Last year, we found out that Jimmy Dykes sang “Rockin’ Little Heartbeat.” Last night, we found that his talents extended to the film industry as well. In the waning minutes of Kentucky’s win over Mississippi State, Dykes shared that he appeared in the movie Bluegrass, which was filmed in Lexington in 1988.
“Kentucky fans will remember it,” Dykes said. “It’s about a lady trying to break into the male-dominated horse racing industry.”
As a Kentucky fan, I do not remember it, so I did some research this morning. Bluegrass was actually a made-for-TV movie that aired on the Hallmark Channel and starred Cheryl Ladd, Wayne Rogers, Diane Ladd, and Mickey Rooney. At the time, Dykes was an assistant on Eddie Sutton’s staff at Kentucky.
“I had a silent part,” Dykes told his broadcasting partner Karl Ravech. “Much like my broadcasts with you and Marty [Smith], I had a non-speaking part. It was very important. Sitting at a dinner table with Cheryl Ladd and listening to the conversation.”
Bluegrass is on YouTube in its entirety, so I skimmed through it this morning to see if I could find Dykes. This kind of looks like him at the dinner table 50 minutes in?
Here is Dykes in 1988 talking to someone who sounds like Rob Bromley:
A young Jimmy Dykes while an assistant at Kentucky. (1988) pic.twitter.com/xvUdfNcQN3
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) January 30, 2019
And in the 1988-89 team picture (far right):
While I was going down the Jimmy Dykes rabbit hole this morning, I found what is undeniably the most fascinating thing about him: he was one of People Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelors back in 2001. Sadly, I can’t find a picture of the spread, but the article is archived on People’s website:
RESIDENCE: Johnson, Ark. (but from November to March he’s on the road with his job)
STATUS: Never married
COLLEGE: University of Arkansas, 1985
RÉSUMÉ: The son of a real estate developer and a homemaker, Dykes began his career coaching college basketball and later became a scout for the Seattle Supersonics. He joined ESPN in 1995 as a college-basketball game analyst.
CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY: Dykes lives in a house on the same 18-acre compound as his parents and older sister. “I see them at least two or three times a week,” he says.
PICKY, PICKY, PICKY: “I think everyone in Arkansas has tried to fix him up,” says his niece Kara Simpson, 19. “But he is very selective in who he dates.” A deeply religious Christian, Dykes explains, “I’m holding out for the woman I know God has chosen for me.”
FREQUENT FLIER: “I’ve collected well over 100,000 miles this year,” Dykes says. “I’ve got a lot stored up for a honeymoon.”
Is that why he’s so into planes? Also, do I need to buy the old copy of this magazine for sale on Amazon?
Also on People’s Top 50 Bachelors list that year: Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Matt Damon, Benicio Del Toro, Tiger Woods, and Joey McIntyre. The spread worked; a year later, Dykes married Tiffany Beasley, a former Arkansas cheerleader. They’ve been together ever since.
Tom Hart, if you’re reading this, it is your duty to bring it up on your next broadcast with Dykes.