The sports schedule is getting a little hectic. The NFL is starting the playoffs. College football is in the bowl season. High school, college, and pro basketball is running strong. Mondays are good days to plan out your week and make sure you don’t miss any of the UK-related action.
–Nothing. Not even Monday Night Football: It is always a bittersweet time when the NFL post season begins and the regular season concludes. You begin to get a slew of kick-ass games with extreme competition and great match-ups, but there are fewer games overall and Monday goes back to being a day that just begins the work/school week. Looking over the NFL teams that did make the playoffs, only two Wildcats are on teams that will continue post-season play: Myron Pryor of the Patriots and Jacob Tamme of the Colts. I’m not one for rooting for New England, but Pryor does get consistent playing time so look for the Man Mountain to make some noise in the Wild Card game against Baltimore (a team every woman is now rooting for simply due to Sandra Bullock and Michael Oher). Kentucky native Tamme got some PT yesterday in the snowstorm game in Buffalo. He caught a pass for 21 yards which was pretty amazing if you saw any part of that game. If the Colts ever unleash a 2 TE set with Tamme and Clark, some serious craziness will ensue. Anyway, the Colts have a bye for the first round, so root on our man Pryor this week.
–NCAA Football – GMAC Bowl – Centeral Michigan vs Troy – ESPN – 7:00: I’m only including this here because I think it is hilarious that the GMAC Bowl shoehorns itself in between the last two BCS games of the season. UK has actually played Central Michigan several times over the past quarter century, four to be exact, with the last one being a closer-than-it-should-be win by the Cats in 2006 (45-36). Additionally, Louisville is tied for first in “Most Appearances” in the GMAC Bowl and sports a stellar 0-2 record.
–Women’s Basketball – Kentucky at Georgia – BBSN – 7:00: Since we last left the UK Hoops team, they suffered their first loss of the season as the hands of Middle Tennessee State University. Losses like that one are a net positive as the Cats ran across a scrappy team that played up to the Wildcats level of competition. As this women’s team continues to improve, they will need to recognize that their competition will mark Kentucky as a quality opponent and bring a higher-than-normal level of energy and focus. This is a good thing. The Cats rebounded nicely and absolutely destroyed the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes a few days later. UK Hoops opens SEC play against a quality Georgia team that is 14-0 and already 1-0 in the SEC after a win over Alabama. The Bulldogs are ranked (9 AP, 8 ESPN as of Sunday) and will be a tough road test for the Wildcats.
–NBA Basketball – Boston at Atlanta – ESPN – 8:00 Watch the best Wildcat in the NBA take on the Hawks. Rondo tweaked a hammy, but should back to full playing strength by Friday. Rajon is leading the team in assists and steals and is the most underrated component of a very good Celtics team. There is a lot for a UK fan to hate about the Hawks with 4 of their starters coming from UK rivals (Joe Johnson/Arkansas, Al Horford/Florida, Mike Bibby/Arizona, Marvin Williams/UNC). I’m hoping Rondo goes off for a triple double on that squad and dunks on Bibby’s stupid face.
–Men’s Basketball – Georgia at Kentucky – SEC Network – 4:00: I might break this down in a different entry to get some more depth and context, but why is everyone so quick to assume that the DeMarcus Cousins elbow was intentional? Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis inane ranting aside, pretty much everyone I talk to seems to think both the knee Cousins got to the face and the elbow he delivered were intentional acts. They were wrestling for the ball. Arms and legs were akimbo. Stuff like that happens unintentionally and should not be treated in the same way as a Laettner or Kermit Washington situation. Anyway, the Cats open SEC play against a Georgia team that is 7-5 which includes a loss to Wofford. The SEC is terrible this year (outside of UK, of course). As an aside, did you know if you go to Georgia’s page on ESPN that they never mention the coach’s name? I had forgotten Mark Fox was the new HC and wasted too much time on The Worldwide Leader’s Georgia page. Out of curiosity, I went looking for mentions of Calipari on UK’s ESPN page. Zilch. So, if you want to know who the head coach is of a particular team, don’t try to find out using ESPN’s team pages. That would make too much sense.
–Women’s Gymnastics – Texas Woman’s University at Kentucky – 6:30: I’ll admit I don’t know much about UK gymnastics other than Excite Night is a really big deal for young girls in the Lexington area and that Jenny Hansen is awesome. UK has a pretty good squad this year and I’m confident they can take care of TWU. I’m kind of surprised that there is a school called Texas Woman’s University, actually. Is that legal? How does Title IX apply there? I guess they either don’t accept federal funds (unlikely) or there is some exemption for all-women’s schools. Or maybe nobody cares enough to challenge it legally. Yeah. Probably that.
–Women’s Basketball – Vanderbilt at Kentucky – BBSN/Fox Sports – 1:00: UK Hoops continues a tough conference run by hosting Vandy at home. The Commodores are 12-2 and also currently undefeated in conference play. The ‘Dores are also ranked (18 AP, 16 ESPN as of Sunday) which is a situation that continues to flummox me. How UK isn’t in the Top 25 is simply baffling. Maybe a sweep of the Dogs and Dores will make the voters sit up and take notice. I’m sure Victoria Dunlap and crew are up to the task.
–NFL Football – Baltimore at New England – CBS – 1:00: I talked about this in the Monday entry, but root for Myron to do well. Then take your wife to see ‘The Blind Side’.
Brooks Update: Count me among those that initially thought Rich Brooks was a bad fit for Kentucky and a coach that was destined to follow in the steps of Bill Curry – a respected, old-school coach that couldn’t quite get it done any more. After our loss to Ohio at home with a talented, misused roster, I didn’t think Brooks still had the coaching chops for a place like Kentucky. Boy, was I wrong. Brooks turned this entire program around and has made Kentucky football matter not only in the SEC but in the hearts of the fans. We will miss him and we wish Joker the best of luck.
Christopher Johns is a Kentucky native that still resides in the Lexington area. A 2000 graduate of the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics, he is currently working in the IT field for a large healthcare firm. You can contact him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/crjohn0 or via email at [email protected]