If you’re a fan of Kentucky sports and use the internet, then chances are you know who Kyle Tucker is.
After holding various positions with different media entities over the last 16 years, he has now settled into his role covering the University of Kentucky for The Athletic. Next year will be his 10th year working the UK beat.
When reading Kyle’s work, you are far more likely to indulge yourself in a captivating story with a behind-the-scenes look at a player or coach as opposed to a typical stat-driven analysis.
His unique approach and content have made him one of the most trusted sources in the Kentucky media.
When I originally had the idea to start the Kentucky Dad Podcast, I’ll admit that Kyle was one of my inspirations behind it.
If you follow any of his work then, you are fully aware that he operates as a family man first and foremost.
His three-year-old twins, Stroud and Elliott, are prominent figures on his social media and without a sliver of doubt, his entire world. The Tucker family lives in Lexington and spends the vast majority of their time attempting to tame their adorable twin THREEnagers.
When taking a deeper look at Kyle Tucker the person, I think it’s important to understand that he did not come from a background of privilege. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
But make no mistake, Kyle did have one hell of a support system growing up that centered around his two parents. Both worked full-time and used much of that income to put themselves through college. They would work all day and fulfill academic commitments during the evenings.
“Oh, we’d eat butter sandwiches! Just two slices of bread and butter!” Kyle told me.
I was surprised to learn that his parents were still teenagers in high school when Kyle was born. 39 years later and they are still married. Their story is nothing short of amazing and should serve as an inspiration to us all.
His father impressively finished at the top of his class at Austin Peay, despite the obstacles he was facing as a young parent. When his mother and father had obligations with work and school, it was his grandpa, Tom Stroud, who was there to provide support and guidance. His presence in Kyle’s life was so instrumental that it prompted him to name his son “Stroud” in honor of his late grandpa, who passed away when he was 13 years old.
One of the most pressing topics that I wanted to break-down with Kyle is, what I believe to be, a disproportionate amount of hate that he receives online. By his own admission, speaking up on issues that he believes to be important is something that he will never shy away from.
When you have 50,000 followers on Twitter like Kyle does, it’s inevitable that a portion of people will disagree with the positions that he takes, especially when the content is already controversial in nature.
That being said, there is no denying that he can take quite a bit of heat from angry Twitter fingers on pretty much a daily basis.
Over the years, he’s had his fair share of spoof accounts, which many times will mock his views on social issues and even go as far as to question his character as a whole. We kind of both agreed that historically most of these accounts have been witless and lame.
When I asked Kyle about the famous NOT Kyle Tucker account, he immediately burst into laughter. He admitted he has found out the identity of the account controller but doesn’t know him personally.
Kyle remains firm that he is absolutely not behind the Not Kyle Tucker account but fully acknowledges the wildly accurate representation that it portrays.
Went to McDonald’s for a Diet Coke. Car in front of me paid for mine. Told the cashier I’d pay to the guy behind me. $42 later I got my Diet Coke.— Not Kyle Tucker, man (@NotKyleTuckerCJ) May 16, 2020
Are you there, God? It’s me, Kyle.
Something we both found hilarious while recording Episode 8 of the Kentucky Dad Podcast is that I was very blunt in telling Kyle that before I ever met him, I fully expected not to like him!
I’m not even totally sure why, but that’s the honest truth.
However, after our first real encounter at the Laguardia Airport in NYC after the 2019 Champions Classic, he immediately won me over with his genuine approach during the conversation. We both had barely slept, if at all, but enjoyed a zombie-like chat about being excited to get back home to our families.
Ever since that, I’ve personally seen Kyle through a different lens and respect his work even more.
One thing that I always look forward to are his consistent entertaining interactions with John Calipari during press conferences, as I appreciate his willingness to occasionally push back. Hopefully, I can get back to live-tweeting some of those testy encounters once collegiate sports resume.
Major apologies that some technical difficulties cut off the end of the show and unfortunately omitted Kyle’s Dad joke. I feel horrible about it, so I wanted to make sure that the world still got to hear it.
“Sundays are always a little sad, but, the day before is a ...... sadder day.”
Here are some topics that we hit on Episode 8 of the Kentucky Dad Pod:
- Drew and Kyle’s first encounter at Laguardia
- Kyle’s current family life
- Early life in Tennessee
- OCD neat freaks
- Twitter haters
- Being unafraid to speak your mind on issues you believe in
- Not Kyle Tucker and spoof accounts
- Working the Kentucky beat for nearly 10 years
- Work life balance and support from the Athletic
- Dad Jokes! (Kyle’s was cut-off by mistake. Deepest apologies)
Make sure to follow us @KentuckyDadPod on Twitter and review using the Apple Podcast link.