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

FAN VOTE TIME: Which of these Bloggers Will Survive?

Its time for the FIRST FAN VOTING FOR WHO WANTS TO BE A BLOGGER. The poll is to the right….read the contestants below and vote for your favorite. The two highest vote getters will move onto the next round. You have until 5 pm tomorrow to pick your winners. Make it happen people!

JARED QUILLEN

This One’s for the Fans.

I watched “Jason and the Argonauts” and three hours of “Flight of the Concords” as I considered what to write about. Something hilarious, something that wouldn’t make people leave comments like some of these left on some of the previous entries:

jorts4life Says:
Mr. (name removed), what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent entry were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

And my personal favorite:

Cals Cats Fever Says:
I think I could eat a bowl of alphabets cereal and $HI* out a better post than that…

Well Cals Cats Fever, I’ll try not to let you down. A few things stuck out in my mind as I was looking through UK related news this weekend. The first was Jerry Meyer’s comment that maybe Cats fans are “getting a little greedy” over recruits and the second was the fact that Rupp Arena won an online poll for best college basketball venue, which some folks took exception to. All of this leads to the perpetuation of the myth that UK fans are unreasonable.

Let me first address Jerry Meyer who wrote, ” Kentucky fans might be getting a little greedy. Multiple fans want to know how good the chances are for the program to land two elite point guards in 2010.” I like Jerry but greedy can essentially be read unreasonable.

Unreasonable? I find it interesting that guys like Dick Vitale will lavish praise on Kentucky fans for their devotion and knowledge of the game and then turn around and criticize us for not understanding the modern game. As he would put it, other teams get players. We understand that other teams get players, or in other words, other teams win too. Do we hope or even expect that every player should want to come to UK ? Of course we do. It’s the same kind of blind devotion that at times is a little excessive but is common to most kinds of fanship. Star Trek fans dress up as aliens and generally act nerdy. Teenage girls used to pass out at the site of Michael Jackson and Matt Jones passes out at the site of Barack Obama. We think everyone should know what we know, that Kentucky is the ” Roman Empire of college basketball” and “resistance is futile”.

We have an undying devotion to our team evidenced by our ability to win every internet poll. We saw this on Friday with the announcement that Rupp Arena had been voted the greatest venue in college basketball on cbssports.com.

We as fans however are not completely unreasonable when our teams lose. We understand losing, especially lately. Indeed some of our favorite teams never won a championship. Rupp’s Runts and the Unforgettables come to mind.

That being said, we do expect championships. Not just conference championships but national championships. We’re not so foolish as to think that we should win it every year but we are so devoted as to think we should compete for one most years. And there’s the rub. It’s not that we expect to win; it’s that we expect to at least compete. We expect our players to understand our tradition and to play up to that tradition.

Another piece of news this weekend came from P.G. Peeples, the Lexington Urban League President and CEO who stated “Some of us…harbor ill feelings about when Tubby was let go. Some of us say let go. Others say resign. Either way, it was a wedge issue.” There again is the implication that the fan base was “unreasonable”. I should note here that I was really hurt when Tubby left, but there are certain expectations of a UK coach; win early and often and do it in a way that represents this state with honor and class. Our coaches walk a tight rope, but they are well compensated to do so. None of us is in any way delusional about how hard it is to win consistently in college basketball, but with the package our coaches get comes certain expectations.

UK is blessed with a fan base that holds tradition very high, and that tradition is winning. Our tradition is something that we can be proud of, something that endures, something that conjures childhood memories of watching games with papaw and getting blue hats for our birthdays. It is this state’s shared consciousness. It is an integral piece of our culture that wouldn’t be complete if you took it away.

Unfortunately however, we are all too often misunderstood and I think envied by others. The following was posted to cbssports.com by Dukefan704 in response to Rupp Arena winning the online poll for best arena in college basketball:

This poll is just another showing of how unrealistic UK fans are. The fact is there is no way that Rupp is the best arena in the country…but when UK fans are involved, any poll or message board is pointless. Kentucky fans are the most unrealistic and delusional fans in all of sports. Their team hasn’t been on top in a long time but they cling to their tradition.

Our devotion is a common bond. It’s what we share with our friends, our elders, and even sometimes, our social enemies. For many of us it is the one point that our family can come together on, except of course in my case where I have a father who somehow finds it possible to root for both teams.

The program at my great aunt’s funeral featured a UK logo on the front instead of a picture of her. My uncle was buried in a UK sweater and I have been known to pray on my UK “prayer rug.” No shoes are ever allowed on this rug.

I know that I am not alone in my UK experiences. We all see ourselves as the biggest fan. We all scour the internet for news. I don’t know the fans who stalk Dominique Ferguson’s Facebook page. Our fans were humbled after Kentucky ‘s Shame and then reached the height of jubilation in 96 when the championship finally returned to Lexington after an 18 year hiatus. These are the fans that I know and love. May those days soon return; my prayer rug is getting a little worn.

WILL LENTZ

cal

The fans of the University of Kentucky Mens basketball team are learning more about their head coach every day. Whether it’s his affinity for “Four Guys and a Grill,” his favorite Chinese proverbs, or how much he hates Tom Creans’ son, John Calipari is revealing a little bit more to the commonwealth every day. Their latest question? What ethnicity is Calipari really? Is he African-American, Chinese, Japanese, or even Kryptonian.

“You know, I began to suspect when I first started hearing his name being thrown around,” Sandwich artist Mitch Abernockle recalls, “I thought, Calipari? That doesn’t sound very Appalachian to me. There was no “Ray” in his middle name and he cant show any kin to any Napiers, so I was skeptical.” Whichever it was, one thing was certain, Mitch was excited for the opportunity. “Look, I like white people too, but we gave a white Texan a chance. And all we got for it was a good whuppin. I’m just saying, it’ll be nice to get a fresh look at things.”

Jerry Tipton reported this weekend on Calipari’s welcome at a recent mixer for the Lexington Urban League, where Cal did what Cal does best. Hoping to cause “some healing” after the way Tubby Smith was treated, Calipari lauded not only what Tubby was able to accomplish, but won the audience over with his loving personality. While it is certainly possible that Coach Cal could be loved and non-black, President and CEO P.G. Peeples does claim “That (this) will be the first time a University of Kentucky basketball coach’s picture will be in an African-American home, except for Tubbys.” When asked about how Gillispie treated the African American community in Lexington, Peeples laughed and recalled “I don’t even think we were on the radar screen.” Though to be fair to Billy Clyde, it wasn’t just the African Americans that Billy ‘conveniently’ forgot about, as he managed to ignore the NCAA tournament too.

To get a further understanding of the situation, experts have also begun to look at Calipari’s usage of what they like to call, the ‘twitter machine.’ “His willingness to dive into new technologies, and his constant trips to China, add marks to Japanese and Chinese columns, respectively. But if you look closely here, you can see he uses the term ‘off the chain.’ That would add a mark to the African American column… wait, hang on. Really? Okay, new development, Johnson is telling us that phrase has moved into the ‘white euphemism only’ category, we may have spoken too soon. Frankly, between all that and his love for obscure rappers such as Drake, this can be very confusing. The only thing we are certain of, is that he never made any ‘I support Iran,’ tweets. That rules him out of the hippy college kid category.”

The dark horse in the Calipari Race-race would be the Italians. Sure there are a few hundred tweets about Papa John’s to look at, but what has most scholars intrigued is the not-quite-official statement made regarding this year’s Louisville basketball game. Coach Cal stated that he intends to warn the fans to pay Pitino ‘respect,’ and leave the Karen Sypher bikini photo’s at home (perhaps as much for our collective benefit as Pitino’s.) In the past, Coach Cal has even threatened to leave the game if the fans do something to embarrass the University. So while the plans for a “Score for More — If John Wall throws Edgar Sosa over the scorers’ table, show your ticket stub at Porcini’s and win a free dessert,” promotion have been scrapped, Cal’s belief in respecting family, no matter how estranged we may be, add points to the Italian column.

While the true ethnicity of Coach Calipari may never be known, the important thing to note is that he has found a way to do what he set out to early on. Calipari is universally loved, and is doing his best to unite all corners of the Big Blue nation, while creating new ones across the Pacific. He is nothing if not genuine, and while this article has been very tongue and cheek, one thing stands out far above the rest. At least he’s not from Texas.

BRIAN REED — Catching Up With Glenn Pakulak

I always pictured Glenn Pakulak in the NFL. I can remember sitting in the Wildcats pre-game watching a 6’3″ hulk who looked more like a linebacker than a kicker boom 50 yard punts high up into the Kentucky sky only to see them hit the ground and squirt out of bounds at the one yard line as if he had a mind-meld on the ball.

Pakulak is as rare as a white NFL running back (don’t say Mike Alstot, he is a fullback) or cornerback (Jason Sehorn retired six years ago): he is an athletic kicker. Sorry David Akers, I like you but I beat you in swimming in high school, so you can’t be that great of an athlete.

After a junior year of averaging 44.5 yards per punt, stepped his game up even more by averaging 45.6 yards per punt and being showered with accolades including first team all SEC by the AP and the Mosi Tatupu Award for most rediculous name of the year.

I thought Pakulak was a lock to make a team even if he didn’t get drafted but after being signed with by Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, he was released before camp finished. The Steelers claimed him on waivers but released him two weeks later. Unfortunately, that was a taste of what Pakulak would experience the next five years as he bounced to team to team without getting a shot. His onfield highlight came in 2006 when he signed with the Raiders, who banished him to Amsterdam to punt and man-whore.

Pakulak had a great year and the Admirals even made it to the World Bowl where he even had a chance to wax an unsuspecting Frankfurt Galaxy return man who thought he could truck a hapless punter on his way to the end zone. He didn’t know who he was dealing with and half man half maniac gave him a little dose of the ultra violence that even the European fans could love.

From there, Pakulak bounced from the Titans, to the Bears, and Raiders before finally getting a chance with the Saints. Living in Louisiana, when the Saints signed Glenn Pakulak last year, I felt like everything was coming full circle. Every game I waited with baited breath for the time when Pakulak would cap off a 62-yard punt with a finish out of the Bobby Boucher handbook of pain. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. And while 2008 was a solid year for Pakulak, the Saints drafted Thomas Morstead a punter from SMU in the 5th round of this year’s draft. Clearly, the job was far from a sure thing. If this were armwrestling there would be no doubt who would win the job, even though Morstead is a pretty big boy, unfortunately, the Saints have quite a bit invested in the rookie punter. So, <strong>Pakulak is fighting for a job and potentially a roster spot.<strong>

Maybe it was the pressure of the rookie, but everyone including Pakulak conceded his training camp has been anything but smooth thus far. Enter the first pre-season game this past Friday against the Bengals where Pakulak has something to prove. After some miserable first half special teams play, Pakulak came on for a punt and didn’t improve upon it with his first punt, a 29-yard shank.

The most entertaining part of the first half was when the Saints color man Hokie Gajan (pronounced Guy-zhon) mistakenly called #85 on the Bengals Chad Johnson. He paused then stuttered “uhh… Ochocinco” then carried on for a couple of minutes about how he felt like an idiot calling him that. Hey later exclaimed that watching the first half was like “Getting your tonsils taken out with needlenose pliers” to which his boothmate added “with no anesthesia.” Yeah, good first half.

A side note, how secure is Carson Palmer’s starting job with the Bengals? They have J.T. O’Sullivan and Palmer’s brother Jordan as backups. Who knew Carson Palmer has a brother who plays quarterback? You don’t have to start at USC to play quarterback in the pros, you can just be related to an ex-USC quarterback and get a NFL job.

Back to the action, Lefty’s second punt was a much more respectable 49 yarder that ended in one of those “ballcarrier looses the ball way after he is down, but that doesn’t stop a scrum going after the ball” plays which Pakulak jumped in and scrapped for the ball.

Sean Peyton gave Morstead the rest of the punts, but they were nothing special. It is still to be seen how the punter position is going to pan out for Pakulak in New Orleans. There are still three more preseason games before the coaches make their final decision, but I’ll pound a Tombstone pizza and raise a glass to the man that I think deserves the job: Glenn Palulak.

PATRICK BARKER

BigTyme55 just chillin at this family reunion! ready to get outta here!

Lost in the madness of Sypher-gate this weekend was a true testament to family values. Josh Harrellson tweeted about taking time away from his fishing exploits and going to his family reunion, assumingly near his home in St. Charles, Missouri. Now, family reunions can be miserable for all of us, so it makes me wonder how the Harrellson family reunion goes. Probably has a pretty similar cast of characters as any Barker family reunion so I can understand Josh’s urgency in getting out of there. But who, in particular, is Josh trying to get away from? I did some research via Legacy.com and here is what I found- the Top 5 people Josh doesn’t want to see at his family reunion:

5. Aunt Betty– The aunt that always pinches his cheeks to tell him just how much he’s grown. Josh thought he had finally broken the cycle when he sprouted 8 inches up to 6’10” before the Reunion of 2001, but Aunt Betty couldn’t be foiled. She went into the kitchen, grabbed a stepladder and proceeded to pinch his cheeks anyway.

4. Cousin Sal– the consummate Missouri fan. Harasses Josh nonstop about committing to UK over the Tigers. “But Josh, he said Mike Anderson has that program on the elevator up! When was the last time UK made a Elite 8 and won 30 games?” Actually, Josh isn’t too concerned about this guy this year. Whenever he starts his blabbering about the Tigers, Josh is prepared. “Sal, we’ve got Cal,” he’ll say.

3. Cousin Frank– this guy is like Josh’s personal hype-man, a Flava-Flav wannabe. He’s the closest thing to having a posse that Josh has ever had, but unfortunately this guy is as annoying as hell. He’s the one that coined the nicknames “Big White, Big Nasty, Too Tall and Fatboi” that can be found on the UK Athletics website. These nicknames are neither clever nor fitting. Well, except maybe Big White. Besides, Josh has found this most fitting nickname since his arrival in Lexington. He will forever be “Jorts” in all of our hearts.

2. Uncle Jeff’s dog Hurley- Josh has at least two problems with Hurley. One, it bit a hole in his basketball during the Reunion of 1998. Josh had been standing, all alone, practicing free throws when the dog ran on the court, and gnawed right into the ball, deflating it. Even to this day when shooting a free throw, you can see Josh pause as if expecting the dog to make a reappearance. That’s usually the best time to take a picture of him. The second reason he doesn’t like the dog is obvious, it’s name is Hurley and if that doesn’t make one think about a certain point guard, then I’ve got nothing for you.

1. Billy Gillispie– Coach Clyde showed up unannounced at last years family reunion, assumingly to find out how tough the family was at horseshoes. It was an awkward situation for everyone. He made Josh’s grandmother blush, we’ll just leave it at that.

I hope that Josh makes it out of the Reunion and safely back the Bluegrass State soon. You are missed. Go Cats.

GREG TURNER:
Steve Flesch…….The Greatest Former Cat We Never Remember? steve-flesch-pic

Steve Flesch shot a 76 on Sunday in the final round of the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota. While I am sure this was not the way he had hoped to finish out the tournament, he still finished the major championship with a four over par 292, well enough for a tie for 32nd place and a paycheck of $40,387.50.

Steve has had one of the best professional careers of any former Wildcat regardless of sport, and yet he is somehow always forgotten when we speak of former Kentucky greats. Before you write me off as an idiot and wonder where I get my drugs, let me drop some very interesting knowledge on you……

Steve was the 1998 PGA TOUR rookie of the year, joining an impressive list of players including major winners; Tiger Woods (obviously), Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, John Daly, Stewart Cink, Trevor Immelman, and even though he probably shouldn’t count as a major winner, Ben Curtis. As far as I am concerned this is a list I am sure any golfer would be honored to be a part of, and one of our own just so happens to be.

He has continued having a solid career, and as of right now he and another lefty you may have heard of, Phil Mickelson, are the only people who can say they have finished in the top ten the last two years at Augusta, in The Masters. To finish in the top ten at any major championship is an accomplishment in itself, but to finish in the top ten two years in a row is really quite a feat, unless your name is Jack or Eldrick.

Are you ready for a mind-blowing stat that seriously had me double and triple checking my facts? Drum roll please……….. Steve Flesch is 37th on the career PGA Tour money list. You read that correctly, 37th on the all-time money earnings list. This places him ahead of many great golfers including; Padraig Harrington, Jeff Maggert, Zach Johnson, Corey Pavin, Rocco Mediate, Paul Azinger, Woody “Aquaman” Austin, Lucas Glover, and John Daly. How crazy is that? If there is a Kentucky player who was 37th on the all-time list of any stat, in any other sport I guarantee that all of the Big Blue Nation could name him and give you a brief history lesson about him, while they were at it. However, I bet a big number of Wildcat fans could not tell you much about Steve Flesch. He really is one of our greatest former Cats, and I was rooting for him this weekend like I hope the rest of you will from now on.

Another small story from the PGA Championship, it has been confirmed that Tiger Woods is actually human.

Article written by Matt Jones