36 years ago a new era began. You may call it the disco era, but I call it the era of Hagar the Horrible. On this day in 1973, a comic strip masterpiece began as a Viking from another land began making puns and lame jokes for generations of Americans who could not understand the depth of “Family Circus.” Hagar the Horrible was part of what I would call the “Awful Era” of newspaper comic strips, that included such notables as “Wizard of Id”, “Tank Mcnamara” and “Cathy.” When I see these strips in local papers (and if they have all been stopped, then dont tell me because I havent looked at a newspaper comic section in 15 years), I realize what the early career paths must have been for those who went on to write for sitcoms starring Charlie Sheen or David Spade. Hagar the Horrible never made me laugh, or for that matter even crack a smile and I think it is safe to say that there is not one person who would classify themself as a rabid Hagar the Horrible fan. Yet he is a Nordic part of Americana and today we celebrate his 36th birthday. Here’s to you Hagar….may you continue to bore readers for the next 2 or 3 years that newspapers continue to exist.
To the news…..
(1): Today of course was Signing Day and the best class in recent UK history materialized in Lexington. There were only a few surprises, but the most important may have been the late commitment of DeQuin Evans, a defensive end who can make an immediate impact on the Cats. Evans had waited until the very last minute to make his choice and there had been some speculation that he was considering going to Louisville, who had attempted to get him enrolled immediately on campus. However UL showed that even it has some degree of academic pride and Evans thus made his decision solely based on where he wanted to start in the fall, picking the Cats over the Cards (a little Louisville note….not ONE player from the Louisville metro area signed with the Cards….Kragthorpe anyone?). Evans will show immediate impact on the team and was good cherry on top of the festivities today.
(2): The one surprise commitment of the day was broken right here by Rob Gidel and was the running back Jonathan George, who may very well end up being the steal of the entire class. A favorite of Joker Phillips, George was identified by Brooks as potentially a “Warrick Dunn” type runner and his commitment was kept on the down low for the past couple of weeks. George actually played very little Running Back in high school and his commitment shows the importance that teams place on athleticism in college football recruiting. But everyone I have spoken with says to me that George may be the staff’s biggest gem of the season and he could end up being a late piece of news that pays huge dividends down the road.
(3) Today on our Signing Day chat (which topped out at over 3600 people), many questions were about the basketball team and the fallout from Tuesday night. The Cats were back to work today as they get ready for their biggest week of practice yet. Tuesday night’s game is important for a number of reasons, but it also could potentially be the first three game losing streak at home ever….an unbelievable statistic that speaks volumes as to the strength of this program. I spoke with someone today who said that things were back to normal today and that the ramifications from the supposed postgame meeting on Tuesday night (which was told to me to have been “greatly overblown” by a source I trust a great deal) are over. The team is now focused on getting better and ending the losing streak now. And with Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and LSU’s win this week, such focus is necessary.
(4): Finally, keep an eye out on Elisha Justice from Shelby Valley who is still likely floating from leading his team to the State “All A Classic” title. I saw Justice play this summer in open gyms with the Kentucky basketball team and I found the kid to be one of the more exciting players to watch in some time. He plays with a Patrick Sparks-like confidence and swagger and is a great ball handler and good shooter. While watching him against the UK guys, you could see he wasnt intimidated and made UK’s point guards look slow on more than one occasion. He had a great All A Tournament and the member of the 2010 class is on the recruiting radars of a number of top schools. With KC Ross-Miller in the same class, UK’s ability to recruit Justice may be limited. But I am not sure if he couldnt potentially be better and I am betting that he will end up getting scooped up by some major conference school before it is all said and done. We shall see.
Great day coming today…..Greg Anthony comes by to chat at 6PM with the Kentucky fans, we will have some videos on the UK signees and the first Kentucky Ale girl is released at noon. Good stuff, so stay tuned….