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The London Olympics’ Friday News and Views

(I’m not going to say that you HAVE to listen to this song the whole time you read this post, but I am going to strongly encourage it…)

Some of my fondest non-UK basketball related sports viewing memories come from past Olympic games. I still remember the sight of Kerri Strug being carried off the mat after a perfect dismount on a hobbled ankle by her coach. I still remember the fall that kept Michelle Kwan from winning Olympic gold. Twice. I still remember Michael Phelps flexing harder for his team’s relay win than he flexed for any individual success. Or Rulon Gardner’s upset over Alexandre Kareline (previously undefeated for 13 years) of Russia in Sydney in 2000. The mere sound of the Olympic song that will surely begin a constant rotation on NBC over the course of the next few weeks, can literally cause chills. All summer long I have been counting down the days leading up to the start of the 2012 London Olympics. Tomorrow evening, the countdown officially ends and the greatest international sporting event begins. Heroes will be born. Unknown athletes will become household names. Story upon story of journeys untold, paths that led astray only to find their way back on track, comebacks that are almost too improbable to believe, upbringings from far away lands and cultures, and dreams 4 years a lifetime in the making will flood our television sets. The steady thump of the collective heartbeat  of the United States will be heard in unison, backing our athletes and teams sporting the red, white and blue– putting aside differences for moments in time as we root for those who have worked tirelessly to represent us. It all sounds a little cheesy, a little too-good-to-be-true, a little too much fluff and not enough reality, a little too simple in nature. But that’s exactly what the Olympics represent in a lot of ways. In a world filled with complication, the Olympics allow different athletes from countries across the world to come together in one culminating event to simply compete against one another. “May the best man/woman/team win.”

In an American sporting world where it’s often “your team pinned against the other guy’s team”, with rivalries (some healthy, some unhealthy) dominating the competition– raising tempers and sometimes even hatred… it’s nice to know that on one thing we can almost all agree. Yes, all of us…across the country. For a few weeks we can all get behind one team. We don’t have to choose sides. We don’t have to talk smack with each other. We can walk into the office the next day and say, “Hey did you see that _(insert Olympic competition/sporting event_)  last night?” And we can either rejoice together or mourn together. So I hope you can all join me and my DVR in the excitement for the London Olympics, which kick off tomorrow night on NBC at 7:30 p.m. with the opening ceremonies. Keep an eye out for Anthony Davis and uniberet (why does the USA continually go back to this look?)

Not quite enough of an athlete to compete in the Olympics yourself? Allow me to give you the opportunity for a little friendly competition here in the KSR night post. 1 point for each correctly named USA Olympic athlete/coach in the tiny picture icon grouping below. Warning: a few will be no-brainers, while some will be more of a challenge. Good luck and may the best exceptionally small picture viewer/Olympic enthusiast win.



– Another piece of news was dropped about the state of the UK football season ticket sales. Jennifer Smith of the Herald Leader was able to put some numbers with a sentiment most of us had already recognized: season ticket sales are down. “As of Sunday, UK had sold 35,486 season tickets, down 27% from last season’s final tally and down 37% from the Wildcats peak in 2009.” UK spokesman Dewayne Peevy had this to say about the situation:

“It’s a combination of the economy…performance on the field and television package offering another options for fans,” Peevy said, noting that every UK game is on television now where they haven’t been previously, meaning some prefer to watch the games from the comfort of their own living room. “Last year’s season, not going to a bowl game, probably had some impact. But I’d say it’s not attributed only to that.”

3-4 game mini package, anyone?

The Governor’s Cup Luncheon this afternoon provided more than just a photo op with the trophy that both Louisville and Kentucky fans will covet for the next month and a half. A few interesting quotes from both Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong emerged, even though Twitter broke down for a spell this afternoon– giving Mark Zuckerberg and Tom from MySpace a fleeting moment of glory.

From Phillips:

We have got to have explosion plays. When you see good offenses, they usually have explosion plays.”

(On being the underdog vs. UL) “I have been at Kentucky 30 years. We have always been an underdog.”

(On trash talk) “We don’t get into that. I respect this game of football. I respect this rivalry.”

In related news, Charlie Strong mentioned how he thinks social media will be the downfall of society. So to answer everyone’s questions…yes, he clearly has been reading his player’s tweets.

– Have we ever mentioned on here that Eamonn Brennan loves lists? Well, in case you somehow couldn’t tell by now… Eamonn Brennan loves lists and Kentucky and Indiana will not be playing each other in regular season for men’s basketball next season. ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan put out a few lists of interest involving the SEC today. Kentucky had a strong presence on each of these lists. First, Brennan compiled a list of “Five Freshmen To Watch in the SEC.” Kentucky had 3 representatives on that list:

– Brennan’s list-making didn’t stop there. Brennan also formed a list of the “Best and Worst Case Scenarios” for each of the team’s in the SEC next season. To read the entire list, which is impressive if for no other reason than the fact that Brennan came up with “best case scenarios” for teams like Auburn…click here. Here’s what he had to say about Kentucky:

And finally, Brennan listed the most important players to each team in the SEC. In a world that loves to talk about how important Nerlens Noel will be to next year’s team, Brennan took a different route. He feels as if Kentucky’s most important player next year will be…

– I think Tyler Thompson said it best in her Tweet Beat tonight: Anthony Davis’ life does not suck. He is already rubbing elbows with some of the world’s best athletes…

– A relatively new name came into play with Calipari’s potential 2013 recruiting haul today. Xavier (no word on if it’s pronounced Zah-Vee-Ay…remember that guy?) Rathan-Mayes is a teammate of the next big thing in college basketball– Andrew Wiggins. The two play together for Canada’s CIA Bounce and have been talking about the possibility of being a package deal for schools who show interest in both of them. The two players have apparently been talking about it since they were children. Calipari must have been impressed with what he saw from Rathan-Mayes at the Peach Jam, because the interest level has intensified over the past few days. Sidenote: Remember that Rathan-Mayes being a 2013 recruit would mean that Wiggins would have to reclassify in order to join him as a package deal.

– The 2013 recruiting picture continues to expand as a center from the class, Kennedy Meeks, spoke out about the possibility of a UK offer in the future. Meeks told Rivals that if Kentucky offers, “they’d be one of the tops (on his list) because it’s Kentucky.” Meeks is a 4-star center, ranked as the third best player in the class for his position by

– If college basketball were to create a “Dream Team” to compete in the Olympic games, John Calipari as the coach would be a no-brainer, right? Right. Unless your name is Rob Dauster. Dauster and Raphielle Johnson (fancy spelling of Ralph), two NBC Sports writers, put their heads together to create a team of current college players to round out their dream team. They also named a coach. Rick Pitino. Wait, what? The bright spot on the list? Nerlens Noel was their selection to be the starting center. That sounds about right.

– For reasons that I can’t quite comprehend, no one really seems to want to say much about the UNC academic scandal. Or at least they aren’t saying as much as they do about other similar stories. Finally it appears as if someone, Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead, has taken a closer look into the timeline and some of the details of the scandal and how it might be connected to the basketball program. 

A HUGE congratulations to former KSR College writer, and current KSR writer John Wilmhoff. Wilmhoff has made the climb to the big leagues at ESPN. He will be working on the College Football mobile application. We are all happy to see one of our own get such an incredible opportunity. Best of luck to John. “This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”

And finally…a special shout out to Chad, Keisha, Carli and Kade Arnold. I met an avid KSR reader at a wedding last Saturday and he assured me that you all were some of the best fans Big Blue Nation has to offer. I’m throwing my 3 goggles to all 4 of you.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

34 Comments for The London Olympics’ Friday News and Views

  1. duh
    11:05 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, I see you mention that the Herald Leader reports tickets sales are down 27%…did you forget that you already posted that story a few hours ago?

  2. Ally Tucker
    11:09 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    We try to recap the main news of the day. Sorry if it bothered you reading it twice.

  3. Seriously?
    11:10 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    You new to this site 1? News and views often contain recaps of the later news from the “prior” day. This is tomorrow morning’s post, you know.

  4. Pearl Bruce
    11:10 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Alex Morgan, Anthony Davis, Lolo Jones, Ryan Lochte, Marta Karolyi, Clark Burkcle, Leshawn Merritt, Missy Franklin

  5. Harold
    11:10 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Sooooo, moving the cursor over most of those pictures gives the name of the person in the picture.

  6. Seriously?
    11:11 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ah you beat my to it 2. I hate this phone.

  7. Hartline
    11:12 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Number 1 you suck. Ally you rock.

    ESPNs SEC bball power rankings rank Mizzou over Kentucky. I believe it was compiled by Gottlieb not sure though.

    What are your alls thoughts

  8. Harold
    11:12 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    All of them, actually. Not to blow up your spot or anything, 4. That was really impressive!

  9. truBLU
    11:13 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Does anybody else wish that Meeks kid in 2013 was a 6’4 SG with unbelievable range? :/

  10. cracka
    11:16 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    your link doesn’t work, basketball should have an s, possessive –

  11. SexnNursinHomes
    11:19 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    1- I bet you remind your granny she has cancer 24 hours a day.

  12. tyson
    11:27 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    thank you to everyone who did not renew their season tickets. hopefully that will send a message to Mitch. and for those that yell about them being “fair weather fans”, did you purchase New Coke when they changed the recipe? did you continue to watch Bewitched when they changed Darrins? did you buy Matrix Revolutions on DVD even though it was terrible? when a product is terrible you don’t support it anymore. UK football was terrible last year and will probably be worse this year. i hope i am wrong, but i don’t think i will be.

  13. duh
    11:30 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Just seems like anymore KSR just re-writes the same stories over and over. Read all posts from today and see if you don’t notice several stories repeated over and over and over…it’s not like they are even major earth shattering stories that would warrant repeating. And no SexnNursinHomes I don’t “remind my granny she has cancer 24 hours a day” because she is dead you jacka$$.

  14. duh
    11:32 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, I did not mean this as a personal attack on you because I generally do like your posts but you have to admit that when you look over the site that there is a whole lot of repeating going on.

  15. James
    11:33 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Clark Burckle was my 8th grade buddy, needless to say i was the biggest factor in his olympic training

  16. Joe
    11:36 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Go Cats…also go check out the 24 day challenge…lose over ten pounds in 24 days. Or try the Spark Energy Drink.

  17. Ally Tucker
    11:40 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Not offended in the least.

  18. duh
    11:42 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, I am glad you weren’t offended

  19. BPsycho
    11:52 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Excellent post really. If you missed a few post’ the past day or so this brings you up to date.

    #11 Lmao ” Wake up u ole ***** you’re about to die u know “

  20. BPsycho
    12:04 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #5 Yeah I was kinda disappointed it didn’t have wrong names listed there. Could of laughed at the schmuck who posted them.

  21. VinDatuk
    12:10 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    RIP Neil Reed. You had the brassest of brass ones when it wasn’t popular. You ended the reign of a tyrant.

  22. Marvin
    1:48 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Wohl lolo. Bow to the Brow!!!!

  23. SamKat
    3:36 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Great opening post, Ally!

    Matt Jones has done an incredible job of gathering the best writers for this informative UK site!

    Congratulations KSR!

  24. WestWorld
    5:35 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post Ally. I especially enjoyed the Olympic theme song.

  25. BPsycho
    5:48 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    “This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yolo.”

    There, I fixed it.

  26. SexnNursinHomes
    6:13 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    13- mine’s gone too. Tough I know. One of my fondest memories is when I often reminded my granny that she had COPD and senility.

    19- haha BP!!

  27. DT in DC
    6:19 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Just saw on the news that Neil Reed, the player Bobby Knight choked, died. Sad news given he was only 36 years old.

  28. bosshogg24
    8:03 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Xavier Rathan Mayes is not really a New Name, he was here for Big Blue Madness last year with Wiggins and has been here several times to vist!

  29. Azubuike's Bicep
    8:28 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    13- I’m pretty sure that’s purpose of the “News and Views.” To recap everything that has happened in the day. It’s a quick read for anyone who may have missed the previous posts of the day.

  30. adkfljas
    8:38 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    The only problem with the Olympics is the coverage. It’s all meaningless “human interest” drivel. This is sports, so who gives a damn about their personal lives? They cease to exist when the leave the court or field. It’s like they hired “Oprah” as the producer or something. They could squeeze twice as much competition into the allotted time if they kept proper focus on the sports.

  31. CatGrad7072
    8:44 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    So, Joker has been at Kentucky 30 years? You’d think all that experience plus HCIW would have made the last two seasons better. He must be a slow learner.

  32. Will S
    10:10 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

  33. Beavis
    1:49 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Dang,,,,,Lo Lo looks damn good,,,,,and she can run like the wind. Whats not to like??????

  34. Butthead
    5:06 pm July 27, 2012 Permalink

    uuuuh…huh…huh. You got that right Beavis!