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Give Me Liberty Or Give Me……Nashville?


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The debate raging throughout the state at this point (or at least at the Wicks where I spent the evening) is which Bowl game should the Cats attend? I leave aside the question of whether the Cats deserve to go to a Bowl game…..in this day and age we all deserve a bowl game (as seen by the fact that the Independence Bowl is now projected to be Arkansas State vs Lafayette-Louisiana…..tickets surely still available). Thus the question is not if such a game should happen, but where, and against who the game should take place. At this point, the options are quite simple:

(A) Nashville — Music City Bowl — likely opponent (North Carolina)

(B) Memphis — Liberty Bowl — likely opponent (Tulsa/East Carolina)

Thats it, that is the list. And we can make it even simpler. If we assume that East Carolina beats Tulsa (which I do), then the game is simply a choice between where in Tennessee we want to play a direction of Carolina. It really is that simple. Now each game has its pros and cons. A quick breakdown:

MUSIC CITY: We know this game well. In fact, New Years Eve in Nashville is becoming like a sacred act for the UK family….we all get in the car in the morning, drive down there on I-65, hit the traffic at the same time….curse the traffic…..see the Batman building as we get into town….struggle for a place to park….walk downtown for a few minutes (stopping at the Hooters to see the KSR crew)….go to the game….watch the Cats beat an ACC opponent with a big name that is a bit down this year…..celebrate with Rich and the boys…..leave, go shower and hit the town in Nashville on New Years Eve, preferably singing karaoke at some point. It is a great night and every year we leave and think, “I would be fine playing in this bowl every year!”

But do we really mean that? Or do we, like Rich Brooks, need a change for change sake? Brooks says the team wants something different….that they are tired of the same experience. This year would be a particularly mundane one. The team most likely to be the opponent (North Carolina) is a basketball school, and not a traditional power where one can get a notch on the program’s belt. The game will lead to a record number of comments that “if it were basketball”, it would be a big game. Plus UNC will likely smoke us, especially if Randall Cobb doesnt play. So we will go back to Nashville, play a team that sounds like a terrible football program and then lose, possibly in an embarrassing fashion. That would not be great.

LIBERTY BOWL: But would the Liberty really be better? Look, I like Memphis, but lets face it…..it aint exactly the Greek Isles. Memphis is dirty, rough and at times I feel as if I need a shower just talking about it. My friend Mo in college was from Memphis and we went to visit him a couple of times and both times I went I recognized that (1) whatever fun is to be had in Memphis is to be had in parts of town where there is an 8-1 chance you could be stabbed and (2) “Walking in Memphis” is a hell of a song. I like Beale Street and it probably deserves another visit from the KSR crew. Plus, the BBQ throughout the city is top-notch. But the thought of spending a bowl weekend in Memphis is not sexy. It is sort of like getting tickets to a movie premiere only to find out that it is something by Tyler Perry…..it just loses some of the glamour.

As far as the game in Memphis, it is a guaranteed no-win scenario. Lets say we play East Carolina, a team that has beaten NC State and Virginia Tech and has enough athletes to put 4-6 guys in the NFL. That team will be close to our physical match on the field and they have shown the ability to play with skilled teams. They will be highly motivated for an SEC foe and we will be playing East Carolina. No win. And if its Tulsa….they score like 290 points a game and will light up our defense for at least some points. We have the ability to score 11 points a game, meaning that we might lose to a team best known for producing basketball coaches. No win. Plus the game will be at the Liberty Bowl, a stadium so dilapidated that the Orange Bowl in Miami used to mock it. Simply put, the game will be horrific.

So what do we do? Neither option is ideal. We should have beaten Vandy, and then we could be heading to Atlanta to dodge bullets while eating chicken sandwiches on New Years Eve. But that didnt happen. So we should make the best of what options we have and head to Nashville for the third trip. Yes, like the Godfather and Star Wars trilogies, the third will be the weakest of the three, but it is better than going to Memphis and potentially losing to a Conference USA team, thus forever taking away two of our favorite Louisville-mocking terms (Liberty Bowl and Conference USA). If we are going to lose, let it be to the ACC, not Lou Holtz’s son or the school that produced Steve Kragthorpe. I know it is likely that fake Elvises are in our future, but please Mitch, Rich and SEC suits….give us Nashville again and let the dorks at Vandy go to Beale Street. Maybe it will loosen them up and give me the chance to finally go to the Music City Bowl dateless…..UK to the Music City Bowl!!!!

Article written by Matt Jones

45 responses to “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me……Nashville?”

  1. GoCats2

    I will probably annoy a few people but anyway…my answer is I don’t care. There are at least 6 or 7 basketball games before whatever bowl game we play in so that is all I care about.
    Does anyone realize we don’t leave the state of Kentucky until January 13th?
    Miami(fl) lost tonight, is that good or bad for us Saturday?

  2. flipisatrip

    liberty bowl time

  3. flipisatrip

    we shouldn’t be more than a 3 pt favorite against Miami FL

  4. cat since the cradle

    yeah i agree with 1, to me it doesn’t matter which bowl game we’re in. It’s not like one is more prestigious than the other, even though has been goin on for 50 years.

  5. jeremy.eastwood

    The thought of a bowl game in memphis makes me sick in my stomach. I have been to memphis and believe me, memphis is “compton south”. Just a dirty,gritty, ugly city. Graceland is overrated as is Beale Street. The only nice thing I can say about Memphis is the hotel we stayed in, The Peabody. Nicest hotel I have ever stayed at, and has a fantastic bar in their lobby. You do not feel safe anywhere you walk in the city. Nashville is the complete opposite, nice, clean and you feel safe wherever you walk. I would take music city bowl over liberty bowl 6 times a week and twice on sunday. Lets pray for a 3rd trip in a row to music city.

  6. cat since the cradle

    meant to say liberty bowl has been going on for 50 years

  7. SlickRick48

    I don’t really understand why you think UNC is likely to play in the music city bowl. From what everyone is saying down here Music City is the 3rd most likely bowl for UNC. #1 being the Car Care Bowl in Charlotte and #2 being the Champs Sports bowl.

  8. SlickRick48

    Also, NC State beat East Carolina.

  9. werm

    memphis is a straight up terrifying city.

  10. SlickRick48

    1. Hopefully McClinton will bitch slap Michael Porter like he did that guy for Ohio St tonight and get ejected 10 mins into the game again.

  11. WINNER

    I have had sex with many a beautiful woman in Memphis, so the bowl game better be in Memphis. I have business to take care of.

  12. cat since the cradle

    10) lol agreed

  13. high and mighty

    11. sure you have.

  14. WINNER

    13. Never question a winner.

  15. UKKILLA005

    Im 25 and ive lived outside memphis (30 minutes in the nice part of shelby county) my whole life and it is awful in memphis…the worst crime rate per person in the united states,as it is always a featured city on the great show First 48…Nashville 100%!!

  16. bestdamnukfanperiod

    Isn’t the King from Memphis? Jerry the King Lawler. lol

  17. UK81

    Matt, for some strange reason I am finding this cheerleading competition involving Randi very interesting and fun. The KSR followers do an excellent job of reducing the margin approximately 8 to 10 thousand votes during the day. However, the West Virginia cheerleader increases the margin significantly during the night to about 15 to 20 thousand. Obviously she has a coordinated get out the vote plan during the evenings. For Randi to have a chance, she must do something in the evenings to reduce the margin during the night. The KSR crowd can win the day vote, but she is losing the battle during the night. FYI

  18. UK81

    What Randi needs to do is get her dance team members, cheerleaders, friends and family to start an email campaign at night or she will lose this battle.

  19. tyson

    hey matt, when you guys get to memphis, check out the memphis pizza cafe (the original one on madison ave–you should be armed). best pizza ever. much better than wicks.

  20. barkley25

    What do you mean Star Wars III was weak???? ha ha

  21. ukwildcatwildfan

    NASHVILLE HERE WE COME!

  22. barkley25

    I do think that the best choice is Nashville, though. It would def. be a step down to go to Memphis, except maybe for the blues and BBQ, of course.

  23. BA40

    We have to go to Nashville. If we don’t go to Nashville, I think we boycott the game in Memphis to show our disdain. Come on Rich, change isnt necessarily a good thing. Additionally, I think the bowl people in Nashville will probably go to great lengths to get UK to come there because of the extra money they will make off having UK there as opposed to Vandy.

  24. rcpeck

    Return of the Jedi was solid

  25. barkley25

    You wanna start a big nerd fight? Start raggin on Star Wars. haha

  26. SavannahCat

    East Carolina beat Va Tech and WVU, but has pretty much sucked since. Nashville is much better than Memphis, but I feel like it’s my second home with all the bowl games and the SEC tourny a couple of years ago. Memphis is not bad if you stay on Beale St, drink and eat some great ribs, and listen to some blues. I can handle that for a day or two just to see something different. Of oourse the bullett proof vest will be an added expense.

  27. thebigjra

    Raleigh newspaper and rumors flying around here in Chapel Hill are projecting UNC in the Meineke Car Care Bowl and not Music City…

  28. MoBettaBlue

    That’s it that’s the list… homage to Tony K.

    with all of our injuries this season… we really had/have no shot at winning a bowl game, so it’s been loose/loose since Lyons went down at least.

  29. barkley25

    So, who do you think UK would play, assuming they go to N’ville? East Carolina??

  30. CrunkieBrewster

    11) Mary Palm, and her five friends don’t count.

  31. booted

    “so it’s been loose/loose since Dicky went down” ….that’s what she said!

  32. BLAINE-MAN

    1.) I agree with you. Our Football team Sucks and honestly doesn’t deserve any bowl game. On to basketball the real sport at UK. Miami would have one easily won last night if McClinton hadn’t Bitch fought the OH. State kid. Thats prob not good or bad for us seeing as Miami will still be ranked 22nd in the country this Sat when we own them.

  33. Mojo Wilkins

    I doubt if ANY team in the country could win in the shape we are. Our top four receivers out, two of the top three rushers out, starting QB out, kick returner out (granted, several of these are all just Cobb). Take that kind of personnel off Florida and they couldn’t win either.

  34. barkley25

    Let me start by saying that I am a through and through bball fan for UK. But, I think it’s awful example of a fan to say that you don’t care. At least you want your school to be successful. I know I’m probably gonna get blasted for my view, but to use their phrase, “I don’t care.”

  35. barkley25

    By the way, #31-
    hahahahahahahahahahaha

  36. GoCats2

    34)When I said I dont care earlier, I just meant the game is almost a month away so its hard to get worked up for it. I understand the fans that are going to the game being picky about where its at but for people like me watching on TV it doesnt really matter. Like someone said earleir neither bowl is more prestigious than the other.

  37. D.C. cat

    Hey, the N.C. State beat ECU!

  38. barkley25

    I see your point…….
    No disrespect intended.

    GO CATS!!!!!!!!!!

  39. SlickRick48

    N&O predicts UNC to Charlotte and that East Carolina may be in Memphis regardless of the outcome of their conference championship in order to have Tulsa play Ball St. (The over/under for this game could be over 100 points!) http://blogs.newsobserver.com/decock/bowl-predictions-dec-2

  40. gvillecat

    McClinton will likely be suspended for the UK game (I’m guessing).

    Cats will end up in Memphis I’m sure. I disagree that the team doesn’t “deserve” to have a bowl game. This team has largely over achieved and fought through a lot of injuries.

    A more interesting conversation is how many returning starters do we have on both sides of the ball and why hasn’t Boyd or Guy gotten a real look at WR?

  41. JerryTownBlotter

    Matt Jones = white boy from country scared to death of some gang banging negros in one of USA’s top 10 most dangerous cities. To base sole bowl destination on the odds of being killed is pretty ridiculous. Those persuaded by this MJ article to me are the equivalent of goose stepping Nazis.

    Memphis aspect of danger is also its greatest appeal. Memphis = New Orleans except east of the Mississippi. I mean you can go to any bar on behle street and walk in with a beer…leave with that beer…YOU can FEED goats beer at Silkys for christ sake. Rendevous BBQ is considered the best dry rub bbq in the world emphasis on world. The Pony strip club sells buckets for 5 bucks and if you are willing to shell out the dough you can get anything you want..just remember you cant charm a stripper.

    Nashville again would have the feel of going to TWO KEYS on a Saturday night after already going there Thursday and Friday. I’m sure its great telling recruits yeah come to Kentucky we win x games and then go to Nashville. This makes our bowl experiences about as exciting as eating plain oatmeal everyday for breakfast.

    The only draw back of Memphis is everything costs money. You ask a person walking down the street for directions and you might think its crazy but that SOB will look at you for 5 minutes afterwards wanting to know where his tip is. BUT its vacation! its a bowl game! its time to goo crazy! In memphis thats about as easy as tying your shoelaces.

    Liberty Bowl

  42. SlickRick48

    40. Did you hear the announcers lobbying for him during the game last night? Claiming the other guy hit him first, and he was in the right to retaliate the way he did? It was unreal. I hate the ACC.

  43. NashCatFan

    Neither Music City nor Liberty want Vandy. Music City doesn’t want them because all of Vandy’s fans will just go home after the game (if they even show up). Liberty doesn’t want them because Vandy travels horribly…even for just a three hour trip to Memphis. Vandy doesn’t even travel well to their own home games! Both bowls will be fighting for UK, which is a tribute to the fans. I personally love seeing the “Blue mist” descend upon Broadway every year. I’m sure the local Maker’s and Beam distributors love it too! Keep in mind that Nashville is also an easy drive from just about anywhere in Kentucky. Memphis, not so much.

  44. NashCatFan

    That being said…Memphis has improved A LOT over the past five years in terms of safety, and I’m sure they will put their best foot forward for their bowl.

  45. UKKILLA005

    41? U sound like a fellow memphrican…dont forget tunica is only 45 minutes away too!!