Over the past few years, Jennifer Lawrence has become the best friend every woman wishes they had. She’s hilarious, talented, witty, and above all, not afraid to make a total fool of herself. Add into that the fact she’s a Kentucky native and gorgeous, and you’ve got a bonafide Bluegrass dream girl. (I like her so much that I’m even willing to forget the fact she’s a Louisville fan.) From falling down the stairs at the Oscars to her star-struck encounters with fellow stars, she’s a breath of much-needed fresh air in the manufactured mess of Hollywood. Need proof? Watch her geek out after seeing Jeff Bridges on the Comic Con red carpet earlier this week:
Wow, Jeff Bridges looks totally strange without facial hair.
Anyways, Lawrence’s Oscar is now a Kentuckian, too. She stored the coveted award out of sight in a hallway near her bathroom until her mother took it back to her family home in Kentucky, where it sits right on top of the piano. Why?
“My parents took it back to Kentucky, ‘cos I felt odd having it, like, on display in my house. If anybody’s coming over to my house, I didn’t want them to remember that. Just kind of puts a weird energy out. I put it in the hallway towards the bathroom, and my mom was like, ‘I’m taking it. It shouldn’t be here’. And now it’s on a piano in Kentucky!”
Keep keeping it real, Jennifer. And please, let’s rethink the Louisville thing.
It was a busy day, so let’s get to it.
— The Mark Stoops media tour rolled on Wednesday, with the annual Governor’s Cup Luncheon in Louisville. Stoops and Charlie Strong talked about the rivalry game, which Stoops says he knows is a big deal for fans and the program. That being said, Stoops pointed out that the future of the rivalry is really out of his hands if the SEC decides to go to nine conference games, but “we’ll see where that goes.” But, first up is Western Kentucky, a game which he says is his team’s first opportunity to keep up the momentum they’ve built up over the summer. Don’t worry, Ryan Lemond: Coach says he knows this game is “very important.”
It wouldn’t be a UK football press conference these days without a reference to #Yahtzee. Stoops was asked if he plays the actual game, to which he replied “Absolutely!”. But, he was quick to add that Vince Marrow is the best at the game. Naturally.
While Stoops said that Twitter has been a very useful tool for the staff thus far, they did find out just how powerful it can be earlier this week when word leaked (tweeked?) out that players would be required to wear suits and ties to games from now on. Stoops says that the staff’s still “working through that a little bit,” but it’s important to him to have players looking good and classy when they get off the bus in order to represent the school in the right way.
How are the players embracing all of the changes in the program?
“We see the players embracing it each and every day. They’re really hungry. They really appreciate our strength and conditioning staff goes about things, the way the coaches work with them. It’s important to all of us that those players are ‘my guys,’ not the previous coaches’ guys. They’re our guys and we embrace that and want them to feel fantastic about Kentucky, about where we’re going. They’re a big part of it. It’s very important to go out with the seniors and have a good year with them.”
Stoops will be back in Louisville for the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club Wildcat Kickoff Luncheon on Friday, so there’s more where that came from.
— On Wednesday, we learned that Stoops’ signature recruiting method of bulk mailing isn’t just for recruits. The athletics department is sending out letters to former season ticket holders and young alumni, “recruiting” them to join the movement. Not just one letter…LOTS of letters. Check out this picture from “NoJortsNoProblems,” who was one of six people to get 50 letters in one day from the staff:
I had to know more, so I talked to UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy, who told me that the department sent out 10,000 cards in 5,000 bulk mailings. Each mailing contained anywhere from 1 to 50 cards, and each card had a minimum of five signatures, all signed by hand from members of the athletic department and every sports team’s coaching staff. Everyone got together to sign the cards in two different sessions on two different days, including Coach Cal, Orlando Antigua and John Robic, so yes, if you got a card, don’t just throw it in the trash. You may have an autograph from Cal and you don’t even know it.
If you’ve already got season tickets, don’t feel left out: the K-Fund promises a special surprise coming your way soon.
— Apparently, all of the department’s efforts are working. According to a Courier-Journal open-records request, season ticket sales are up 7,000 from this time last year, and at 43,177, are at their highest point since 2009. #PackCWS
— Switching over to basketball, 2014 point guard Josh Perkins narrowed his list to five on Wednesday: UCLA, Minnesota, Gonzaga, UConn and Kentucky. Kentucky still hasn’t officially offered Perkins a spot, and if they don’t soon, Perkins’ father says they’re off the list. He announces his decision on August 25th.
— Where in the world is John Calipari? Still in Las Vegas, coaching at Team USA’s Basketball Fantasy Camp. He’s still wearing that awful shirt, too:
I think he wears it just to mess with us now.
— Speaking of Team USA Basketball, here’s a little “Who’d You Rather” with the team’s practice rosters today: White (MKG) vs. Blue (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis).
Coach K says that one player who’s impressed him so far is Anthony Davis: “The very first thing (I’ve seen with the big men in camp) is how much Anthony Davis has developed. His defense … was outstanding.”
Keep making us proud, boys.
— The KSR Tour of Affiliates if in the final stretch, and on Thursday, the whole crew will be at Whitaker Bank Ballpark with special guest JOHN ROBIC to talk about the Cats and how the basketball team’s looking this summer. If that’s not enough to get you to listen, Ryan Lemond will be in a full baseball uniform doing drills at one point. Not much can top that, but an early reminder that on Friday, MARK STOOPS will make an appearance at the Louisville tour stop (Safelite Auto Glass, 2271 Stanley Gault Parkway, Louisville, KY 40223). Big doesn’t even begin to cover it.
— Finally, we’ll end with this heartwarming picture of former President George H.W. Bush, who shaved his hair in solidarity with a young cancer patient. Regardless of your politics, that is just awesome. See you in the morning.