Everybody has their various odd encounters with celebrities. You know, you might have run into Cedric the Entertainer in an airport, shot pool one night when Derek Fischer walked in or maybe been at a bar and ended up buying Michael Chiklis a drink. The world is full of celebrities, those of actual fame and some that are two-bit and if you spend enough time searching, you will find them. However some people have a Forrest Gump-like ability to end up with odd celebrity encounters throughout their lives….and over the years, I have become one of those people. I have been in a magic shop with Michael Jackson and McCauley Caulkin, nearly been punched by Jose Canseco and had my picture in the Washington Post doing some risque dancing with Janet Reno. But none of these encounters was quite so random as my one with newly crowned 64 year old Mick Jagger. While studying at Oxford University in England, I went to one of the many art museums in London and was looking around at some painting that I was told was “great”, but that seemed like drivel to me when a man came behind me and said, “so what do you think?” Knowing that the Brits are talkers and hoping that I could show off a little of my newly acquired learnin’, I gave my two cents (I am sure it was not insightful in the least), turned around and there was Mick Jagger. He looked at me, said it was one of his favorite paintings, introduced himself as “Mick,” and then moved on. I immediately told the story to my friends, most of whom didnt believe me, and became a Rolling Stones afficianado. So now on his birthday, I salute the most famous person I have ever met and say, “congrats old man! And good job on producing your daughter!”
To the news….
(1) In a sad sports day (due to the death of Skip Prosser) that culminates the end of a bad sports week, the biggest Kentucky-based news was the report, that Leonard Washington will be attending high school in 2008. Washington’s chances of getting eligible were never considered high, but many held out hope that he would make the grades and potentially join the UK class this fall. However he apparently learned this week that it would not happen and now will be attending high school in LA this year. I must tell you that from my perspective, this is not necessarily bad news. I am a big fan of Leonard’s game and think he has the talent to make a big impact. However there are questions about attitude, on-court demeanor (Steve John of KentuckySportsReport said that he was kicked out of an AAU game today for a vicious elbow) and he had what always worries me in a recruit….the hangers-on. He still lists UK as a potential destination for 2008, but all I have ever heard was that UK wanted him primarily for 07, so we will see if the Cats continue the recruitment. The Cats could always use another big man on the roster…..but I think this one passing may end up being a bit of a blessing.
(2) The AAU Nationals are getting under way in Orlando this weekend, with most of UK’s targets taking center stage. One of the big guys there (if not the biggest) is Greg Monroe. I probably get more questions about Greg Monroe than any other recruit, and for good reason. Not only is he potentially the best player in the class, but he also is interested in both UK and UL and the fan bases of both schools are salivating about the potential of seeing him on campus. He is also a difficult person to get for an interview. He is likely called by more media outlets than any recruit in the country, in large part because he also gets national calls from guys like Andy Katz and Mike Decoursey. Greg has promised he will do a radio interview with us soon and I expect him to as well. However the Monroe recruitment is one that is hard to get a read on. A month ago I would have told you that the two Kentucky schools had no shot…..now a month later, they may both be getting visits. Get Greg on campus, and you never know. But UK is in the ball park and if they were to get him, he might literally be the most highly touted UK recruit in 25 years. We will likely find more out about his status this week in Orlando…..stay tuned.
(3) I am now coming around a bit on the possibility of another game being a potential win this fall for UK football. In my view, the three non-conference games and Mississippi State should be relatively solid victories and the LSU, Florida and at Georgia games are likely losses. For the last few weeks, I have said that Kentucky needs two wins from the UL, Tennessee, at South Carolina and Vandy games. However, the more I think about it, the game at Arkansas is a real possibility. While I have always said that USC will be a tough night game that the Cocks will be ready for on a national audience, the Arkansas game has some potential for surprise that maybe doesnt exist in Columbia. It will only be the Razorbacks’ third game of the season, they have lots of new players and a coach under fire…..PLUS it is the week after a huge road game at Alabama. Chance of a shocker? Maybe…. but it is on the road and UK hasnt beaten a good team on the road since Fran Curci was a teenager…..but my man JB tonight has me thinking….you never know.
(4) I am really glad that American Gladiators is on ESPN Classic. There is no better late night viewing.
And from The Big Lead, this is Kansas’s new starting quarterback…..and you thought there Coach was strange looking
Gotta a big day today……speaking to a group in Winchester at lunch, Rob’s got a football fix for ya, and the “A” Team of radio is all there with Tomlin and Dufresne joining Rob and I from 5-7. Be ready, its a big Friday…….