It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights!
When deciding which celebrity or historical event was worthy of a News and Views post this evening, let me tell you, the pickings were slim. So, instead of attempting to write about Snooki, or Miley Cyrus (both born on November 23rd) or the conquest of Seville by King Ferdinand III, I’ll spare us all the pain and dedicate this post to an entity wholly worthy of its weight: The Muppets. That’s right: Kermit, Fozzie the Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf, and of course, Miss Piggy. Today, Disney’s “The Muppets” debuts in theaters, ushering in a new wave of Muppet nostalgia. Everyone loves the Muppets (if you don’t, you probably have a very odd reason not to). Jim Henson created the wonderful creatures in the mid 1950’s, and since then, they have been featured in countless shows, the most notable being “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Show,” “Fraggle Rock” and “Bear in the Big Blue House.” I speak for many in my generation when I say I cut my teeth on the Muppets, or rather, “Muppet Babies,” (yes, I went there) which debuted in 1984, and “The Muppet Show.” So, hopefully over the Thanksgiving weekend, I can tear my nephews away from the food and introduce them to some timeless characters, even if Jason Segel is involved (although his Andre the Giant skit on SNL was hilarious).
Before Fozzie the Bear comes at me with the hook, let’s get to the news and views…
– After a long roadtrip to the Northeast, the Cats return to the comfy confines of Rupp Arena tonight to face off against the Radford Highlanders. This game will conclude the oddly-prolonged Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, which the Cats won on Sunday, but for some reason, are still playing in. As for the game itself, the matchup is lopsided at best (on Sunday, Radford lost 60-47 to Marist, who UK beat 108-58 earlier last week), but the Cats will be looking for progress on all fronts. In his comments to the media today, Cal said that his team lacks toughness right now, especially Anthony Davis. Cal said that Davis needs to “bend his knees” to get better leverage against his opponents. Basically, stick that butt out and own the lane. Davis is a physical specimen, but he needs to improve his presence in preparation for the big boys looming in the schedule (oh hey, North Carolina).
– On Monday night, Cal took to Twitter in defense of his point guard, Marquis Teague, whose play so far this season has drawn criticism from some. To date, Teague has 18 turnovers and 11 assists, which is not bad when you compare it to Cal’s past point guards, but definitely has room for improvement. But, improvement comes with hard work and opportunities, two things I’m sure Teague is focusing on right now. As fans, it’s easy to nitpick, especially with a team this talented this early, but nothing will help Teague more than time in the gym, and a little extra attention from Cal, which the coach has vowed to.
– Another interesting note in Cal’s time with the media on Tuesday was his hinting that Darius Miller may start instead of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist against Radford. As previously mentioned, Cal said he was disappointed with the team’s lack of toughness in Connecticut with one lone exception: Darius Miller. The senior stepped up when the going got rough, and his 13 point, five assist and four rebound performance may have just vaulted him back in the starting lineup. We’ll see how MKG responds.
– If you’re looking for an opportunity to see the Cats over the holidays, you’re in luck: the UK ticket office is releasing tickets to the Samford, (Dec. 20), Loyola (Dec. 22) and Lamar (Dec. 28) games. Tickets go on sale today at 9 a.m., and you can get them by visiting the UK Ticket Office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET or by calling 1.800.928.2287.
– On the football front, the Tennessee game is upon us like a tryptophan nap you can’t shake off. Maxwell Smith is nursing a shoulder strain after Saturday’s game against Georgia, and although Morgan Newton is getting healthier, Joker says Smith will be the starter if he can go. Word is that even WR Matt Roark has been taking snaps in practice; Roark played quarterback in high school and apparently the coaches are running some plays with him in the Wildcat package in case worst comes to worst.
– Maybe it was the Cats’ gutsy play against Georgia, or maybe it’s the Tennessee hate boiling in my blood, but I actually can’t wait for Saturday’s game. With the 26-game losing streak, it’s not quite excitement, rather anxiety mixed with a pinch of desperation. I agree with most that a Kentucky win will save Joker’s job, and inject some hope in a misery-ridden program. We’ve all been concerned about the direction of this program in the past season, but it’s hard to fire a coach who has managed to do what his recent predecessors have not: beat the Vols. And after watching the video of Derek Dooley slamming Vanderbilt in the locker room last weekend, I can only imagine what he says about the Cats. #BeatTennessee
– On Saturday, we will also say goodbye to the seniors, including defensive stalwarts Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy. Say what you will about the coaching staff, but these players deserve your support. For four years, they have given their all, their absolute all, for their team, and to come out for their last game to a half-empty stadium would be a shame. Trevathan and Guy in particular have been a bright spot in an otherwise depressing season. Do them right and go to the game if you can. There is a time and place for making a stand against coaches and administration. Saturday is not it.
– That reminds me, go vote for would-be-senior Randall Cobb and the other Cats on the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl Ballot.