As we get ready to ring in the new year and end the first decade of the 21st Century, I must admit that it has been stressful to me. Trying to get a sense of the moment, I have contemplated what would be our last KSR post of the decade. Then it hit me. KSR has been around for just under half of that decade, so why not figure out the Kentucky Sports Radio People of the Decade. You folks know how we love lists and we love to look back at history. So it made sense to go through the past five years, think of all the names that have been so intregal to Kentucky Sports Radio and rank them 1-12 in importance.
What follows is an unnecessarily long look at the names and faces that have made KSR over the last 5 years and our (obvious) choice for person of the decade. Before we get to the list, some honorable mentions:
Hunter McClintock -- As Billy Clyde tried to sell his recruitment strategy to the Big Blue Nation, we fell in love with some internet legends. Beaz Hamga, Rotnei Clarke and Matt Pilgrim were just a few of the internet love stories. But none were as bright as Hunter McClintock...his crazy dribbling and amazing YouTube videos made him the most coveted player to ever not get an offer from Kentucky and end up at Oral Roberts.
Poop Tooth -- When UK began recruiting Ryan Kelly, we put his picture up. A commenter (a young Beisner before he was actually a writer for the site) noticed he had something called a Poop Tooth, and his name was forever changed. Now he is at Duke (shockingly) and when you Google "Poop Tooth", we are one of the top ten sites that come up. Oh the internet.
Big Black Member -- Tell me UK has recruited a 7 foot British guy with no national attention and only one other offer from American University and I am intrigued. Tell me his AOL Screen name is "Big Black Member" and I am sold. Morakinyo Williams, your time here was short, but your legend lives forever.
Scott Rigot -- The worst assistant to ever coach at Kentucky was also the most ridiculous. He hit his KSR high point when we realized he ran in a 5K race in Kentucky and beat only three people. "Scott Rigot: Honorary Kenyan" was born and has stayed with us since.
Jared Carter -- We loved Jared for many reasons, but for KSR one stood out. Everytime we went to O'Charleys, Jared was there. Never has a player at UK been so connected to a chair casual dining establishment. Pass the Loaded Potato soup.
Leek Leek -- If this name isnt familiar, then you never heard the famous Marshall County Suckfest podcast. We went down to broadcast an AJ Stewart game, and we came back with an affinity for a team from New York filled with nothing but African exchange students that were 7 feet tall, including the man named for double urination. Radio history was made.
Rob Bromley -- What can I say about Rob that we havent already said. Contrary to popular belief, we like Rob and there is no more gentlemanly person in the UK universe. But when he goes "Inside the Huddle", well most everything he says ends up being incorrect. And that is why every live blog will have a Bromley report, and every Drew Franklin photoshop will have his smiling face.
Chris Cross -- I could blast Chris Cross for this or that, but it is New Years Eve and that would be mean. What we can say is that the Lexington radio host is one of a kind. His constant New York Yankee talk in a Lexington market would seem to be a recipe for disaster, and it is. But it also earns him an award that only he can have singularly: Worst Talk Show Host in Commonwealth History. "Come ovah heah" and get your award Chris!
Quite a group right? But nowhere near the top of the heap. Without further ado, the TOP 12 KSR PEOPLE OF THE DECADE:
12. Alex Legion's Mom
What do you get when you combine a high-level talent of a son with a mother who claims to be a "Prophetess" who can see the future. Well you get the Alex Legion era at Kentucky. Yes it lasted for only a few months, but Legion's time at Kentucky introduced us to his mother and left us memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it was her premonition that God had blessed Billy Clyde and would lead Kentucky to a title while her son was here or her use of "holy water" on Patrick Patterson's shoes, everything Alex's mom did was golden. Her premonitions may have been wrong, but her legacy remains.
11. Lones Seiber:
This has been a great few years for UK football as Rich Brooks took the program from the ashes and made it into a respectable SEC mid-level team. And who has been there from the beginning? Oh yes, the emo kicker from Knoxville, Lones Seiber. Yes he has missed some kicks. Yes he has frustrated fans. And yes, we would have beaten Tennessee, if not for a poor performance three years ago. BUT, he also gave us the Rick Brooks flying chest bump, the double-earring look on the sidelines, enough Morrissey jokes to last a lifetime and the picture of his girlfriend above. All of these are more than sufficient to make Lones a person that KSR will always celebrate.
10. Eric The Red
Eric The Red's star only flashed briefly on KSR, but while it was here, it made an impact. As UK approached its game with Western Kentucky in 2008, Beisner talked an article from a Western Kentucky student newspaper in which an "Eric Matthews" was quoted as saying UK was the mecca of college sports in the state. Beisner talked about the quote and made Eric (who goes by "Eric the Red") angry, leading to this email:
He picked and choosed what he wanted to use, so that he could smash on WKU. Here’s the thing I (Eric Mathews) actually work for an actual sports station here in Bowling Green. 1340 WBGN “The Ticket” a Fox Sports affliate...I have never visited your site before and probally never will again, cause I know in the Lexington media through my personal connetions Kentucky Sports Radio is a joke. I will leave you with this bit of info. Your Bloggers! You get your jollies from stating their opinion, which really doesnt amount to much. In the world of media Bloggers are no different from the average Joe screaming on Alumni Drive, “How about them Wildcats”. Bloggers are the scum of the media, live by the pharse. You will hear it a lot. But the best of luck to you and your staff maybe you will develop some morals and ethics in the Broadcasting world.
With that type of venom, grammar and misspelling, Eric took a place in our hearts that we have never really been able to fill up again. And we still hope to one day have a chance to see Eric the Red in real life. It would be a marvelous moment.
9. The 8th Grader
Among the many highlights of the Billy Clyde era was his propensity to recruit adolescents to be part of the UK basketball experience. Every month or so, Billy got younger...first taking a Sophomore, then a Freshman and culminating in his commitment from Michael Avery, right after he had finished the 8th grade. We knew little about Avery, which is true of most any 8th grader not on the Disney channel. But we do know that he knew a certain UK Frosted Tipper, who got us pictures such as the one above. Who knows where Avery will end up or if his 8th grade success will get to his head, but we do know this...he was one heck of a middle school baller.
8. Alan Cutler
Where to begin. If there was ever an example of a media legend growing right before our very eyes, it was the story of Alan Cutler. We watched him when we were growing up and then got to know him as the blog started. He asked the tough questions, got the big interview and wore denim on denim with cowboy boots. And oh that moustache...it was legendary and made us all wish for the a fine groomer. Alan has always been nice to KSR and could have made honorable mention with just the above qualities. But then he did this, and a top 8 slot was born:
7. Jai Lucas:
When this site was born it was basically just a place for me, Rob Gidel, Tomlin, Mosley and the Intern to talk about UK basketball, television shows and the Turkey Hunter's propensity to like fat chicks. Then came Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson. We met them at the Nike Camp and proceeded to interview both guys 4000 times over the next year as they decided which school they would attend. Jai was the most talkative, making his appearances on our radio show with consistency, even while being in a parking lot or at a Burger King. While he eventually chose Florida, he came back for round 2 in 2008 during his transfer, before again choosing Texas. While Jai may have never been a Cat, the question "Where are Patterson and Lucas going?" may have been the single phrase uttered to me more than any in history. For that we must give respect and a spot on this list.
6. Eric C. Conn
What do you get when you combine an Eastern Kentucky Social Security lawyer with a porn star for an ex-girlfriend and a statue of himself in front of his Pikeville law office? Well Eric C Conn of course. Eric was a 2009 entry into KSR lore and as soon as we found him, we couldnt let him go. Word of his greatness hit us in part due to some internet searches of "Raven Riley." From there we found out that she is a porn star and had once dated the most known attorney in the mountains. Then came word that he had made a video with Ralph Stanley, Obama Girl and Jesco White "The Dancing Outlaw" to try to convince Obama to appoint him to the Social Security Board. And well...a KSR legend was born. This song is epic and so is Eric C Conn "HE LEARNED SPANISH OFF OF A TAPE!":
5. Mark Coury
Where were you when you first learned of Mark Coury? Well chances are if you read this site, you learned about him from the first known picture of him above. And wow what a picture! From day one, Coury was Napoleon Dynamite and his time at UK was as epic as one can imagine with that buildup. He came in an Academic All American, was part of a mean threesome of UK players (along with Carter and Krebs) that terrorized lunchrooms across campus and had curly hair that has been copied by schoolchildren across the land. But he will always be best known for his Sophomore year when Mark Coury became Mark "Every Day is Senior Day" Coury, and he started nearly every game for the Cats. His two minutes a game ensure Kentucky would start out with a deficit and he would get two shots blocked in the process. He soon thereafter transferred to Cornell and is now following in Andy Bernard's masterful footsteps. A legend in his own time...we miss you Coury Flurry.
4. Daniel Solzman
No one on the list's star burned brighter than that of Daniel Solzman, a man who has likely won more awards than any other superstar here. He was once a campaign worker (for real) for Jonathan Miller and now is in Chicago trying to be a comedian (for real). But for us, his greatness began with a little video about "Kentucky BAYSKETBALL". If you dont remember, Fox Sports.com called it "the worst thing in the history of the internet"...high praise that requires high talent. And this was it. For you "and LAP's TOM LEACH, LEACH, LEACH!":
We thought that might be the end of the Daniel Solzman run. One great video and you would think that is all a man can do. But oh no....Solzman wasnt finished. A few months later he was taped doing standup comedy in Lexington and it produced Tomlin's favorite 8 minute YouTube clip in history. His comedy includes lines that we never knew were funny such as, "So What about these Bridges?" and the great, "Who Do You Think you are Paul McCartney!!!" Either way, if you havent seen it, you must. And remember Daniel Solzman, a rising legend and on the cover of the KSR "NEXT" magazine.
When the history of the UK internet world is written, it will be written by someone dorky. And in that writing, at least one chapter has to be entitled: Maggard. No one has made more waves or provided me more unintentional entertainment over the years than the Frosted Tip one. Arriving on the scene from the mean streets of Glasgow, Maggard has been a part of virtually every UK internet site at one point, including this one. He comes in like a hurricane, violent, filled with energy and tossing debris left and right. And then he leaves, onto his next site and yet another path to charging ten dollars a month. He is the impetus of more Nerd fights than a Star Trek vs Star Wars debating show and if you dont believe his greatness, he will come to your house and punch you. Maggard is all things to all people and I must say that if he didnt exist, we would have to create him. In ten years, when we look back at the next decade, I fully expect Maggard to be on this list again. When you know as many people as Maggard does, have the talents of a true "scout" as he is and have hair that glimmers so bright, time will always be on your side. Heres to you Maggard...and oh yeah, Pilgrim is a Beast.
2. OH Napier
The first ever KSR Superstar was a good old boy from Breathitt County who found love and fame by singing three little words: "Tubby Cant Coach." In the early days of KSR, we heard the ditty by OH Napier and fell for its storied lyrics,
Turned on my tv to watch Kentucky play
But to my nose, they cant even play
Tubby cant Coach
Thats a fact
Unfortunately that ditty is no longer online, but the rest of OH's life is. We learned that he lives in Breathitt County and likes to make "news" videos such as this one. The language is salty, but the greatness is obvious:
We later learned that OH is a man who likes his comfort and will settle down a write you a ditty if you please:
Over time we realized there is little that OH cant do. If you go do a google search of the man, you will see phrases such as "weed eating dog picture" and you wont be at all surprised. With OH you can do it all. OH ran for Breathitt County Judge Executive and garnered the first and only KSR political endorsement for the big race. In the end he only garnered 93 write-in votes, but the legacy remained. When I think the first year of KSR, I think of OH, and he is worthy of this #2 ranking.
1. Kige Ramsey
It all started with one little advice video, telling the world what he would do if he were Nicole Richie:
I fell hard. From that moment on, Kige became a KSR favorite. His blend of sports, politics, life, cooking and financial advice, all under the moniker of "You Tube Sports" has made him a legend that has gone worldwide. He was the runner-up to Barbaro for Deadspin Sportsperson of the Year in 2007 and has later gone on to interview sports figures such as Kenny Walker and Clay Travis. In fact, when we did the Barnstorming Tour, he interviewed Ramel and Joe, which may have been a Top 5 moment of awesomeness ever:
Kige has co-hosted tv shows with me and been an all-around great guy on the site since it first began. You wont find a bigger UK fan or a better example of a guy doing what he wants and making a cool life for himself of it. We love Kige and there is no doubt that he is the unanimous choice for Kentucky Sports Radio Person of the Decade!
So there you have it...a massively long post, but one that sort of encompasses the entire history of KSR throughout it. To close it out, here is THE KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO THEME SONG which was written by OH Napier and only recently uncovered. It has NEVER been on this site before and I would guess has been heard by almost no one. The great Beisner has taken the song and put pictures to the music and it seems like a fitting way to end this decade. Happy New Year and we will see you tomorrow!
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