How about those Cats?
To the uninitiated, I'm referring to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, who are putting together a memorable football season AND are off to a most entertaining start to their new basketball coach's tenure!
Let's first address the basketball Cats, as most folks around the country know Kentucky for basketball first and foremost. New coach John Calipari has done everything right to restore the confidence and enthusiasm of their massive worldwide fan base since being hired last spring, and now that all of the public relations are in place it's time to play basketball! Coach Cal has assembled a great group of recruits, including uber-recruit John Wall and blue-chippers Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins and they join returning stars Patrick Patterson and Darius Miller. They've played several games, won them all (although one or two were closer than expected) and have displayed brilliance balanced with the need for development thus far. It's a great time to be a Kentucky basketball fan, I assure you!
That said, let's turn to FOOTBALL! My joke with people over the last couple of years, when Kentucky's basketball team was not as successful, was that Kentucky's now a football school! And each time I said that, I felt it to be more and more true....but now, it actually IS true! Kentucky's football Wildcats pulled off a double feat Saturday that hadn't been done since 1977....winning a football game against the University of Georgia in Athens AND winning three road football games against Southeastern Conference opponents in a single year! Coach Rich Brooks has done a phenomenal job reshaping the football fortunes of my alma mater, and the results this year are seven wins, four losses (two of them VERY close and winnable games), and bowl eligibility for the fourth consecutive year.
Can you tell that I have a bit of emotional attachment to the football Cats?
One more thing I should mention is that on my trip to and from the Georgia game last weekend I and a friend played a round of golf at the Harrison Bay state park just outside of Chattanooga, TN. It's a Jack Nicklaus Signature course and well worth the effort if you're passing through that area. We played with a local fellow named Bob who was a delight to spend a few hours with. He handed me and my traveling companion business cards identifying him as "No Job Bob." Could not have found a more worthwhile ambassador of that area!