Today we reflect on one of the true heroes of modern America….a person who represented a time in our culture’s history when things were simpler and individuals were judged not on superficial qualities, but on the content of their character. I am of course talking about the great Steve Urkel. Urkel, played so well by Jaleel White, was on the hit show “Family Matters” and did something that other wacky neighbors like Skippy and Boner were never able to do…..steal the show. Family Matters was originally designed as a spinoff of “Perfect Strangers” (“Cousin Larreee….Dont be ridiculous!”) and was meant to show a modern working class African-American family in the city. But quickly, the show went from its relatively boring roots to its Urkel heights. Blessed with absurdly large glasses and suspenders that will never end, Urkel took over the hearts of America with his famous line “Did I do that?” and a laugh that made me want to punch him in the face. While I thought White showed his real acting chops when playing Urkel’s suave cohort “Stephon”, I quickly soured on Urkel, in part because his one-trick pony got tiresome in its seventh season. But there is no doubt that Urkel resonates and is a part of TGIF that will live forever. Today is his 30th birthday which makes us reflect on the fact that he looks like the picture below now. Maybe he should go back to the suspenders and glasses….
To the news………
(1) Lots of news today both good and bad. Worst of all is the news that comes from Billy Clyde that the injury to Jodie Meeks may be worse than many imagined. According to the coach, Meeks has been able to do nothing since his injury and at this point he is concerned with whether Jodie will be able to return before Derrick Jasper. When you consider that D-Jas has been whispered by some around UK to be out for the year, the news is not at all positive. Coming into the season, one would have never imagined that the two young up and coming players could both be out for the year. And if you did imagine it, you might have thought the Cats were in a great deal of trouble. Both guys are eligible for redshirts, so their eligibility could be retained, but the loss is nonetheless very, very difficult. The hope is that both recover quickly enough to get back by the beginning of SEC play or possibly early February. But if that doesnt happen, the potential for UK going forward takes a big, big hit. In other news, Ramon Harris is practicing now and should return soon.
(2) For some good news, you dont have to go farther than the commitment of Winston Guy to Kentucky and its blossoming football program. The combination of the news that Rich Brooks would be staying and Houston Nutt would be going made the decision easy for the Lexington Catholic star and gives the Wildcats the services of one of the best athletes in the state. This is the kind of player that in the past would often slip away and now they are being kept in state and are excited about the Wildcats’ future. Combine that with the downfall with the Cards and recruiting looks very bright.
(3) What may not be as bright is the future of the UK quarterbacking situation after the rumored departure of QB coach Randy Sanders. Rumors persist that Sanders has been offered the head coaching job at Western Carolina and that he could be announced as coach in the coming weeks. Sanders has been a CRUCIAL component to the UK surge offensively and his work with Andre Woodson is legendary across the nation. Keeping Sanders in his current position is, while not impossible, very unlikely and with Joker Phillips’ status it is unlikely he could move up in the current regime. IF the Western Carolina job falls through, keeping Sanders will still be difficult and the looming QB difficulty for UK becomes more and more ominous.
(4) Kerry Benson has left the team and will no longer be walking on for UK. The former PRP star was an odd walk-on for a number of reasons, but combined the toughness and attitude of former walk-ons like Ravi Moss and was attractive to Coach Tubby Smith for that reason. The regime of Billy Clyde produced a different type of system, which ultimately led to Benson deciding he no longer wanted to be part of the team. What is odd about this decision is that Benson was on the path to actually getting playing time, especially with the Jasper and Meeks injuries. With Crawford and Bradley being backed up by Porter and Legion, a spot is open for a 5th guard and many assumed that would be Legion. IT now looks like we might see if Dwight Perry has earned the name now on the back of his jersey.
(5) Stony Brook is Tuesday night and should be a relatively easy victory. The Sea Wolves are returning from a 9 win season and a four win season before that, thus making the game not too large a threat in theory. But we still dont know what to expect of this team and whether the Gardner-Webb game is a fluke, an example of a system failure or symptomatic of something larger. Still after the Texas Southern game, one has to be confident that the Cats will take the game Tuesday night relatively easily. The true test is Saturday against UNC, a definite measuring stick for where the Cats are at this point in the season. We will have a full Stony Brook preview later today.
The Top 25 high school senior list is coming this afternoon, along with a preview of the game and other nonsense. Until later……..