Today is the birthday of one of the strangest (and most fascinating to me) people in country music, Conway Twitty. Even as bizarre as he looks above, Conway Twitty was an American sex symbol in country music during the 1970s, making women swoon with such hits as “Hello Darlin.” Growing up, I had two great aunts that I loved dearly named Boots and Francis. They were wonderful women in Hancock County, Tennessee who loved Conway Twitty and once told a 12 year old Matt Jones, “I love hearing Conway Twitty sing…it makes my blood turn hot!” As a 12 year old, such a comment can leave an impression and ever since then I have tried to understand Conway’s appeal. He sang some of the creepiest songs in history (I would argue that “Lay You Down” and “I’ve Already Loved You in My Mind” are two songs that take the cringe factor to a whole new level) and had awful hair. But he still had a mesmerizing influence on the ladies…at least of Hancock County. We wish Conway happy birthday and much success on the Branson circuit. And in honor of him, all Conway, all the time on KSR today:
To the news:
— I must admit that I am starting to get really excited about the game on Saturday. Beating Louisville is of the utmost importance and I have my entire focus right now on that for Saturday. There is a quiet confidence coming from the UK Camp, where I am told that the football folks feel very good about the game upcoming. It has been difficult for this coaching staff to prepare for the Cards, as it isnt clear what team to focus upon. The Louisville tapes from last year have a different coach’s scheme and Florida tapes have much better talent than they will see. But I am told that the coaches like what they have seen in the past two days and believe this team is ready for UL on Saturday. Their biggest concern is getting off to a good start and not creating turnovers…both of which are big for Mike Hartline. The first half will help tell the tale of the season…cross your fingers.
— You got to feel for our friends in Red in Louisville this week as they try to justify whatever their meager existence is at this time. They are about ten miles behind Kentucky in basketball and start behind Kentucky in football as well, and need something to motivate their fan base. They cant do it with ten dollar tickets to the rest of the UL home games (which went on sale today), so they are trying to argue that Kentucky has not sold its segment of tickets to the game on Saturday. Much was made about the fact that Kentucky “returned” 200 tickets for the game, and UL seemed to imply that it meaned that UK’s fan base wasnt as strong for the game. What that ignores is that UK sold more tickets for the game than ever before (they requested a 2nd larger allotment) and that many UK fans get tickets from UL fans who dont use them. Bottom line, there will be a ton of blue in Papa Johns Stadium and potentially more UK fans than any year the teams have ever played…in a season where UL is debuting a new coach. Stop chattering Card fans….you guys have a cute program…but we know who the big boys are.
— It is important to note that this is the biggest recruiting weekend for UL basketball in years. Quincy Miller, Deuce Bello and Chane Behanan will all be at the game on Saturday and UL hopes to get commitments from all three. It is possible that UL could end up with the #2 class behind Kentucky for 2011 and produce the best recruiting haul Rick Pitino has ever seen in Louisville. But it requires all three guys and potentially all commitments this weekend. For UL, they are in the lead potentially with all three. Behanan is likely not as strong to UK with the Wiltjer commitment and thus all three could end up Cards. Rick has to close the deal this weekend and show that he can perform on a big stage for longer than 15 seconds. While the football game is on the field, Rick having any chance to perform on the court will be decided behind the scenes this weekend.
— Assuming he becomes eligible (and I still think that is the likely result), Enes Kanter is a contender for Preseason All American lists, making the Third Team in a Sporting News prediction earlier this week. Kanter is going to be a big man that is right up there with Cousins and Bowie for best post players at UK in my lifetime. I really believe that, but it requires him getting eligible. I still believe that will happen, as do the folks at UK. But we may not know until the last minute and Kanter has become the test case for the NCAA for the future. Whatever they decide will have a huge effect on college basketball going forward. It isnt just about Enes, his background or what his family situation in Turkey was before arriving in the states. It is about the new NCAA rule for Europeans and the future. That is why everyone at UK (and the fans) are all crossing their fingers.
— If you are in Louisville this weekend, come to the UK Pep Rally at Big Blue Country on Friday night at the corner of Lexington and Baxter Avenues. It begins at 5 pm and will go into the night, with the UK band, Marcus McClinton singing, two bands in attendance and a huge night of a Big Blue pep rally in the middle of Louisville. Part of the street is being closed and it will be a huge UK party. If you live in Louisville or are coming in for the game, show up to the only UK bar in the state. I love the guys that run it and this is a big event for the Big Blue…make sure and check it out on Friday night if you can.
More all day as we get ready for Thursday….the great Louisville Hate Day on Thursday….the whole crew talking smack to the Cards…you cant beat it.