cawood.



  16. Cardz 4 Life
    7:24 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s big bad Drew Franklin now that UK got their azz whipped by UL???? He sure was loud and boisterous during game week. Now all I hear is….. shhhhhhh, nothing! Think before you open your mouth next time Drew. #L1C4



  17. BIGBLUEDAVE
    8:07 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    There’s a Cawood Ledford Voice of the Wildcata tribute page on facebook that sends out cool statuses during basketball season. They also put some historical stuff up about Cawood. Just fyi for anyone who is on facebook. They posted some great stuff last season.



  18. Dan
    8:10 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “Cold Chills”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<



  19. barn
    8:23 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “…write it down ralph”.



  20. UK_Greg
    8:28 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “…missed a gimme” turning down the TV to listen to Cawood was the only way to watch a UK



  21. TheTruth
    8:29 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    5 things make a good football program:
    1. Athletes
    2. Coaching
    3. Execution
    4. Effort
    5. Luck
    Kentucky from 2008-2011 recruited significantly better than Boise St.
    (http://boisestate.scout.com/a.z?s=336&p=9&c=8&toinid=741&sspid=-1&yr=2008)
    However, Boise St. has been a perennial top 25 team, and has routinely beaten big programs. Kentucky, conversely, is bad, and routinely gets stomped by bad teams. Of the 5 things listed above, Boise St. is terrific at coaching, effort, and execution; all of which, in my opinion, have to do with coaching. If these are really the only things that go into whether or not a team is good or bad…. AND we have better athletes, then our coaching, no matter how you cut it, is terrible. I’d love to hear if any feedback.



  22. CATNTN
    8:37 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “Hello everybody this is Cawood Ledford”, “The Wildcats will be moving from the left side of your radio dial”, “He searched him”. – As a transplant to Memphis, I remember the strange looks I would get when listening to cassette recordings of Cawood calling a Cats game from a couple of nights earlier. I knew the score, I just needed to hear Cawood call the game. “That’s hard core” was usually the reaction. I worked with a gentleman that grew up in Mississippi and was a lifelong Ole Miss fan. He worked nights in Memphis and was always searching for a radio station during the drives to Memphis. He ran across Cawood calling a Kentucky game in about 1970 and has been a Kentucky fan since. I remember the family watching the Cats play Tennessee when I was in my teens. The TV was turned down and Cawood was on. My six year old sister was playing with playdough and pretending to serve BLUE cookies to everyone. The action was hot and heavy when my sister ‘served’ my uncle a ‘cookie’. He promptly popped the ‘cookie’ into his mouth. My aunt said, “you didn’t eat that did you?”. He shook his head no and tried to spit the playdough out without anyone seeing. It didn’t work.



  23. DerbyDemon
    9:01 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    My best memories of Cawood is he called the game like he saw. If UK wasn’t putting up much of an effort, he’d let them have it! I don’t know the number of times I heard “If the Cats expect a win, they’re going to have to play much better than that!” He was simply the BEST. He was (is) as much a part of UK sports as any team member. We miss you, Cawood. RIP. And, as an aside, I’d LOVE to know what he would have said about the last few UK football teams/coaches…



  24. Gra BeardCat
    10:00 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    One of my fondest memories of Cawood was having breakfast with him in Waco, Tx in the 1970’s. UK was playing Baylor (the game in which Ron Stewart tore up his knee). I was living in Dallas, and the night before the game, drove to Waco and stayed in the Holiday Inn. The next morning I went down for breakfast, dressed in my best UK garb. Cawood was sitting by himself near the entrance to the dining room, and asked me to join him. Wonderful pre-game breakfast, wonderful breakfast companion! He was a delightful, knowledgeable man with the unmatched ability to call a game (and a race)so you could watch it in your mind. He did not consider himself to be the primary goal of people listening, but only a conduit to let you watch the game; however, as we all know, Cawood was one of the best. The only person who could be considered as good as Cawood was his predecessor, Claude Sullivan.



  25. Mrs. Calipari
    10:19 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Tyler, unless my brownies are notoriously awful or have known to give UK basketball players crazy, hallucinatory hash brownie trips, they are not “infamous”.

    in’fa’mous (adj) well known for some bad quality or deed: an infamous war criminal.
    -wicked; abominable: the medical council disqualified him for infamous misconduct



  26. CatGrad7072
    10:31 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “Hello everybody, this is Cawood Ledford from Memorial Coliseum on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington.” ………..



  27. RD
    10:50 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Tribute to Cawood:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MSnLqS2s5s

    Nice interviews of CM Newton, Mr Wildcat.



  28. 3 fan
    11:34 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Got to be around Cawood when I spent two years being a gofer for the athletics program. He was not the nicest guy to be around. He would keep a security guard around him pre-game, halftime and post-game when not on the air to keep fans away. And God forbid you interrupt him when he was smoking….

    My grandpa was such a fan of Cawood I never told him how unlikeable the guy was in person.



  29. Cawood Fan
    12:16 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I live next-door to Cawood’s wife, Frances, in Cawood (Harlan County), Kentucky. My dad was second cousins to the legend and I had the awesome privilege of interviewing him for our school newspaper at James A. Cawood High School in 1996. He was one of THE most humble, gentle, and classy men I had the honor of meeting and interviewing. He LOVED his ‘CATS that’s for sure. In the interview, I asked, “What was your most memorable game in your 28+ years of broadcasting for UK?” His reply, “That’s easy, the ’92 UK vs. Duke game.”



  30. gthtennesseegth
    1:20 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    “Any flags, Ralph?”



  31. UKHOOPZ
    2:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, that was my kids at the 1:13 mark! Great video!!!!!!!!!!!!



  32. BlueDoug46
    6:33 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    1990. IN the media room as I was a photographer for a very small free-lance news paper. Setting there next to Glen Campbell. CM Newton sayd young man (talking to me) catch Cawood before he runs away, as Cawood was walking out the door. So I ran as fast as I could to catch a legend. Cawood smiles, and say young man you are in better shape than me! He walked back with me to the media room. Great, Great guy!



  33. david
    6:42 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    While in the Army and deployed to Bosnia Cawood sent me a hand written letter thanking me for my service. TOTAL CLASS!