Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UofL Extenz Pitino's Contract


There's a horrible country song that says rain somehow gets a guy laid. Basically rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, whiskey makes Boogiewoogie's momma feel a little frisky or something like that.

Well, the same theory applies to college basketball. Wins make fans, fans make schools money, money makes athletic departments put out (in this case money).

But what defines winning? If you're Niagara, making the NCAA tournament is a victory. If you're Kentucky, Final 4 is successful. If you're Louisville - it's more along the lines of Charlie Sheen style "Winning!". Having your coach get caught in a sex scandal, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and losing recruits left and right to an instate rival makes Tom Jurich shell out for your services.

Rick Pitino currently makes $3 million dollars a year. He received a hefty retention bonus last year that spread over installments pays Slick Rick $3.9 million a year. Tom Jurich says that in order to keep him at his current total salary, he'll be paid $3.9 million after the retention bonus is paid out in 2013. Thus, an increase to base salary of 30%... 30%!!!!

Working in compensation, I'll tell you no one gets a 30% increase except your top performers. Pay for performance. Performance = winning. My problem is that I'm not so sure that those accomplishments Pitino had this year (or the last two) warrant that 30% base salary.

But hey, in business it's not about what you do or what you know as much as who you know. I'm trying to figure out just what Pitino knows about Jurich.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sad News for Steve Kragthorpe






Steve Kragthorpe has resigned his post as LSU offensive coordinator due to being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. Kragthorpe was generating excitement at LSU and was being praised by fans, coaches and players alike.


Kragthorpe coached the Louisville Cardinals for three years before being fired for lackluster performance. Here's to hoping the Kragthorpe jokes stop. Thoughts and prayers go to him and his family.

A Night With Walter McCarty


I am so glad Walter became a traitor and is now known as a Cardinal vs a Wildcat... but if you Card fans want your tickets...

"Dunkin' Donuts and the Lexus Store of Lexington present A Night Out with Walter McCarty Sunday, August 28 at 6:00pm

The pre-sale starts Thursday, August 4 at 10:00am and ends Thursday, August 4 at 10:00pm. To purchase tickets click the link and then enter the password WILDCAT"

And if you want to know what you're getting into, you can go to WalterMcCarty.com and hear his music.

Get Yo Popcorn Ready: Calipari Starts Movie Casting Call

Sure, the Dominican Nationals vs The UK All-Stars game has become a spectical to all Kentuckians. It's a hotter ticket to come by than the UL vs UK football game 1 month later (I have two uppers available if anyone needs some). However, what the fans don't realize is the opportunity the DR team and Calipari have.

The DR team has never made the Olympics, they're known for their love of baseball and beaches, not basketball. Yet, later this month they have a chance in an Argentina qualifying tournament to change all that. After watching an immediate resurrection of an NIT UK, A-10 bottom dwelling UMass, and C-USA whipping boy Memphis, this feat wouldn't be anything new for Calipari.

But seriously, what's in it for him? Sure there's a little salary involved and some publicity - but I think Calipari has seen further. As the marketing genius he is, he should be seeing saw past the stars on the court and  picturing the big screen.

If Cal fails with this team, no one will think twice - oh well, they stunk anyways. If he succeeds though and the team makes it to the Olympics, he adds a resume line. If Cal beats a big name team, he adds a legacy. If he somehow happens to win an Olympic Gold Medal - well, start thinking Kurt Russel or Jack Candy or Will Ferrell... he takes this rag-tag team with mid level professionals and lots of sub plots into the world spotlight. He see's 10 years later a ... "Cool Runnings", "Miracle", "Semi-Pro"... movie in the making. The skys the limit and in this risk/reward opportunity, why the hell not.

Either way, it should be fun and I'll certainly be there when the call for extras in. My only question, what will the movie be called?

Denny Crum is a Boss: News and Notes

"Laugh now, but one of these days, I'm going to get you back you turtleneck wearing S.O.B."-Denny Crum And isn't this a lovely morning? I am sure you have all heard the news that Denny Crum will be on the baseline for the UK Legends game at the Yum! Center on August, 16. I've really never had a problem with Denny Crum in the past, I've always kind of liked him but had that twinge of hate because of the team he coached. I, as a fan, was never threatened by him. By the time I really started to watch sports religiously,which was about the mid 90's, the Cards really sucked.

I wasn't even born when Louisville won their first title in '81 and I was only four when they one their last one in '86, so Denny Crum and his version of the Dirty Birds didn't offend me much.

But now Denny has elevated himself in my book. I really, really like Denny. He accepted this position to be honored, but he knows full well that John Calipari is doing this game as a big "F You" to Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich and the Dirty Bird Nation. Cal is saying to them all, "I've got your arena and I have your iconic coach, and I am going to do what ever I want with them. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it."

All over talk radio yesterday the Cardinal whining was at a level never before seen. "How could you do this, Denny?" was the collective lament. Denny did this, supposedly, because he has no love lost for Rick Pitino or Tom Jurich. Speculation is that Crum was unhappy of how Jurich unceremoniasly shoved the Hall of Fame coach out of town only to bring in a guy that Denny can't stand, Rick Pitino.

John Calipari and Crum are friends, and everybody knows that Denny and Joe B. are dear friends. Denny did what was in his best interest and is now being honored by people that appreciate what a good coach he is and what he means to college basketball.

In the end, Pitino and Jurich must be seething. John Calipari has done it again.
To the news:
-Darius Miller made the World University team's final cut and will be playing against talent all over the world. This means that Darius will be an even bigger beast when the Cats get started next season. Darius is getting lost in the hype, but by the end of the season, he will be the hype.

-It is official that Brandon Knight, Jorts and DeAndre Liggins will be a part of the Legends game in Louisville. Now I want tickets to this game.

-You have to read Eamonn Brennan's ESPN.com article about Cal stepping all over Pitino's face.

-The University of Louisville has a Legends game of their own featuring T-Will, Samardo Samuels and a few more of their all time degenerates. The game will be played in the Bullitt East High School Gym. I am not making this up.

That's all for now. Stay classy you crazy kids.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pitino Mum on the Cats in YUM!


Watch live streaming video from cjcards at livestream.com


I rarely ever give Pitino props but I must give him some after watching his press conference today. The reporters at his press conference were dying to get Pitino to say something absurd or derogatory about Cal taking over Yum! Center, but he just didn't do it.

Pitino knew what they were doing, but refused to play. He said, at one point, "Not helping you, am I?" to a reporter trying to get him to same something news worthy. Pitino was very diplomatic, stated that the YUM! Center is city property, not UofL property, and said that this is a free country.

Pitino also slyly did not mention Calipari or the University of Kentucky. He just used "The Dominican Team" as his catch all to represent the afore mentioned.

Kudos to Pitino for keeping his cool. Lately it has been tough for the coach to do so and he sticks his foot in his mouth more often than not. Today, he seemed like he knew exactly what he was saying and the responses were well calculated as well as smart.

Jesco White's Birthday and the Cats Invade the YUM! Center: News and Notes



A lot of you probably don't know who Jesco White is but if you watch the above video then you will. Jesco is the Dancin' Outlaw from West Virginia and was made famous by the movie of the same title and another film entitled the "Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia". I have seen both movies and have become a "fan" of sorts. Not the type of fan that admires him, the type of fan that cannot look away from the train wreck that is his life.

Jesco was in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend at Headliners to celebrate his 55th birthday. I didn't find out about this until yesterday. I was very upset that I missed it. My wife also has the same type of weird curiosity about this fellow that I do and she was equally disappointed that we didn't get to see him go dance.

So here is to you Jesco. Happy birthday. I'm sure you don't have many left.

Onto the PACKED edition of News and Notes:

-There is a lot of news to get to, but the biggest is the rumor of a second UK Legends game that seems to more reality than it is rumor. A second Legends game is scheduled for the YUM! Center in Louisville on August 16, the day after the first one. The kicker is that Brandon Knight will be on the team and will be joined by none other than Jorts. Expect Jorts to have an epic night if he plays. History dictates that he gets a double-double every time he steps into the YUM! Center.

-Joe B. Hall has asked Coach Denny Crum to coach in the Legends game and Crum has expressed major interest. Not only will Kentucky be holding a UK Legends game in the YUM! Center but the Cats might be coached up by the Cardinals' most legendary coach. I can't stop the laughter.

-Rick Pitino is holding a press conference today. They will surely ask him about all the Big Blue traking over the YUM! Center and Denny Crum being part of the invasion. I will be watching like a hawk. Pitino is going to say some pretty stupid crap.

-Not only is it fun to watch UK have a Legends game, it is equally as fun to watch them do it in the Enemy's front yard. The Cats are going into Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino's Chicken Bucket to give the Millions, and Millions of Cats fans in Louisville a chance to enjoy their favorite team. The city of Louisville belongs to the Cats, make no mistake about it. Could the Cards pull this off in Lexington? Hell to the No. The Card fan reaction is going to be epic.

-Eloy Vargas is being given a chance to earn a spot on the Dominican National team. This is a great chance for him to show how much he has improved in the off season. John Calipari has issued a challenge to Eloy, he better step up and play like a pro if he wants to make this team.

-Bruce Pearl is coaching the NBADL Dallas team. Point and laugh.

-Joker Phillips one upped the "Greatest Recruiter and Coach in the History of the World" yesterday by pulling four recruits, one of them from the grasp of Chuck Strong. The Cats have 15 commitments for the 2012 class. I am getting excited about the direction of the program.

-The Big East press conference was held and nobody cared. Louisville was picked to finish 7th out of 8 teams. Of course, the fans are crying fowl (hahahahahahahahaha!). It still hasn't registered that they only went 6-6 last year, lost 25 seniors, lost their entire offensive line, and have a midget starting at quarterback.

-The Big East football title game might be held in Yankee Stadium in the future. It will be half full for the game.

All in all it was a great day to be a Cats fan. I told you there was a lot of news. I will be back later to fill you in on Pitino's press conference. I am hoping for some comedy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up: Smaki Walker joins the Cardinal Convict Club

The photo that Samaki Walker has submitted to the Yum! Center's Cardinal hall of fame. It goes right next to Terrence Jenning's and Jerry Smith's

It's time to finish up a busy weekend with a late Sunday night post. I'm going to be out the next two days due to business, so I leave you in the capable and caring hands of Monster Mash.

-The big news this weekend was the Joe B. Hall deal with the NCAA. As we all know by now the NCAA decided in it's infinite stupidity that Joe B. Hall coaching the UK Legends team would somehow violate some rule that the NCAA made up. Hall was very upset and hurt by the decision. Coach Cal stuck his middle finger up at the powers that be and let Hall become a member of his Dominican coaching staff. Check Mate, NCAA.

-The whole scenario of the NCAA meddling with this game smacks of conspiracy theories about how the organization hates UK and especially John Calipari. I'm not saying this is so, but I'm not sure the NCAA would have stepped in if Duke was having a game like this.

-Samaki Walker became the latest member of the Cardinal Convict Club. Walker got busted by cops for having pot and liquid steroids. Reenacting Cardinal Willie Williams, Walker decided to try and eat the pot instead of going quietly into custody. Walker was pulled over by a police officer in Arizona. Walker also tried to get off by saying that the steroids are legal in Syria, where he is now playing "professional" basketball.

-John Calipari is highlighting all of the incoming players, including Ryan Harrow. This week Cal takes a look at Kyle Wiltjer. Wiltjer is a movie buff, like yours truly, and has developed an old school game that includes a hook shot. Wiltjer is a basketball historian of sorts. He is a player that gets lost in the mix with the other stellar freshmen. I have a feeling Wiltjer is going to wow all of Big Blue Nation and will be very, very hard to guard. Just like Kyle Kuric.....NOT!

That's it from me for a couple of days. Another week of slow news and football season will break us out of the doldrums.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where Does UK go from Here?





It's been an exciting day in the world of Kentucky basketball to say the least. Monster Mash has already highlighted the UK "Pros" game. Let's talk about the fact that John Wall and Rajon Rondon, among others, will enroll in classes this fall at UK while the NBA lockout continues and will be undergraduate assistant coaches on the basketball team.




What does this mean:


A). If you are a student at Kentucky you could sit next to John Wall in your Macro Economics class


B). College co-eds will be trying to figure out which classes the NBA guys will be taking



C). The NBA players will be able to participate in practice with Kentucky


D). The NCAA and all of Calipari's critics can shut it. Those that say that Calipari and his players don't care about education have just been silenced. These guys are millionaires and they don't have to go to school for any reason besides their love for education.




Marquis Teague will be practicing against John Wall and Rajon Rondo. This is going to take Teague to the next level in a HURRY. Recruits coming to visit UK will see all of these NBA guys at practice playing against the current team. Will they see this at any other school? I think not.




John Calipari has done more for Kentucky in the last two years than Tubby Smith and Billy G did, besides the National Title that Tubby won.




Other than a national championship, where does Cal take the Cats from here? The future is so bright for Kentucky it is absolutely insane. Being a UK fan right now is the greatest thing in the world and I am ready to debate anyone on that fact. Ball is in your court Dirty Birds.

Pro's vs Joe's (aka UK Lengends vs Dominican Republic National Team)

Boogie told us that we can't call it the "UK Legends Team" and Ticketmaster is complying instead calling the team the "The Pros" and they'll be facing The Dominican Republic National team. At 10:00 AM this morning the tickets went on pre-sale (and will run through 10pm tonight reopening Monday at 10:00 AM). You can still get your tickets using the Password NATIONAL when prompted. Here's the link to the site if you can't manage Ticketmaster

Reports have it that the lower level $35 tickets have sold out but upper level $15 tickets and the lowest Rupp tickets are still available ($100 and $1200).

It'll be an exciting time and the closest thing to a professional basketball game in the state of Kentucky since the Draft Cats took the court (unless you count the Harlem Globetrotters).

The best part about this game outside of 8 former Kentucky fan favorites? There will be a familiar opponent on the other side of the court in former UL Cardinal Francisco Garcia, who will be playing for Calipari on the DR squad - my only question, is it OK to boo him since Cal is coaching him?

I love basketball in August - it's the best thing since the teams trip to Canada last year!!!

The NCAA are Buzzkils: News and Notes



Nothing can stem my excitement for the fact that it looks like Sportsthat is for sure going to the UK Legends game, but the NCAA sure has thrown a wrench in the works.

UK has complied with the NCAA on this whole event and Cal has made sure that rules are not broken, i.e. Terrence Jones on the UK team or John Hood coaching with Calipari on the Dominican side. The NCAA still has to come in a assert it's "authority" and rain on the parade a little bit.

Here are the new NCAA rules:
-Joe B. Hall cannot coach in the game
-The UK Legends team cannot be called the UK Legends team
-No TV or radio broadcasts are allowed
-John Calipari cannot honor any of the old UK players

I can maybe see the radio and TV broadcast thing, but the rest of these rules are ridiculous. How are they breaking any real NCAA regulations? They aren't. This just continues to show the bias the NCAA has for some teams.

On with the News:

-I highlighted the Governor's Cup presser last night and came away with a feeling of confidence in Joker. He really is high on this team and he seems to think that they are just a few young guys stepping up from being a really, really good team. I hope you are right Joker.

-On the Louisville side of things, Charlie Strong seemed downright depressed. He pretty much stated that his team is going to be young, inexperienced and all around bad. This does not stop Louisville fans from continuing to insist that the game in Lexington will be a blow out win for the Cards. They are idiots.

-Dick Vitale Tweeted his disgust in the stupid NCAA rules for the UK Legends game. "NCAA rules r wacky-Joe Hall being denied to coach an all star team of ex UK players. Can't common sense be used! Hall is 82!" A lot of people don't like Dickie V because of his Duke obsession. I can look past that because he hates the NCAA and is a big time Cats cheerleader.

-Chad Ochocinco has joined Albert Haynesworth as the latest disgruntled malcontent that has joined the Patriots and will shine this season. NFL, you better watch out.

That's all for now! Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Governor's Cup Presser Break Down



First and Foremost, Joker Phillps:
-Joker came out and said "We are going to be pretty damn good this season" in kind of a joking manner in response to his intro. I think he was serious when he said that they will be good if some young guys step up.

-He mentioned Rick Minter's name as the new defensive coordinator and received cheers. He mentioned Steve Brown's name as co-coordinator and defensive backs coach and there were crickets.

-He introduced the rest of the coaching staff. There were like 100 of them. It was quite boring.

-Joker said that there were some questions on the offensive side of things but there would soon be answers.

-The offensive line should be the strength of the offense as well as the tight end position.

-A lot of production was lost at QB, wide receiver and running back but he said that he feels really good about replacing those players with guys that are going to produce.

-Defense will be the strength of the entire team. 10 starters are returning on D including All SEC linebacker Danny Trevathan.

-Ridge Wilson moved from a linebacker to a defensive end to replace DeQuinn Evans.

-Winston Guy has been moved from safety to outs tide linebacker.

-The players switching positions was done to increase speed on the field.

-Joker said they signed "true receivers" instead of athletes that they had to teach the position to, like Cobb. This should help with production.

-He stated that the rivalry has elevated both programs to a higher level in competition.

Overall: Joker talked for over eight minutes and was very positive and up on his team the entire time. He seems to be more comfortable as the head coach this year and he has a lot of confidence in his guys.

And now, Charlie Strong...booooooo!!!!!

-First off, the guy that was introducing both coached must be a Louisville fan because he was kissing Strong's butt. He stated that Strong already turned the program around, will bring them to the top of the Big East and will soon compete for a national title. All these morons are in for a HUGE disappointment.

-I like Strong. He went up to the guy and laughed and said "National Championship?", like "Are you kidding me?" This guy isn't dumb. He knows where he is and what conference he is in.

-He said the Beef O'Brady's Bowl win set the foundation for the future of the program. That's a pretty lame foundation.

-The Cards lost 25 seniors, including 14 starters. Ouch.

-Strong used the "R" word a lot, as in "Rebuilding". According to Louisville fans and the douche that introduced him, the Cards are primed to take on Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC, LSU and Florida. All at the same time.

-The coach pointed out that his team has A LOT of weaknesses. The guy is making more and more sense with every word.

-The Cards rank 119 out of 120 teams in regards to returning experience. Ouch again.

-None of their 3 QB's have started. Weakness.

-Only one returning starter on the offensive line. Weakness.

-They have two returning running backs that can produce. Strength.

-4 starters return on offense. Weakness.

-Strong stated that the defensive line is their strength. If they have one.

-Nobody asked Strong any questions after he offered. I think everyone was depressed after he was done.

Overall: Strong was the exact opposite of Joker. He was down on his team and expressed concern of key positions. He did state that they are far away from where they want to be but they will get there.

I am getting close to a score for the game but I am going to wait to the week of to see how these two play early. I think UK might be mediocre or even better than expected. I truly think Louisville is going to be awful this year. Kragthorpe awful. I will hold to my prediciton that some UofL fans will be ready to toss Strong out on his butt because of the unfair expectations they have placed on him. More analysis as the game approaches.

Come back in the morning for a ton of news.

Joker Phillips Comes out Swinging



The hook up that the Courier Journal has for the Governor's Cup press conference is terrible and keeps cutting out on me. It's hard to listen to and I missed almost everything Charlie Strong had to say, which doesn't make me too sad at all.

What I did catch was Joker Phillips saying "We are going to be pretty damn good this year. If we get some young guys to step up, we are going to kick some people."

First off, I love Joker's confidence. That's about as inspiring and confident as I have ever heard him in a public venue. He either: A). Must like what he sees so far at practice; or B). He is trying to pump up a young group on offense. Either way, I bet Strong tickled in his Fruit of the Looms a little bit when he heard Joker say the "D" word.

I'll be back tonight with commentary on what both coaches said once the transcripts are made available online.

College football is around the corner and I'm damn glad of it.

UK's Legenda Game: News and Notes

Who else is excited to see these two reunite again?

If Kentucky basketball can ever find a way to take precedence over Kentucky football during training camp, it will. Well, it officially has. The final roster for the UK legends team vs. the Dominican Republic National team has been set.

UK Players:
John Wall
Eric Bledsoe
DeMarcus Cousins
Rajon Rondo
Keith Bogans
Jodie Meeks
Tayshaun Prince
Nazr Muhammed

The game will be at Rupp Arena on August 15. John Calipari, the genius mastermind behind this event, will coach the Dominicans while Hall of Fame coach Joe B. Hall and Sam Bowie will coach the UK Legends team. Cal has also promised to bring back more UK alumni to Rupp that night.

This is a once in a lifetime experience and Sportsthat plans on being there. Where other than UK can you see a an exhibition of this magnitude and grandeur during the off season? Not at Duke, not at Kansas, not at North Carolina and certainly not at Louisville. This is why we say we are the greatest college basketball program of all time.

Tickets are dirt cheap and range from $15 to $25. Get your popcorn ready. On to the News:

-The NFL free agent spree has been ridiculous. In short, here is what we have so far: Donovan McNabb to the Vikings, Albert Haynesworth to the Patriots, Tavaris Jackson to the Seahawks, Matt Hassellback to the Titans, Kevin Kolb is reportedly going to the Cardinals and Plaxico Burress will probably end up a Steeler or a Giant. Whewwwww!!! That's just to name a few and there will be more to come. Thank you, NFL.

-The saga of the Derrrick Locke to the NFL continued yesterday. Locke was initially signed with the Vikings. He then failed the physical and was then resigned by the Eagles. Did Locke do this on purpose in order to have a chance on a team in which he has a better chance of playing? Probably not but I would like to think he was smart enough to do that.

-Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong were both at the Governor's Cup cocktail party last night and will be live on the Courier Journal's website at 12:30. I will watch it and give you the details.

-The stars were out (sort of) at the cocktail party. The party was at the Henry Clay in Louisville. The celebrities representing the Cards were Lee Corso, Joe Jacoby and Tom Jackson. Tim Couch and Freddy Maggard were there for the Cats. Lee Corso is a big fan of the rivalry game and Tim Couch voiced that he wished the game was played as the first game for both teams every year.

-Couch also threw in a tid-bit of trivia that I had forgotten about. The Cats won the first ever game played in Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium in 1998. The score was a blistering 68-34. The Cats own the series 14-9, including 4 in a row. 51 Days until the game.

-The top quarterback prospect in the nation, yes the top prospect in the USA, has decided to go to Indiana to play football. Yes, Indiana. A team that has not made a bowl game in about 20 years. His name is Gunner Kiel and he is from Indiana but that does not excuse him from trying to ruin his college career by going to play for the dreadful Hoosiers. Kiel spurned Oklahoma, Alabama and Missouri to go to IU. To be fair, IU's new coach, Kevin Wilson, groomed QB's such as Sam Bradford at Oklahoma. At least Gunner didn't go to Louisville.

-Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants. This made the World Series defending champs World Series contenders again.

That was a lot. I'm done for now. I just started watching Mad Men on Streaming Netfilx and I am adicted. I'm going to continue that now. I'll be back later to update the Phillips/Strong presser. Later dudes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Terrell Pryor's Exile: News and Notes


Top 'O the Mornin' to Ya! We start today off with a bit of justice for Terrell Pryor. The shamed Ohio State quarterback has been banished by his football team and entire athletic program for five years.

OSU is trying to curb an NCAA smack down by being proactive and imposing it's own sanctions in the hopes that the NCAA does not take away scholarships or impose any further punishments. This all sounds noble and right. Wrong.

If one looks further at this, the reason the Buck Eyes are doing this to Pryor is so that he will be able for the NFL supplemental draft. A player is not allowed in the supplemental draft unless he has no chance of returning to the university. Pryor was only suspended for 5 games in the original punishment, which meant that he could return to Ohio State if he wanted. Now, OSU has made that impossible with the hopes that Pryor game finally get paid to play football. Legally.

On to the News:

-Let's start off with some NFL. The Vikings are losing a QB and gaining one. Word on the street is that Tavaris Jackson will sign with the Seahawks and that Donovan McNabb will sign with the Vikes. Minnesota lost an aging gunslinger in Brett Favre only to gain another with McNabb. If you recall, McNabb was shown the boot in Philly, went to the Redskins, benched for Rex Grossman (!), and routinely embarrassed by coach Mike Shannahan. McNabb has some football left in him, good pick up by the Vikes.


-Monster Mash and I are looking to buy tickets to the UK All Stars Vs. the Dominican Republic National team. It's been a while since we went on a road trip and this sounds like it will be a doozy. Stay tuned.

-A number of ex-football Cats were signed to NFL teams yesterday. Derrick Locke went to the Vikings, Ricky Lumpkin went to the Cardinals, Chris Matthews went to the Browns and Mike Hartline, Dequinn Evans is with the Bengals, the thorn in the side of every Louisville Cardinal, signed with the Colts. Keep that bench warm Mike, Peyton Manning is gunning to break Favre's all time consecutive starts record.

-Joker Phillips was all over ESPN yesterday with some other SEC coaches. Joker went on Sportscenter, College Football Live and Scott Van Pelt just to name a few. Joker brought the thunder.


-6-7 2011 recruit T.J. Warren narrowed his choices down to Kentucky and Louisville among others. Warren said he is expected to be at Big Blue Madness. He also said Louisville is like the ugly girl that asks a hot guy to the prom. He just doesn't want to hurt their feelings and is trying to be nice.

-I think one or two Louisville football players were picked up yesterday. I'm not sure. I really don't care, they suck and will get cut.

That's all for now. I will be back later in the evening with another post. But only if you are good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Can Strong handle the Louisville fan Hype?



When Charlie Strong was hired on as Louisville's head coach there were cheers heard all through the city. Steve Kragthorpe, the coach who had taken a once tough program down the tubes, was gone and a new Sheriff was in town.

There were reasons for excitement. Strong was coming from Florida, a team where he orchestrated the defenses for a multi-time national champion and had recruited names like Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes. Louisville fans were looking to Strong to rebuild their once illustrious (this adjective can be argued) football program.

In year one the hype was big but subdued. Strong had a lot of seniors coming back, including two at quarterback and one big time senior running back, and had an easy schedule in the Big East. Fans expected a win in the first game against the Wildcats but were disheartened as the Cats took some of the shine off of Strong's suit of armor and defeated him in his first game as head coach.

As the season went on Louisville lost to every team that they were supposed to lose to, beat the teams they were supposed to beat, but they did not upset or surprise anybody. They were mediocre and eked out a come behind bowl victory against the Mighty Southern Miss Eagles in the illustrious Beef O'Brady's Bowl. The swagger was back in Duh Ville.

One would think that after the so-so season that the Cards had, and the loss of about 30 seniors, that Louisville fans would bring their expectations down a bit. Not so fast my friend. The fan base is more talkative than ever despite the fact that the Cards have no offensive line to speak of, 2 foot tall Will Stein at QB, questions on defense, and a young receiver core.

Many fans are pointing to Strong's recruits to become stars. Look, this is college football, not college basketball. It is much more difficult for a rookie to come in and make an impact on a team in football than it is in basketball unless that player is all world like Bo Jackson. Teddy Bridgewater is not going to be all world this year and not even next year. Please start him at Commonwealth stadium on September 17th. That would be a great idea.

As I look at the Cardinal football schedule I see them going 5-7 and missing out on a bowl game as well as losing to UK for a fifth straight year. The fact is that I do not see Strong as that great of a head coach. He made very questionable calls last year, like running the Wildcard even though they did not have the personell to do it and continuing to stick with Adam Froman despite the fact that he sucked awfully bad.

The question is, how will the Louisville fan base react when Strong's second year is a step back rather than a step forward? Their braggadocio will not be hindered, we all know that much. But will they continue to hype Strong as Lombardi, Bryant and Paterno all rolled into one? Will they still think he can walk on water?

The answer is no. Nobody will be calling for his job but many will start to question the man's invincibility. Strong will be given a pass this season because he is still "playing with Kragthorpe's guys." But time will be running out for using Kragthorpe as the whipping boy, something the fans love to do.

Even Strong's tough stance on academics and player conduct policies have already been tarnished. Louisville football was put on probation because of a horrendous grade report in the classroom. Of course that was Kragthorpe's fault even though he is no longer there.

We were also given the examples of Darius Ashley being arrested for a DUI twice under Strong's watch and being allowed to stay on the team in both cases as well as brothers Isaac Geffrad and Jacob Geffrad being charged with assault in November of 2010 for beating up a fellow teammate in the Louisville locker room. Looks like Strong's Cardinal Virtues are not taking effect like he wants them too.

This is not an indictment on Charlie Strong. I like him, he is a great recruiter, a great motivator, a great coordinator, and I think one day he might be a good coach. But Louisville fans have put some lofty expectations on him and I just don't see him delivering what they want to see.

This will be the year that the Charlie Strong Love parade will be rained on a little bit. If he does not produce what the fans think he can produce in year three, then watch for it to be rained out completely.

Locke, Matthews and Lumpkin are Pros



The long wait is over for former Cats Derrick Locke, Ricky Lumpkin and Chris Matthews. All three have signed with NFL teams.

Derrick Locke is running to catch up to Adrian Peterson with the Vikings, Chris Matthews is looking to catch some passes from Colt McCoy with the Browns and Ricky Lumpkin will be joining Darnell Dockett on the Cardinals D-Line.

Congrats to all of them and here is to hoping some more good NFL players from UK. I am especially excited to see Matthews in Cleveland, for I am a Browns fan. Don't judge me, jerks.

Desmond Allison: News and Notes



The News and Notes for today will start off a little somber as we remember former Wildcat Desmond Allison. Desomond was found murdered in Ohio and the details are still murky on what happened. There was an argument involving two women and that is about all we know.

Allison was a part of one of Tubby Smith's first big recruiting classes that included Tayshaun Prince. Allison was dismissed as a sophomore due to a DUI bust and marijuana possession. He was averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds at the time.

It's sad when anyone dies, especially a former Wildcat. On to the News:

-Dick Vitale released his preseason rankings. He has the Cats as #2 overall (UNC #1) and Louisville at #9. As far as conference rankings he has the Cats atop the SEC but has Louisville at #3 in the Big East behind Syracuse and UConn. See the rankings here. I find nothing wrong with these rankings except the fact that Louisville is in the top 10. Why the hell are they in the top 10?

-Jodie Meeks will be joining John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe in facing the Dominican National team in August. Where can I get tickets, where can I get tickets and where can I get tickets? This is going to be amazing.

-Rick Pitino continued saying dumb things. Not only did he say that Kyle Kuric is now "unguardable", but he also said that Peyton Siva will for sure go pro after this season because he is that good (John Wall and Brandon Knight beg to differ) and that Angel Nunez is the second coming of Francisco Garcia, only better. Pitino really needs to stop setting his players up for failure. Mike Marra is somewhere sighing with relief that his name wasn't mentioned in Pitino's lunatic rant.

-The Cats opened up as an 8 point favorite of Louisville in their showdown in Commonwealth stadium on September 17. I think this is a dead on spread. More on that in a bit.

-Our government is leading us headlong into an financial Apocalypse. It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

-Joker Phillips will be all over ESPN today doing shows, interviews and a "car wash". I'm not sure what that entails but I am sure it will be entertaining. It is good to see Kentucky football getting some national publicity. Charlie Strong will be on MSNBC's "Lock Up: The Dirty Birds of Duh Ville" if anyone is interested.

Come back later when I explain why the Charlie Strong lovefest will take a major hit this year with Louisville fans. It's going to be a good one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Terrence Jones is #4 and Jay Cutler is on the Market

Jay Cutler dumped this hot blond. Your move, Monster Mash.

Kentucky sophomore power-forward Terrence Jones checks in at #4 on the Basketball Prospectus list of the top 100 players in college basketball next year.

Jones is going to benefit from another year under Calipari, more talent, more experience and more muscle. Jones is going to have some big time help under the basket from Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

We all remember that Jones started off last season looking like the best player in all of college basketball before tapering off a bit. I think the reason for this is that Brandon knight became more familiar running the team and they did not have to rely on Jones as much. Plus, he stopped being a selfish Mother F***er and shared the ball with his team. Jones turned into a guy more concerned with defense and rebounding rather than scoring. I think he will have plenty of chances to mater all three this season.

In other news, Jay Cutler has broken off his engagement to talentless D list "celebrity" Kristen Cavalier (that's really not her last name). I think this is a good move for Cutler. Maybe now he can focus on playing football and not faking injuries in a HUGE playoff game so he can end the season early so that he can go on vacation with a smokin' hot blond.

Also, the Brett Favre rumors that he will play at Philadelphia in a back up role have begun. You've been warned.

OOps... my weekend mishap of news!

It was a busy weekend - my apologies. I mean I painted my foundation, front porch, put new vents on my roof, cut grass, attended the Nelson County fair and MORE. Boogiewoogie is back and posting up like a Kentucky Power Forward (on this blog of course we've seen his basketball skills). He recapped the weekend really well and I tried to keep you up to date with everything before that. I posted on Twitter so if you follow me, you've already known this, but Tony Woods chose the Oregon as his school to attend this year.

Woods was constantly bashed by Kentucky fans when he told Ricky P he'd attend Louisville... then after he backed out of that, he turned his sights on UK. Those same fans were eating crow and had to either back track and accept or push back and reject Wood. The later was the majority.

Ultimately, Woods' decision came down to can he deal with all the negative attention that he'd receive under the hot spot lights of Kentucky? The answer was a resounding no - thus his banishment to the Pacific Northwest.

Hopefully, Woods can keep his hands off his girls and his eyes on the court.

Super 8: News and Notes




It's that time of year when UK football is starting to steal the thunder from UK basketball. Well, not really. Is that ever the case? No. We agree on that so lets move on.

Las Vegas has posted some early odds for college football and puts the Cats as eight point favorites over the Dirty Birds. UofL fans are already raising hell about this despite some glaring reasons why the Cats are a heavy favorite. I will get to those reasons in a later post. For now, let's just relish the fact that this could be 5 straight wins over UofL and it all started with this:





Stevie got loose. Onto the news:

-Let's keep on the football news for a minute. Andre Woodson is mentoring Morgan Newton and will be a fixture at practice when camp opens soon. Woodson is an ideal pick as a mentor for the junior. As we all know, Woodson had one of the best seasons for a Wildcat quarterback in recent memory and set the NCAA record for pass attempts without an interception his senior year.

-The NFL lockout is finally over!!!! Players and owners agreed on a deal and training camps for some teams will start as early as Wednesday. I knew this would eventually happen. The NFL operates on a profit of over $1 billion a year. No way players and owners pass that up. The NBA is another story since the majority of the teams are losing money. That one may be in for the long hall.

-Shabazz Muhammad cut his list down to 5 and UK seems to be at the top. He texts John Wall on a daily basis. And he can dunk. Man style.



-John Calipari is a marketing genius, we all know that. He is now putting Kentucky in an even brighter spotlight. He is organizing an exhibition game that will showcase the Dominican Republic National Team against some all time UK greats. Those greats are rumored to include John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Demarcus Cousins. Worth every penny.

-Rick Pitino says that Kyle Kuric will be "unguardable" next season. You can pick yourself up off of the floor from laughing. I think Darius Miller or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will have a thing or two to say about guarding the slow, overrated walk on. That makes the 1,148th ignorant statement that Three Stacks has made since becoming the coach of Louisville's School for the Criminally Incompetent.

That's all for now. I hope you had fun. I sure did.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How People from other states view Kentuckians


Greetings Sportsthat. I am on the verge of making my triumphant return to Duh Ville. I am now sitting in a bedroom in Chicago, viewing the website and marveling at the wonderful job Monster Mash has done in my absence.

I have crossed through three separate states in my journeys this past week; Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. I took some mental notes on the reactions that people have when I tell them that I am from Kentucky.

I do not keep my origin state a secret. I lay the accent on pretty thick (sometimes I get free stuff for this, thanks Starbucks and Mayson's Bar & Grill!) and I most always have on a shirt or a hat that flaunts the blue of UofK. People recognize quickly that "I'm not from around these parts."

When people find out that I am from Kentucky they generally get the usual jokes out of their systems. "Well, I guess some people from Kentucky do have teeth", or "If you are from Kentucky then why are you wearing shoes?" and the always popular "Do you eat opossum?" are the usual jabs that people throw at me. Once that is out of the way, they talk about the three things that our Commonwealth is most famous for: The Derby, bourbon and Wildcat basketball.

Almost everyone that I ran into knew about the Cats going to the Final Four this year and could name certain players from our storied programs history, John Wall being the most popular at the moment. I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that I cheer for a team that is so widely recognized throughout the country. Coach John Calipari is also very famous outside the Commonwealth. People are all over his recruiting capabilities and yes, his vacated seasons.

In Minnesota people also recognize Kentucky because of Tubby Smith. And believe me, they are about as ready for the Tubster to hit the road as we were at the end of his tenure.

When I go into further detail and tell people that I am from Louisville Kentucky, they also mention Muhammad Ali and Louisville Slugger. Nobody, and I mean nobody, talks about the Louisville Cardinals. I'm not just saying that because I hate them, I am removing all bias when I make the statement that nobody in the country cares about them outside of Kentucky. The Cards have a very strong local following but it pretty much ends with that. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and even the city of Louisville are associated with Wildcat basketball.

Sorry Cards, you really are Little Brother. Actually, you are more like a distant second cousin that rarely shows up and everybody hates, that is if they know you at all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SEC Media Day: news and notes

Boogiewoogie makes his next comeback tomorrow. He is tweeting in Minnesota or Chicago or wherever he has ventured to up north that he is returning shortly...exhale now... Then the site visits can explode back to normal when all the women can come back onto the site and swoon over him and his manly good looks and curves.

Until then, you're stuck with me once again. The good news is that you're also stuck with some news:

- In the annual SEC Media Day polls, the press picked Kentucky to finish in 5th place in the SEC East. That's behind Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and only ahead of lowly Vandy. They picked Kentucky to finish 4th last year ahead of Tennessee, I guess Joker lost a fan. Kentucky did receive two votes for first place as did Ole Miss in the West - silly press people.

- John Calipari is in Las Vegas. If you were to guess which of the following would you think he was doing
A) Playing  role in the next CSI season as a mob boss with lots of 'connections'
B) Making a cameo in the next Hangover movie
C) Putting all his money on Kentucky to win the national championship
D) Placing 1/2 his new bonus on Louisville to fire Rick Pitino after another abysmal year.
E) Watching Shabazz Muhammad play
I don't really know the answer, but my guess is either D or E.

- Shabazz Muhammed told the Las Vegas Sun (not related to Rupert Murdoch's 'The Sun' magazine) that he exchanges text messages with former Kentucky point guard, John Wall nearly every day. I would guess that could be an advantage the Cats have in his recruitment.

Stick around folks, we'll have pictures of Boogie's sunburned belly later this weekend and you know you don't want to miss that!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hood sidelined with ACL tear

Sad news out of Lexington yesterday. Junior Kentucky small forward, Jon Hood, tore his ACL in a pick up game. Hood's father reported that it was a freak accident where no contact had taken place, Jon was 'just standing there'. Hood will undergo surgery once the swelling goes down. A timetable for his return has not been set, but similar injuries have caused players to miss the season's entirety.

All of Big Blue Nation took to the Twitterwaves last night to wish @hoodyhood4 the best of luck in his recovery as we do here on SportsThat.

Hood had made progress between his Freshmen and Sophomore seasons and looked to be a big bench player role.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drop the 'eron' it's D Lamb to you...

Last night, Doron Lamb chose his nickname and asked that you stick with it. As the king of random initial nicknames, I love it. What can make this nickname the next "boogie cousins"... if Doron plays D like DeAndre Liggins... lock it down and the name will lock down to you.

CoachCal.com Profiles Anthony Davis

Last week it was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, this week it's Anthony Davis. Another good story from coachcal.com, this time focusing on Davis as the potential #1 draft pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and Davis focused on his career at UK first.

The Chicago, Illinois born Davis was a 6'2" guard before his Junior season and had a multi-million dollar growth spurt in the summer of his junior year, jumping to 6'10". The guard abilities remain, but his new found height found him with the best ball handling, passing, and shooting of any guy his size. He's grown into his skills physically, but mentally it hasn't sunk in that he has all he needs at his finger tips...

Go on out to the site, check it out and get excited about your next Kentucky star, Anthony Davis.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kaboom! Cal's latest mystery tweet

We saw this last year... Cal and mystery tweets. Well, here he goes again. One word but it has opened the door for thousands.

Kaboom!

USA falls to Japan in Penalty Kicks

I admit it, I only watched 30 minutes of soccer during the women's World Cup. It was the 30 minutes of Extra Time that occurred during Sunday's Final and the subsequent Penalty Kicks (and likely the most exciting 30 minutes of the hours upon hours played), but my thought is that if I only watch baseball in September, why would I watch soccer and women's soccer at that, any more than that in soccer? Besides there was yard work to do and even some automotive repairs.
I turned the match on at the 95th minute. That's 5 minutes into overtime - which is not sudden death but 2 mandatory 15 minute periods. The match was tied 1-1 and this was apparently right after Japan scored a late 'equalizer' in regulation to put it in this situation, then it got even more interesting.

The US scored with just over a minute left in the first Extra Time period. They were on the attack the entire time and finally headed one in. Who headed it? Abby Wambach... who I learned is HOT and has a knack for headers - no sexual innuendo intended.

Japan trailed 2-1 into the second ET session and with just over 2 minutes to go, scored another last minute equalizer. 2-2 going into PKs and the pins and needles were apparent. Needless to say, the US hadn't missed a PK shot the entire World Cup but missed their first 2, Wambach scored but the team trailed 3-1 with two shots left - game over Japan won, my heart broken, hot girls crying all over the field and ugly ones celebrating.

Weirdly, I took the loss hard. Sucked into the vortex of meaningful sport, I felt at ease again. When the loss came, I took it as hard as Kentucky losing to Louisville, a storyline very seldom seen these days and quite unexpected, but hard nonetheless. I'm not sure, maybe it was the fact that I was just needing competition in my life or that these women are HOT and I am a sucker for an exception woman. Either way, I had that sick - I just got hit in the stomach after eating a funnel cake - feeling.

Either way, USA's 2012 team may not have stolen the stage like the 1999 fighting Mia Hamms... but this team certainly won my heart in the 30 minutes I devoted to them.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Look both ways before you cross: news and notes

I finally finished watching Spartacus on Netflix... something I would recommend you all do and later this afternoon I'll be showing the guys a thing or two of NCAA 2k10 on XBox (I was a dominating 10-2 on my first attempt at the game). However, I'd like to let you have this little bit of information before my day breaks.

Louisville was ranked #19 today! I want to offer my sincere congratulations to a city where they don't get much attention and top 25 rankings are rare. The bad news is that this latest ranking has nothing to do with their basketball rankings but the likely hood of being hit by a car as a pedestrian. Yes, that is a higher rank than what you might think obvious - New York, Boston, LA, or Chicago.

So congratulations Louisville, this ranking can be celebrated right along side of the #1 ranking of most likely to see a college basketball coach having an affair in the booth next to you, #1 most likely to see a football player eat a bag of pot or even #1 most likely to get beat up over a hair brush!

Onto the news:

- If the NBA ever plays basketball again - which knowing their propensity for the all mighty US Dollar (which after August 2nd may not be so mighty - nerd fight ensue!) they will. You will get to hear the recently retired Shaquille O'neil offer his opinions. He is joining the TNT gang that includes Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. While I've never been much on the NBA, after watching Barkley and the others do CBS's NCAA coverage this year and his affection for all things UK, I may just try.

- They don't call them the Cameron Crazies for nothing. A family of Duke fans will be appearing in court after a skirmish involving a pair of season tickets and the transfer of those tickets after a woman's father passed. The Dukette is suing her sister, her sister's husband, and Duke University alleging that the faithful Coach K followers did not do their due diligence and see if the man, who was a team dentist, had any other family members with claims to the pair. Please note that the sister and her husband paid a $50,000 transfer fee for those tickets and a $6,000 annual donation fee - talk about a K-fund.

- Ricky P went on record with ESPN's Andy Katz saying that he wants divisions in the Big East once TCU joins the mix. This differs from Jim Boeheim and others who were apart of other Big East division meltdowns (6 in all). I don't really care about the Big East, all I know is that talk of going to 18 teams and having that many schools in a conference is ridiculous, being "BIG" doesn't mean the conference is good.

- The Brits finally realized that they are on an island and as any good island nation does, they started sunbathing at the British Open this week. I warn you, all the stereotypes of British people being unattractive are true...

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Boogiewoogie Vacation

This in no way - and definitely no shape or form - represents Boogiewoogie. It simply represents that he's on a vacation.
Boogiewoogie is making his annual voyage up north to the land o' lakes (and by land of lakes I mean Minnesota not the butter factory, he learned that lesson the hard way showing up with toast and jam in hand ready to slather on the fresh creamy butter. It was quite embarrassing for everyone involved.)  He is accompanying his wife, her family, and baby Boogiewoogie.

In his absence I have committed to him that I shall produce a boogie-esque blog representation. This means I will be relaying pointless mind altering information, which lets face it, is the reason you paroose this site. I mean sure, we could just give you the news - but why? That's what MSN, ESPN, NBC, and facebook are for. We could just tell you what's going on with John Calipari and the Cats - but you already have Twitter and KSR... you come here for that extra "value-add".

Thus, I am committing to value adding. I shall let you have not only the news but my 2 cents as well. Let's start...

- There's a really good article over on CoachCal.com about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (which I'm still having as much trouble typing that "Kidd-" as the ! in YUM!). It talks about Michael's uncle Darrin Kidd and how he help support and raise him. You should read it, well because if you're reading this you're bored and those guys are much better writers.

- I was loving the stories last weekend coming out of Sparta (or because of Sparta) and the traffic. Forget Casey Anthony, I wanted more Twitter pics of drunkards shot-gunning beers and running off into the woods on I-71 to puke/pee. Well, because of that "Carmegedon" the NASCAR president (insert collective 'wooooooooh') has had some words. My thoughts, if it takes 4:45 minutes to go the 60 miles from Louisville to the race track but only 2:30 to race 400 miles, someone f-d up.

- And since I was watching a friend can peaches all night last night, drinking "Wheach" beer... what better way to end an article than a Peach Jam summary. The boys over at KSR  - aka the place Boogiewoogie would rather be - wrapped up the week long peachtacular with a blurb on all the major 2012 Tar-cats (get it? yeah!). My thoughts, why reinvent the wheel when I can just link to it.

Stay tuned peeps because my weekend plans only involve beer and blogs... two items that go great together.

Is Louisville a Top 10 Program?

Turns out these words aren't very scary.
As I was riding in my car yesterday afternoon I turned the radio station to the Afternoon Underdogs. I rarely do this since the program is heavily slanted towards Louisville and I think Tom Jurich actually writes the material for the DJs much like Roger Ailes makes sure that his Fox News casters cover the "news" topics of his choice.

I was intrigued by the debate that was going on between the hosts and the call in listeners. They were debating on whether or not Louisville was an all time top 10 basketball program. Nobody seemed to disagree that the top 5 programs are UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas, pretty much in that order.

After the top 5, there is a huge drop off in numbers of wins, Final Fours and overall championships. So, where does Louisville fit into the grand scheme of things? Are they a top 10 program?

The schools that I would consider to be the next 5 are, in no particular order, Michigan State, Arizona, Louisville, Indiana, and Syracuse. All of these schools have multiple Final Fours, multiple national championships, high winning percentages and a great deal of tournament appearances.

The difference between the top 5 and the next 5 is overall historical relevance. The top 5 have been the top 5 pretty much since college basketball started and have stayed at the top ever since, with lulls in between here and there, but nothing significant.

Also, one of the top 5 has been in a Final Four or the National Champion in every decade since the 1940's. Yes, the 1940's.

The next 5 teams have had their success stories, but they have not had the longevity of the blue bloods of college basketball.

Since the topic of this blog post is Louisville, let's focus on them. Louisville's first NCAA Final Four was in 1958 but did not reach it again until 1971. From 1971 to 1986, Louisville won two national championships and finished in the Final Four a total of four times. Then, the bottom fell out. From 1986 to the present Louisville has been to one Final Four and that was in 2005.

Louisville had a 15 year window when they were truly great but have faltered since. Their program has not had the impact and sustainability that the top 5 programs have had.

Louisville is a top 10 program, but the chasm between them and the top 5 is about as wide as the Pacific Ocean. It's a nice program but it's not a great one.

In today's 24 hour news cycle it is mostly about "What have you done for me lately?" which flies in the face of this argument. It takes away historical relevance and fans outside of Louisville tend to forget two measly championships in the Dark Ages of the 1980's. They tend to remember and cling to the recent failures of a team going out of the first round of the NCAA tournament against schools like Cal and Morehead State.

If you were to ask a casual basketball fan not from the state of Kentucky, they would easily identify the #1 program in the state as the University of Kentucky. They might know that Louisville has a basketball team, that Rick Pitino is the coach and Karen Sypher is his mistress, and that Louisville has flopped in the tournament recently.

There are fans of the top 5 schools in every corner of the country and in some instances all over the world. Again, you would be hard pressed to find a Louisville fan outside the city of Louisville, let alone outside the state of Kentucky. There is no question that Louisville has a very devoted home following but that is where it stops. Louisville is not a nationally recognized team and greatness is not synonymous with their name.

That's my take on the argument. I will concede that Louisville is a top 10 basketball program but the distance between them and teams like UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas is too great to consider them elite.

TGIF: News and Notes


We are still struggling through summer and grasping to find any relevant topics to post and discuss. The release of a the UK non-con schedule is like finding an oasis in the desert, and Monster Mash took full advantage of that yesterday.

Yet, there are still some interesting stories to get to this morning to kick off the weekend. Let's get to them:

-The big news yesterday regarding the Wildcats was the release of the non-conference schedule. And, as usual, with Cal at the helm it is packed with challenges. Kansas will be the second game of the season, St. John's has a young, talented group, the Dirty Birds will be welcomed to Rupp on New Year's Eve, and the game against North Carolina will be one of the biggest college basketball games in recent memory.

-The fact that the Louisville/Kentucky game is again on New Years Eve has some fans riled up, particularly Louisville fans. As I perused the message boards, as I am inclined to do, I see Louisville fans making ignorant statements like, "Kentucky plays the game this early because it's easier for them to win at that time in the year", and "The game should be played during the last 10 games of the season when Louisville is really on their game." Let's walk through this. Wouldn't it actually be better for Louisville to play the game before they get into the "brutal" Big East conference play? And, since when is Louisville on their game at the end of the year? Bowing out of the NCAA tourney doesn't seem like Louisville is a team to be reckoned with by regular season's end. It's just another excuse that Louisville fans make up out of thin air. Check out some of these comments at my all time favorite website, the Card Chronicle.

-Speaking of Louisville, Rick Pitino made the announcement on his website that Freshmen Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware have yet to make it to campus because they have yet to qualify for college. According to the spin doctor, both kids are "finishing up classes". All of the UK freshmen have been on campus and have been attending classes since the day they were able to step foot in Lexington. The funniest thing ever will be if these two scholars will not be able to play at all, especially since Blackshear is by far the best recruit Pitino has coming in. It is unlikely that will happen but there is always a chance.

-Here is a nice little write up on how Joker Phillips will be approaching his second year as the Wildcats' head coach and some praise he is giving to the young guys in the weight room.

-Here is another piece from the Courier Journal about the heavy recruitment of 6-8 power forward Perry Ellis. John Calipari and Orlando Antigua have watched every game Ellis has played between the two of them. It seems that his recruitment has been placed as the top priority over the overall #1 player in the class, Shabazz Muhammad. I trust Cal's instincts and will venture to say the is a very good reason for that. Ellis is considering Kansas, Duke and Kentucky among others.

-The NFL Lockout is coming to an end!! Reports are flying in that owners and players are close to a deal and it could be finalized as early as Tuesday. One of the key elements of the deal is a rookie wage scale. This is something that has been needed for a long time. Many veterans feel that a college kid that has not played one down in professional football should get payed more than a 5 year starter that has contributed. I couldn't agree more. Please see Jamarcus Russell for reasoning.

- And finally, nerds around the country were orgasmic last night as the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise hit theaters at midnight. Did I go and egg lines of adults dressed as wizards at movie theaters? It's a distinct possibility.

I will be back shortly with my thoughts on a debate that I heard on the radio yesterday. See ya soon kiddos.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Kentucky Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

The Kentucky non-conference schedule was released today and here it is:

Marist - Nov. 11
Kansas - Nov. 15
Penn State - Nov. 19
Old Dominion - Nov. 20
South Florida - Nov. 20
Radford - Nov. 23
Portland - Nov. 26
St. John's - Dec. 1
North Carolina - Dec. 3
Indiana - Dec. 10
Chattanooga - Dec. 17
Samford - Dec. 20
Loyola (Md.) - Dec. 22
Lamar - Dec. 28
Louisville - Dec. 31
Arkansas-Little Rock - Jan. 3

Kansas- First the Cats face Marist, but who really cares - they won 6 games last year. They'll be focused on a rebuilding Kansas squad that lost their twins twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum to the draft along with 3 more of their top 7 scorers. This one will be in Madison Square Gardens... I just ask for a W and a repeat of Demarcus Cousins vs New York

North Carolina - You'll finally be getting over that Thanksgiving Day turkey massacre and then you'll get stuffed on some of this game. Kentucky will face a preseason #1 North Carolina team in Lexington on December 3rd. The Tar Heels are returning their #1 ranked 2010 player Harrison Barnes and their leading scorer Tyler Zeller, along with the animosity from being put out in the Elite 8 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. So the question is - Experience or Athleticism. I think it replays like last year and the Heels may just get the best of an inexperienced Wildcat squad, but these teams could meet once again come tourney time.

Indiana - I highlighted IU because they are a rivalry but they're going to need more than 6'11 Cody Zeller to rebound from the thumping last year in Lexington. This game is in December, immediately after North Carolina and in Bloomington which could spell a let down game - but maybe I'm just giving false hope to a fan base in desperate need of a post season.

Louisville - While the temperature in Kentucky on New Years Eve is usually blistering cold, when the Cats face Louisville in Lexington, it might as well be Vegas baby. The Cards only lost Preston Knowles, Terrence Jennings and what was left of Rick Pitino's Valtrex prescription from last year but return a nice core of Kyle Kuric, Peyton Siva, and Chris Smith. They're throwing in 5 star recruit Chane Behanan and should field Pitino's first high expectations team in a few years.

Is it basketball season yet??? Only 119 days!

Early Afternoon Quick Hits: Rick Pitino has a website, Preseason All SEC and more









I just happened to find a few nuggets that you may find interesting:



- I had no idea that Rick Pitino had a website. Apparently he doesn't update as often as John Calipari. But then again he doesn't do a lot of things that John Calipari does such as recruit, win basketball games, get past the first round of the NCAA tournament, beat his most hated rival and stay faithful to his wife. RP runs down the good, the bad and the ugly of the off season. Try your hardest not to laugh at the web site's "special effects" and music. Click here. If you dare. I promise it is SFW.



-The SEC coaches released their preseason All SEC list. Kentucky checks in at the following: first team offense, OL Larry Warford, Jr.; First team defense, LB Danny Trevathan, Sr.; Third team special teams, P Ryan Tydlacka, Sr.



-Shooting guard Archie Goodwin is following Shabazz Muhammad and Dejuan Coleman to UK on a visit.



-Here is a link to Eric Crawford drooling all over the Louisville football media guide if you care to look. It made me pretty sick. I guess when Louisville starts dropping games then the misguided love affair for this team will stop.



Carry on with your day.

A Tom Cable Cutting Thursday

The NFL is locked out, the NBA will be there shortly. MLB is going on, but seriously, who really watches baseball when it isn't September/October? (Although if you're a Red Sox fan, you don't get to watch much baseball even in September and October - yes you Boogiewoogie).

That means ESPN and all its minion sister networks (ESPN2, ESPN360, the Ocho, ESPN News, ESPN Classic... the word count has tripled trying to name them all) just replay the same 15 baseball games on a nightly basis and then in the downtime they make up their own news. So what's a sports fan to do? If you're like me you were paying $90 a month in cable bills for Sportscenter and all your local networks that you get via antenna anyways. You act like you favorite NFL football team (the Raiders) and cut ties with Cable, that's what!

Sure, the Raider's Cable was a bloated old fat man getting paid millions to do a sub par job... but really the analogy fits. I had hundreds of channels but spent 99% of my time on 1% of them. Thus, I am firing you and coaching my own team. While getting in touch with my nerd at heart, I've made my own DVR and hooked up my new PC to my television and get 90% of what I watched for free!

That other 10%? I'd have probably watch the ESPY's - who am I kidding, we know I wouldn't have. I would have been stuck on Yankees/Red Sox games and tuning in for the home run's of the day in the ESPN Top 10. But in a time where over paid players and billionaire owners are complaining about money - I'm not really missing that much. Fox still show's Saturday games for that fix of baseball here and there. KentuckySportsRadio still keeps me up to date on my UK newsworthy items and there's always the local news sports segment.

Until Monday night football rolls around (or if that doesn't happen, then UK basketball on ESPN) I think I'm doing well.

Vive Le France: News and Notes



The title of today's News and Notes is meant to be sarcastic. As we all know the USA Women's Soccer Team has advanced to the Finals of the World Cup with a big 3-1 victory over the French. There are few things that we Americans take as much joy in as defeating France.

The hatred we have for the French is mutual. We can all remember in the not so distant past when some of us Americans were so outraged by France's stance on the war in Iraq that we started referring to French Fires, French Kissing and French Poodles as Freedom Fries, Freedom Kissing and Freedom Poodles. Was I one of these folks? I will leave that for you to decide.

But all the animosity towards the French comes from the fact that we bailed them out of two world wars in which they declined to take the fight to Germany. It's not so much that we had to bail them out, it was the fact that they were so ungrateful about it. So, beating France at anything is always a grand thing to do. Napoleon ain't walkin' through that door.

Let's look at the news, shall we?

-The U.S. will face Japan in the finals on Sunday. I don't think I need to go into any detail about the history between our two nations. In short, we fought each other in World War II and we beat them by dropping the only two Atomic weapons ever to be dropped on a population of people. Now our countries are allies and the U.S. was intricate in humanitarian aid in wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that devastated that country. Let's hope it's an exciting, spirited match.

-John Calipari continued his evaluation of high school superstars yesterday at the Peach Jam in Georgia. Cal also made a little side trip to Milwaukee to watch Shabazz Muhammad and Perry Ellis, the two recruits that Cal seems to covet the most. It is still indicated that Muhammad has UCLA as his top choice because of the whole Adidas connection but he still has UK as his lone visit. Cal will land one of these two and it is a high possibility that he will land both.

-4 star corner back Devontre Parnell spurned Joker Phillips and Kentucky for Charlie Strong and the Dirty Birds. I can't tell you how much this bothers me. Whenever Charlie Strong gets a recruit, Louisville fans automatically think he is the best at his position in all of college football. It makes their delusional thoughts of a national championship in Louisville even worse and more absurd. I hope we beat Louisville by 1,000 in Commonwealth this year. That will shut them up for about 24 hours and then they will start talking about next season. Again.

-Rick Bozich wrote an article on how the Big East can improve it's image in football by winning some out of conference football games. On the list are Louisville vs. UK, North Carolina State vs. Cincy, Notre Dame vs. Pitt, LSU vs. West Virginia, Miami vs. South Florida. I see the Big East going 2-3. South Florida will be Miami and Cincy should beat North Carolina State, they are equally horrible but the game is in Cincinnati. But it's just as probable that the Worst College Football Conference in the History of the World will go 0-5.

-Continuing with Bozich's article, he made the point that UK will not have Randall Cobb, Mike Hartline or Derrick Locke this season and that Louisville can win the game by one or more touchdown's. He also failed to mention that Louisville will be without Bilal Powell, Adam Froman, and the fact that their entire offensive line is full of freshmen and sophomores with only one senior. I will take Morgan Newton and a veteran offensive line in a home game against Will Stein and a young offensive line.

-The Courier Journal also includes a nice write up on La'Rod King as the new go to guy in the receiver department for the Wildcats. King showed flashes of brilliance last year but was out shined by studs such as Randall Cobb and Chris Matthews. King will be joined by Matt Roark and Brian Adams as UK's primary receiving core. Has anybody heard from Aaron Boyd lately?

-Did anybody watch the Espy's last night? Neither did I.

That's all for the time being. Enjoy your Thursday you crazy kids.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Challenge Accepted Ohio State


According to Rick Bozich, the man featured above was such an Ohio State fan that at his funeral, he requested that his casket was aligned so he formed the I in OHIO one last time.

Bozich posed an interesting question... are there any IU fans, UK fans, UL fans this dedicated.

I'm just saying, challenge accepted Bozich. My plan for eternity has to always be cremated though, but a challenge is a challenge.

New plan: have those ashes be spread at center court of Rupp (or whatever new arena is built by that time) and they can write "The University of Kentucky Wildcats #FreeEnes" with my remains. Sure, I'll need to gain 300lbs so there is enough dust to do that, but damn it, this is UK we're talking about! No old man is going to show us up.

Home Field Advantage: News and Notes


The Mid-Summer Classic belonged to the National League for a second year in a row, powered behind game MVP Prince Fielder's 3 run blast. The American League did not have all of it's stars at it's disposal, especially in the pitching department, and this led to a convincing 5-1 victory for the NL All Stars.

Of course this means that the Phillies, I mean whoever wins the NL, will have home field advantage in the World Series. This is what makes the baseball all star game unique among all other professional exhibitions: it means something. Now, people can debate whether or not it is good for an exhibition to determine an advantage for another league, but you can't deny the intrigue. Rumor is that most of the players don't like it and would rather the MLB adopt the old way of doing things, which is to give home field advantage during the World Series to the team with the best overall record.

As I fan, I like my all star games to have a little extra drama. On to the news:

-The biggest news coming out of the University of Kentucky is a smack down between CBS Sports writer Gary Parrish and UK athletics employee DeWayne Peevy. Parrish wrote an article that resurrected the old story of Anthony Davis' father demanding $200,000 for his son's services to play basketball. The original story came from the Chicago Sun Times and was immediately tagged as BS and unsubstantiated. For whatever reason (clicks on his link. no, that isn't a sexual inuendo, you pervert), Parrish decided to bring it up again despite the fact that he ripped the report when it came out as "sloppy and embarrassing". Parrish knows that any article involving the combined themes of "John Calipari" and "scandal" means an automatic 100,000 hits. DeWayne Peevy threatened on Twitter to revoke Parrish's media credentials at Rupp this season for writing such a ridiculous article in order to draw readers. I disagree with Sarah Palin on 99% of her "issues". But the 1% I can agree with her on is her assessment on the "lamestream" media. I feel dirty for saying that.

-University of Louisville football poster boy Willie Williams has been arrested for the thirteenth time. Williams was booked in Northern Kentucky on burglary charges. Williams was one of the first nationally sought after recruits that UofL landed. He initially committed to Miami, then he went JuCo, then he went to UofL, then he ended his career playing at Union College in Kentucky. Many consider Williams as the pioneer of Cardinal football criminality. That rich tradition is still carried on today, despite the "changing of the guard" at head coach.

-PETA hates KFC. KFC wants DeWayne Wade as an honarary drive through captain for $250,000 for charity. PETA told DeWayne he better not do that. The Cardinals play in a basketball facility named the KFC YUM! Center, which is nicknamed "The Bucket" and the fans wear chicken buckets on their heads during games, which PETA considers "chicken coffins". Louisville fans love animal cruelty. PETA hates Louisville fans. I hope you followed my logic on that.

-Eric Crawford from the Courier-Journal doesn't hide the fact that he is ultra critical of UK. He also isn't a fan of LeBron James. Since LeBron is sponsoring UK's shoes and uniforms for next year's season, Crawford felt the need to write this little blog. Touche, Mr. Crawford.

-John Calipari continues his insane pace during the high school evaluation period today by being in three states at different times during the day to make his presence felt to the young high school players. His main targets today will be DeJuan Coleman, Archie Goodwin, Ricky Ledo and Anthony Bennett. Coleman will visit UK September, the rest of the prospects are still up in the air. Expect Coleman and his neck tattoo to be a member of the Cats around December.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more later and hopefully Monster Mash can do two articles in two days. We can all wish upon a star...