You just knew this was going to happen didnt you? From the first time I laid eyes on Jay Glazer’s piece on Kentucky for Fox Sports, I knew the reaction would be strong and loud. Glazer, a New Yorker by heart, wrote these comments about Kentucky, all of which I am sure you will find special:
Yes, it’s not a typo, I’m in Kentucky: They said I’d never, ever step foot in Georgetown. I’ve often joked around that I would never go, being that I’m an ethnic New Yawka and I’d stick out worse than Joe Pesci would, or actually did, in “My Cousin Vinny.” I mean, I’m a complete dead giveaway for someone who, well, isn’t from Kentucky.
Just as the folks from small towns like this have certain preconceived notions about the Big Apple and loud, arrogant, obnoxious, aggressive folks like myself, I’ve seen things on TV about how city boys and country folk don’t exactly mix.
Sorry, Georgetown but there was nothing to change my view in the least.
First of all, it’s in a dry county. Why is there anywhere in America that is dry? Let’s get real people. Not selling alcohol in one area is the dumbest thing in the world. You know what it does? It forces you to travel long distances to the next county to get drunk and then drive aaaaalllll the way back to Georgetown. How stupid is this rule? It also leads to the freaking hillbilly who was selling moonshine out of the back of his truck. Did I just say moonshine? Did I just say hillbilly? Folks, I’m not making this stuff up.
There are actually people who still sell moonshine in Kentucky and there was a guy giving it out from the back of his pickup the weekend I was there.
How do I say this gracefully and without half of Kentucky wanting to hang me by my you know whats? Let’s be honest, parts of Kentucky don’t exactly have a reputation for hording the members of MENSA or the contestants for the National Spelling Bee. With that in mind, I’m begging the folks in the Georgetown area to hire a full-time scout to walk around the town and correct grammar and spelling in order to dispel the myths.
The two best signs in America are both in Georgetown. First one hung in a WalMart that read, “All movies needs to be pay in electronics.” Huh? You is a honor student? Didn’t, oh, I don’t know, ONE PERSON realize that sentence simply isn’t English?
Then, I didn’t see this sign but I heard about it, the local Wendy’s originally had their big sign out front say, “Now hiring closers.” However, the “c” in closers fell off so for a while Wendy’s was “Now hiring losers.”
Worst bar I’ve been to on the road: The Pub in Lexington, Ky. I’ve written about places I’ve loved but I have to give both sides of it. A few Bengals friends and I drove down to Lexington on a Sunday evening to find a few beers and arrived at The Pub in Lexington at 10:30. We were immediately informed that we could only get one round because as the waitress explained, “The police will come in and grab them right off your table at 11 p.m. sharp.”
Are you kidding me? That’s what the police spend their time on in this town? Are they chasing around bootleggers in old Studebakers? Can you imagine that?
Anyway, back to the waitress and her 11 p.m. cutoff. Last I checked I’m good for a little over a beer in a half hour. Last call? Fine, everyone in my party will have three drinks each and we’ll have them polished off at 10:55. Guaranteed!
The waitress, bartender and manager all panicked over this idea as if Elliott Ness would raid the place at any minute. Come on people, we’re all adults here. We’re talking three lousy beers.
That wasn’t the bad part, though. The manager, a total Doogie Howser-looking goober, walked over and the following is the actual conversation that ensued:
Goober Pyle, Manager Extraordinaire: “I understand you ordered three rounds but we can’t do that because all alcohol has to be finished by 11.”
Aggressive New Yawka Glaze: “That’s OK buddy, we’ll have them finished off for you, no problem.”
Goober Pyle, Manager Extraordinaire: “We can’t do that, the police will take them out of your hands. I’m sorry.”
Aggressive New Yawka Glaze: “It’s OK, I’m willing to do the time.”
Goober Pyle, Manager Extraordinaire: “Sorry, it’s not going to happen. I can only give you one. We’re only looking out for your best interests.”
Are you kidding me? This is where I got a little… frustrated shall I say.
Aggressive New Yawka Glaze: “Doogie, you want to protect my best interests, get me a damn 401K plan! Don’t let me buy a dog from Bad Newz Kennels but don’t tell me you’re going to play drink police.”
Goober Pyle, Manager Extraordinaire: “It’s for your own safety, sir.”
Aggressive New Yawka Glaze: “I’m so lucky to have a guardian angel like you at my side. Seriously, where were you when I fell out of that tree house when I was 8, or the time I got my ass choked out in the Octagon or the time I took a blow torch in high school and cut off the roof of my car so I could have a convertible. Thank you so much oh Hillbilly guardian.”
Goober Pyle, Manager Extraordinaire: “(Blank look)”
The best part of it was we had to drive another 20 minutes to find another place to drink and the waitress from The Pub actually found us there and wanted to sit and drink with us. Let’s get this straight, you refuse to serve us and then want to sit and have drinks with us? Aggressive New Yawka Glaze made that the most uncomfortable five minutes of conversation she’s spent in a bar in a long, long time.
That night was the longest five years I’ve spent at one place in my life
So of course (and understandably), many Kentuckians have been upset about Glazer and his comments because it reinforces stereotypes of Kentucky that a lot of folks dont like. Glazer’s use of the word “hillbilly” and “goober” to describe Kentuckians has made many people so mad that they are engaging in letter writing campaigns to get Glazer fired. Heck, one Lexington TV station even did a story tonight on the whole affair and the furor that a “national journalist” (although I question whether either word applies to Glazer) had caused in the area.
While I understand all the furor and the fact that many are upset, I have an even more basic question, who the heck is Jay Glazer to talk about anything? The internet has brought about a whole world of supposed journalists (like myself) whose qualifications to opine on sports can be as bare as the groupie list for Bruce Pearl. These people need to have no actual writing ability (JD Salinger Glazer is not), good looks (think Bill Goldberg pre-steroids) or discernable talent/connection to the field (well Glazer did go to Pace University, where I am sure he encountered many Mensa members and Spelling Bee champions). Yet the mere fact they have an audience means that what they say is often deemed important. Well I am here to say that at least in the case of Jay Glazer, it is most certainly not.
Lets be real here for a second. Jay Glazer epitomizes the worst kind of person that one has to deal with when from Kentucky. Born and raised in New York, he possesses not only Northeastern entitlement syndrome but also its terrible corrolary, the “I am so cute and clever disease.” You know these guys and if you attended Duke as I did, you know them in bunches. They are neither as smart as they believe, as funny as they think they are (usually when obnoxiously yelling in their Mets or Yankees jersey) or as worldly as aggressive as they like to portray (bring that attitude to Leslie County and see what happens to you Jay). They look down on those from places like Kentucky, even though the people who they belittle are substantially nicer, more genuine and a hell of a lot more interesting than they will ever be. Instead they mock, go home and laugh heartily at the uncultured masses. It is these people whose mere presence makes me nauseous and who are a primary reason I moved back to the Bluegrass state.
So Kentuckians, dont get mad and angry and spew out emails. Instead do something that even a mediocre intellect and talent like Glazer can understand…..mock him right back. For even though he has a hot wife (unbelievably) Jay Glazer’s ability makes Andy Katz look like Red Smith (look him up when you get a chance Jay, you might learn something). He will forever be the guy who stands on the sideline and tells us that Joseph Addai may have a ripped toenail and that our fantasy team would be better if we sit Joey Harrington this week. As the old saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut (his story about Wendys is funny), but at the end of the day, Glazer will always be the sports reporters version of Tony Danza…..a guy relevant only to the extent he can be mocked. Rather than take out your anger on a no-talent like Glazer (who in five years will be replaced with a young hot woman who can do his job cheaper and with better looks) and read Tom Wolfe’s “Last American Hero” about his visit to the south to see Junior Johnson race in the 60s…..well do that and take that picture of Katz off your dartboard and replace it with Glazer…..he deserves it more anyways.