Ooh, baby do you know what that’s worth?,
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth,
They say in heaven, love comes first,
We’ll make heaven a place on earth.
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.
–Belinda Carlisle (John Malkovich sang background vocals)
Belinda Carlisle is one of those singers that you consider a one-hit wonder but for several different songs. While that may sound oxymoronic, think about it. I’ve given you “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, but could you name any other Bel. C. songs right now? To help you, think about such hits as “I Get Weak”, “Mad About You”, and “Circle in the Sand”. BC sang all of these, but if I had chosen the lyrics to one of these songs as opposed to “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, you would have remembered that particular song, but not the others. The same phenomenon applies to Debbie Gibson and Rick Astley. The reason for all of this Belinda Carlisle-talk is simple: with the current state of things in the land of Wildcats, I continually find the need to go to my “happy place”. In my “happy place” I am watching Dan Issel take on Jamal Mashburn in a game of one-on-one with an alternating soundtrack of Belinda Carlisle and New Found Glory songs. I am eating my grandma’s fried potatoes topped with Better Batter ice cream from Maggie Moo’s with chunks of cookie dough. Also, I am at a press conference explaining that not only do I know who really assassinated JFK (Fred Willard and Mariel Hemingway), but that I am also responsible for developing a vaccine for writer’s block (you’re welcome, Harper Lee). Alas, all of this vanishes when the Cats return to the hardwood or my meds start wearing off.
After having witnessed a half of basketball that was more disappointing than a Kucinich vote tally, we are left with trying to journey through the season and remain optimistic, although deep down we are all secretly looking at games versus Auburn and South Carolina and saying, “Surely we can win these…can’t we?” Well, I’m not 100% convinced just yet and don’t call me Shirley. Oh, I get that joke, now!!! Actually, I am ever the optimist and have managed to convince myself that Kentucky is just a healthy Jasper and Meeks away from contending in the SEC East. This may not actually be the case, but I have to hold on to something. Anyway, Vandy and its random, foreign white guys are up next, so….Let’s Get Ready to Rumbllllllllllleeeeee!!!!!!! Wow, talk about a phrase that got old quick.
Location (Is it plagiarism when you steal your own stuff?)
Vanderbilt is situated in Music City, U.S.A. although I’ve never understood if this means that Nashville is it’s own autonomous community within the United States or whether it’s just ashamed of Tennessee. The school is named for Cornelius Vanderbilt, a nineteenth century industrialist, famous for shipping and railroads, and yawn. Corny’s ancestors hailed from the Netherlands where the last name was spelled “van der Bilt” and was anglicized upon their arrival in the States. In Dutch, “van der Bilt” means, “captain of industry who donates large sum of money to set up elitist learning institution in the south”. Commodore Vanderbilt was also not an actual commodore. He received this nickname thanks to his piloting of steamships early in his career. I think a more a propos nickname would be either the Vanderbilt Misconceptions or the Vanderbilt Resume-padders. Addendum: Never, ever, ever eat at EDDIE GEORGE’S in Nashville. Not only did they serve me a piece of raw (not cold, not partially cooked, RAW) chicken, but they then argued with me about having to pay the bill. This left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a lot of salmonella in my stomach. AGAIN, do not go there for anything.
While this can certainly be a long and illustrious list with names such as David Brinkley, Ross Perot, Muhammad Yunus,
or Dierks Bentley, we will focus our chilling stare squarely on one Skip Bayless. Skippinger Rosemary Bayless was born somewhere and at sometime it is believed. He attended VU on the University’s Russell-Rice Sportswriting Scholarship and I’m sure he was as annoying and hated there as he is today. Bayless delights in throwing controversial opinions into EVERY debate in which he is engaged. As a result, he almost always comes off as arrogant, annoying, and poorly informed. He also adheres to the belief that one’s point becomes clearer and more convincing if you just speak louder. Skip is the worst of the worst when it comes to the new breed of journalists that have made the leap to television. He’s also the new standard in “awful”. “Jay Mariotti is an idiot and I wish I would never have to see or hear him again.” “True, but he’s still better than Skip Bayless.” Thanks, Vanderbilt, for unleashing this blithering idiot on the sports-loving masses.
Cheerleader Scouting Report
Every year as the KSR crew attends the SEC Basketball Tournament, I am always surprised to find that Vandy’s cheerleaders/dance teams are usually a little more risque in their routines than even the Florida’s or LSU’s of the world. We have always held the belief that they find this necessary in order to compensate for their relatative lack of attractiveness and as a form of rebellion against Organic Chemistry or whatever other classes they are spending their college years studying while Bama cheerleaders are taking “History of US Weekly”. However, although certainly not as attractive as the other SEC schools, the picture below would indicate that at least some (not all) of the Vandy cheerleaders are not without their charms.
Vandy’s first game was played in 1900 as they lost to Nashville YMCA. I would love to make a joke about this, but I used my Village People reference last time and I can’t think of anything else. Maybe I should have gone with something about Vanderbilt getting beat by the old women who walk around the track at a molasses-like pace. Nah, that’s weak–I’ll just stick with no joke. In my mind, Vanderbilt is the perpetual bubble team. They’re usually not good enough to be one of the better teams in the land, but they are generally very competitive and on average will finish third in the SEC East and make the NIT (They’ve made the Big Dance 9 times). Up until two years ago, Vanderbilt had never beaten the Cats in Rupp Arena. If you think about that, it was a pretty amazing stat considering that Vanderbilt has, at times, had some very good teams, and at other times, has had teams that shoot well enough to pull off upsets. Speaking of shooters, Vandy has certainly had their fair share. Names like Scott Draud, Bill McCaffrey, Barry Goheen, Ronnie McMahan, and official commentator of KSR, Barry Booker could all light it up. Vanderbilt is also known for the almost bizarre amount of Kentucky-born players that they have had on their roster over the years. Ross Neltner, Dan Langhi, Scott Draud, Frank Kornet, and Barry Goheen. Every edition of Commodore basketball seems to have at least one Kentuckian and he is always a white kid that is short on athleticism, but can fill it up nonetheless.
A.J. Olgilvy has certainly come a long way, athletically. When we last saw him, he was pinch-hitting (while wearing a watch) for a little league team sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds and known as the Bears. What Olgilvy lacked in athleticism, he more than made up for with his scouting prowess and ability to memorize a large quantity of statistics. It appears that he moved to Australia shortly after the Bears epic exhibition game in the Astrodome and became a basketball sensation. This year, he returned to the states and has since helped his Commodore team get off to a fast start. Unfortunately for Olgilvy, the Kentucky game is likely to end the same way their game against that Yankees does–They are only in the game because their opponent holds the ball, but ultimately they fall short in the last second. On the plus side, the Commodores will celebrate their victory by pouring Kevin Stallings’ beer over each other’s heads and will tell the Cats, “Wait till next year”. Gillispie and Co. will respond with a “Two, Four, Six, Eight, who do we appreciate? Commodores, Commodores, Commodores!
I think every UK player is desperately trying to draw disability and defraud the government. That’s why you hear about these alleged “injuries”. Soon enough, the gang will give up their quest of “gettin’ on the draw” and will turn things around. It begins with this game against Vandy as the Cats will raise a few eyebrows by upsetting the Commodores. Patrick Patterson goes for 53 and 19 and is sought out by the Pakistan People’s Party to replace their fallen leader Benzir Bhutto in an effort to name a reconizable candidate for the upcoming election for Prime Minister. They think it will be memorable because of the alliteration: Patrick Patterson of the Pakistan People’s Party. Oddly enough, he will win the office of Prime Minister in Pakistan, but will turn it down because the swearing in coincides with a game against Mississippi State.
Please, please, please win this game. Losing streaks to Vanderbilt are, as the French say, “not good”. I keep thinking every win will turn the season around and this game is no exception. While I may be more misguided than a Dina Lohan-Lynne Spears parenting book, I hold out hope that our beloved Cats will finally, mercifully come together and shoot a hole in the Commodores ship. If such a thing were to occur, I would be well pleased and maybe we would get a few days respite from the fanbase, at least until our next game. I’m Paul Harvey…good DAY! Go cats.