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Joe E Tata’s Monday News and Views

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There were many potential birthday honorees that we could have focused upon, including Nell Carter of “Gimme A Break” fame and Ben Savage, who used to crush it with Topanga on “Boy Meets World.” But we went in a different direction, choosing to honor the great Joe E Tata, who ran the Peach Pit on “Beverly Hills 90210. You may remember that just a few days ago was 90210 Day, as it was 9/02/10, a holiday that wont return again for 100 years and was celebrated around the KSR Compound as such. The KSR love of 90210 is substantial and during our college years, rarely a day went by when a 90210 rerun, reference or update was given. Anytime a big plan is hatched, we call it a “Steve”, anytime a friend is dating a girl we dont like, it is an “Andrea Zuckerman” and when Jason Priestley got in a car accident at the Kentucky Speedway and was flown into UK hospital, the Turkey Hunter got Brenda, Dylan and Kelly together and went to go and visit him. A couple of weeks ago, Bill Simmons released a 2 part podcast on 90210 that was potentially the best thing he has ever done and he celebrated at that time, the greatness of Tata. As cast members came and went, Joe E Tata stayed strong at the Peach Pit and helped provide adult stability in a world upset by the introduction of Ray and Valerie. We salute Joe “I put the E in my name because I can” Tata today on his birthday and will even turn on 1300 AM in Lexington (which employs Matthew Laurence…Dr. Mel Silver from the show) in honor of him.

To the weekend notes:

— The big story of the weekend of course was Kentucky’s huge win over the Hilltoppers 63-28 in Commonwealth Stadium. There were a lot of storylines to the game, but one that once again stuck out to me was the continued solid play of Mike Hartline at the QB position. Hartline was 16-20 for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has not gone through two games without a turnover and with only 1 or 2 plays where you could even say that he has made a poor decision. In fact, one would be hard pressed to argue that he could have played much better and he currently stands 13th in America in QB rating. If the haters are still hating Startline now, there is no pleasing him and you have to like where the position stands at this point going into the Akron game.

— We addressed this earlier, but the play of Randall Cobb is simply astounding. What is most apparent to me early in the year however is the way in which the improvement by the other WRs has made Cobb’s job easier at this point in the season. Chris Matthews, LaRod King and Matt Roark have all made big plays and have given Cobb more space, causing fewer double teams and allowing him to break free, as in his touchdown pass late in the game on Saturday night. In the same way that an efficient Mike Hartline opens up the running lanes for Derrick Locke, improved play from Wide Receivers ready to make plays helps Randall Cobb…and allows conversations like the one below (on where he rates in UK history) to take place.

— We may soon see an Amber alert issued for Defensive Lineman Dequin Evans, who has been nonexistent early in the year. It was mentioned in the broadcast that Evans is being neutralized in part due to offenses keying on him and his seeing double-teams on most plays. Fair enough. But at this point in the season, Evans has ZERO tackles, a total that is unacceptable regardless of the defensive schemes. Joker Phillips mentioned to the media today that he was frustrated with the play of Evans, so I would suspect that this will be a big week for the Defensive team Captain to prove his immense talent on the field.

— You do have to give a shout out to Luke Mcdermott for the interception and a couple of big tackles early in the game. While Luke benefits from some of the attention focused on Evans, he has come in and earned his starting spot that shocked the world when it was given. It is a great testament to his effort that the walk-on has done as well as he has, proving that he deserved the nod from the coaches at the beginning, in stark contrast to what many in the media would have believed.

— This week the Cats will play Akron, who has had a miserable two weeks to start the season. They were demolished in the first game by Syracuse and then took a loss to Billy Clyde’s nemesis Gardner-Webb this weekend at home. The Zips could now be set up to be one of the worst teams in I-A football, and the Cats will hopefully be able to make short work of them next weekend, as they did Western on Saturday.

— I love the Chicago Bears and they are my team. But the rule on the Calvin Johnson catch is silly. On the exact same play, the officials would not be able to call the ball a fumble and if he dove across the line, it would be a Touchdown…but because of the “process of the catch” rule, now it is an incompletion. Silly rule, but it gave the Bears a victory…which we like.

— There were Free Enes! shirts everywhere in Lexington but the only thing more ubiquitous than their sight were the question as to when we will find out about Kanter’s eligibility. Others in the media, including my friend Lachlan Mclean, believe that there is a less than 10 percent chance that Kanter will be eligible, but I respectfully would disagree. Most who profess that view either (a) dont know the rule or (b) dont realize that nothing in the NY Times story is really new. I do believe the story hurt from a publicity standpoint and will make things tougher for the NCAA, but the core facts are the same. As we will discuss more on the site later today, the question is simply whether the “expenses given to Kanter were excessive” and if they were, what is the punishment. People who throw around the money amount dont understand the issue or the case. The team still expects to know by October 1st and I would guess they find out by the middle of next week. We shall see.

— Both Tayshaun Prince and Rajon Rondo were on the field during the game and understandably said they did not want to do media interviews. But then along came Allison Williams, the attractive sideline reporter for the tv broadcast…when she asked both young men, they both changed their tune and said yes. The power of the hot sideline reporter wins out again…and I cant say I am immune. When I met her, I immediately booked her on the KSR radio show this week. As Alan Cutler has long ago shown us, beauty will get you everywhere in this business.

The quest to get an interview with the infamous Turkish GM begins tomorrow on our radio show on 1080 AM. Plus more on Kanter, Allison Williams and the new documentary about the Cats that will be released in October. Stay tuned……..

Article written by Matt Jones