Good evening, friends, and welcome to Tuesday's News and Views, which took three hours to write because I spent two and a half hours trying to find an honoree. Tonight, we salute Toronto mayor Rob Ford
, not because he is turning 44, but because he has been an internet sensation over the past two weeks.
It all started when Gawker got its evil little eyes on a video of Mayor Ford smoking out of a crack pipe
. Gawker John Cook writes, "Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, is the only person visible in the frame. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it. In the other hand is a lighter. A slurred voice off-camera is ranting about Canadian politics in what sounds like an attempt to goad Ford. Ford, pipe in one hand and lighter in the other, is laughing, and mildly protesting at the sacrilege. He seems to keep trying to light the pipe, but keeps stopping to laugh. He is red-faced and sweaty, heaving with each breath. Finally, he finds his moment and lights up. He inhales."
However, the video's rightful owner demanded $200,000 before he/she will release it
to Gawker for public consumption; they say they need the money to flee Toronto for protection from Ford and the corrupt city. So Gawker did what anyone with access to a video of a politician smoking crack would do: they started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the cash.
The online fundraiser hit its goal of 200K about two hours ago with three hours remaining on the clock, meaning Mayor Ford could have some 'splaining to do soon. On his birthday, of all days.
Happy Birthday, man. Good luck with that.
News and Views?
While you were out celebrating the three-day weekend, Drew Barker was busy tugging at Big Blue Nation's heartstrings on the internet. The top commitment in UK's current 2014 football class tweeted, "Attention all CAT fans and #BBN : Save the dates May 29th & 30th #BackToBack #NoFlyZone"
. For you non-Twitterers out there, the tweet insinuates there will be good news on Wednesday and Thursday this week; #NoFlyZone suggests it will be in the secondary.
On Monday, Barker continued to hint at the good news by telling his followers Mike Edwards is not
one of the players he was referencing, despite Edwards, along with his buddy Darius West, being the popular assumption. Both West and Edwards are expected to announce soon -- West's announcement is scheduled for Thursday (the 30th) -- and Kentucky is the favorite for the two prospects.
But if not Edwards, then who?
Wednesday's "Save The Date" is in regard to Jared Tucker, another targeted safety from the 2014 class. Tucker will visit Lexington on Wednesday for the second time during his recruitment
. This week's visit might as well be his first, though, as his other visit was two years ago during the win over Tennessee right before things bottomed out. This time around, he'll be visiting with one of the best defensive backs coaches in America and hearing a pitch to help lead Kentucky football to prominence.
Tucker, a high three-star talent, comes from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Kentucky currently has four players on its roster from Stephenson in Raymond Sanders, Jabari Johnson, Ronnie Shields and DeMarcus Sweat.
Tucker also has offers from Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisville and South Carolina, to name a few. Kentucky hopes to get a commitment during Wednesday's visit.
Keep your football visit logbook out; we have one more to jot down. According to Justin Rowland over at RowlandIllustrated.com, four-star linebacker Jacob Pugh will visit Kentucky June 8-11
. Pugh, a Florida prospect, is the 13th best outside linebacker in the country and he has offers from schools like Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. He visited UK back in February, but after conversations with Kobie Walker, he's ready to take another look at Lexington.
Mark Stoops is doing an incredible job. I've already forgotten what life was like as a UK football fan at this time last year.
How 'bout Morgan Newton getting some love as an undrafted rookie with NFL potential? NFLDraftScout.com, a CBS Sports joint, tabbed Newton as the New York Giants' unheralded rookie most likely to emerge as a contributor or impact player
"Most undrafted free agents are signed within hours of the conclusion of the draft, but Newton is an example of a player who earned his way onto the roster during rookie minicamps. Weeks after the 2013 NFL Draft, New York tried out dozens of players and decided to sign Newton to a contract as a tight end. At one time considered the quarterback of the future at Kentucky, Newton struggled with consistency as a passer and transitioned to a receiving role as a senior, but finished his Wildcat career with only one catch. At 6-4 and 240 pounds, Newton has the size and athleticism but is still very new to the position and will be a strong candidate for the practice squad."
Things didn't work out the way we all hoped with Newton, the quarterback, at Kentucky, but it's exciting to see him finding new hope at a new position in the NFL. He's a great guy and deserving of a shot at the next level.
Speaking of the next level, Nerlens Noel believes he can be the best defender in the NBA
: “I definitely feel that I can be [the best defender in the league]," he told USA Today
. "I have to do a lot of work and make sure I bring it every night, but I think I can get there. …I know it will take a lot of work, but I definitely want to put the time and work in to be one of the top players in the NBA. That’s a dream come true and I’ll definitely take advantage of it so I definitely feel that I can become one of them and reach my full potential.”
Do the right thing, Cleveland.
Valley Of The Suns, a cleverly titled Phoenix Suns fan site, has a draft profile of Archie Goodwin
. Draft Express projects Goodwin to Phoenix with the final pick in the first round of the draft. Valley Of The Suns believes there is a chance he eventually flourishes into a Jamal Crawford or Tyreke Evans-type of combo guard, but he won't make an impact until 2015 or 2016. It sounds like the website has done its homework.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Kentucky but I am fascinated by the Evolution of Birdman
He's a perfect 13-for-13 in the Eastern Conference finals, despite looking like someone you'd run into at a drug rehabilitation clinic.
In KSR news, we welcomed our 300,000,000th visit
to the website Monday afternoon. That's one visit for every grammatical error I've made. Thank you for being a friend.
The radio show returns Tuesday morning when Ryan Lemond is joined by Dan Rieffer
, formerly of ABC 36 in Lexington, for two hours of exciting UK and off-topic discussion. Listen in, give them a call, and thank God it's not Alan Cutler.
Talk to you soon.