Today’s birthday is that of my favorite performer in an entertainment option that for a long, long time in my life, I followed intently. Up until just about two years ago, I followed pro wrestling passionately for about fifteen years. Beginning around 1990 or so, I watched the WWF, WCW, ECW and WWE in all of their various forms and followed the storylines through both good and bad story archs and periods of boom and bust in the wrestling industry. I watched when wrestling was good (Hogan era, NWO era, Stone Cold era, Rock-Foley era) and when it was bad (most every other time). Through it all, I watched when those around me were into it (college) and those around me though it was absurd that I would ever turn it on (law school). During that entire time, my favorite wrestler was without a doubt Jericho….I liked that he had above-average intelligence (for a wrestler), was extremely witty and was good at the “technical” part of the action. Recently, he has quit wrestling and has become nothing but a commentator on every possible VH1 show and my affinity for him has gone down quite a bit…..but his wrestling days still make me happy and I still have a Y2J countdown clock in my bedroom to this day. Wrestling has basically jumped the shark for me as I simply cant get into the John Cena era no matter how hard I may try. For me its my hot OVW female wrestling neighbors or nothing when it comes to masters of the squared circle. But we will always have our memories…..and not even a Papa Shango spell can take those away.
To the news…..
(1) If you havent heard yet, Garrett Stutz has verbaled to Wichita St., thus ending UK’s pursuit of him at this time. From my perspective, this is not exactly a bad thing as I think Wichita St is the perfect level school for Stutz and he will excel in that environment. For UK however, it does make next week’s decison by Chris Singleton even more important. Billy Clyde was in Atlanta today to watch Singleton work out and to sell UK on the young man one more time before he makes the final call. With Stutz off the table, and Kentucky likely never having offered him, it is clear that Billy Clyde’s singular focus is on getting Chris Singleton to commit. A decision either comes this weekend or early next week. As anyone who has watched the interior presence on UK so far can attest…..it will be a big and important decision for the Cats.
(2) All that can be said about the debacle in Rupp last night has been said. I still contend that the loss may be end up being the worst team that UK has ever lost to at home and one of the worst teams that has ever defeated Kentucky period. We have seen the national media have a field day with this, which is understandable because (a) it was a slow news day and (b) it is a great story. The guys from Gardner Webb had their pep rally on campus shown live on ESPN….the coach has been everywhere doing interviews…..the kids have seen their highlights all over the nation. It really is an example of what is great about college athletics and why I love following college basketball in particular. I obviously wish that it hadnt happened to Kentucky, but those are the breaks. The general consensus from the media is that the game means nothing and that Billy Clyde will have the ship righted very soon. I agree with that sentiment, but will be glad when this two-week break is over and the focus can go back to winning and not the Running Bulldogs.
(3) I recieved a phone call tonight from the Woo, who began with this question, “How in the world did we lose to Gardner-Webb”? Woo is in Fort Wayne with the Mad Ants, getting ready for his NBDL training camp and his season with the team. He said that he is playing on the same team as Shagari (“reuniting the twin towers” Woo said) and says he is excited about beginning his new season. He was the first pick of the draft by the Indiana Pacers part of the Mad Ants (they split the franchise with the Pistons) and he says the Pacers insist he is part of their long-term plans. But all that was on Woo’s mind was the Cats. He expressed disappointment in the loss and said he was even more upset that he couldnt see the game. He said he hopes that things improve quick because, “those guys better get with it…..they cannot lose to Louisville. That will make me upset.” Woo will be on the radio show next week but said he may not be able to talk about Kentucky. “I cant think about them losing….it makes me too upset.” Gotta love the Woo….he bleeds blue.
(4) Big time football this Saturday as the Cats play a must-win game versus the Commodores. Seemingly the entire Kentucky Sports Radio cast of characters will be making the trip and all of us are hoping for a big win to continue the momentum of the season. As many of you know, Rob and I will be joining Larry Vaught and the musical acts of Redmon’s in Lexington, Kentucky at the UK Alumni Tailgate beginning at 9:30 Central in Nashville. This should be a great event and will include Rob and I conversing with Larry Vaught, Mitch Barnhart, Dicky Lyons Sr and others in front of the group. You should stop by and check it out any time before the game, as the UK cheerleaders and pep band will be making an appearance. The location is on the map below….I hope to see you all there and that you will come up and say hi.
More to come all day, including a focus on the big football game Saturday….