This week saw the death of the creator of the food that launched a thousand late night munchie trips, Glenn Bell, the creator of the Taco Bell food chain. We take Taco Bell for granted in this country now. Wherever you live, you are likely only a few miles from a Chalupa and an absurdly large soda. But it hasnt always been that way. I still remember the day in 1995 when I was in high school and the first Taco Bell opened up in neighboring Pineville, Kentucky and the after school dash to the cars to get there on Opening Day produced a greater traffic jam than Rick Pitino’s race to the bank to find $5,000. In fact, while we now think of Taco Bell as ubiquitous, until its arrival in the fast food market in the 60s and 70s, outside of the border states, most of America had never even been exposed to Mexican food, and Taco Bell helped spread the love of a cuisine that has now led to “La Esperanza” like restaurants in every small town in America. Bell died with over 6,000 Taco Bell franchises, and yet somehow none of them have ever made a Mexican Pizza that has not disgusted me on sight.
To the news:
(1): The Word of the day is NBA DRAFT, as all the talk from the various scribes (who got the rare one-on-one interviews today….I unfortunately was in Middlesboro and was denied my request to interview Dusty Mills anyway) was about the NBA Draft prospects of UK players. Patrick Patterson told Brett Dawson that it was “possible” he could return next year, although he then followed it up by saying it was also “possible” he could play violin for Jason Mraz, be interested in the Winter Olympics or quit basketball to go work for Sarah Palin…so I would take it all with a grain of salt. Still yet, the possibility of a Patterson return is certainly enticing for UK fans and could put some heat on a lot of UK all-time records. I for one however find the likelihood very small now and thus will hold off on any premature excitement (or as we like to call it “the Drew Franklin).
(2): The one piece of real potential news in this area concerned this Kentucky Kernel story (see guys, we will link you) in which Eric Bledsoe tells the writer that he is likely to return to Kentucky but if he finds out he is a Top Ten pick, he will probably go to the Draft. This falls on the heels of a tweet by Chad Ford (the ESPN Draft Insider) who says that two GMs told him today that Bledsoe would be a Top 12 pick in the next draft and that UK could have four players in the lottery. While most fans have thought they would lose Patrick, Wall and Boogie, the thought of losing Bledsoe is scary. But I will remind all fans that they should root for what is best for the kid…and if it turns out he is a Top Ten guy, one has to wish him well. Either way, I am happy for Bledsoe…he has been through a lot in his life and I am glad to see him getting his due.
(3): There was a lot of news from the college basketball world as teams with interest from Kentucky fans had bad nights. North Carolina lost their third straight, this time to Wake Forest at home and with seven losses, the idea that they could miss the tournament becomes a real conversation piece now. Duke also went down to NC State, showcasing once again that a team with athletic tough guys will give the Dookies trouble. But most importantly to UK fans, Memphis lost at home to UTEP, thus ensuring that it would not break the record it now holds with UK for most consecutive conference wins at 64. We felt bad for Dan Wolken, because he and the fellow Lord of the Rings characters spent the day in mourning. The bad news for all this? It is becoming tougher for UK to claim a great victory this year as the teams they beat continue to struggle.
(4): The lotteries ended on the Hoops for Haiti telethon, with some crazy prices in the end for the items. The big prize was the dinner with Ashley Judd and Calipari at his house, and the final total was $98,000, an absurd amount if you think about it, but proof that Kentucky fans will do big things for their program. The much more reasonably priced trip to a Cavaliers playoff game on the Lebron private jet went for just over 10 grand and looks like a steal. You however dont get to talk with Ashley about the upcoming hit “Tooth Fairy”, so it may not be quite as big of a night.
(5): Finally, two Tennessee football message boards were alive with the rumor that former Vol Quarterback Tee Martin might be coming to Kentucky to be the QB coach for Joker Phillips. There has been no confirmation of this from anyone at UK, but it would make sense as a possibility. Randy Sanders was Tee’s coach and if he moves up to Offensive Coordinator, there would be an opening for Tee to fill. We will try to learn more about it today. As for “Finally the” Rock “has come back to Lexington” Oliver, we may here official word within the next couple of days on if he will once again make Lexington his home. My source continues to say that he will be the new Football Strength coach and at least one player has said to another KSR spy that the team has been told that as well. We shall see.
(6): Finally, big props to former UK Assistant Tracy Webster. He is the interim coach for Depaul and he led them to their first Big East win since March, 2008 tonight against Marquette. Congrats.
More all day as we move towards our one shot at Arkansas all year….sorry Rotnei Clarke…its coming