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Ryan Lochte’s Monday News and Views

Lochte

The Olympics are well under way and if you are like me, you spent a good part of your weekend watching events that you never would have imagined you cared about. There have been a number of storylines over the weekend, ranging from the delayed television coverage, to Team USA’s basketball start to the British slightly stumbling out of the gate. But it is clear that the most compelling figure of the first two days of the Olympics is Ryan Lochte. If you saw the profile of Lochte on NBC (oddly enough, done by John McEnroe), you know that he prides himself in training harder than anyone and utilizing a crazy workout routine. He lifts 675 pounds tires, massive chain links and throws kegs in the air like this is the World’s Strongest Man Contest. And at the Olympics, he has utilized those skills to have both the best, and the worst, performances thus far. His takedown of Michael Phelps in the 400 IM was the biggest moment of the Olympics so far, giving him his “climb the mountaintop” moment that he couldn’t get in Beijing. But then he also had a dreadful Sunday, losing the lead for the US in the 4×100 meter medley to, of all people, a Frenchman. It was a shocking and disappointing choke job and one that led to a loss in the event that produced the best finish of the 2008 Games. So how does Lochte finish now? Do we see the Ryan Lochte from Saturday night that looked like a worldbeater? Or do we see the Sunday night version that looked like Adam Scott? Either way, he is the most compelling story so far in a Games that besides him has given me little but constant badminton.

To the news:

TICKET SALE RAMIFICATIONS: The biggest, and most important, story for UK Athletics of the past week was the announcement of the 27% reduction in season ticket sales this year. The amount of non-renewals for UK football is absolutely staggering and no matter what anyone tells you, represents a huge hit to the program. UK football is the driving economic force for all UK sports and if the situation does not turn around, it cannot help but have an impact on the UK Athletic situation as a whole. Some of the hit has been remedied by the 3 and 4 game plans (which I am told have been very successful) and the likelihood that many will buy tickets on the day of games. But the reality is that the feeling we were all getting during the offseason, mainly that a huge negative cloud sits around UK football for most of the fanbase, was confirmed by the news on Thursday. It cannot just be said that a few disgruntled media personalities or websites are producing negativity that is obscuring most fans’ opinions. Rather it is clear now that this talk is simply a reflection of a fanbase that while not lost, is slipping quickly.

JOKER FIGHTS BACK So what can be done about that? Well as we said on Friday’s radio show, Joker Phillips has to try to affirmatively win over the fans. And by all indications, Joker has set out to mount a PR campaign to win back the UK faithful. It started on Friday with an impassioned plea to those attending the UK football luncheon that the fans have to get behind this team to help move it forward. Joker made the very real (and correct) point that the fanbase is the primary selling point for UK football. If they lose them, there is little to pitch to incoming recruits or even, future coaches. He then took to Twitter with his account that was growing cobwebs this summer and live tweeted the UK Women’s Clinic and the Players’ Cornhole Tournament, both events designed to try to give the team personality and make the players part of what drives the fans to the game. This weekend has been a very good start at saving what I think has otherwise been a pretty terrible summer for Joker Phillips. As I said on Friday, there has to be a realization that he has lost a lot of fans and HE, not great spokesmen like Jeremy Jarmon or Andre Woodson, must win them back. At least this weekend we are seeing some good first steps.

UK CHANGES 2013 RECRUITING GEARS: I loved the story that came out late last week about John Calipari not making the trip to Atlantic City to see Andrew Wiggins’ team play an AAU Tournament. Calipari knew that his team had pulled out, while Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (the primary competition for Wiggins) was there by mistake. It just showcased to me once again how on top of everything Calipari is when it comes to recruiting. And as further proof, the news comes that Xavier Rathan-Mayes is now firmly on UK’s radar screen. Rathan-Mayes was the revelation of the Peach Jam for me as I watched him outshoot Duke commitment Matt Jones (who not only has a great name but is likely the best shooter in America) in one game and carry his team in another in front of Calipari. After one coach told me, “Xavier would give his right arm to go to Kentucky”, I wondered if Calipari would see what I did and notice the kid’s rising stock. Clearly he did. Now the question is whether Rathan-Mayes gets an offer and how his status affects a player like James Young. I was certain Young would be a Cat, but his performance at the Peach Jam left us a bit unenthused and then right after he mentioned he would wait until the Spring to decide. Is Kentucky now possibly shifting its shooter priorities? We shall see.

JOHN CALIPARI SAYS WE ARE YOUNG: Calipari talked to Andy Katz this weekend about next year’s team and was quick to try and damped expectations going into the season. Unlike last year, when Calipari knew he had a good team and his comments suggested that he wanted the pressure and notoriety, Calipari was quick to say, “we may start three or even four Freshmen…so it is going to be a much slower process.” If last year’s team was a better replica of the 2010 group, this team is a lot like the 2011 collection. I expect struggles at the beginning of the year as the team tries to find their way and adjust to a lineup that has only one returning player who has ever contributed any meaningful minutes. The good news? College basketball sucks next year with the preseason’s two best teams (Indiana and Louisville) both obviously beatable. Six teams from last year (Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse and Michigan State) would enter this season as the #1 team in America. College basketball was up last season and down this year, so this collection of UK talent can compete, even though it isn’t quite the group UK had on the court last year.

anthony davis

ANTHONY DAVIS IN LONDON: Finally, I am not sure about you, but I love watching Anthony Davis not only play, but grow up in London right now. It is almost like a proud parent, or big brother from afar situation, as we see someone that less than a year ago was just a graduated high school player in Chicago, now playing on the world stage. Every time I hear an announcer talk about his future, watch his teammates give him love or see him hug the First Lady, I am happy that he is a part of Big Blue Nation. Two stories from today certified that feeling. The first was Doug Collins, announcing the game and noting that Davis had the respect of his teammates, as he said they believe he was “one of the guys.” The second was Kobe Bryant’s quote that he is talking Davis under his wings and wants to teach him everything he knows. Collins said Davis came in, shut his mouth and tried to learn and as such, he is having the experience of a lifetime. Watching him from afar makes me proud, as I know he is a good kid who is doing well. He is one of us, and his success feels like even more Big Blue Nation success too.

Our last day in studio in Louisville for radio over the next three weeks is tomorrow. We get started at 10 am, so tune in and check us out….until then, the tour stops:

Tues, July 31: Glasgow Glasgow Country Club

Wed Aug 1: Morgantown Farm Boy Restaurant

Thur Aug 2: Bowling Green Old Stone Golf Course

Fri Aug 3: UK MEDIA DAY

Mon Aug 6: Columbia Burger King

Tues Aug 7: Morganfield Verlie’s Restaurant

Wed Aug 8: Madisonville Hudson Toyota Chrysler

Thur Aug 9: Monticello Conley Bottom Resort

Fri Aug 10: Jamestown Jamestown TV Station

Mon Aug 13: Paintsville TBA

Tues Aug 14:Somerset Gatti’s Pizza

Wed Aug 15: Lexington TBA

Thur Aug 16:Middlesboro Cracker Barrel

Fri Aug 17: West Liberty

Article written by Matt Jones

39 Comments for Ryan Lochte’s Monday News and Views



  1. SomeoneWhoActuallyKnowsWhatTheyreTalkingAbout
    11:28 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Lochte didn’t “choke.” He was in an event that is not his specialty, had swam the 200 free twice today (a very tiring event), and shouldn’t have been last in that relay. Poor coaching job, but he didn’t choke.



  2. Durrrr
    11:38 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Enough with the winning over the fans and winning over the women BS. This is not an election. Of course, like everyone one the planet, I think Joker is just the best guy. You want to win more ticket sales, win more fans, win more children and more men, you need to win on the field. That’s what makes fans and money happen.

    Please less worrying with the fans Joker and just win. You have a season to do it. I don’t think you can and don’t think you should be the head coach but if you win I’ll change my mind.



  3. Jerry Lovett
    11:45 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Why don’t you ever come to Western KY? We are KSR fans and Cat fans.Western KY doesn’t stop at Madisonville.



  4. JBR
    11:57 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be cool if we had an SEC football program at UK? Oh, wait…



  5. jhat_trey1
    12:07 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    what station does madisonville play the morning show???



  6. carrico
    12:08 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    any chance the Lexington TBA will become “Romany Rd Kroger”?



  7. cracka
    12:33 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    kroger? wth? how about hooters or bws or show-mes or campus pub … i mean, kroger?



  8. Jack Nicholson
    12:53 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Michelle Obama looks like my character in Batman. “Wait till they get a load of me.”

    That’s a scary woman…..



  9. John Denkins
    1:08 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Columbia Burger King, home of the Whopper!!!



  10. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    1:12 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    columbia burger king hahahahahahahahahahahahaha



  11. duh
    1:14 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    If Joker wants to win the fans back, he should resign and then we can find a coach who can actually win at UK. His style will never work in the SEC. We do not have the caliber of talent necessary to win playing a traditional SEC style. It would be like if Ole Miss decided to come out and try to run with our basketball team…not going to work. He doesn’t see this…I didn’t like his conservative play calling as the offensive coordinator…it would be 3rd and 8 and he would call a 2 yd pass into coverage…or try to run it up the middle….never going to work. I like Joker, I think he is a great guy but he is not cut out to be the head coach…just my opinion.



  12. soggyUKgrad
    2:11 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Choke job?!? Lochte swam a 47.74 in an event that he doesn’t swim! he didn’t even swim the 100 Free at the Trials. Definitely not a choke job. Grevers should’ve been on the relay in front of Lochte. He swam a 47.54 in prelims. After Lochte’s two 200 swims today, he shouldn’t have been in the relay. Choke job by the coaches. You should try learning about swimming before calling a sub-48 second 100 Free a choke job.



  13. BPsycho
    2:35 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    #10 Lol

    I know whenever I’m in Adair county I make sure to stop at the ole Breast & Butts Barbeque. Typing that into Google maps, street view results in epic laughter btw.



  14. UKBlue
    3:10 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    There are a lot of people to blame, but mostly UK when it comes to football. Fans have every right to be pissed about football & yes the only way to send a message is to not renew their season tickets, but in doing so every other program at UK gets impacted. UK administration staff has dropped the ball so much, they look like UK wide receivers last year. UK PR should have been all over that Herald Leader article before it ever came out. UK staff when it comes to football are the gang that can’t shoot straight. With as close as we are to football starting, what the hell is Mitch doing climbing a mountain?

    It’s nice that Joker is now trying, but it’s a little too late. Once you lose the majority of the fan base the damage is done even if we now goes to a bowl. Joker has no enthusiasm, and God has it shown.

    I would give them crap about the Burger King in Columbia, but if you have ever been to or driven thru Columbia; lets just say there is nothing in Columbia.



  15. AminuTimberlake
    4:06 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    i have to agree with #3. mr. jones, will it take another possible photo-op with dick vitale for you and your compadres to venture past madisonville? columbia but not paducah? we’ll make sure to let you know the next time dicky v. comes to murray, so your eminent coolness will feel justified in once again gracing us with your presence.



  16. Hicks
    4:28 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    If we let Young go then Wiggins must be reclassifying. Put Randle or Gordon with them and that’s the greatest class ever. Harrison Twins, Wiggins, Randle/Gordon, Rathan-mayes and Willis. Add in Wiltjer, Cauley and Hood and you’ve got a National Campionship team.



  17. kyrgaines
    6:50 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Our football facilities are basically last in the conference, that is a constant reminder to me at least, that the program is NOT willing to make the sacrifice it needs to compete in football!



  18. playersfan
    7:09 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Obviously its the fans fault that we can’t win at football, or maybe its the facilities, or maybe its the money, MAYBE ITS THE COACH STILL MAKING EXCUSES YEAR AFTER YEAR.



  19. Matt Jones is probably racist
    7:33 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Imagine that… Matt Jones writing a culturally insensitive comment about French people. What? You hate them too Matt. You think frogs are pussies? I mean… what an idiot. He writes as if he is a neutral and a somewhat intellectual individual, and then boom, you read stuff like that. Go ahead and justify it somehow Matt…. but if you write “of all people, a Frenchman”, you probably have secret Hitler thoughts in your head towards other cultures, races and religions.



  20. 3 fan
    7:40 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    19, you are an idiot. MJ was making a joke and anyone with an IQ over 60 saw that. If you don’t like this site, then just go away. I think KSR is ok with you leaving

  21. I can not help but remember that Mitch, right after the best UK football fans have felt in a long time, following the UT win, decided to write some “letter to the fans”. That was more like a F.U. to the fans.



  22. Matt Jones is probably racist
    8:07 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    20. Extreme sarcasm buddy. Gonzo journalist sarcasm at that. He probably is not racist… I’m pretty sure he has friends that aren’t white.



  23. JP123
    8:39 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Joker needs to stop whining. The fans have supported the football program for years. Through lots of terrible teams. The fans are voicing their displeasure by not buying tickets. If UK was putting a better product on the field fans would be buying tickets. So, Joker, put a better product on the field. Stop complaining about the fans. UK football fans are some of the most loyal people in the world, but even they have limits. Everyone can see the program is struggling and something has to change. UK fans just want positive change and don’t care where it comes from. It could be Joker or it could be a new coach. Not buying tickets is a request for positive change. If UK goes 6-6, 7-5, 8-4 with an occasional 5-7 that would be a win for the program. Just shoot for a little better than avg in the SEC and all will be good.



  24. Rockfield, KY
    8:47 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I saw Joker in Bowling Green for a couple days, and all he did was get drunk, play golf, and hit on 20-somethings everywhere he went. He was honestly embarassing. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t see a Saban or Miles doing something like that. More like a Gillispie. It’s not the players fault, but Joker seems to enjoy the spoils more than most coaches we’ve had.



  25. Jax Teller
    8:49 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll see your cup UK and raise you a block K from my vacation this year. https://twitter.com/jaxteller_KY/status/227538721816322048



  26. Jax Teller
    8:54 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Something about KSR doing a radio show from Burger King is too fitting. Most ridiculous manner possible. I just hope its a BK with a playground attached.



  27. Chris Dooley
    8:56 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Michelle Obama is so tall, she has to bend down to hug Anthony Davis.



  28. WINS
    9:07 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    i am the only thing that will bolster the fanbase



  29. Yabba Do
    9:08 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Wash, rinse and repeat, that’s all we’ll be doing by hiring our next coach. Until this school is forced by the fans to pump money into the program, all we’ll be doing is setting our next coach up for failure, just like all the ones who came before. It’s time to demand that we be be placed on par with the rest of the conference.



  30. UKIT
    9:11 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, Joker, if you want to win back the fans… QUIT. That simple act will win back fans faster than anything. I would bet ticket sales would sky rocket upon the news of your exit. People would buy tickets before even knowing the new coach’s name. Do you really love UK as much as you let on?

    Beating a down (historically bad season) ut team does NOT make a career.



  31. Ozzy
    9:19 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Only wish Lochte would choke on that grill he is wearing. No grown man should humiliate himself so. This is the Olympics, you trained like no other, and then show up on the podium wearing that?



  32. Pharmboy
    9:28 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    23-“If UK goes 6-6, 7-5, 8-4 with an occasional 5-7 that would be a win for the program.” That is exactly what they have done over the last 6 years, is it not?



  33. Sensitive Today?
    10:01 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    19/22 please go get yourself a box of tissues and dry it up. Your crying is laughable. Since when has Matt ever claimed to be “neutral” on this site? It doesn’t matter what sport they talk about on here, no one is or has claimed to be neutral.



  34. JohnnyRed
    10:11 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Where is Anthony Davis’ left hand? Is “The Brow” grabbing some First Lady Booty?



  35. Head Bussa
    10:13 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    I’m a Phelps fan and not a Lochte fan. Lochte did choke in that leg of the race. He was given the lead he needed and flat-out didn’t get it done.



  36. jp123
    11:08 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    32 – Kind of but not really. Joker has produced a 6-6 and a 5-7 and now we are staring down the barrel at another 5-7 or even a 4-8 season and at the bottom of the SEC. Brooks got lucky with some players others didn’t regard that highly and they became a strong team. UK is the type of program that needs to capitalize on those opportunities. Now we are going backwards and everyone knows it, including the fans, and that is why the ticket renewal rates are down. Do you really think Kentucky has a chance against middle tier SEC teams? There is nothing about this program right now that tells me we have any chance to put up a 7-5 season. Just wait until you see how boring the offense is in the Louisville game and then reconsider.



  37. John Ellis
    12:11 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    The only thing scary about Michelle Obama is how remarkable she is, intelligent, athletic, and her program against childhood obesity is badly needed, particularly in Kentucky. Anthony seems to agree given his smile. Anyone hating on liberals is hating most if not all of the Kentucky team and the staff. Let’s try to be a nation, whoever you vote for.



  38. Truth
    1:01 pm July 30, 2012 Permalink

    The most pathetic thing Joker and Matt Jones said in this article is that the UK Fan Base is the main selling point to Football recruits….. That is the most pathetic statement i have ever heard. Hey Kid we want you to come to UK but lets not talk about you getting to the NFL and realizing your dream our winning a National title or competing for an SEC title or going to Bowl games year in and year out because we can’t do any of those things for you but we have a great fan base?! Can you imagine any successful D1 college football coach looking at 4 and 5 star recruits and their MAIN selling point being a great fan base? God we are truly lost..



  39. Tryinfor9
    12:08 pm July 31, 2012 Permalink

    Definitely coming out to see KSR at Burger King!