Category: Sports

Levon Helm’s Friday News & Views

Levon Helm

People have got to stop dying this week.

Despite April 20th’s counter-culture connotations (if you want that, go over to Louisville Sports Radio), we gather here tonight to celebrate the life of a music legend. Levon Helm, best known as the drummer and singer of The Band, succumbed to throat at the age of 71 on Thursday.

Helm’s soulful southern voice headlined hits such as “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “The Weight.” Helm hailed from Turkey Scratch, Arkansas, and it showed in his music, which, in my mind, was made for summer road trips across the South. During his fifty-year music career, Helm played with many legendary rockers, including Bob Dylan, with whom he frequently collaborated. His most famous work came with The Band, and is documented in the brilliant film, “The Last Waltz,” a concert thought to be the group’s last that was filmed by Martin Scorsese. Helm and his Band mates were joined by over a dozen special guests, including Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Neil Young.

In a time when most popular music is manufactured on a sound board, it’s nice to look back at the people that truly mastered the craft. Rest in peace, Levon.

Now, take a load off and enjoy these news and views…

Let’s start with two very important packages that Coach Cal received on Thursday: Nerlens Noel’s Letter of Intent (more on that later), and the big crystal NABC National Championship trophy. After its football counterpart shattered due to a pair of butterfingers recently in Alabama, I doubt this one will leave the Craft Center.

However, if you missed the other, non-crystal National Championship trophy during its statewide tour last week, it will be on display from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday before the UK/LSU baseball game at Cliff Hagan Stadium and also at Commonwealth Stadium from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. prior to the Blue/White game. Fans are invited to come take a picture with it. You’ll never need a new Christmas card picture again.

Your Anthony Bennett update: On Thursday, Bennett cut Washington from his list, which leaves Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and UNLV battling for the talented 6’7″ forward. Bennett will make three visits before making his decision, but hasn’t said which schools get the honor. Bennett spoke to Orlando Antigua on Wednesday, which was followed by a “lengthy sit-down” with Florida coach Billy Donovan. Coaches from UNLV and Oregon were also present at Bennett’s workout at Findlay Prep. Florida is considered by many to be the front-runner for Bennett, but there’s nothing like a National Championship and potentially six first round draft picks to sway the decision in the Cats’ favor.

Singer Levon Helm

Perhaps Nerlens Noel can fill Bennett in on what is sure to be an amazing visit to Lexington? Despite already committing to be a Cat, Nerlens is taking his last “official visit” to Kentucky this weekend to deliver his Letter of Intent. After receiving the letter, Coach Cal was finally able to discuss his new player, whom he likened to Anthony Davis (see, even he can’t help it) and Marcus Camby as someone who can have an impact on a game without scoring. Cal reminded Cats fans that like Davis, Noel is not a finished product who has a lot of work to do, but one capable of doing special things that he is “ecstatic to have an opportunity to work with.” I think the feeling is mutual, Coach. And as if the weekend couldn’t get any better for Noel, he was named the 2012 USA Today National High School Player of the Year, an accolade of the likes we hope he gets pretty used to around here.

Cal said that like the 2011 class, the 2012 class will “all play off one another,” and are “all great kids who have a desire to win, have terrific talent and who all complement each other.” If history teaches us anything, it’s that 99.9% of the time, Cal’s kids have character that matches their talent, which is why you should stop worrying about next season.

With Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb making the jump to the big league, Kentucky’s recruitment of Torian Graham is back on. You might remember Graham most for his commitment and subsequent decommitment from NC State earlier this year. Along with SG Archie Goodwin, Graham can bring some much-needed depth to the back court. Graham is ranked 67th in the class of 2012 by Rivals and Orlando Antigua watched him play on Wednesday. Some doubt Graham’s chances at qualifying, but if Cal sent Antigua to watch him play, he must be confident. Graham has until May 16th to make his decision.

Are you ready for some football? Come on…the Blue/White game is this Saturday at 6 p.m. and I can think of a whole squad of blue-clad men who’d love to see you there. Need more incentive? The athletic department is pulling out all the stops for this event, with an appearance by the National Championship trophy, a free poster commemorating the team’s win over Tennessee, and a “Super Surplus Sale” of UK team apparel beginning at 3 p.m. That means your dreams of owning Randall Cobb’s old socks may come true (if I don’t beat you to them).

If you’re looking to make it a day full of Wildcat fun, head over to Cliff Hagan Stadium and take in the Bat Cats’ game against #2 LSU at 2 p.m. It will be the second of a three-game series against the Tigers, with the first Friday night at 6:30 p.m. For those of you unable to make it, the series will be televised on Fox Sports South.

You want more baseball? Okay. The Lexington Catholic/Farragut High School (Knoxville, TN) baseball series this weekend has been selected the “ECoach/Perfect Game National Game of the Week.” Friday night’s game is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST, and Saturday’s broadcast is set for 12:00 p.m. EST. Both teams are ranked first in their state; Lexington Catholic is ranked 46th nationally and Farragut close behind at 45th. Both broadcasts can be viewed at and (and additionally on Lexington Catholic’s

While the major renovation project remains up in the air, the off-season renovations to Rupp Arena are well under way. Preliminary work on the locker rooms has already begun, with construction set to begin next month. The project is set to cost $2.9 million, and the renovations will include improvements to the training room, the addition of a hydro-therapy treatment whirlpool, a medical room with an X-ray machine, team meeting room, a second coach’s office, team lounge and food service area, along with a new press area.

Drummer Levon Helm

Want to be the next Matt Jones or Radio Ron? Head to Northern Kentucky for Saturday’s KSTV Casting Call! The auditions will be held in Florence at Insight Communications Studio (7906 Dixie Highway, Florence, KY 41042). To try out, you MUST be present at registration, which runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more details, click here.

Would you rather write about sports? We need you! We’re looking to add new writers to for the summer and fall semester. To qualify, you must be a college student (preferably at Kentucky) and send a resume and a writing sample to [email protected] Entries need to be in by Monday, April 22, and all applicants must be available for an interview in Lexington on Sunday, April 29. It’ll make you popular (just kidding).

Finally, one last “rest in peace” for DeMarcus Cousins’ pup, Roscoe. The 18-week-old bulldog died after suffering an allergic reaction to a bee sting. When asked about it, DeMarcus said: “He just collapsed in his crate while I was on our last road trip. We had an autopsy done and everything because we wanted to know what happened. The (veterinarian) said it was from a bee sting.” Yet another reason to hate bees…

The boys will be back bright and early, broadcasting live from Keeneland. Tune in at 10 a.m. for stories and fail-proof racing picks. Who knows? Maybe they’ll talk about sports, too.


Ryan Tydlacka’s Saturday Night Post


That’s right, . Cherish this moment. Take that football home and frame it. You’ll never want to forget the day you met the amazing punt-master, Ryan Tydlacka.

The Cats put the “L” in LSU today because taking a big one to the effect of 35-7. But you knew that. That’s not why you’re here. You are here to find some great insight or some hilarious banter about the game. Unfortunately for you, I have neither. It’s Saturday night, the Cats lost, Ryan Tydlacka is our best player, and there’s a city full of open bars to attend to. Get on it. But first, let’s take a look at what happened on this glorious worthless day.

Big Blue Madness tickets sold out in less than an hour this morning. Kentucky fans are just unbelievable, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out the posts and pictures on the site from this week of Madness camping. It was quite a sight to see. No one does it like UK fans. #BBN

– Ryan Tydlacka sures knows how to punt. Glad we reeled in this prized recruit. Sadly, we won’t be using him that much once we get the Patrick Towles era underway. I hope. To quote Hunter Campbell below…”10 punts. 424 yards. Long of 64 yards. 1 punt inside the 20. Heisman.”

Louisville lost to Marshall 17-13 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Teddy played the entire game, and not the Leprechaun. So I’m out of jokes. Ha! Suck it, Cards. Oh, wait…what’s that you say? We lost to them? Damn. Which leads me to my next point…

– We’re not very good at football this season.

– John Wall took part in the Chris Paul All-Star Benefit Game in Winston-Salem tonight. Basketball never ends. Yadda yadda. I wish the season would get here sooner.

Anthony Davis

– Take solace in that fact that our basketball team is going to be absolutely amazing this season.

– Depending on what line you got, there’s a good chance Kentucky covered the spread. Big accomplishment there. It’s the small victories, people. Also, don’t bet on/against your favorite team. Bad karma. Unless you’re doing the over/under.

– The criminal Jordan Jefferson got a touchdown against us today in his return to the Tigers. I take back everything I said about karma. It obviously does not exist.

– There’s an Indy race at the Kentucky Speedway tomorrow. Stay off 71 North because I’m trying to make the drive from Louisville to Cincinnati and I’d appreciate cutting back on traffic. Thanks, you guys are great.

– If you want to feel better about life, scroll down to the Anthony Davis post below and watch that video. Ahhhh, feels much better now.

Don’t sleep in late, y’all. It’s Sunday, you should be in church or something like that. Or at a delicious brunch with those in-laws you hate. No, actually, you should just be checking your fantasy football team and messing with your roster. Priorities.


Martin Scorsese’s Thursday News And Views

Martin Scorsese kicks back with Robert De Niro

Martin Scorsese kicks back with Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver (1976)

Evening gents. And gentettes. Or something like that. Let’s get this party started, shall we? Many moons ago, a great director was born. They named him Martin. That director, Martin Scorsese turns 72 today. This guy has been a force in the motion picture industry for decades. From Taxi Driver, to Casino, to Goodfellas, to The Departed, and everything in between, he has put a lot of butts in theater seats and won plenty of awards. His next project due out is the musical about a young boy called Hugo, which I can’t say I’m too excited for. But Sinatra lies ahead after that, and one can only imagine how epic that will be.


Kentucky took Kansas to the woodshed without playing anywhere near their potential Tuesday night in NYC. Okay, maybe not the woodshed, it was only a 10 point win. How about the outhouse? Either way, people are still buzzing about our team succeeded on the national stage for the first time. But you guys already knew that. Still, it’s worth at least mentioning again, right? They better get used to it. This roller-coaster is officially a beginning its ascent up the big hill. Be sure to hold your hands high. In other news, Drew Franklin is a bada** for punking out a couple of Dukies.


A fantastic NAIA matcup took place between 1# UPike vs. 2# Mountain State at the East KY Expo Center in Pikeville. The defending NAIA National Champs and formerly-Pikeville-College Bears got the win, 98-93. The big story was the huge fight that broke out. Scratch that, TWO fights that broke out. The second ended with plenty of fouls that included Mountain State’s Peterson and both head coaches being ejected. Anthony Wireman and Scott Anderson live-tweeted the events, included the playing of “Cotton Eye Joe” in the final minute, which is the Pike County equivalent of Sandstorm. UPikes Setty went off for 30 pts (19 first half). He’s a Mason County product, so Darius Miller loves him like a son.


UCLA sucks and Shabazz knows it. Come on down to where the big boys plan, son. You won’t regret it. Ben Howland has already had to humbly reinstate his best player, Reeves Nelson, after suspending him just days ago.


In other recruiting news, Devonta Pollard is no longer considering the Cats. Cool. Oh, hey there Alex Poythress. Wonder if you had anything to do with this. Wait…hold the phones. SCRATCH THAT; the latest person to talk to Pollard says he still lists Kentucky as a school of interest.


Reports out of Louisville state that Peyton Siva has a bum ankle and will miss the Butler game. Check Louisville Sports Radio for more on the matter. And check out these pics Eric Crawford dropped on twitter. Well done. The basketball gods are currently hating hard of Rick Pitino. Looks like the angels in heaven had their own little ‘Louisville Hate Day’ and decided to turn it into a couple month long thing.


Speaking of NBA failures, Billy Hunter has been spewing out stuff this evening regarding the NBA players taking a shot at creating their own league. He points to plenty of venues being able to host the games. But what sponsors/venues would be willing to go against the NBA owners and ruin any future chances with the actual league? Who knows. Anything could happen at this point. I’m on the player’s side here, but I would LOVE to see a Replacements-style year. Someone let us sign up a KSR-squad.


It’s official: BRUCE PEARL will be on KSTV sometime next week. Actually, they’re just re-airing an old episode of Supermarket Sweep.


Travis Ford’s team did the improbable tonight. First, they were getting the butt handed to them by UTSA. Second, the OSU Cowboys somehow came back after being down 7 with 32 seconds left to win 90-85 in OT.