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Kit “Lightning” Ketchum’s News and Views


Sometimes it’s worth paying homage to the greats, and it is definitely worth noting that today is what would have been the 95th birthday of Kit “Lightning” Ketchum, one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the sport of college basketball. For my money there is no greater story in sports than Ketchum’s. According to his biography Lightning of the South — a book I highly recommend — it was only moments after he was born that doctors told his mother he could not play basketball. His father was a waistband salesman who left when he was five. He grew up in Depression-era Alabama, where he sold live bait to hospitals to help put food on the table for his family of eleven.  He played basketball at the University of Alabama and attended there on a scholarship but had to work on a crabbing boat four nights a week to keep it. He was tired and beaten by life but still went on to become the second top scorer in Crimson Tide history. His senior year he lost his foot to a bite from a poisonous snake and was unable to complete the season, but he finished his education and later invented the jacket. A highly successful businessman by age 32, his passion to the sport of basketball motivated him to become the league commisioner of the NBA from 1967-1962, where he instituted anti-stomping rules and made sure everyone had a comb. Kit Ketchum may have fallen into a volcano at age 51 but what he brought to basketball will live on until we’re all gone, and we salute him.

Hello, friends. Let’s news-and-views it up, shall we? And blast off into the newsandviewsisphere.

There’s some new, meticulously parted hair in College Station, and beneath it is our old pal former Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury. Good for him; I don’t think we collectively as a fan base have anything against Rick Stansbury, do we? Nah. Way to go, Rick. We’ll see you this fall.

And there’s good news for people with no hair. Maybe you don’t have any hair.  Can I get a job at a large SEC school, you are probably asking? Yes! You can! And you can make a lot of money, as evidenced by the news of Kenny Payne’s $500k annual salary. That’s a lot of specially-tailored suits from Jos. A. Bank, I think we can all agree. And we get to keep him in Lexington. Hooray Kenny! John Robic also re-upped with the Cats, but his hair is rumored to be holding out for a restructured arrangement.

-ESPN announced its SEC/Big 12 lineup today and it has the Texas Longhorns coming into Rupp on Friday, December 5. This announcement also, incidentally, signifies that I will now officially think about the Texas Longhorns one more time per year than I normally do, which is zero times per year. But hey, welcome Rick Barnes everybody. Seriously. Have a ball, buddy.

We’ll also be playing UCLA in Chicago on December 20. I sure do hope they bring their cheerleaders, because they are some pretty, pretty gals.

-As the NFL draft news heats up, rumors are abound that Johnny Football doesn’t want to play in Houston, and he doesn’t want to play in Jacksonville, either. Which means that if the Solidgoldsburg Diamonds don’t draft him, he may still end up in Cleveland. Poor guy. He deserves so much better. He seems like such a great, great dude.

-What’s that? You’d like a picture of Samuel L. Jackson hanging out with Judge Judy? Coming right up, sir or ma’am!


-There is (or was, until the feds ruined it) a gigantic cockfighting club in Floyd county. I know! I was shocked too! Especially when I learned that it wasn’t one of those low-budget, everyone throw money into the ring cockfighting clubs like I see in movies, but rather a joint with a full-service restaurant for those who like to keep their cockfighting on the classy side. Guess I’ll have to go back to dingy underground clubs for my cockfighting. Thanks a lot, Uncle Sam!

-If you’re planning on calling into the radio show tomorrow and you have man-parts, you better think again. It’s ladies’ day, buster. That means only ladies’ calls will be fielded by the boys. So women of the BBN, prepare to call in and puzzle them with the exquisite mystery which is womanhood. Should be a fun one.

Well, this has been fun, hasn’t it? I’ve certainly enjoyed myself. You, however, need to stop staring at your iPhone now before the Baltimore Orioles’ Steve Pearce nearly disintegrates your face with a blazing foul ball. What, you’ve never sat on the front rows of News & Views before? You gotta stay alert, my man. (click for the .gif)


Keep your internet dial turned here for the rest of the day and let’s see what happens, okay? Okay.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

All I want is a HI-C and a turkey sandwich. @CM_Tomlin

41 Comments for Kit “Lightning” Ketchum’s News and Views

  1. ktmiln2
    11:06 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Wow. Best news and views intro ever. I hope I go out by falling into a volcano

    • talkin bout practice
      10:19 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      It really was. I like how casually the volcano thing was mentioned. Just a small aside.

  2. Ben
    11:08 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    #1 beat me to it. Tomlin posts are the best posts. Especially when it’s a news and views post.

    Damn fine, Tomlin, damn fine.

  3. Musehobo
    11:19 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    *Venomous snake, c’mon Tomlin!

  4. You Can Call Me Cal
    11:25 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Pay this man more money! Best writer on the site. Great post. Good laughs. Should have him do it every night

  5. COSJguy
    11:26 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Was Mr. Ketchum 55 years old in college? That is the oldest looking college athlete I’ve ever seen…must be a testimony to his hard life.

    • Methuselah
      12:40 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      He looks like an older version of Tommy Lee Jones when he was young.

  6. SEC/Big 12
    11:38 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink


  7. Somervillain
    11:43 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Tomlinson (auto-correct),
    Thank you. You had me at the picture of Ole Kit Ketchem. Great piece.

  8. Ryan Lemond
    11:44 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Matt Jones Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 12:57 am
    “I am not going to make a post on the subject. But travel in recruiting circles and you won’t find anyone who thinks that program is clean. You are free to have any feeling about Calipari u wish but I am not a fan of his tactics on building a program.”

    “You just knew it was gonna happen deep down. Karma is a weird thing and it strikes at weird times and you just couldnt imagine that Memphis would really be allowed to win a national title. With a team full of players that had run-ins with the authorities, after the fight earlier this season at UAB, after their constant problems with free throw shooting and Coach Calipari’s mocking of it as an issue and the coach’s less than stellar reputation with the NCAA, you just HAD to think that it would catch up with them.”

    “As for Memphis, you just knew this would happen. All year, they have laughed in the face of those who said you didnt need to hit free throws to win, and it was those free throws that lost the game. I make jokes about this Memphis team and I do have some problems with how Calipari runs his program.”

    • We Hang Banners
      11:54 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      I know right. Sucks to be a Louisville fan.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:54 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Wow. You are the first person to ever post this. Incredible. Original.

      On another note; Superior work by Tomlin. Always the funniest prose on the site. Selling bait to hospitals? TFF!

    • Ryan Lemond
      12:23 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Not a Louisville fan, bud!

    • Buckets
      1:21 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Wow! This is breaking news! Way to go, troll!

      Get a life …

    • Cals Cats 3.0 Check us out on Facebook!
      7:37 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Can’t speak for who this guy is a fan of but wasn’t it Louisville fans who were pushing this quote by Jones when Cal came on board? I always found that funny, since Louisville fans would hate on Pitino all the time while he was at UK. Continued to hate on him when he went to the Celtics and did poorly there. Rooted against him in the NBA.

      Then he turns around and goes to Louisville and all of a sudden things change. So it is really funny to ever hear Louisville fans bring that up.

  9. David
    11:53 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    the original “uni-brow”….LOL…my oh my…nice pull on the Matt Jones Coach Cal bashing circa 2008

  10. Somervillain
    12:11 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Well, since I too have dramatically changed my views over coaches before, I think it is perfectly reasonable to flip on a guy. Are you suggesting that we aren’t a allowed to flip on Rick? No flipping views on coaches? No being impressed once you see someone regularly?

  11. Boiler Cat
    12:11 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Barney Fife played at Bama before moving on to a stellar career in law enforcement in Mayberry?

  12. Mike
    12:35 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    What a story on Kit Ketchum! Your creativity is amazing. Improvements would be that he was the backup to Maurice Podoloff when Maurice Podoloff went into hiding from the Kentucky faithful who were after him over the Beard and Groza suspensions. That would be harder to trace. The book is also traceable so maybe it was a short story in the 1967 to 1962 Reader’s Digest.

  13. Fore
    1:02 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Just took the time to look at the .gif – the only two guys in the stands not watching the game almost had a life ended far too early. You snooze you lose – consider that a warning the next time you go to a baseball game.

    • HuntsVegas
      1:53 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Ehh That’s the beauty of Baseball………..HEADS UP.

      Tomlin is the shiz.


  14. Goonies25
    1:06 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    That one kid was about a centimeter from his life being over. Wow. That gif is crazy!

  15. Buckets
    1:24 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Good post. Funny stuff!

  16. HuntsVegas
    1:51 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    C.M. Tomlin – – – – – – THAT WAS GREAT.

  17. Tide In The Wool
    1:52 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Fortunately Ketchum was able to supplement his income selling leg hairs to furriers in Mobile. Oddly he wouldn’t part with his eyebrows although in later years he was known to part his eyebrows.

    • HuntsVegas
      1:54 am May 8, 2014 Permalink


  18. Casper
    2:10 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Did Cal go home? Is he Ok?

  19. Behind the Robes
    2:38 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    “It’s my duty to please that booty Judge Judy!”

    • Dennis Reynolds
      3:04 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Hey we might have something in common here pal.

  20. BurnerTurner5
    8:16 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Nice nutters. Damn am I glad the shorts got longer. I don’t think I could watch games if the shorts were like that now without feeling just a little gay.

  21. Axe Cop
    8:21 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    I think I laughed harder the second time I read this post. Tomlin, you need to write a full-length “Lightning of the South.”

  22. Wes
    9:24 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    The greatest and most amazing part of this story, is that he was NBA Commish from “1967 – 1962.” Simply amazing!

  23. Polsonfor3minutes
    9:30 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    How many people googled “Kit “Lightning” Ketchum”

  24. some guy
    10:03 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    I spent 5 too many minutes searching for “Lightning of the South” on amazon. Great post.

  25. theWilkman
    10:14 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    This site has far too little Tomlin. I usually don’t read the author before starting the post, and I was half-way through the opening paragraph before I had to scroll up to check. More of this please!

  26. talkin bout practice
    10:30 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Tomlin for Kentucky Sports President!

  27. More Tomlin says...
    10:59 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Why does a hospital need live bait?

  28. anonymous
    12:32 pm May 8, 2014 Permalink

    I can’t find anything about this Kit Ketchum. In the day and age where everything is archived on the internet I find this suspect. Can’t even find his autobiography either. And am I misreading something here that he went on to “invent the jacket”??? Not sure if this is some kind of meme and I’m missing out or what. Does anybody have any links to info on this guy? Interesting story if true.

    • DH
      3:19 pm May 8, 2014 Permalink

      MAN, I wish you were serious. Funnier than the actual article

  29. leftygilmore
    12:47 pm May 8, 2014 Permalink

    The only thing I caught from Kit section is he fell into a volcano….wow

  30. Tampa Satchel
    3:26 pm May 8, 2014 Permalink

    If Eddie Haskel and Eddie Munster had a child….