Like most people, I have no idea what to make of the Manti Te’o saga. On one hand, is it really possible for one guy to be this naÃ¯ve about a situation? I mean, come on. Completing a degree at Notre Dame and quarterbacking one of the best defenses in the nation aren’t the easiest things to do, so I’m having trouble believing that he could go this long talking to a man poising as a woman and not figure something was out of the ordinary. On the other hand, maybe I’m underestimating Te’o’s life beforehand. Was the Mormon-raised Te’o so sheltered growing up that he could be that easily manipulated by outsider? Did this guy Ronaiah Tuiasosopo know how gullible Te’o was and was so cruel that he wanted to publicly humiliate him by perpetrating this hoax? Whatever side you are standing on, whoever you believe, there is one thing we can all agree on: this is by far the craziest, most outlandish sports story ever, and I don’t believe it’s finished yet. What’s lost in all of this is that Te’o is still a very young man and 2013 was supposed to be one of his best years to date. Te’o graduates from Notre Dame this spring, he will be selected in the NFL draft this April ( A story I’m following even closer because I’m very curious on how this entire thing affects his draft status), and he turns 22 years old on Saturday. A couple of months prior, I’m sure Te’o thought he would be bringing his in birthday in a less stressful manner, but, yeah, it’s a pretty hectic one. Regardless of what the actual story is, or what else comes out, I hope this kid can one day put this all behind him and lead a normal life.
To the news and views…
–After the loss to the Crimson Tide on Tuesday, Kentucky has now put itself in a position where every game from here on out can make or break its season. The Cats host the lowly LSU Tigers tomorrow (4:00 PM, SEC Network) and, in theory, should be able to get back on track. It would be more worrisome if they players weren’t read to compete again after a bad loss to Alabama, but they are, and had one of the best, most spirited of the year on Thursday, according to senior guard Julius Mays.
“Guys are tired of losing,” Mays said. “We are starting to feel a sense of urgency.”
Music to my ears.
–Like the rest of the United States, I was enamored by Michael Jordan’s greatness in the 1990’s. Jordan was already one of my favorite people ever, but then he decided to star in a movie with another good buddy of mine… Bugs Bunny. From age 7 to 18, I watched the movie “Space Jam” (/doing math in head…. carrry the seven…) approximately 1,523 times. So while watching Calipari give a press conference, the ringtone that interrupted sounded all too familiar. (It’s at the 3:00 mark)
“Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now. We got a real jam goin’ down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here’s your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam, alright.”
This might be the most random thing I’ve ever seen in happen in a press conference. But my biggest question is not who, but why? In 2013?
–Mark Stoops and coaching staff are setting up for another great weekend of recruiting in the Bluegrass. Earlier, I gave an awesome list of prospects that will be on campus this weekend. Many expect for Kentucky to pick up another commitment this weekend which would bolster the already exceptional class by Mark Stoops.
–Two prospects to keep an eye on are James Hearns and Jason Hatcher. Both recruits are considering signing with Kentucky, but one is a little more clear cut than the other. Hearns, a LB from Florida, recently told Rivals’ Justin Rowland that Kentucky is in the lead for his services as of right now and that he could commit as early as this weekend. Hatcher’s situation is a little more cloudy. He recently decommited from Southern Cal in a tweet a couple of nights ago, but deleted that tweet after Southern Cal came to his house to make a final push for him. It’s unclear if he’s now back with the Trojans or if he is still considering other schools. Either way, Hatcher says he won’t tell the world his decision until Feb. 6th, National Signing Day.
–KSR and UK Alumni groups across the country are teaming up to raise money for DanceBlue while getting together to watch the Cayts. Gamewatch parties are already scheduled through UK alumni in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, New York, Charlotte, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, Chicago, Birmingham and Washington D.C., and the fine people of Dallas held their event two weeks ago for the Texas A&M game. Houston is up next for tomorrow’s game against LSU. If you’re in the Houston area, head over to Luke’s Ice House, in the Washington corridor, to hang out with fellow members of Big Blue Nation before, during and after the game.
– Finally, if you are in Lexington on Saturday, stop by and watch the KSR Postgame Show at Glenn’s Creek Brewery in Chevy Chase. We expect it to begin around 7:00 and they will be taking calls and talking about all that developed during the Cats’ game versus the Tigers. So come out and see us, enjoy some food and drink and hang with Drew and Matt after what we hope will be a big win.
Well, that’s all, folks! (See what I did there?)