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Up and down view of Liberty Bowl

Tongue-in-cheek this week, sorta … a few UP arrows why one man thinks Kentucky (6-6) going to the Liberty Bowling is a good thing. And, a few DOWN arrows why it isn’t.

UP …

1. 50th anniversary for Liberty … special gifts for players, freebies for media and party time on Beale Street for everyone.

2. Chance to beat one team in ’08 with a winning record, East Carolina is 9-4.

3. Chance to erase nose-dive finish (lost last three games).

4. Chance for hat trick, finish above .500 last three seasons.

5. Back to back to back bowls amps up recruiting pitch.

6. Chance for a season highlight to eclipse 27-to-2 at Louisville in August.

7. Extra month of practice for red shirts and rookies.

8. Modestly attractive marquee sparkle, UK-East Carolina.

9. Testy Rich Brooks refusal to apologize for going bowling is fire-’em-up talk. Anybody ask the UK coach to apologize?

10. Carpe diem (seize the day) for Mike Hartline. And, another television showtime for The Entertainer, Myron Pryor.

11. Beale Street eateries. Starters — Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous and Corky’s Bar-BQ.

12. Graceland.

13. Jeremy Jarmon goes home to Memphis, home of the blues and birthplace of rock ‘n roll. And Rich Brooks goes home to Liberty Bowl he played in when gasoline was 30 cents a gallon and Marilyn Monroe was singing to JFK.

14. For Big Blue Nation, front half of dream doubleheader. Football Friday (ESPN); basketball Sunday at Louisville (CBS).


1. No Derrick Locke, no Dicky Lyons. No offense.

2. Defense surrendered 101 points in last three games.

3. Risk being embarrassed by Conference USA champ, and a losing season.

4. Economic strain on a fan base already post-Christmas stressed.

5. East Carolina solid defense includes two Trevard Lindleytypes.

6. Another month coaches keep student-athletes away from mischief.

7. Lots of cha-ching for SEC treasury, none for the work hands.

8. Another bowl game on resume(s)’ for Steve Brown and Randy Sanders. Both must be kept another year.

9. Break-even record devoid of quality wins, should not be rewarded.

10. Of Wildcats six wins, five were day games. Liberty Bowl kickoff is 5 p.m., technically a night game.

News & Views

NEWS. No. 11 Louisville used Indiana State, Ohio and Lamar to get its groove back.

VIEW. Best stat on Sunday? Twenty-six assists against the Bobcats. Best number on Monday? Ranked one spot out of top 10 two weeks before Christmas. Perfect.

NEWS. Kentucky spotted Miami 20 points after 20 minutes, lost by six.

VIEW. Should be no Tennessee Waltz in Rupp Arena. Wildcats looked lethargic, ill prepared and nobody having fun.

NEWS. Ugly, the Michael Porter-Ramon Harris collision.

VIEW. Upside? Rally round, boys. Be introduced to the merits of Band of Brothers instead of ‘my playing time.’

NEWS. Coach Ken McDonald’s Western Kentucky Hilltoppers stung Louisville, Georgia and Tulane; Lady Hilltoppers dispatched Kentucky last week.

VIEW. Pinnacle moments on the Hill. Where are high times celebrated with more party-time enthusiasm than WKU?

NEWS. Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe says he won’t quit.

VIEW. Man signed a five year contract. Deserves three. But fans’ grumble is louder and legitimate since Cards coughed up 63 in season finale. Did players quit, leave their coach twisting in the wind?

NEWS. DeAndre Liggins’ mutiny moment seems to have paid off in PT and Lexington media is in love again.

VIEW. Nine games in, we see more ME than team in Liggins’ game.

NEWS. If Kentucky grows into a team-in-sync, gets past bad passes, bad shots and play time issues, fans will issue nicknames by March.

VIEW. We hope the nicknames are more akin to Landon Slone’s approach and play, showtime and me-ism and show time.

NEWS. Mitch Barnhart commended his basketball coach for finding a loophole in NCAA rules governing Midnight Madness.

VIEW. The loophole is closed but another opened. Director of athletics who ignores the spirit of NCAA rules sets precedent for his employees to look for loopholes in their employment guides.

NEWS. Florida State’s Myron Rolle is a Rhodes Scholar and will forego his last season as a Seminole to study at Oxford.

VIEW. Florida State football is renown for law run-ins, but Rolle is a role model for college athletes everywhere at every level.

Worth Repeating

• Ex-Kentucky Wildcat Joe Crawford, cut by NBA Lakers in October, went home to consider skipping the NBA’s developmental league. Then, “I realized it was an opportunity for me to develop,” he told the LA Times before reporting to the D-League D-Fenders.

Comment: In December 2004 Crawford left UK in a huff over lack of playing time. He returned, took his punishment, grew up, became an All- SEC player and NBA draft worthy. Stay tuned.

Parting Shot

Who said: “I’ve never been one to look back and wonder if I should have done something differently or to say ‘if only this or if only that.’ When I broadcast one Final Four, that was a bonus. The same was true with 10 or 20 or 30. Being an announcer was never a job …’

Legendary and Hall of Famer Cawood Ledford said it, right?


Was Billy Packer. Excerpt from a Sporting News column for Dec. 8 by John Feinstein.

And so it goes.

Have an idea, a question or point-of-view to share? Write Bob Watkins at SprtsinKy@aol.com

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