Hello, friends. It’s been a while. Thanks to Drew, Matt, and the crew for so ably filling in for me while I enjoyed some time off on the 30-A stretch in Florida between Destin and Panama City. Shout-outs to all the UK shirts, canopies, bathing suits, umbrellas, and backpack chairs I saw along the way. (Seriously, if you don’t have a backpack beach chair these days, you might as well be a dinosaur.) I had a grand time, and even managed to put UK sports out of my mind for about half a day before a Louisville fan flashed an “L” and spat “Go Cards” at me on the bike path. Ahh, good times.
Once I got back to Nashville, I went to see “Boyhood,” a film written, co-produced, and directed by Richard Linklater, who also directed Dazed and Confused and the “Before” series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight). The film’s been getting a lot of buzz this summer, and finally opened in Nashville last week. It was filmed over twelve years with the same cast, following the lead character, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from ages 6-18. It also stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s father and mother, and Loelei Linklater (the director’s daughter) as his sister. The cast filmed two weeks every year, and watching them literally grow up before your eyes is fascinating; the scope of the movie is epic, but the storytelling is so well done that it’s also incredibly personal, leaving you thinking about your own childhood. Some moments truly are universal–the petty fights you have with your siblings growing up, the first party you go to, the first bumbling interactions with members of the opposite sex, the awkward “sex talk” with your parents–it’s all there, in 165 minutes.
I was most impressed by how Linklater was able to put together a story over twelve years, with probably countless storyline ideas and miles of footage. I have post drafts that haven’t lasted twelve seconds, much less twelve years. I believe the movie opens in Louisville this Friday and Lexington the Friday after, so do yourself a favor and go see it one night. And take comfort in the fact that even Ellar Coltrane had an awkward preteen phase.
Now, the news, and there was a lot of it…
Matt watched the team practice and damn, they’re good
Matt Jones and his favorite local media friends were invited to watch the basketball team practice on Monday night, and simply put, it was impressive. Scroll down to read all of Matt’s thoughts in full, and get ready to hear even more of them on the show tomorrow. His biggest takeaway? The Harrison Twins have finally emerged as the leaders the team needs to succeed. We saw this in the postseason last year, and Matt said they’re even more in control and vocal with their teammates now. That’s huge. Again scroll down to read his report in full. It’s worth it.
Just think, we get to see these guys for ourselves in less than a week.
Jay Bilas will be part of the Bahamas broadcast crew
On Monday, we learned that Jay Bilas will call each of UK’s games in the Bahamas alongside Kevin Connors (ESPNU) and Dave Neal (SEC Network), which should make you very happy. Bilas is the best in the business, and incredibly well-respected among the BBN, considering he’s a Dukie. Here’s the broadcast schedule:
Aug. 10… Puerto Rico, 1 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Aug. 11… Champagne Chalons-Reim, 1 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Aug. 12… Puerto Rico, 1 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Aug. 15… Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Aug. 16… Champagne Chalons-Reim, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
Aug. 17… Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
UK will wear new uniforms in the Bahamas
And they’re okay, I guess. Not my favorite, but as we’ve learned over the years, it’s not about what we like, it’s about what the young kids like and what Nike can sell. Still miss that “KENTUCKY” across the front, though.
Football has officially started
Only at Kentucky would a basketball practice report overshadow the start of football camp. Regardless, the football team practiced for the first time Monday morning at 6 a.m., and despite the early hour, seemed incredibly excited. Some notes from their first day:
- Even as a late arrival, Ryan Flannigan is impressive
The JuCo linebacker only arrived on campus on Friday, and even though he has some catching up to do, he’s already turning heads. DJ Eliot said he’s already impressed by Flannigan’s athleticism and expects him to catch up quickly, which he’ll need to do to help out UK’s thin linebacker corps. Flannigan told reporters he spent his summer running, doing drills, and studying the playbook Eliot sent him to try to keep up with his future teammates.
- Matt “Bulldozer” Elam has slimmed down and could play right away
There’s no nice way to say it–Matt Elam was a very big man when he arrived on campus. He is still a very big man. However, he’s “working his way into shape,” according to Mark Stoops and was one of the standout performers in practice today. In fact, Stoops mentioned the defensive tackle as one of the freshmen that could play right away. Elam already has already been given a nickname: “Bulldozer,” by Bud Dupree. Seems fitting.
- Receivers are still dropping passes
Stoops said he was disappointed by how many passes his receivers dropped on Monday. Before we put the palms to the face, let’s just hope it’s first day jitters?
DirecTV and the SEC Network finally reach a deal
Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for. DirecTV customers, rejoice: you can have your Sunday Ticket and your SEC Network too. The satellite provider will carry the SEC Network starting on its launch on August 14, which means if you have it and ESPNU, you’ll be able to see all of UK’s games in the Bahamas, along with their first three football games.
Finally, Oscar Combs can rest.
The John Calipari Women’s Clinic is September 28
Ladies, this is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for: the John Calipari Women’s Clinic will be held on Sunday, September 28 from 3-6 p.m. at the Joe Craft Center. It’s pretty much the best thing you could ever do, so click here to register. See you there.
RIP, Mean and Nimble One
As an animal lover, it breaks my heart to end the post like this, but on Monday, the Calipari family dog, Dash, aka “the Mean and Nimble One,” passed away. He was a nine-year-old German Shepherd. Monday afternoon, Cal tweeted that the family took the dog to the vet on Sunday after he mysteriously grew ill, and after he didn’t show any signs of improvement overnight or during the day, the family stopped to see him Monday evening to say goodbye. Cal wrote a post about Dash on his website in which he says that Dash was “like a security blanket” for his wife, Ellen and son, Brad, and joked that even though the players and Rod Strickland were scared of him to the point he had to put Dash away when they visited, he was a “loving, loyal, and protective” companion. My parents have two German Shepherds themselves, so I know firsthand how loyal they are, and after my husband and I had to say goodbye to one of our own dogs this past year, I know the heartbreak that comes with it. RIP, Dash. I’ll be hugging my own dog a little tighter tonight.
See you in the morning.