“Glenda, can you come in here for a second?”
“Thanks for rearranging my schedule to accomodate WGN’s decision to move Night Court reruns to 2pm. This ensures that I won’t have to miss any of the tomfoolery that Judge Harry Stone, Mac, Christine, Dan, Bull, Roz, and the rest of the gang engage in on a regular basis and I’ll continue to be happy and therefore productive in whatever it is that I do for a living.”
“HA! Oversized marshmallows!!!? Priceless. Glenda, you are the living end.
“What’s that? Oh, Kate Martin and Greg Turner are here? By all means, send them in.”
“Kate and Greg, welcome, welcome. Sit down there on those bean bags. I had them made out of endangered African elephant hide to class this place up a bit. Yeah, they’re stuffed with condor feathers and bottle-nosed dolphin teeth, so you know they’re of high quality.”
“Anyway, it looks like you two are going to be facing off head-to-head and I wanted to let you know that both entries were very good and I wanted to congratulate each of you…and ask you to settle this with a dance contest because they are so evenly matched.”
“If you’re up to the task, each of you should dance around with a great deal of fervor and the winner will move on to the finals…or whatever the next round of this never-ending tournament (I guess that’s what it is) happens to be. So start dancing, I’ll let the good people read your posts and at the end I’ll critique your submissions, your dance moves, and Lori Loughlin’s latest hairstyle.”
“Off you go!” (“At Last” by Etta James plays)
When Andy Katz put out his guesses for the Wooden finalists on Friday, which included Patterson and Wall, it got me to thinking about what it really means for a team to have a player of the year or a #1 draft pick (which just about everyone assumes Wall will be) on their roster. It’s pretty obvious that in the next few years, our players will be racking up some pretty awesome awards, but do those individual honors make a team more likely to win a championship? There have been 26 national champions since 1984 and nearly all included players with some sort of individual season honors. See how many of these ‘Who am I’ questions you can get right and find out what award you’ve won below.
1. I am the only coach since 1984 to have won a championship with no McDonald’s All-Americans on my roster.
2. I am the last year that the #1 draft pick also played for the championship team. I am also the year John Wall was born.
3. I am one of the two teams since 1984 with a championship whose squad featured both a Wooden player of the year and a #1 draft pick.
4. I am the two UK players since 1984 named consensus first team All Americans without championships.
5. I am the number of champions (of the last 26) without a consensus All-American on the roster.
1- Gary Williams. Though Williams got his one championship without one, Calipari will probably never have to repeat his feat. Cousins and Patterson give us the McAA credentials this year.
2- 1990. Four teams since 1984 have won championships with a future #1 draft pick on the team, but the last team to do it was UNLV in 1990 with Larry Johnson. Wall will have a chance for both, though only one player (Kevin Durant) has been POY as a freshman.
3- 1988 Kansas or 1990 UNLV. Kansas’ Danny Manning and UNLV’s Johnson fit into both categories, as do 6 others since then who did not win championships.
4- Kenny Walker (1986) and Jamal Mashburn (1993).
5- 6 teams have won without an All-American in sight.
Tally up your scores and see how you did!
All Five Correct: You are Player of the Year! Congratulations, you’ve received the top prize awarded to outstanding College athletes. You are quick, athletic, and probably wearing a Duke uniform (Come on, Five POYs?? You would think flopping all over ESPN would hurt their case, not help it). Hopefully you end up more like Duncan and less like Laettner.
3-4 Correct: You are an Academic All-American! Ok, so you got a little off-track from the main goal (i.e. basketball, duh), that’s ok. Be proud to join the likes of Kyle Macy and Mike Casey. Besides, John Wall is going to need a really good accountant soon.
0-2 Correct: You are a member of Andy Katz’ guesses for Wooden finalists. In other words, a worthless opinion of a smug ESPN journalist.
Steve Flesch…….The Greatest Former Cat We Never Remember?
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.
(Three and a half hours of “At Last” on repeat later…)
Mosley’s Take: Firstly, bravo to the both of you. Both entries were well-researched and it’s evident that you spent more time on your pieces individually than I did on that one 40 page research paper I did in undergrad forecasting coal production in Kentucky for the next thirty years (It took me forty pages to say “I’m not real sure”).
Kate, as a college basketball junkie, I greatly appreciated you taking this angle and supplying me with some information that I didn’t have. Your format was solid as well as fans generally tend to think of themselves as experts and like the challenge of guessing answers based on their perceived expertise. Overall it was well-written, though I might have liked to have seen you bring everything together at the end and put a nice little bow on the whole thing. I didn’t exactly laugh at this post, but I suppose not everyone’s writing can be hilarious all the time (except Tomlin and Nathaniel Hawthorne–he slays me).
Greg, you also did a fine job of supplying me with data, though I will admit that before reading your piece I had no idea that Steve Flesch was a human man. I had never heard of him before, but, after reading your submission, I felt like he was my old college roommate, so kudos. Like Kate, you fell a little flat at the end and didn’t exactly wrap the piece up as tightly as you could have. Also like Kate, I didn’t exactly giggle very much while reading your post and that’s the one thing that can trump all others for me in a dual such as this.
Verdict: The edge goes slightly to Kate based on her very orginal pop and lock dance moves combined with an orginal format that caters to KSR’s predominate audience: Kentucky basketball (and football) fans. Greg’s piece was well-written and his one-handed handstand was something at which I still marvel. However, while we are proud of all former Wildcats, it is likely that Kate’s post will be consumed and enjoyed by a broader audience. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for UK golfer-related material here (S’up Holmes), it just means that decisions are hard and sometimes hinge on the smallest of margins. Making it this far against such good competition is a triumph in itself and sometimes it just comes down to luck. Going forward, I would truly like to see competitors combine an orginal approach with solid prose and witty banter. That’s what I think it means to be a KSR Blogger, though I’ll probably be told that I’m wrong by someone and that same someone is likely to point out that none of my posts have ever had any of those qualities. Thanks again Greg for your participation and congrats to Kate in her neverending quest
for the perfect wave to be a KSR Blogger.
P.S. Lori Louglin’s hair makes her look “foyn”. That’s how kids are saying “fine” nowadays. The hairstyle has an 86% chance of making Uncle Jesse say “Have Mercy”.