If you missed the radio show on Monday (and shame on you if you did), then you missed Ryan Lemond's story about the great Alan Cutler of WLEX in Lexington. Lemond told us that when Cutler went on the road to travel for UK games, he was worried that fans might try to get in touch with him in the hotel, and so he would check in under an alias. For Alan Cutler, his hotel alias was "Rob Roy", a name that comes of course from the Liam Neeson movie.
Cutler went by "Rob Roy", and at least in my eyes, he always will. A swashbuckling hero is he, and when not chasing Billy Gillispie, I would trust Cutler with protecting my life.
But don't get the wrong idea. Alan Cutler is not the only media member that takes a movie character alias when he goes on the road.
Covering UK can make one a star quickly and thus it is normal for those who follow the Cats to have to hide from the spotlight. After doing some research, we were able to uncover the 16 aliases that UK and college basketball media types use most often on the road. Yes, now their cover may be blow...but the public needs to know:
JOHN CLAY: Dean Wormer
For the Herald Leader's head columnist, writing is not his only duty. He must also protect the standards of journalism from those unwashed masses that seek to ruin it via the evil mechanism of the blog. Clay checks into hotels as Dean Wormer, to showcase not only his strong belief in law and order, but his desire to rid the UK landscape of the equivalent of the Delta Tau Chis. When Clay looks towards his co-worker and says, "Jerry, what is the worst blog on campus?", he does so in salute of one of his true heroes, the dean of law and order.
CHIP COSBY: John Shaft
The coolest man in media is also the coolest man in movies. When Chip Cosby checks into a hotel, the lights go low, the music goes up and ladies scream, while men admire. Chip Cosby is always the best dressed journalist and ready to provide the low down when necessary. If you want to know when you are going to hear from Chip, just remember what his alias once said, "when I got something to say."
PETE THAMEL: Greg Marmalard
Everyone's favorite hall monitor Pete Thamel checks into hotels only with the NCAA's permission and with the goal of bringing down that awful John Calipari. As President of the media's Omega House, Thamel and his girlfriend Dana O'Pepperidge exist only to make sure the laws of the NCAA and decent society are followed.
JERRY TIPTON: Emperor Palpatine
Embracing the hate of UK fans everywhere, Jerry Tipton checks into hotels as Emperor Palpatine, ruler of the evil Galactic Empire from the Star Wars films. While Jerry often wishes for a day long passed, he does believe that in the end, all will work out. He has been known to say, "soon the blog rebellion will be crushed and young Franklin will be one of us."
HOWIE LINDSEY: John Blutarsky
Everyone's favorite Louisville journalist always registers as his movie hero, the great John Blutarsky. When not enjoying a fine meal or acting as if he follows a real college, the leader of CardinalSports.com, tries to pump up a fan base used to losing to Kentucky. "WAS IT OVER WHEN JOSH HARRELLSON HIT THOSE THREES...WELL WAS IT OVER WHEN ANTHONY DAVIS GOT THAT BLOCK...WAS IT OVER WHEN JOHN CALIPARI...aww nevermind."
RYAN LEMOND: Kip Dynamite
The best sidekick in all of the land likes to register as the older brother of Napoleon Dynamite on the road. Traveling is often tough for Ryan, who always wants me to understand that he has (a) a black wife and (b) has been chatting online with babes all day. Like with Kip, Ryan is everyone's best friend and seeing him makes us all happy.
RICK BOZICH: Doc Brown
Rick Bozich respects men who like him, rock the white hair, and thus every hotel with a big event, sees a visit from Doc Brown. Like Doc Brown, Bozich's best days were in the 1980s, but he still finds his way into our hearts when a rerun comes on USA or someone links the tv station's website where his columns still run. The only difference for Rick is that instead of saying "Great Scott" as his catch phrase, he has modified it to be "Great Jurich"...just to make it easier.
MARY JO PERINO: Elle Woods
Everyone's favorite blond bombshell television anchor takes the name Elle Woods on the road in honor of her favorite movie lawyer. Just like Elle, Mary Jo mesmerizes people with her beauty and then surprises them with her smarts and sports knowledge. While Elle has to deal with the pretentious law students at Harvard, Mary Jo has a much tougher cross to bear...seeing Alan Cutler in the office in tighty whiteys. It is rough being Lexington's sports sweetheart.
LARRY VAUGHT: Leon Phelps
The ladies' man of UK sports media does what any playa' playa' would do on the road...take the name of Leon Phelps. Just like Leon, Larry has all the ladies. If you get on Vaught's Views, chances are there will be an article from/picture of a beautiful young woman showcasing that Larry's charm goes far beyond the Eddie Montgomery steakhouse. Just like Leon, Larry can answer all of your romantic queries, just make sure that when you meet him in the Commonwealth Stadium Press Box, you bring the Courvoisier.
BRETT DAWSON: Travis Bickle
The former Courier Journal writer, now CatsIllustrated.com editor takes the name Travis Bickle whenever he hits the road for the Cats. Like Travis Bickle, Dawson always looks one step away from murdering the entire press box. Dawson says little, but the crazy in his eyes suggests that if you look at him the wrong way, there will be hell to pay. If Alan Cutler asks a question to loud, Brett has been known to ask, "You Talkin' to Me?" at which point Cutler, and every other member of the media runs for cover, hoping to not catch Brett's wrath.
JEFF GOODMAN: Clark Ponytail
Jeff Goodman's road choice is also one of the most obscure, as he takes the alias of the random d-bag Harvard student in "Good Will Hunting." In order to impress Bill Self and embarrass the outsiders, Goodman has been known to look at other journalists and ask them if they know the starting lineup for the 1989 Seton Hall NCAA Tournament Runner-Up team. Like all bullies, one need to only call Jeff's bluff in order to make him stand down, and when Mike Decourcy comes over with John Calipari's cell phone number and says, "I got his number, How ya like them apples?", Goodman has rarely looked sadder. (and by the way, the photo shop above by Drew Franklin of Goodman could be the creepiest picture in history)
KYLE TUCKER: Billy Beane
Kyle Tucker takes the name Billy Beane on the road because, like Brad Pitt's character in Moneyball, he has great hair and is trying to turn a lemon into lemonade. In the same way that Beane attempts to make the failing Oakland A's, a victim of the changing era in Major League Baseball, afloat, Kyle is attempting to do top-notch work while being the head of a dying enterprise, the Courier Journal. Both should be praised for good work in the face of adversity, but unlike Beane, Kyle doesn't have his own fat Jonah Hill to help crunch the numbers, because his assistant got fired in the last round of Gannett budget cuts.
SETH DAVIS: Zack "Sack" Lodge
Seth Davis has made the odd choice to travel under the alias of the most unlikeable son of privilege in movie history, Zack Lodge of "Wedding Crashers." Like Bradley Cooper's character, Davis often exudes likability in one-on-one situations and can draw you in with his personality and style. But also like Lodge, Davis has a way of exuding a smarmy, "better than you" arrogance that can also make you want to punch him in the face. His worst moment ever was when he looked at our own Drew Franklin and said, "You wanna help me kid? Do you? Why don't you run along and fetch me a 7Up, ok?" Totally unnecessary.
TONY VANETTI: Shooter McGavin
The star of the Afternoon Underdogs travels rarely, mainly because he is worried about the hotels not having sheets with a high enough thread count. But when he does, he stays as Shooter McGavin. Like Shooter, Tony is the rival to KSR's Happy Gilmore, but it doesn't mean he isn't playful. Like Shooter as well, his temper can be a detriment. When UK fans begin to tease him about linebeards, L1C4 or Porcini's, Vanetti has been known to say, "damn you people, why don't you go back to your shanties."
DAVE BAKER: Ernie McCracken
The man they call Buzz goes on the road as the man they call "Big Ern." Like McCracken, Baker is the ultimate star. Ladies love him, the camera is drawn to his face and at any moment, a star turn can occur. Before every show, Baker winks in the mirror and says, "one more time sweetness", before making tv magic. Some may find it offensive when Baker channels Big Ern and says to a waitress, "Keep 'em comin', sweets, I got a long drive. Do me a favor, will you? Would you mind washing off that perfume before you come back to our table?" But I for one, find it endearing.
ROB BROMLEY: Ron Burgundy
The legend of Kentucky sports television does what only he can, as he takes the name of the legend of San Diego tv, Ron Burgundy on the road. Like Burgundy, the thought of television in Kentucky without Bromley is hard to fathom. He is without question the top dog, and everywhere he goes, he sweats greatness. At tense points in a game, Bromley remains calm and when he receives a call from the sideline about an injury, his response of "bark twice if you are in Clay County" soothes even the most worried UK fan. You stay classy Lexington.
GARY PARRISH: Ray Boyd
And finally, the man who hates Calipari but loves hair gel, takes the alias of the kid with the spikiest hair in the history of the silver screen, Ray Boyd. Like Ray, Parrish is not in the movie or at the games for his intellect or reasoning ability, but rather for his gosh-darn cuteness. Even though he is 45 and dresses like a kid, Parrish has been known to interrupt press conferences by asking Billy Donovan if he knows the human head weighs 8 pounds. And like Ray Boyd in "Jerry Maguire", I can't imagine college basketball without him or his ridiculous hair.