So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. —The Art of War by Sun Tzu as read by Joe Mantegna (yes, that Joe Mantegna, seriously)
So, for the first time I’m actually glad to be living in the state of Indiana. I say this because it is with absolute certainly that I assume the state of Kentucky has imploded upon itself in a fit of rage. While we here at KYE will certainly have a large quantity (and no quality) of opinions on the orange ball squad as the young season progresses, we must first refocus on the task at hand: American-rules Football. Admittedly, having to write back-to-back-to-back KYE’s about South Carolina, LSU, and Florida, respectively, took a lot out of our staff here to the point that we thought we might be able to slide past the Mississippi State “Know Your Enemy” without our best effort and yet hang on to the love of the fanbase. We were wrong. If there’s one thing to remember about the SEC, it’s that you have to bring your best every single week. Despite A+ efforts against LSU and Florida, injuries mounted to our staff (I thought I had carpal tunnel–turned out to just be a mild form of dyslxeisa) and we didn’t bring our best to the Mississippi State post. As a direct result, the football team was ill prepared for their enemy and was up-ended by the Bulldogs, potentially threatening our magical season. However, (keeping with the magic theme) Ricky Brooks and the Mighty Wildcats will certainly regroup and will take a David Copperfield approach to the rest of the season in that they will not be denied.
The bye week has allowed us to recover (lay on the couch and watch Maury) and our Cats will need the best effort of the Know Your Enemy staff if they have any chance of going on the road and defeating the Vanderbilt Nerdlingers. The Cats are just a South Carolina over Florida win away from re-taking control of their own destiny much like Meredith Baxter-Birney about half-way into a Lifetime Original Movie (Sha la la la). But before they can scoreboard watch, they must take care of business this Saturday against a Vanderbilt squad that needs only one win to become bowl-eligible for the first time since Joyce DeWitt roamed the airwaves (1982). Vanderbilt comes in to the contest still full of misplaced confidence following their road victory against then #6 South Carolina three weeks ago and sports a 5-4 record overall (2-4 in conference). The Commodores are led by former Mission:Impossible actor Peter Graves, and Coach Graves has done an admirable job at an institution where winning is more often associated with Nobel prizes than football games. Without further adieu, “The Rest of the Stuff That I Am Writing About” (working title of the remainder):
Movie Titles with Colons: The Meredith Baxter-Birney Story
Earl, you ever been to a Turkish prison?
Vanderbilt is situated in Music City, U.S.A. although I’ve never understood if this means that Nashville is it’s own autonomous community within the United States or whether it’s just ashamed of Tennessee. The school is named for Cornelius Vanderbilt, a nineteenth century industrialist, famous for shipping and railroads, and yawn. Corny’s ancestors hailed from the Netherlands where the last name was spelled “van der Bilt” and was anglicized upon their arrival in the States. In Dutch, “van der Bilt” means, “captain of industry who donates large sum of money to set up elitist learning institution in the south”. Commodore Vanderbilt was also not an actual commodore. He received this nickname thanks to his piloting of steamships early in his career. I think a more a propos nickname would be either the Vanderbilt Misconceptions or the Vanderbilt Resume-padders.
Commodore Vanderbilt ca. 1872
While this can certainly be a long and illustrious list with names such as David Brinkley, Ross Perot, Muhammad Yunus,
or Dierks Bentley, we will focus our chilling stare squarely on one Skip Bayless. Skippinger Rosemary Bayless was born somewhere and at sometime it is believed. He attended VU on the University's Russell-Rice Sportswriting Scholarship and I'm sure he was as annoying and hated there as he is today. Bayless delights in throwing controversial opinions into EVERY debate in which he is engaged. As a result, he almost always comes off as arrogant, annoying, and poorly informed. He also adheres to the belief that one's point becomes clearer and more convincing if you just speak louder. Skip is the worst of the worst when it comes to the new breed of journalists that have made the leap to television. He's also the new standard in "awful". "Jay Mariotti is an idiot and I wish I would never have to see or hear him again." "True, but he's still better than Skip Bayless." Thanks, Vanderbilt, for unleashing this blithering idiot on the sports-loving masses.
He's worse than polio
Cheerleader Scouting Report
Every year as the KSR crew attends the SEC Basketball Tournament, I am always surprised to find that Vandy's cheerleaders/dance teams are usually a little more risque in their routines than even the Florida's or LSU's of the world. We have always held the belief that they find this necessary in order to compensate for their relatative lack of attractiveness and as a form of rebellion against Organic Chemistry or whatever other classes they are spending their college years studying while Bama cheerleaders are taking "History of US Weekly". However, although certainly not as attractive as the other SEC schools, the picture below would indicate that at least some (not all) of the Vandy cheerleaders are not without their charms.
Long and storied. Vanderbilt has three bowl appearances to their credit and...wait did I just say "three" bowl appearances. Really? Apparently, it's true as the Sea Captains have an overall bowl record of 1-1-1 (you read that right), and have not appeared in a bowl since the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl where they lost to Air Force (That shouldn't have been a surprise--fighter jets versus 19th century steam-engined frigates seems to be a bit of a mismatch). Vandy's first win came in their first year as they defeated something called simply "Nashville" to finish the season undefeated at 1-0. In 1896 they had an interesting first three games as they defeated Kentucky, lost to Centre, and then tied something called "Central (Ky)". Maybe one of our loyal readers can help us determine what school this Central (Ky) became as it would assuredly require more research on my part.
We could go with Vandy's only good player, Earl Bennett, or even the quarterback, Chris Nickson, but that might involve actual analysis on my part. No, we will make mention of two Vanderbilt Sea Captains: Freshman tight end, Tim Fugger, and freshman wide receiver, Chris Griffin. There's really only one thing to say to Mr. Fugger, "Son, I implore you to have your kids take your wife's last name." As for Mr. Griffin, I never knew this was where he landed, although Vandy incorrectly lists him as being from Memphis, although I'm pretty sure he's from Rhode Island (it's neither a road nor an island). I'm not sure if he ever sees the field, but I can guarantee he has at least one huge fan back in Quahog.
Griffin and his biggest fan
We have to be more cautious here than last week. Vandy could spell the difference in the beginning of what ends up as a 9-3 season, or a 6-6 season. That's why everybody watches game film this week, except for DLJ--The Wiggles is the only show that can settle him down. Four Vanderbilt operatives will be caught breaking in to UK's Nutter Fieldhouse this week in an effort to gain intelligence on the Cats. The group will be linked to quarterback Chris Nixson, but he will disavow any knowledge of the situation. The controversy will make it hard for Nixson to effectively govern the VU offense and he will resign his post in favor of the affable, if unelected, Mackenzi Adams. Nixson sneezes as he comes off the field but Adams quickly pardons the now disgraced quarterback. Unfortunately for Adams he will look back at this as the moment when his future was sealed. Vanderbilt brings in a grinning option quarterback the next fall named J.E. Carter who quickly unseats Adams. Also, Woodson will throw for like, 16 touchdowns.
Times haven't been all that great recently here in UK land, so this victory will be a nice pick-me-up, kind of like the pills found at gas stations with names like Zantrax-3 and Ephedra-rama. In the same way that these pills allow truckers to make it to the next exit, the Vandy win will be just enough to get us to the Georgia game. That's when the real fun begins. Welp, if you're making the trip to Nashville and you happen to see me, please don't interrupt. Yes, I'm a celebrity, but the paparazzi is constantly all up in my business and any respite I get is a godsend. Also, go Cats.