I have to admit that for some time I have been of a bit of an afficianado of Jim Cantore and his hurricane coverage. When hurricane season arrives, I keep my television tuned to the Weather Channel for really only one reason….to see pictures of reporters standing in the middle of the hurricane in blue jackets with stuff blowing all around them and rain pouring in their face. No matter how big the storm or how often I see it, I am addicted to this coverage. And no one seems more manly in this coverage than Jim Cantore. With his shaved head and ability to literally weather any storm, Cantore is a man among men and he could conceivably be called the Clint Eastwood of our generation. I have often thought that if I ever had the ability to be in a hurricane, I would be like Cantore….setting up our podcast equipment, going out in the storm and letting folks know what was going on from the scene. You may dream of being a basketball player or an astronaut….I want to be Cantore staring a hurricane in the eye.
Or at least that is what I thought I wanted to be until Tuesday night. With Bryan the Intern and I engaged in a discussion about Louisville basketball on my radio show and a debate raging as to how successful Rick Pitino’s tenure has been, a 65+ MPH wind hit the studio and produced one of the scarier moments of my life. I looked out the window, saw light poles shaking violently, large bits of debri flying through the air and noticed the power going out….and proceeded to (along with my co-host and producer I might add) make my way out of the studio (which is surrounded by windows) while on-air and in the middle of my sentence. Now some might argue that a seasoned radio veteran would have taken the bad weather and used it as an opportunity to inform the public about a serious weather incident. But I didnt do that….instead I ran for my life and hoped that I wouldnt push our producer Eric to the ground to hard in moving him out of my way in running to the door. After a minute or so, the wind went by, we went back in the studio….called Mr. Mohawk Gregg Doyel and did 15 more minutes before the power went out on the studio’s signal. It was by all accounts a huge storm. Parts of the roof and siding of our building blew off, as did some of the various fixtures on the building…..a number of trees on the property fell, as did two light poles and the outside was littered with debri. Of course our faithful station manager Dugan Ryan called me ten seconds after we left the air and said, “hey you left the mics on when you ran out of the studio”….showcasing his concern for the safety of his fine staff. Now some online and elsewhere have said that I didnt show the manliest of traits in rushing out at the sign of inclement weather. And maybe they are correct that my dreams of being Jim Cantore are simply folly and I dont have the cajones to do a Weather Channel gig. But even after all the power was out in the studio and Bryan the Intern and I were standing in the pitch dark, we still did 15 minutes with Doyel live from the Super Bowl. That may not be heroic, but its also not Rob Bromley refusing to go on camera without sufficient hairspray. We may not be Jim Cantore, but we arent Dave Baker either….and that should count for something.
To the news….
(1) RAMEL DRAFTED?: If you said before the season that Ramel Bradley was likely to be drafted this year, many would have assumed that he would be headed to Afghanistan or Iraq. However his recent play may have changed his fortunes somewhat. I spoke today with a friend who does NBA scouting who told me that Ramel is playing his way into draft consideration. While there are problems for Ramel in terms of adjusting to the NBA (most significantly size for a guy who needs to play the 2 guard at that level), his ability to score has gotten some NBA eyes. “I think he can be a second round pick. A lot of people are very impressed with his ability to take the ball to the basket. He is as good at getting to the rim as anyone of that size. Plus, he is playing much better defense and is used to guarding taller players, which he must do on the next level. It isnt assured he will be drafted or even make a team if he is, but he is now in the conversation, which is a change.” Good news for Ramel and something to watch going forward.
(2) SCOTTY HOPSON: Likely the question I get asked the most on a day-to-day basis is what is the deal with Scotty Hopson? As more folks around the Bluegrass get to see Hopson play or hear of his talents, questions come as to what chance he might have of wearing the Blue and White. I spoke with my source on Scotty this weekend, who had this to say. “I am not saying that Kentucky couldnt be part of the decision if they entered late, but for now Tennessee is the team to beat. He loves the place and he loves Coach Pearl. I think that is where he ends up….although with Scotty, you never know till its over….and maybe not even then.” Scotty is a true talent and an engaging kid. Kentucky could certainly use a scorer like him on the team. Reports have come recently that UK is interested in Hopson and may step up its recruitment of him….if true, they have work left to do.
(3) Tenn DE MICHAEL MCADOO: I dont claim to be an expert on football recruiting….in fact, I dont claim to even know much about it at all. But I do know that if one is watching two stories as we approach Signing Day 2008, the two should be Aaron Boyd (who we will talk more about tomorrow) and Michael McAdoo. McAdoo is a stud DE out of Tennessee who has recently (according to Jeff Drummond) narrowed his choices to Kentucky and North Carolina. The kid has more talent than one would think with those two schools as his final choices, but with Kentucky already having commitments from most members of their class, McAdoo is one of the last real stories to follow in the next few days. We hope to have McAdoo for a rare football recruit interview on the show on Thursday night…so stay tuned.
(4) SIGNING DAY 2008: Now some good news to end the post. As many of you know, this blog has sorely missed the contributions of Rob Gidel since he left to do work for the Lexington Legends. But we are glad to announce that he is coming back for us during what is his prime time….Football Signing Day. For the next week, Rob will be posting here getting you ready for Signing Day and letting you know who is coming and just how good they are. This will all lead to Signing Day when Rob will give reports on the players as they send in their papers and let you know about the Class of 2008. For those of you who saw this last year, you will remember what a great thing it is. Rob will be on the show tomorrow night (REUNION!) to talk football recruiting and will have his first blog post late in the afternoon. So welcome Rob back around and look forward to the best football recruiting info on the internet.
More throughout the day, including Tomlin’s NTKW and the return of Rob…..