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WATCH: Cawood Ledford tells Kentucky football team to ‘kick Tennessee’s ass’ prior to 1991 matchup

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

As we gear up for the Tennessee Volunteers traveling to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend, let’s reminisce a bit, shall we?

Back in 1991, legendary University of Kentucky radio play-by-play announcer Cawood Ledford was in the midst of his 39th and final season as the Voice of the Wildcats. On November 23 of that year, Ledford was called upon to give his first and only pep talk to the UK football team prior to their season finale against Tennessee.

And boy, was it a good one.

Steve Moss of WKYT got the entire speech on tape, where Ledford broke down past numbers, what it means to be a senior at the University of Kentucky, and why the Tennessee football series was always his favorite.

Take a look:

“God bless you, good luck, and go kick Tennessee’s ass.”

Kentucky would end up losing that game 16-7 to close out their season with a record of 3-8, but to this day, Ledford’s message remains true.

In his honor, let’s go kick Tennessee’s ass on Saturday.

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

26 Comments for WATCH: Cawood Ledford tells Kentucky football team to ‘kick Tennessee’s ass’ prior to 1991 matchup



  1. Jaxxon1973
    2:10 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Sadly did not work



  2. Bluehender
    2:26 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Awesome. Got a little teary eyed watching that. Cawood was the best ever. I’m fortunate and old enough to be able to remember him. And for those of you who are not, you really missed out on a legend. Visit the archives when you have a little time. You won’t regret it



    • ClutchCargo
      2:39 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      Got to shake his hand and tell him how much I appreciated his work once back around that time. If he had told me to kick some ass, I would have done it or died trying!



    • Bluehender
      4:25 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      That’s awesome Clutch. How old were you?



    • ClutchCargo
      5:03 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      I was in college at the time. I was in the band and he was at the center for the arts to be a guest conductor at a concert.



  3. ClutchCargo
    2:41 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Man, if only this video could be shown on the big screens at Kroger Field before the game Saturday… 🙂



  4. UKFanSC
    2:49 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Damn I miss him. He was like family in our house growing up, his voice WAS Kentucky sports before cable TV and replays became available. Greatest announcer in our history.



    • Ridge Runner
      5:01 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      So very true…



  5. runningunnin.454
    4:08 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    I was in Birmingham listening to him call a UK basketball game; reception down in B’ham was not good; so, six of us die-hard Cat fans would pile in the car (loaded down with beer) and drive to the top of Red Mountain for better reception.
    Evidently some guy was standing in front of Cawood, and he told the guy to sit down, and then “I SAID SIT DOWN”.
    Cawood spoke…people listened; ha ha ha.



    • Bluehender
      4:20 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      You must have been listening to WHAS out of Louisville. We moved to St Louis for a short time when I was young. Dad and I would sit by the radio and listen and hope that the skies were clear between here and there. Dad is gone now. They were great times…



    • runningunnin.454
      5:02 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      Yep, WHAS came in pretty good on the mountain. Back then, didn’t get to watch all the games on TV.
      Listened to the ’58 title game with my Dad, and we watched the ’78, ’96, and ’98 title games.
      He didn’t make it to the 2012 game; but, he loved a dominating inside game, and would have loved that team.



    • Bluehender
      5:46 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah my dad passed away just before the Calipari Era. I think he would have loved the spotlight being on UK the way it has been.



  6. sprtphan
    4:08 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    KSR needs more Cawood.



    • bkeith75
      4:44 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      I’ll second that!



  7. CMH23
    6:00 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    I was fortunate enough to spend a few evenings with him after his retirement on his farm in Harlan Co. I recorded a few TV ads and radio voiceover work with him. Very modest home with a field of miniature horses out back…Best of the Best for sure…I kept all the raw footage we recorded…just didn’t seem right to toss it.



  8. b48750
    6:04 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Brought a tear to my eyes! He was the best!



  9. cats646
    6:22 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    This makes me wish I was older so I could’ve had the pleasure of listening to this legend. I mean Tom Leach is the best I’ve ever heard and for all y’all to say Cawood was better, he must’ve truly been something!
    GO CATS!!
    KICK TENNESSEE’S ASS!!!!!!!!!!!



    • JDizzle14
      6:53 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      U said it: ur not old enough to remember. However, ol Tom will end up being the new-age Cawood once he wraps it up.



  10. MacAssassin123
    6:42 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Let’s do more than kick Tennessee’s ass I want to see our defense
    tackle their offensive players so hard that they literally die on the field . Let’s force the medical team to bring out the body bags!!! Go CATS



    • Bluehender
      6:52 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      How bout we just get a win..



    • cats646
      6:55 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

      Lol. Hell yea



  11. mashman 93
    7:11 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Great man and bled blue to his core.



  12. seth4Kentucky
    8:54 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    Loved hearing this guy! Made you feel like you was at the game every time ! Legend



  13. SuperTroy18
    9:20 pm November 6, 2019 Permalink

    I only remember a handful of Cawood’s games, as I was too young. I didn’t understand how amazing and meticulous and eloquent he was. I read an old Sports Illustrated article that was talking about watching and listening to the first weekend of March Madness games and it singled out Cawood, saying something to the effect of “You haven’t lived, until you’ve heard the voice of Cawood Ledford at 30,000 feet…” I loved that line. We had the best in the business. And Tom Leach has brilliantly carried that torch. We are seriously spoiled when it comes to the voices of the Wildcats, both past and present.



  14. CaliCat
    1:09 pm November 7, 2019 Permalink

    Great speech. What an amazing radio voice. He will always be the best!