I made the decision to spend the Cancun week in Middlesboro doing legal work, rather than making the trip to follow the team. Smart decision eh? But luckily we do have official "friend of KSR" Tucker Max, a Kentuckian who went to law school with me and has found his way to Cancun for the weekend. Tucker has a #1 New York Times Bestseller and is known all around the country. But he is also a UK fan, and thus he is giving us his insight on what is going on in Cancun with the Cats. Here is his first report:
This is my first time writing a piece about UK for KSR, and I can't tell you how excited I am to do a bunch of work and not get paid anything for it.
Why did Matt ask me to write this update? Because I am a #1 Best Selling Author? Nope. Because I proudly bleed Kentucky blue? Nope. Because I have some fresh and original insight into UK athletics? Not a chance. Apparently, it's because I am the only person he knows in Cancun right now
. We are all very proud of how Matt Jones and crew took a dinky little blog and made it into the powerhouse that KSR is now, but they are not yet doing so well that they can afford the 5k+ it takes to send someone to Cancun to cover the Cats. Since I am a rich a-hole, I can afford it, and since I went to law school with Matt and owe him a favor, you guys are stuck with me giving the basketbell updates for the next three days.
I am from Kentucky, I love the Cats, I proudly bleed UK blue, and my perspective is unashamedly biased homerism. If you are reading my updates for facts or objective analysis, just stop and save us your indignation. Get that from ESPN (ha!).
Here are the things I have seen since I got to Cancun:
--- This feels like a home game
. Everyone here is a UK fan. I almost forgot we had an opponent in town until I saw the Rider coaches and players at the pool (they looked drunk, btw).
--- I asked around and got some numbers on the attendance: There were about 1200 fan packages sold, and Kentucky fans made up 85% of the buyers
. Stanford was second, and apparently, Cleveland State didn't sell ANY packages to fans. That means the players PARENTS didn't even come. I guess the half-life on beating Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers is not very long. [But please don't take these numbers as gospel though, because some Mexican dude gave them to me, and I have found that the guys working at an all-inclusive resport will tell you anything if they think it'll get you to either tip them or leave them alone.]
-Seriously, this place, Moon Palace Cancun
is ridiculous. It's so big, you need a map for it. It's like Mexican Disneyland.
-I were to judge the UK fanbase just by who is in Cancun, I would think that all UK fans are
3. Constantly drunk
It's kinda funny actually; it's like being in Lexington, but without brutish cops and all the liquor is free.
-Before you get too jealous, know that it may be better in most ways to be in Lexington
. I have a running bet with another UK fan that there is not one hot girl in the resort aged 18-40 who is not here with a guy. I am going to win that bet going away.
-I thought that would be the case, which is why when planning the trip, I had to decide: Do I go with a male friend and try to pick up girls in Cancun, or do I import my girl for the week. I went with import, and brought a hot little half-Arab girl.
-I kinda feel bad for the UK players. Since everyone here is a UK fan, they get mobbed everywhere they go. Just watching it is weird--grown men and women are acting like children. It's like being at a Jonas Brothers concert
, except the fans are drunk, sunburnt old people, and the Jonas Brothers are huge, athletic and can dunk.
looks like the high school kid of the team. I don't think he's used to the attention from fans yet. Super nice kid though.
is jacked. TV doesn't do him justice. The dude is cut like an action figure. He's almost in Dwight Howard's league of rippedness.
-There is only one man in Cancun that frightens me. Not Mictecacihuatl, but Patrick Patterson's dad
. That man looks like--if you crossed him--he could rip your arms off and beat you to death with them. Thankfully, he's super nice.
-I met the dude from Sam Houston who dropped 37 on the Cats. He thought he was better'n me. OK buddy, you go to school in rural Texas. Have fun with that.
-Even the Oral Roberts coaches
look like they could be preachers or deacons or whatever religion they are. Seriously--they're all kinda fat, very sincere, and have that low level creepiness that people who are way too obsessed with television religion all have.
-The UK practice today was open to the public. 400 people showed up
. At noon. UK pulled 400 for a midday practice IN CANCUN!! I am not criticizing--I was there too. But damn. We do have quite the fan base.
-In practice, the starters wear gray and the subs wear blue
. Except there are six guys wearing gray--Wall, Patterson, Cousins, Bledsoe, Miller AND Ramon Harris. But when they do the drills, Miller runs with the first team and Harris with the second. Not sure what this means, if anything.
-Liggins runs with the second team when they do drills--and Dodson doesn't run at all. He sits, along with Krebs and Jorts.
-You gotta see where the games are being played. It's in a conference center. Like, a carpeted conference center with chandeliers only 30 feet above the court. I have seen elementary school gyms
with better set-ups.
--- I don't have pictures of any of this, because I am an idiot. I left both of my cameras at home. And all my sunglasses. So now I have to buy a new camera and sunglasses at Cancun's 300% markup. Who said stupidity doesn't have a price? I'll have pics tomorrow.
--- Cal is so cool
. He played to the crowd so well during practice. The team missed like 10 shots in a row during a full court drill press drill, and he turned and said to us, "We're a shooting team aren't we?" Then when Demarcus Cousins was shooting his free throws wrong, and Cal coached him about holding his follow through, and told him he was doing it in front of the crowd so that everyone would know what Cousins was supposed to do and cheer when he did it. And on cue, we all started cheering when he held his follow through. I wish Cal was my dad.
-There are a lot of hot MILFs here though. And Tony Delk is here. I could take a cheap shot at Fake Gimel, but I won't.
That's it for today. There is a reception with all the coaches and players from each team tonight
. I am going. Pics tomorrow. Oh yeah, there is a basketball game or something tomorrow, I may check that out if I feel like it.