First of all, a big “You’re Welcome” to the Wilcat Faithful. Yes, I did manage to carve 5 minutes out of my busy day on Tuesday (between watching Sally Jessy reruns I recorded 14 years ago and learning how to “Get Rich Through Real Estate!”) to give Coach G and the boys a “Know Your Enemy” for the Georgdogs. The results speak for themselves. Granted, I could orchestrate larger margins of victory for our blue-clad lads by pouring a little more research into every KYE, but then who would scour eBay for me in an effort to locate toenail clippings of actors who have played James Bond (The search has yielded nothing so far)? No, Coach Gillispie has assured me that by allowing every single game to come down to the wire, it will make this team tougher come tournament time. So now I don’t have to blame my slothfulness for the literary catrastrophe that is KYE as I can push it all off on Coach Gillispie’s infinite wisdom.
This Saturday, the most popular redhead in UK basketball history leads his talented Hog Squad into his old stomping grounds of Rupp Arena. I have always had a special place in my heart for both John Pelphrey and Richie Farmer as they were Mountain boys (like me) that got to live the dream by playing basketball at UK. Pelphrey sacrified much during his 5 years at UK and was rewarded by having his name hung in the rafters alongside the greatest in Kentucky basketball history. This point notwithstanding, Pel enters the game on Saturday as the opponent and it is my sincerest hope that he is roundly defeated. Hopefully the Paintsville native will win every other game he coaches, but for this one, I hope the Hogs get beaten by no less than 60 points. Be forewarned Pelphrey, for unlike in blessed Paintsville, there will be no “Carriage House Hotel” for your boys to rest when they have been run ragged by the Cats; there will be no “Kaleidascoops Ice Cream Shop” to run to when the pressure gets too hot; and there will be no “endless supply of people on Rascals motoring down Main Street” to scare you to death as you try to pull out of Dr. Kousa’s parking lot because you can’t see them. No, John, these hometown comforts won’t be there for you and your baby Hogs come Saturday, so you’d better come ready to play. “Life is like a hurricane, here in, Duck-berg, racecars, lasers, aero-planes, it’s a, Duck-blur. Might solve a mystery, or write Know Your Enemy…Ducktales, woo-hoo!”
The state of Arkansas strikes me as odd due to its inability to agree on the pronunciation of its own name. Ark-ansas is one pronunciation, while the other is the more traditionally heard, Ar-kan-saw. This doesn’t quite reach the same level of annoyance of Matthew Jones’ pronunciation of “Guerrant”, but it’s pretty close. Other states with this problem include Missouri (Missour-ah), and Idaho (Tater-land).
The city now known as Fayetteville was originally named Washington Courthouse, but was required to change after it was noticed there was already another Washington, Arkansas. To remedy this plagiarism, it was decided the town would copy the name of Fayetteville, TN. No word on whether Carlos Mencia was a founding father.
No one I found especially interesting, so I’ll dig into the never controversial arena of politics. Turns out two Presidential candidates have ties to the land of whatever Arkansas is the land of: Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee. If you will recall, Hillary arrived on the Fayetteville scene with Captain Angioplasty (Bill Clinton) some time in the 70’s to profess at the U of A law school and managed to warm-up to the south like Britney Spears to good parenting. However, Bill is as much a life-long Razorbacks fan as Hillary is a Senate Career-long Yankees fan.
Prior to winning Iowa, Mike Huckabee was best known for not being known at all. His claim to fame is that he once lost 110 pounds, although I think “Governor of Arkansas” is the crappiest prize “The Biggest Loser” has ever handed out. Since this is all I know about him, my opinion is that he’s almost as qualified to be President as Jared from the Subway commercials.
Cheerleader Scouting Report
The SEC isn’t just the nation’s best conference in football. No, you can definitely tell when UK hits the SEC schedule by the increase in the talent level of the cheerleading squads. Not only are they all attractive, but there’s something for everyone. Like ‘em pale? Third from the left. Like ‘em small and blond? Second from right. Like ‘em, uh, miscellaneous? First on left (this one gets my vote for hottest). What’s more, they’re all home grown–unless “AR” means Arizona, in which case we need to investigate why so many girls from Arizona are going to Arkansas.
While I argued last week that LSU might have the second-best tradition of any SEC team behind Kentucky, I failed to give reasons why Arkansas was not considered. At the time, I felt that because Arkansas had spent many more years racking up victories in the SWC than in the SEC, they weren’t qualified to claim as much SEC “history” as LSU. Upon further review, however, I’ve decided to change my mind. If women can do it about bedspreads in the guestroom every 6 months, then I think I’m entitled to do it occasionally as well. Therefore, I now recast Arkansas as having the second-best tradition in the SEC although much of it did not come as a participant in the SEC. Turns out the Hogs have actually been to the Final Four 6 times and, of course, have a National Title to their name. Most of us younger folks remember the acne-scarred scowl of Nolan Richardson leading the infamous “Forty Minutes of Hell”, but Arkansas also produced a slightly less intoxicated Eddie Sutton who was eventually snatched by a certain dynastic program in the heart of the bluegrass. Arkysaw actually came to the basketball table later than most others as they fielded their first team only three years before Lucky Lindy flew across the Atlantic in 1927. Scholars have debated for decades on whether the two events were related.
Quick Gary Ervin story. We were sitting at the SEC Tournament last year with Raycom announcer extraordinaire Barry Booker watching an Arkansas-Vanderbilt game that was more boring than anything associated with the WNBA. At one point in the game I made the observation that Gary Ervin transferred from one SEC school (Miss. St.) to another SEC school (Arkansas) and wondered aloud if that had happened before. Without missing a beat, Barry Booker made me look like an idiot by saying, “Well, yeah, and he’s on the other team.” He then pointed to Ross Neltner (from LSU to Vandy) and my shame was complete. Steven Hill may be the worst of the worst. He is certainly overrated, but that isn’t the most annoying trait of his that I dismire (did I just create a new word?). No, Stevie most certainly can play the guitar and sings about things that both he and the college girls that love that kind of crap think are really deep. He probably also wears flip-flops and bandanas around campus as if being a 7 foot tall white guy isn’t attention grabbing enough. Can you really judge a book by its cover. Well, yeah, I mean, if it’s Steven Hill.
Wow, just, wow
Dusty Mills will not laugh on the end of the UK bench during this game. A.J. Stewart will, however, provide Jared Carter with an update on the American Gladiators final and tell how he thought “that one chick with the two little girls and the dimples” was really hot. Carter will be depressed for a few minutes over having missed the finale, then will quickly be summoned to check into the game for exactly 24 seconds of playing time before returning to the bench to discuss the men’s American Gladiator final. Also, Patrick Patterson takes it to Steven Hill and Hill has to leave the game crying. Hill will claim it’s not from the physical abuse that Patterson leveled on him, but rather from his empathizing with the plight of the noble Inuit peoples of Northern Canada. Also, Ramel and Joe will probably do well, too.
Feel confident folks: The Cats are 5-0 (or thereabouts) on Saturdays in SEC play when a Know Your Enemy has been provided and it’s the winter solstice and during a leap year. My guess is the score will look so bad at the end that Pelphrey will be accused tanking the game just so his alma mater can have a shot at the Big Dance. I hope you score a lot of points, John (just you, not your team) and I wish you wonderful health, but I will certainly be praying for a Blue Vic’try this Saturday. Go Cats.