I try not to go through life with regrets, so when I found out that I made it through National Chicken Wing Day without having any chicken wings, I was pretty pissed. Wings, specifically buffalo, are one of my favorite foods any time of the year, but with football one month away, the thought of them literally makes my mouth water. Take a minute and imagine your ideal Saturday or Sunday of football watching. Whether it be at a tailgate, at a bar with your friends, or at home with your feet propped up, odds are there’s a chicken wing in the picture somewhere. Buffalo, BBQ, Teriyaki, Thai, hot, or just plain mild, wings are just delicious. Do you prefer yours with ranch or bleu cheese? Carrot sticks or celery? Talk it out in the comments section.
National Chicken Wing Day was officially celebrated on Monday, but nothing’s stopping you from honoring football’s favorite food on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or any day, any day at all.
Now that I’ve wiped all the drool off my keyboard, let’s get down to the news and views:
— Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and the rest of the UK coaching staff lost their first big recruit of the 2014 class on Monday night, when 3-star OT Brady Taylor committed to Virginia Tech over Kentucky. His decision was a big surprise to everyone, specifically the 2014 commitments, who thought Taylor was a lock after a promising visit last week. Taylor was very close with the commits and the coaching staff, and this is considered their first big miss. However, the shock and disappointment of losing Taylor just goes to show how much things have changed in UK football since Stoops took over. I can’t remember the last time I was surprised UK lost a football recruit.
Drew Barker did his best to cheer up the BBN Monday night:
Trust me #BBN we will be perfectly fine!!! We have some BIG TIME OL we are in on. Just fasten your seatbelt because its about to get crazy ðŸ˜
— -Drew Barker- (@D_Barker7) July 30, 2013
— Don’t put those dice away just yet. UK’s next Yahtzee may come from four-star offensive tackle Nick Richardson, who is expected to announce his decision by Wednesday. Richardson is considered the 19th best OT in the class by Rivals, and also hails from Ohio. His final two are Vandy and Kentucky, and many feel he’s a heavy UK lean. Come on down and roll the dice, big fella.
— On the basketball side of things, some familiar faces are in town this week for Coach Cal’s Pro Camps. On Monday, it was Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Twany Beckham and Julius Mays’ turn to help out the campers. The four held a press conference to talk about what they’ve been up to after last season and their thoughts on the current Cats. Here are the Cliff’s Notes (for you youngins, that was our version of Wikipedia for book reports back in the day):
Nerlens Noel: Nerlens says his knee is doing well and he’s still ahead of schedule in his rehab. His advice for the new team?
“I’d definitely say coming in the gym every day and having that mentality, be prepared and just listen to Coach Cal. He has everybody’s best interest. And establishing team chemistry early on in the year and make sure a leader steps up, because a young team like that, they’re especially going to need a leader that’s always going to keep them like a rock-solid team and always keep those guys composed.”
Archie Goodwin: Archie said that his impressive summer league performance has the Suns telling him he’ll “play right away,” and that he was one of the best players in the draft. He’s got a condo in Phoenix now, where he says he’s been “in the gym, working, talking to coaches, and just trying to get better.” And making Vine videos. What advice does he give the new team?
“My biggest advice would be to listen to what Coach Cal says and not how he says it. I feel like last year we had a couple guys that, when he said things, the way he said it really put guys down because they’re not used to the way he coaches. It’s kind of hard to get used to that coming from high school where you’re able to do whatever you want. But if they just listen to what he says instead of how he says it, they’ll be just fine.”
Julius Mays: Uncle Julius is about to sign a deal with an overseas team, country TBD. Mays says that he was surprised that Kyle Wiltjer decided to transfer instead of redshirting the year at UK to work on his body. What were his words of wisdom for the new Cats?
“From what I’ve seen, they’ve got all the talent in the world. Like I told them: If they can all check their egos at the door and — I know once Coach Cal gets his hands on all of them and gets them playing together like a team — they’re going to be real dangerous.”
Twany Beckham: Beckham says his back is doing a lot better and that he’s in the gym again. His book, Full Court Press comes out soon.
According to Twitter, Darius Miller arrived in town on Monday, with Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist soon to follow. Oh, to be a fly on that Joe Craft Center wall…
— Because national championship coach, author, motivational speaker AND Orange Leaf spokesperson wasn’t enough, John Calipari added another line to his resume on Monday: clothing designer. No, really. Cal unveiled his “Refuse to Lose Signature Series” clothing line, which will be available at area Wal-Marts, Krogers, Rupp Arena, UK Bookstore, and Kennedy Bookstore. Versions of the line have apparently been available at area stores for months. Thankfully, there are no floral or hideous geometric Hawaiian shirts in sight.
— If you missed it earlier, the SEC schedule got a little bit easier on Monday with the news that Vandy stars Kedren Johnson and Kevin Bright are off the team. Kevin Stallings was last spotted in Paradise Park (honky tonk) drowning his sorrow in cheap beer and tater tots.
— In news from down the road, it looks like troubled running back Michael Dyer may have found a home in Louisville. The former Auburn star visited UofL’s campus last week, and according to the Courier-Journal’s Jonathan Linter, has been added to the UofL registrar. Dyer was dismissed from Auburn after two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and later dismissed from Arkansas State due to off-the-field issues. Naturally, Louisville is the perfect destination. He sat out last year and will be available to play this season.
— Enough of that. In fact, I just used it as a segue for this awesome call Tony Vanetti received on Monday while he was guest hosting the radio show. #TeamJoanne
— Hopefully JoAnne likes Mike Pratt, because he’s hosting Tuesday’s show, along with Shannon the Dude. Here’s the lineup for the rest of the week:
Tuesday: Mike Pratt and Shannon the Dude
Wednesday: Jennifer Palumbo and Jeremy Jarmon
Thursday: Matthew Mitchell
Friday: WKYT’s Brian Milam and Dusty Bonner
— I’ll leave you with an update on our Alaskan adventurers. After serenading their fellow cruise ship passengers with “Margaritaville” and “YMCA,” Matt, Drew and Ryan zip-lined across the mountains in Ketchikan, Alaska:
I’d say “what happens on the boat, stays on the boat,” but knowing Drew Franklin’s Instagram habit, that’s a total farce.
See you in the morning.