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National Bourbon Day’s Friday News and Views


Now this is a news and views honoree we can all toast to.

Friday is National Bourbon Day, which has to be one of the best random holidays ever made. As Kentuckians, one of the things we hang our Derby hats on is that delicious amber liquid made from corn, yeast, grain and water. Wherever you go in the world, Kentucky is identified for basketball, bourbon, horses and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Those are our things, and we do them well. In the past few years, we’ve become especially famous for bourbon, as the perfectly potent potable has gone through a major boom in popularity. For a variety of reasons, bourbon has become downright trendy recently, to the point that bourbon bars are popping up in every neighborhood and the chances of getting your hands on a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle are about as good as getting season tickets to UK Basketball.

This past weekend, I had a bit of a bourbon snob moment when I went to Philadelphia for a wedding and ordered an Old Fashioned from the open bar. When asked which “whiskey” I preferred, I asked which bourbons they had, only to be told that my only option was Jim Beam. As a Kentucky native and resident of a city that likes to pretend it’s in Kentucky when it comes to drinks and college basketball, I will admit that I sniffed a little bit. Not only because of the Jim Beam, it’s fine, but how is an open bar at a very nice wedding only going to stock one bourbon?? Don’t get me wrong, this particular bar was STOCKED with about everything else (multiple vodkas, gins, and beers on tap!), but not even one bottle of Makers or Woodford in the bunch? Sigh. The North.

I digress. Bourbon rocks, but it’s even better neat. Raise your glass and toast to the national holiday that really, only the citizens of this fine state can truly appreciate. Cheers.

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 4.30.15 PM

— On Thursday, we waited for the BOOM, and on Thursday at 5:15 p.m., it finally came. Stanley BOOM Williams committed to Kentucky, moving the 2014 recruiting class up to THIRD IN THE NATION. In football. (To all those negative nancies that want to go off on your “it’s early and that ranking means nothing, we will end out of the top 25” rant, please move on. I realize it’s early, but it’s also awesome, and we’re going to enjoy it because it’s FREAKING AWESOME. …off the soapbox.) Boom (as he will be referred to from now on) is a former Georgia commitment who is ranked the number one all-purpose back in the nation, and the 96th best player overall, according to Rivals. At #96, Williams is UK’s highest-ranked commitment since Micah Johnson in 2006.

He’s small, but fast, with a 4.39 40 and an explosiveness and elusiveness that will flourish in the Air Raid. He picked the Cats over the likes of Clemson, West Virginia, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and other major programs. Plus, he’s from Georgia, an area in which the staff would really like to expand. Boom told Steve Jones of the Courier-Journal that his commitment rendered Mark Stoops speechless: “Coach Stoops was blown away (by commitment). He didn’t believe it. He was at a loss for words.”

— This has been one hell of a week for Kentucky football. This week alone, they’ve racked up:

4-star DE Denzel Ware (fine, that was technically Sunday)
3-star DB Mike Edwards
4-star DB Darius West
3-star LB Nico Firios
4-star RB Stanley Williams

The momentum in UK football right now is so surreal that the only thing I can compare it to is watching the dominos fall in Cal’s 2013 class. It may be early, and the Cats will surely be surpassed in the rankings by others, but the national media is picking up on the scent of what’s going on in Lexington. Even Clay Travis paid the Cats a backhanded compliment, saying that if Stoops keeps this up, then USC will pick him up after just one year. While that type of comment is so Clay Travis that it might as well have a beard and a blog full of bikini pictures, it’s indicative of the changing attitude towards Kentucky football. We may not win many games next season, but the season after that, watch out. As Drew Barker said, they’re not messing around and “Kentucky is the hottest team on the recruiting trail right now.” In another little mini-dose of reality, while Kentucky has the third best class in the country, it only has the third best in the SEC. #SECproblems

— In a move that some many say is right out of Billy Gillispie’s playbook, Mark Stoops and company offered a 7th grader a scholarship. Louisville’s Jairus Brents recently played in one of UK’s camps and was so impressive that the UK’s coaches offered him a scholarship. For the record, that will be the first one they’ve offered to a member of the Class of ’18 (**obligatory “I feel old” moment**). Apparently, Brents is worth it. He was paired with the 2014 receivers in attendance and had three interceptions and broke up several other passes. Chris Vaughn, a former Louisville and Notre Dame player, is Brents’ godfather and says that his godson is “light years” ahead of 2013 prospects Jason Hatcher and James Quick, with several head-to-head matchups with the latter.

Does it seem a little extreme to me that UK is recruiting a 13-year-old? Yes. But, as Thaddeus Snodgrass put it, “If the 7th graders nice why not offer him?”.

Orlando Antigua’s new job as the head coach of the Dominican Republic National Team became official on Thursday. Coach O, a DR native, takes over the position from John Calipari, who had nothing but glowing things to say about his successor:

“I’m happy for Orlando and this opportunity to lead the Dominican Republic national team,” Calipari said. “I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish over the past two years, getting this country to the brink of its first-ever Olympic appearance. I’m confident with the experience he has that Orlando will build on the team’s success and take it to new heights.”

Coach O will report to the DR training camp at the beginning of August before his team takes the floor for a pair of exhibition contests against Puerto Rico on Aug. 14 and Aug. 16. From there, the Dominicans will play in the Jenaro “Tuto” Marchand Continental Cup from Aug. 22-26 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

— Nerlens Noel finally signed with an agent on Thursday night. Frank Catapano of Pro Partner Sports Management and Andy Miller of ASM Sports will represent Nerlens, who works out for the Washington Wizards on Friday.

— On Thursday, Chris Tomlin turned in another masterpiece that got a spirited discussion going in the comments section about which SEC mascot is higher on the foodchain (apparently people have a LOT of opinions on animal hierarchy). EDSBS’s Spencer Hall had a similarly funny piece about how Kentucky’s Wildcat mascot needs to be more intimidating. My favorite suggestions: “tape a bunch of insanity DVDs to him.”

That’s all for now as we wind down from another thrilling round of Yahtzee. In the morning, Matt and crew will host the “First Couple of UK Trivia” contest during the radio show to find the most knowledgable couple in UK sports. Hopefully they can name all of the Unforgettables. See you then.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

41 Comments for National Bourbon Day’s Friday News and Views

  1. HellYes
    11:29 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    YES! My 21st birthday is National Bourbon Day!

  2. Todd
    11:34 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Four Roses Bourbon. That is all.

  3. Al/in/Indy
    11:38 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Back in the mid 70’s when I was in the AF at McConnel AFB Ks. I got into a drinking contest with one of my fellow airmen. He was going with Jose’ I was going with Jim…..well my friend fell off the bar stool. I WON!!!!! But the next morning I woke up to a moose head being in my room.
    I knew where it came from as the bar we had the contest would most likely be minus one moose head over the entrance…….I love Bourbon, but to this day I’ve never even sipped any to this day. God Bless Bourbon Day!

  4. SeaCat
    11:42 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Tyler, very good, very creative!

  5. Whoa
    12:37 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Calm down, Ratty Face! You are just a girl in man’s sport.

  6. Brother Michigan
    12:42 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    “it’s early and that ranking means nothing, we will end out of the top 25″

  7. bmud
    12:50 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    6… do you really believe that?

  8. Duh
    12:53 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    6. Leader of the Rainbow Coalition. Think about it. When ha UK
    ever been in the top 3 rankings in football at any stage of the recruiting process??? This is Earth shattering compared to where we were just months ago.

    Now get back to your parent’s basement ya Card fan and try not to worry so much about us.

  9. Digger
    1:05 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Where the hell is Erin Calipari when we need an epic comment??

  10. Stanley "Yahtzee" Williams
    1:18 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Why is our class still ranked in the mid-20s on ESPN? It shows us having 6 four-stars. Hopefully it is just because they haven’t updated them in forever. ESPN class rankings are usually terrible anyway. But there’s no way there are 20 better classes than ours at this point in time.

  11. dave
    1:52 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    love that 2/3 of bourbon drinkers didnt graduate from college yet 60% make 60,000k+. that stat definitely looks solid.

  12. Joe
    2:11 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Nice clay Travis dig, the beard stuff is gold, Jerry! I mean Tyler, nicely done mrs. Thompson

  13. Distillery worker.
    2:27 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Buffalo Trace. Worlds greatest Bourbons.

  14. SadCat
    4:13 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I am so pissed that we have the worst
    schedule in the nation!!
    Stoops is doing a great job, but my gosh,
    he faces a horrific task!!

  15. SadCat
    4:16 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Bourbon may be our only hope
    to get through this season.

  16. Ridge Runner
    4:30 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Yet another great summation & wit, Ms T!

  17. Question
    6:30 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Speaking of Antiqua, wonder why Cal has not turned out very many head coaches. Seems like the coaches he has now are content with being lifer asst. coaches?

  18. Stoops'FrontButt
    6:31 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I have seen this movie too many times. He
    will go to uk as part of the class that is “going to turn this thing around”,
    and before you know it he will be a senior hoping to salvage a four
    win season by upsetting Tennessee and sending fired Coach Stoops
    out on a high note.

  19. Tebow
    6:50 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Technically Sunday is the Start of the week.

  20. Ville Cat
    7:15 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    @18 We get it, you have made that same post on multiple articles today. If you don’t want to enjoy the momentum of UK football then don’t. Most of us are quite pleased with how things are looking up and will ride that wave of excitement as opposed to ur stream of negativity.

  21. Al/in/Indy
    7:17 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    18, that movie? Well evidently must’ve slept through this one, for this is going to have an epic ending. You must be thinking of the movie where Petrino leaves you guys!

  22. 7th Grade Recruit
    7:22 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Can you say Billy Clyde. Must be a lot of Bourbon flowing.

  23. Freddy Mercury
    8:17 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I love Yahtzee i think the word is spectacular and progressive. Makes me want to paint rainbows and add and extra one in vandyke brown.

  24. KevinM
    8:33 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    17, Coach O and Coach Payne will get their chance. Coach Robic has been there and done that.
    Coach Barbee at Auburn, Coach Pastner at Memphis….

  25. Rockfield, KY
    8:38 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Had my first taste of Pappy 20 yr 2 weeks ago. I’m now a believer that it’s the greatest bouron. But for drinking on a daily basis, I’m a Weller man.

  26. arlo
    8:39 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    you might have mentioned that today is also Flag Day.

  27. UKnowMe
    8:50 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    25 Weller 12 is very good if you can find it. Tastes almost exactly like Van Winkle lot B but at a much better price.

  28. Fivestar
    8:54 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I’m all for celebrating recruiting success, but putting any weight in a ranking at this point, when none of the top three teams listed have a single 5-star recruit, stinks of the same shenanigans that we like to point out when other teams celebrate having a “top recruiting class” in basketball before the best players have signed an LOI.

    In other words, it makes us look like chumps. Big ol’ chumps.

  29. uk3k-J
    8:55 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I have to disagree with the bottom portion of the chart. Bourbon was the ONLY way i got through college and most of my friends had the same experience.

  30. Kevin
    9:04 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Makers Mark baby!!!

  31. FellingLeftOut
    9:11 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    When’s National Crown Royal Day?

  32. Four Roses
    9:24 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I found Four Roses “small batch” to be my favorite. Now I know “small batch” is nothing more than a marketing slogan, but I found that I prefer Four Roses “small batch” to “single barrel”.

  33. KYStout
    9:39 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    We were able to get a bottle of 20 Year Rip Van Winkle here in Atlanta after getting on an early waiting list. I believe it is the best bourbon made. $400 for that bottle. It was gone in no time, to be enjoyed only with the closest of friends.
    Someone mentioned Four Roses earlier and yes that is good bourbon for sure – I still have a bottle with about 6 ounces left in it.

    I just finished my standby regular bottle of Woodford that I always keep. At random times I will have some Jim Beam and even Wild Turkey in stock. I’ve made many bourbon believers here in Georgia – sadly, many have spent a good part of their life thinking Jack Daniels was some sort of fine spirit. I’ve quickly stamped that wrong thinking out wherever I could.

    Now as for Weller – I’m very intrigued by that. I’ve never had it but I’m going to see if anyone here carries it.

    As always – bourbon should be enjoyed responsibly and in moderation 🙂

  34. 4RosesGirl
    9:44 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I second that “Four Roses”… Small Batch is one of a kind, high rye, sweet notes, and a long finish. The PERFECT Manhattan, when not enjoyed neat! Come visit the distillery in Lawrenceburg to try it yourself. Cheers!

  35. Scoutblue23
    9:59 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    The 7th grader isn’t from Kentucky–he’s from New Albany, Indiana, the sunny side of Louisville.

  36. Tampa Satchel
    10:17 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I am a hard core bourbon drinker, but if I am offered a free Jim Beam, I will first ask the age. If they say 4 year, then I politely decline and if they say 7 year then I consider my financial situation and if I happen to be in dire straits, then I would accept with a significant pour of water. Jim Beam sucks donkey balls!

  37. john
    10:28 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Anybody else shocked by what UT is doing…we keep moving up and they miraculously are one step ahead each time. Audit!

  38. Tampa Satchel
    10:38 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    @10- ESPN has us ranked #12.

  39. alan
    11:33 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    This is awesome but well surely drop out of the top ten when the 5 stars start committing. But hey! Maybe we might get a few.

  40. YSR2KSR
    2:41 pm June 14, 2013 Permalink

    props to big O.

  41. Tampa Satchel
    3:13 pm June 14, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not worried about what other teams do as much as what our staff does. They have come in and turned this ship around faster than I could have imagined even in my wildest dreams. No matter what happens moving forward I know that they are capable bringing us to respectability, so even if we only win 2-3 games this year, I am confident they can keep selling the dream and the long term vision will come to fruition.

    Stoops & Co finally have the casual fan believing and with the power (and hunger) of BBN adding additional revenue to the coffers, then this will happen. I have been all over the web and we are the talk of the town. It’s really interesting to hear a modicum of respect being thrown our way from other teams’ fans.