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The SEC Trailblazers’ Friday Morning Wakeup

@UKStoopsTroops

@UKStoopsTroops

Every day, it seems like there’s a new story about the racial tension gripping this country. From the riots in Charlotte to the shooting in Tulsa and protests at sporting events, there’s no denying we’re living in a racially charged time, which is why last night was so important. Last night, Kentucky unveiled a statue honoring Nate Northington, Greg Page, Houston Hogg, and Wilbur Hackett Jr., four UK football players who broke the color barrier in SEC Football. By now, you’ve hopefully heard their story, which for too long went untold. Not anymore. In front of an audience of friends, family, and fans, Northington, Hogg, Hackett, and Page’s brother Melvin were honored by the school they so bravely represented. I wasn’t able to be there, but could feel the moment’s importance even through the live stream. Here’s a video recap of the event courtesy of KyWildcatsTV:

As fans, it’s easy to get wrapped up in things like wins and losses; however, last night reminded us why sports really matter. Not only do they give us a platform to have fun and use our God given talents, they provide an even playing field that highlights injustice in a way that words and rhetoric just can’t. When those four men gave blood, sweat, tears — and in Page’s case, his life — to play the sport they loved, I’d like to think a message was sent across the South. Even if their story got lost in the shuffle over the years, that message resonates just as powerfully today. And, as fans, how lucky are we that they were wearing Kentucky across their chests when they did it.

With that healthy dose of perspective, let’s move on to today’s agenda.

I’m already nervous about tomorrow night

Kentucky takes on South Carolina tomorrow night in a crucial, crucial showdown. Not only do both teams need a win if they want to even dream of a bowl, it’s starting to feel more and more like it’s a make-or-break situation for Mark Stoops. It’s been a rocky season so far for Stoops and staff, and honestly, this week has been worrisome for me. Oddly enough, it’s not Stephen Johnson taking over for Drew Barker that scares me; I have more faith in UK’s offense than I have all year. I’m more concerned with Stoops’ comments about how his defense is struggling to grasp the staff’s schemes. In year four, isn’t it time to stop blaming the players for not getting it and take some responsibility for the issues yourself?

Before I go off too much on this, I just really, really hope they win. If not, well, things could get pretty interesting.

Kentucky is still a 2.5-point favorite

The game opened as a pick’em and Kentucky’s home field advantage is giving them a bump thus far. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect tomorrow, so don’t look to me for betting advice.

It’s UK Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend

Rich Brooks, Wesley Woodyard, and Chuck Hayes are among the six new inductees to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, along with James Johnson (wrestling), Molly Johnson-Belcher (softball), and Bernadette Madigan-Dugan (cross country/track and field). The six will be honored tonight in a reception and will be introduced tomorrow during the game. I can’t wait to hear the ovation for Brooks, Woodyard, and Hayes.

Any chance the refs would notice if Woodyard put on some pads and went out on the field?? NOBODY TELL.

Kevin Knox will take his official visit in January for the Kansas game

John Calipari has been zeroing in on the 6’8″ small forward in recent weeks, and last night, Knox announced he will take his official visit to Kentucky for the Kansas game on January 28. He’ll go to Duke first (October 28-30), followed by Florida State (January 7-9), Kentucky, and North Carolina (February 4-6). Duke’s been the favorite for Knox so far, but there’s been a lot of buzz in the Cats’ direction recently. I can’t think of a better atmosphere than the one in Lexington that weekend, so bring it on.

Check out this old picture of Kenny Walker, Rex Chapman, and Rock Oliver

Dwayne Peevy shared this gem last night. I know Oliver played at Cincinnati and worked for Rick Pitino when he came to Kentucky, but I didn’t realize the three overlapped enough to take this great picture. Regardless, it’s reason enough to use one of the best GIFs in UK Basketball history:

rock-oliver

Rob Harris has taken over for Oliver as the head strength coach, but Rock’s still on staff as the Student Engagement & Development Director.

Listen to the latest episode of The OTT

WKYT’s Jennifer Palumbo joined me this week to talk about what’s going on with the football team, next month’s UK Basketball Clinic, and the tight-knit fraternity that is the Lexington media. There’s a lot of opinions and scoop in this one, so be sure to check it out as you move through your Friday. While you’re at it, check out the latest KSR Football Podcast and The Depth Chart podcast, all of which are on the Kentucky Sports Radio feed on iTunes or Podbay.

KSR is at Newks on Richmond Road

Still time to get down there to hear the big Chester vs. Darryl debate about UK Football. Are you Team Chester (eternal optimism) or Team Darryl (rational pessimism)?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for The SEC Trailblazers’ Friday Morning Wakeup



  1. secrick
    9:09 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    Thanks guys for playing for the wildcats. God bless this country and Go Big Blue.



  2. Sentient Third Eye
    9:29 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    Hopefully an opening shot of the Trailblazers statue will become a tradition for televised UK football games.



  3. cats paw
    9:35 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    seriously.. Where does it stop? Stoops should lose his job based on his performance up to now and regardless of any further games. we about beat Florida last year and we still sucked forever afterwards. if we play Bama close or beat UL this year we will still suck!!!!! every team will have one or two good games a year. We still suck….give up on the pipe dream and stop being enablers



  4. Duuuuuude
    9:59 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    I would hope that the truth about this comes out, instead of all the BS about UK being a racist school because we had no black players when UK played Texas Tech back in the 60’s.



    • runningunnin.454
      12:22 pm September 23, 2016 Permalink

      It was Texas Western, now UTEP; however, you are correct. You won’t see any of this about breaking the race barrier in SEC football on ESPN or Foxsports or CBS. They also never mention that had we lost to Duke in the semifinal, there still would have been an all white team against TWC. And, they don’t mention Don Haskins benched two white players that had started all year so he could play the race card

      They also don’t mention Rupp tried to recruit Butch Beard of Breckinridge Co and Wes Unseld of Seneca. Rupp was honest and told them playing in the South would not be pleasant, and they went to Louisville.



  5. Han
    10:05 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    I really wonder how Stoops had success in the past when he and his staff can’t get guys to understand the fundamentals of defense after years.



  6. Howdy Doody
    10:16 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    FIRE STOOPS



  7. Callinstraight
    12:27 pm September 23, 2016 Permalink

    Mrs TT, having played the game at a pretty high level both in high school and college, I know for a fact there are definitely times when a team’s failures lay totally at the feet of the players, and not with the coaches. So to answer your question: In year four, isn’t it time to stop blaming the players for not getting it and take some responsibility for the issues yourself? Not necessarily. In case you’ve missed it the 100 times he’s said it, he has said that he and the coaches have to do a better job coaching. Frankly it’s about time he’s called out the players that just won’t get on board.



  8. fireants25
    5:20 pm September 23, 2016 Permalink

    If you don’t get a lump in your throat after watching this then you don’t have a backbone period. Powerful!

    I hate ESPN and yes they pick and choose what to cover and who to cover.



  9. BluKudzu
    6:46 pm September 23, 2016 Permalink

    Not typically a Barnhart fan in regards to football, however, his involvement in making this recognition happen, for these four men, shows me he did something more important than football. He did something the entire commonwealth of Kentucky should be proud of.