The fastest two minutes in sports is only two weeks away. Instead of brisk, spring mornings in the Bluegrass, we are greeted with humid August air. More than 170,000+ fans will not pass through the turnstiles at Churchill Downs either. Friday afternoon the track reversed coursed by announcing its gates will remain shuttered Sept. 5.
As a Kentucky Derby junkie with a habit he’ll never kick, I was happy with Friday’s decision, if only for selfish reasons. Churchill Downs caters to rich people better than most. It was no surprise they planned on doing the same this year. If the poors can’t safely watch from the infield, the elites should not be able to gather on Millionaire’s Row.
Personal reasons aside, let the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500 be a cautionary tales to other events that plan to postpone to later dates. There’s no guarantee that four, five or six months from now we will be any better off than we are now. When Churchill Downs delayed the Derby from May to September, it was under the assumption that the coronavirus would be under control enough to allow some fans in the doors. Well, we all know what assuming does.
Even though the stands will not be filled, two Saturdays from today will still be a spectacular time to stir up a mint julep, throw on a big hat and lose bet after bet after bet.
High School Football Starts and Stops
When I turned on the news Saturday morning, my television showed me New Albany High School in southern Indiana celebrating senior day as they opened their 2020 football season. When I opened up Kentucky Sports Radio dot com, I was greeted with the headline, “Fayette County putting fall sports on hold.” A day after the KHSAA gave teams the green light to begin practice on Monday, FCPS pumped the brakes, likely not the last district to tell its schools to delay the start of fall sports.
Football is America’s most important sport, yet at every single level of play there’s no consistency in how it’s governed. The mental anguish for the athletes must be exhausting as different decision makers go back and forth and forth and back, day after day after day. Hopefully the officials will soon provide some sort of clarity so that fall sports athletes can mentally prepare for a season or begin to cope with its loss.
Kentucky Football Continues
The Wildcats will suit up for their third practice of the 2020 preseason. If the equipment implementation schedule remains the same as previous years, today will be the first time they’re allowed to throw on shoulder pads. The updates should be more exciting when Mark Stoops Zooms with the media this afternoon. Until then, enjoy sights and sounds from Thursday’s practice.
Calipari Extends Two Offers
A day after the basketball recruiting world was shocked by Paolo Banchero’s surprise commitment to Duke, John Calipari went to work. Friday evening he extended scholarship offers to a pair of 2021 players, Hunter Sallis and Bryce Hopkins. The father of the former Louisville commit told KSR after the virtual meeting, “Things went really, really well.
“They went over his style of play, what they like about his game. It’s exciting, very exciting. Cal, they were talking about how excited they’d be to coach Bryce. Things did move rather quickly. I believe with him decommitting [from Louisville], with him available and on the board, they felt they needed to offer him.”
See the entire conversation between Clyde Hopkins and Jack Pilgrim right here.
NBA Playoffs Continue
A few series got out of hand on Friday. The Boston Celtics used a late run to overtake the Sixers and build a 3-0 series lead. The Raptors could advance tomorrow as well. As for today, a few series could tip on way or the other. You can find all of the action on TNT
- 1:00 — Bucks vs. Magic (Tied 1-1)
- 3:30 — Pacers vs. Heat (MIA leads 2-0)
- 6:00 — Rockets vs. Thunder (HOU leads 2-0)
- 8:30 — Lakers vs. Blazers (Series tied 1-1)
High Quality Television
I was hoping to include in this morning post a recommendation for the new Netflix cartoon, “Hoops.” Set in Kentucky with Jake Johnson in the starring role as a loud-mouthed high school basketball coach, I was prepared to fall in love, but to be frank, the insane amount of F-bombs really make it a stinker.
Instead, I enjoyed an oldie but a goodie. “Muppets Now” is the latest addition to Disney+, starring the funniest puppets on the planet with a modernized format that works exceptionally well. I will never be too old to laugh at the Swedish Chef.
Shannon The Champion
It’s official: Shannon The Dude is a professional two-sport athlete. The Radio Heavyweight Champion of the World is now a professional walker after he took home the $5,000 prize money from PowerStep for completing the 50-mile STD Trail in 15 hours and 43 minutes.