Today’s birthday is the official spoiler of Presidential races of yesteryear, Ross Perot. Perot, best known for being bizarre, was a 3rd party candidate for President in 1992 and 1996 and likely cost the Republicans the election the first time around. He was loud, proud and short….a great combo for a President. With the news that Michael Bloomberg is likely to run for President as an Independent, it is important to remember that Perot at one time led the election in the polls by almost ten points…..so it can be done…..although maybe not by someone like old H Ross.
However I cant give Perot his complete due, because I am still wrapped up in the whole Chris Benoit story. The details that came out today are simply bizarre and tragic. Benoit killed his wife, then waited some period of time to kill his kid, then took his own life in his weight room. The methodical nature of the decision is haunting, as is the notion that a person could live for some unspecified period of time with dead bodies in his house, before choosing to take his own life. Plus, you have the oddity of it being Benoit himself. It is hard to underestimate just how big Benoit was to wrestling fans. He was the true hardcore wrestling fan’s favorite wrestler and one that they loved with all their heart. His most analogous counterpart in the pro sports world is someone like Brett Favre…..not necessarily the biggest star in the world, but a hard worker, loved by hardcore fans and his fellow athletes. To have that person commit this crime is tough to wrap your mind around. Then, throw in the fact that the WWE gave a 3 hour tribute to the guy Monday night before the official word of the murder-suicide hit, and well…..it is just a really crazy situation. Bill Simmons on ESPN.com said it is one of the biggest “sports” (if you count wrestling as a sport) stories in years, and I think he is right. If you dont watch wrestling, you dont likely get this. But Benoit was as well known as all but the biggest NBA and MLB stars…..his death is a big deal in that world. And throw in that his kid was murdered in the process….and well, it is one of the more disturbing stories I can remember.
On that cheerful note….
(1) The news today continues to center around the visit this week of Leonard Washington to Kentucky this weekend. The 2007 prospect, whose videos are linked in another post, could be another great late pickup by Billy Clyde and a potential contributor for the Cats next year. He is a 6’6″ widebody, with good post moves and a soft jumper and the ability to put the ball in the basket. Not quite the workhorse as a guy like Chuck Hayes, but likely a better scorer, Washington will contribute. I think all UK fans should take a step back if they believe he would could in and start….he likely isnt ready for that yet, but he would play and be a valuable contributor. Many folks are wondering about his drop in the rankings and comments by recruiting gurus that he may not be UK material. No offense to these folks, but ignore this stuff at this point. Washington fell in the rankings because he didnt grow….period. The rankings guys fell in love with him and if he were two inches taller, he would be a top 40 player. He didnt grow and now he isnt ranked. That is how these rankings work and it is why one should always be skeptical of him. Trust Billy Clyde on this one…..if things work out and he comes to UK, he will contribute. Whether he will come to UK remains to be seen……look for Leonard on the Mob on Thursday.
(2) A newspaper report today suggests that Tyler Zeller may have Purdue as an early leader. That wouldnt surprise me, but also shouldnt be too much of a worry. At the end of the day, absent a surprise or two, I expect UK, Purdue, UNC and Kansas to be the schools battling for Zeller. I think Purdue may be the early leader but any can win him over. People focus on Notre Dame and Indiana for Zeller (wrongly in my view), but Purdue is the local team to watch. I love Zeller as a player, but the battle for him will be difficult.
(3) UK plays UAB next year in Louisville on December 15th apparently. OH my…..Mike Davis against UK in the Ville again…..you know whats coming dont you……
Less News and Views today….so scroll down and watch the UK pickup game video we have below. It is quite good. More this afternoon……..