Believe it or not, when I was a young, strapping undergrad at our fair University of Kentucky, I did more than just drink beer and chase skirts (ya hear that, Mom and Dad?); among other things, I went on a bunch of trips with the Snowcats– UK’s Ski and Snowboard Club. Yes, UK does indeed have a ski club. Seeing as how the Commonwealth isn’t exactly rife with ski resorts though, membership essentially revolved entirely around an annual winter break trip out west– Usually in Colorado; sometimes Aspen, sometimes Vail, sometimes Breck… you get the idea. Sounds pretty great, right? Right. And it was. I mean, a moderately-priced week in Aspen with 100-plus coeds? What could possibly be the downside? Well, since you asked, the 25-30 hour bus ride that it took to get out there, for one. That part definitely went on the ‘cons’ side of the list. I won’t get too in depth with the grizzly details, but Lewis and Clark’s journey was pleasant by comparison. You really develop a special brand of hatred for the plains states when you’re viewing them from a cramped deathtrap that’s traveling well below the speed limit.
What does all this have to do with anything? Well, I have a tendency to ramble. That’s first of all. But also, one of the few things that managed to make those trips halfway tolerable was the show 24. Each way, we would watch an entire season of the Kiefer Sutherland drama; every episode, back-to-back, for 24 hours straight. Nothing but the road, painkillers for my back, and Jack Bauer saving the world in the most ridiculous way possible. And for parts of 5 seasons of that show, the role of President in the 24 universe was played by this Sunday’s News and Views honoree, Mr. Dennis Haysbert.
Haysbert, who turns 59 today, was born in San Mateo, CA and wisely chose a life in acting over multiple athletic scholarships coming out of high school. He’s been in a lot of stuff you may have seen; including Love & Basketball, Jarhead, Heat, and the oft-played Allstate (*Dennis Haysbert voice* ) commercials. But, in my opinion, his proudest career moments have come in the form of two iconic performances– The aforementioned role as President Palmer on 24, and as Pedro Cerrano in the first two Major League movies (I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats).
So, happy birthday, Pedro– err, Dennis. Today’s News and Views go out to you.
And now, without further ado, your news…
-First things first, my boy Drew Barker (I can call him that, he’s part of the KSR familia now) participated in the Elite 11 regional today, and by all accounts put on a show. Barker’s participation in the finals (which are being held at the Nike campus in Oregon) would not just be a huge accomplishment for him, but a great way to market the program as well. As of posting this, his name had not yet been called (invites go out tonight via twitter), but fingers crossed that Trent Dilfer and Co. do the right thing by our future QB1.
–Keeping things football-related, count CBS’s Jerry Hinnen among those that are firmly Team Stoops. In the latest installment of his ‘New Coach Reset’ series, Hinnen sounds off on our new head coach– And so far, he likes what he sees, saying that buzz around the program “qualifies as one of the biggest surprises and biggest stories of the SEC’s spring.” A lot of it is recycled material (he’s keeping best KY players in-state, recruiting Ohio, and we should be wary of immediate improvement due to tough schedule), but it’s definitely still worth a read in its entirety. In the meantime, here’s another sneak peek of what Hinnen had to say:
Perhaps Stoops’ biggest advantage are the fans mentioned above; as with Franklin and the Commodores, there’s no fundamental reason the Wildcats can’t compete in the SEC with the right support. And it looks like Stoops has it already.
–Speaking of the new-look Kentucky football program, Mikel Horton announced today via twitter that fans will have an opportunity to meet the new recruits in-person the 8th, 9th, and 10th of June at Commonwealth. Go out and make them feel the love, BBN.
–FYI, Louisville’s football schedule next year is as follows: Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, at Kentucky, Florida International, at Temple, Rutgers, Central Florida, at South Florida, at UConn, Houston, Memphis, and at Cincinnati. For those keeping track at home, that’s good for 90th in Phil Steele’s strength of schedule rankings— just behind Tulsa, Central Michigan, and New Mexico. This is important to keep in mind when reading the following tweet from Cards linebacker Preston Brown:
Idk why uk players are worried about us. They better go watch some wku film
– Preston Brown (@PB_Number2) June 1, 2013
Honestly? I was going to make a joke about who UL should be worried about, but their schedule is so bad I can’t even settle on which school to use. They’re basically playing an entire season’s worth of Jim Tressel era Ohio State out-of-conference games. Plus, to be honest, both sides should just save their energy for Sept. 14th anyway. Let’s move on, shall we?
–In basketball news (remember basketball? #StoopsEffect), Adam Zagoria did what Adam Zagoria does, and weighed in on the next two NBA Drafts. And in trying to put the 2013 class into context, Zagoria drew a comparison to the Andrew Bogut-led 2005 class. I know, right? Ouch. Yeah, sure, that draft gave us Deron Williams and Chris Paul. But it also had Bogut and Marvin Williams go 1-2, with Yaroslav Korolev going in the lottery as well. Just brutal. Let’s hope for Nerlens’ sake he’s the CP3, and not the Marvin Williams, of this paper-thin class.
–Zagoria also had a lot to say about next year’s draft, which he compared to the loaded 2003 class (dude named LeBron went number 1 that year). That’s high praise from Adam Zag, but it’s also news that should surprise exactly no one. That class is going to be really, really good. Like, historically good. Still though, you should check out the whole article, which is right HERE.
–In case you guys were worried, Matt sends his greetings from Vegas. And not only is he still alive (no small feat), but he was also nice enough to tweet out the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball championship odds, courtesy of Caesars. See for yourself:
For those who can’t read the fine print (and to be fair, I can’t even read that), the casino that Julius built has the Cats as favorites to win it all, at 3/1 odds. Not too shabby.
-Finally, after you blow out the candles on your Dennis Haysbert birthday cake, be sure to wish CNN a ‘happy birthday’ as well. The first network to report the news 24/7 turns 33 today. They might not always be first (or right) with the breaking news, but they try hard– And really, that’s all that counts in journalism. Actually, that’s not true at all. Being first, or at least right, is pretty much all that matters in journalism today. But it’s still their birthday, so be nice.