So after watching approximately 7,000 hours straight of Olympics coverage and knowing that the individual women’s gymnastics finals were on, I took a break from my patriotism to watch the Bob Saget Roast on Comedy Central. Once again, I was not disappointed. In what has become a yearly tradition, Comedy Central gets together a group of people who you dont see for the rest of the year (hello Jeffrey Ross and Greg Giraldo!) and they roast a secondary celebrity, in this case Bob Saget. Once again, it was a series of great bits, with the top shelf this time being Jeff Ross, Gilbert Gottfried and (of all people) Cloris Leachman. But the star of the show to me, as he almost always is any time I see him, was Norm McDonald. Getting up and giving an intentionally lame set of jokes to honor the awful jokes that Saget made while host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, he had me rolling throughout his ten minute classic Norm set. And before he went on, he made fun of another comic by saying that rather than listen to him, he would read something really funny….like the comic “Marmaduke.” Which got me thinking…..just how bad are the comics that are in the newspapers? Just off the top of my head, I can think of awful strips like Hagar the Horrible, The Wizard of Id and the hideous “Family Circus.” While there are exceptions (I will take a “Far Side” and a “Frank and Earnest” any day), can you think of other terrible comic strips. None will top Marmaduke (worst comic ever), but give it a shot….
To the news…….
(1): The most important news of the weekend was the first UK football scrimmage. As we wrote about earlier in the weekend, the early verdict was not good for the offense. The offensive line was way off its game and gave the new quarterback virtually no protection. Hartline played ok, but not great….certainly however not bad enough to panic. But the WR position showed itself to be the weakness of the team as Dicky Lyons and Matt Roark played well, while no one else looked competent enough to take the field. Good news was found on defense, specifically from Myron Pryor and Corey Peters, who are setting themselves up to have a big year on the Defensive Line. I have read some comments that early scrimmages are of no importance….and sometimes that is correct. But for an offense with so many new pieces and an important game coming up in two weeks, the performance was disheartening. The OL will likely improve, but the worries at receiver could plague this team all season long.
(2): Late tonight, Morgan Newton’s father told Jeff Drummond of TCP that his announcement will be postponed until Thursday night. The prep quarterback, who is considered one of the five best “athletic” quarterbacks in America is choosing between a host of schools, but most believe that UK, Clemson and Florida are at the top. His mother told a South Carolina newspaper that she favored Clemson, his father favored another school (presumably Kentucky) and Morgan maybe another (presumably Florida). This is reminiscent of the Patrick Patterson affair when it was presumed that mom liked Kentucky, dad Duke and son, Florida. But there are four days to make the call and Morgan will be on our show at 6:30 tonight (streaming live here) to tell us what is what. Make sure and tune in.
(3): Rivals.com changed the star ratings for the Class of 2010 and the news is mixed for the UK guys. Dominique Ferguson remains a five star but KC Ross-Miller was given three stars and Dakotah Euton two stars, meaning that he likely will not make the Top 200 list. This is consistent with most of the views we have been hearing all summer where nearly every expert agrees that Ferguson is a special player, views are mixed on Miller and fairly negative at this point on Euton. All three kids have plenty of time to move up and down the rankings and still have two years of high school basketball left….but this is the time where kids begin to showcase their true talent and it will be interesting to see what the next few months bring.
(4): We have said this before, but it bears repeating….this is going to be a year where Razor Ramon Harris turns some heads. Every time I speak with someone around the program and ask about player advancement, I am told one name as the biggest improvement, Ramon Harris. He is without a doubt the best perimeter defender on the team (which is why he will get big minutes all year) and has become a good passer of the basketball. His problem has always been his offense, but I continue to be told that he is getting better every day and has gained confidence at taking the ball to the basket. His shooting is still mixed, but if Harris can become a threat to drive the basketball, outside shots for Meeks, Porter, Miller and others can open up. Harris is the key in my view between a good team and one that can be a bit better than that.
(5): Liu Xiang is out of the Olympics, as his Achilles injury kept him from running in the 110 hurdles first round. The most anticipated event in the host country, with the most known and praised athlete in China is now an afterthough. Xiang had more pressure on him than any athlete in the Olympics and it is sad to see him unable to go.
Huge week around here. The Intern returns to his regular posting…..Mosley starts his SEC preview….Bobby Perry begins his writings on here about all things UK basketball and we introduce, one day at a time, the Kentucky Sports Radio girls. It should be fun, so stick around……..