One of the classic Super Bowls of all time finished up last night and now all the talking heads are busy spinning their story lines. Is Big Ben now headed for a Hall of Fame career….is Larry Fitzgerald the best receiver in the game…..will Kurt Warner return to the football field? While these are all legitimate sports questions, the big storyline coming from the game in my view was of course, the performance of Bruce Springsteen. Ever since Prince stormed onto the national stage a few years ago and produced a Halftime show that blew everyone else out of the water, the musical tribute in between halves of football has been the highlight of Super Bowl parties at and around the KSR Compound. With this year’s party filled with KSR folks saying goodbye to the Turkey Hunter, we put money on what songs would be played (Glory Days and Born to Run were gimmies) and made jokes about how bad the Sopranos guy, the Conan guy and Bruce’s wife look in HD. But nothing prepared us for the running Springsteen slide that put his crotch directly in America’s living rooms for a full second. When Bruce first hit the stage and did the “Matrix” back bend that was fairly impressive for a man of 56, middle-aged women everywhere swooned….but was anyone prepared for the crotch in the camera shot? Is Bruce the first to actually produce such an effect on national television? I personally think it broke new ground and will be the focus of water cooler talk everywhere. Yes Santonio Holmes made a great catch and yes, Larry Fitzgerald’s dad writes for a newspaper….but Bruce Springsteen slid crotch first into America on Super Bowl Sunday…..we certainly didnt see that one coming.
To the news…..
(1): The disappointment from Saturday still lingers across the Big Blue nation as the team and fanbase try to move forward from a disappointing loss in Rupp Arena. The Cats are now part of a huge logjam of teams that legitimately believe they can win the SEC title, joining Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU in a six way race for the prize. The Cats still must play 6 games against those five teams and the race for the title will begin anew on Tuesday night in Lexington. But what was lost on Saturday, and may be difficult to get back for the Cats, is a chance to make a splash on the national scene and become a team that can get a decent seed on Selection Sunday. Absent a 9-0 or 8-1 finish, the Cats are now destined to be in the 6-9 seed range that has plagued them for the last three season. With such a seed, a run is difficult to make and seeing the second weekend requires a big upset. The Cats’ SEC schedule this year was back-loaded, and after winning at Tennessee, finishing the first eight games with zero or one loss seemed right in the Cats’ wheelhouse. Now, with one game remaining on Tuesday, 2 losses are assured and 3 possible. There is certainly disappointment there.
(2): However as we have learned in the last two years, you cant yet count out the Gillispie coached team. Even through all the injuries last year and the tough start this year, the team has found a way to bounce back and I fully expect them to do that on Tuesday against a Mississippi State team that the Cats match up with much better than their last two opponents. When you talked to the players after the game on Saturday, you sensed their eagerness to get back on the court and try to redeem the feeling of losing at home to an inferior SEC opponent. I expect a big game Wednesday, especially from Jodie Meeks, who said he knew that he had to make more happen offensively for this team.
(3): A couple of Gillispie notes worth sharing…..first he did call and apologize to Jeanine Edwards, a classy gesture from the Coach, acknowledging that he handled the situation poorly on Tuesday night. Edwards will be part of the ESPN crew this Tuesday and I think if he made some kind of joke with her right before the halftime interview, it would be a funny and knowing thing to do…..second, there has been a lot of chatter on message boards and between members of the media about a Gillispie-Liggins encounter that took place on the bench and was loud enough that many around the bench heard and saw it. It was the latest in what has become a series of difficult confrontations between the two that have gone on all season long. I must admit that in my four years of doing this, I have never seen a relationship like these two have and Liggins gets yelled at more than any player I have been around…..while also probably talking back to a Coach more than I am used to as well. BUT having said that, Gillispie still plays him and actually said after the game that besides the last three point shot Liggins took, he thought he had played well. So the reactions on all of this should likely be tempered….these two guys have been through this before and made it through….my guess is that it will happen again.
(4): Signing Day is coming and I am told that the Cats still have one more commitment that has not been made public. According to my source, the commitment of Terrell Mitchell was in the pocket for a week and there is another player that has committed to the Cats that “no one has been able to figure out yet.” I am interested to see if we will find out before Signing Day on Tuesday. As for Signing Day, Rob will be here all day that day to give you news as it happens and to give you all the scoop on what will be one of the better classes that this program has ever taken in. Stay tuned as it will be exciting.
We taped a Kentucky Sports Radio podcast on Sunday afternoon, where we review the players and the season so far with the Turkey Hunter, Mosley and Hubby. For those of you familiar with the old podcasts and the famous Marshall County Hoopfest version, you will definitely want to check this out as it is an hour of good fun and old school KSR glory. We hope to have it up this afternoon. Stay tuned all day as we shift to Signing Day and Mississippi State.