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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- News for Kentucky Wildcat fans, May 21st 2009

It sure is a pleasure to read all the glowing comments, see all the fear and loathing from rivals, and just generally feel like 1990's Kentucky basketball all over again.  It seems like forever since we have been able to look confidently forward to the upcoming season, which at this precise instant seems to be in the far distant future rather than a mere six months away.

Kentucky fans are feeling confident and excited about football, too, and for good reason -- Rich Brooks has earned modest respect in the SEC and elsewhere over the last three years, and this year's team looks like one that may be able to take the football team to new heights, possibly even a decent conference record.  With two exciting young quarterbacks set to arrive, plus some other highly skilled players, UK looks poised for a breakout year in football as well.

I want to take everyone back to 2006 and a post by JL Blue:

To some, the idea that next year's Kentucky team, down a Rondo and a Sparks, can somehow be among the nation's elite is laughable, foolhardy, borderline insulting (though this latter response I still don't quite grasp). But why not? Give me 40 reasons why not and I'll show you 50 why so.

We as fans may never really know why the '05-06 Wildcats imploded. Theories abound like the season's missed shots, but one thing is clear -- they stopped enjoying the game.

Compare that to what is going on right now.  Back then, national irrelevance was just beginning.  The loss to UConn was close, and Kentucky was unexpectedly competitive.  But that would be the last time up to and including this year.  That seems like a long time to be in the wilderness, and it is, but the fact that we suddenly find ourselves back in a huge way in the national conversation has a way of making that pain more of a memory than a reality.  But folks, I remember every bitter moment of those days.  I remember the hopes, and the failures, and even more failures, and the gradual realization that we had reached a low point.

That time is past, and the low point is officially gone.  It left long before John Wall signed, but I don't think it fully hit me until just a few days ago.  All that angst, the suffering at the hands of rivals -- Florida, Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Louisville -- owning Kentucky, and making sure we knew about it.  That decline into irrelevance was a sad time that culminated in missing the NCAA's for the first time we were eligible since 1979, but the memory of those days is gradually beginning to fade into the rear-view mirror.

I am really glad to see it go, and I will not miss it at all.


UK Basketball News

  • Looks like UK and Texas is going to happen.  Great!  I would love to play the Longhorns.
  • While I'd love to see Wall here for three years, I don't believe I will.
  • Mike DeCourcy says that UK's team is not the Fab Five, but anyone else in the argument has "some new company.
  • This blogger argues that John Wall put off the NBA for Kentucky.
  • The most marketable team in America?  Well, we have a long way to go to catch Duke as the most hated, but I suppose we are making some progress lately.  It sure is good to feel the hate when it's tinged with fear ...
  • Some Jodie Meeks comments, and observations about his recent workout.  Ernie Grunfeld spoke with Jodie and asked him why he had to hang 54 on his alma mater.
  • Check out the live chat with Patrick Patterson over at Cat Scratches.  It's over now, but you can read the replay.

UK Football News

  • says this may be the most talented team Rich Brooks has had so far, and has UK 6th in their power rankings.  What really makes me smile is that the Gamecocks are 7th.
  • Lane Kiffin and his assistants should back slowly away from the computer keyboard and leave Twittering to those who can do it without creating an NCAA recruiting violation.

Other UK Sports News

NCAA Sports News

  • John Gasaway at Basketball Prospectus deconstructs Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker piece on David vs. Goliath.  Gasaway makes some interesting counterpoints.  Definitely worth a read.
  • Rick Pitino calls Nick Calathes.
  • Why didn't we hear about this from the local media?  God knows we did when Gillispie allegedly did the same thing.
  • Some schools are thinking about forcing coaches to take fuloughs to save money.  I hope nobody tells Jim Calhoun about this ...
  • Former Gator Alan Chaney is now a Hokie.
  • Eammon Brennan of The Dagger misses Eric Maynor -- you remember, the guy who put up "The Duke Dagger?"

Other News of Interest