Big Blue Madness is tonight, of course. Finally, we get an explanation from UK about why the SEC Network did not choose to broadcast the event:
The last piece was what can we do for television? What happened was, last year they got hit with music royalty rights on a huge number, because of all the replays the show had. WKYT has had to pay royalty rights, but it’s a local broadcast, not even statewide. National, international for ESPN3 and ESPN is a lot bigger figure.
There were some really good concessions on [ESPN’s] part. Hopefully we might have a better plan for how we do this next year. But I want to thank our fans, their interest. People get it. They definitely understand this is a huge deal. I think people have to understand this is a tougher ticket than any basketball game we have.
As usual, it all boils down to money, in this case in song royalties. UK will need to get together with their TV partners next year and do a better job of making sure the song choices are arranged in such a way as to prevent adding a huge cost to the network.
This was really nobody’s fault, it was one of those unforeseen consequences of nationalizing what had been a local telecast. At to the question of why they couldn’t release the rights to a local station, well, I guess that one we’ll be left to speculate on.
Tweet of the Morning
Yeah, it’s pretty great.
Give Mark Stoops a lot of credit. He came to Kentucky with a plan to put them on the path to the league’s top half and he’s done the things he’s said he’d do to date. Kentucky’s beefed up their recruiting in Florida, where Stoops has long ties due to stints at Miami and Florida State, and in Ohio – one of the nation’s better recruiting hot beds that some forget is just across the border from Kentucky.
Read the whole thing.
Kentucky basketball players answer fan’s tweeted questions to Adam Himmelsbach. Classic Marcus Lee:
@freak_ke: Predict UK football’s final record.
Marcus Lee: Oh, yeah, we’re not losing any more games. I have total faith in our football team.
Love it. Couple of interesting questions and answers there, read the whole thing.
“You ever seen ‘Saving Private Ryan?’ ” freshman center Karl-Anthony Towns said. “You see all the war and stuff? That’s how it is at practice. We’re at war at all times.”
Well, I hope fervently this is a simile, not a fact. :-)
Tyler Ulis dares you to call him too small. Alright, I’ll let Bill Murray take that one: “You’re short, your bellybutton sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother.” Okay, Tyler, you’re probably not a burden on your mother, and the bellybutton stuff could be wrong.
I can’t wait to see him in action, though. He plays the game right.
Other Kentucky sports
Jameis Winston brings a “nuclear level” of hate on Florida State. I guess I don’t get that — I am completely ambivalent about FSU. It must be a Florida thing.
It’s deeply disturbing when we treat life as a zero-sum game. It almost never is. Nobody is a winner in the Jameis Winston rape allegation. Everybody loses. Both these young people are victims of a failure of the legal system. It is also quite possible that both people are guilty in their own way — Winston of assuming consent when none was given, and the woman of implying consent when none was intended. We’ll never know, most likely.
But there is manifestly no evidence, none, to support the charges of a deliberately false allegation by the young woman. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, alcohol involvement makes her accusation less credible, her memory less reliable. But even so, she may be right, and for that reason alone, attacking her is the height of unethical behavior. Those doing it should stop, and offer an abject apology. What you believe is up to you, but dumping on somebody who has no obvious motive to lie about a matter like this is evil.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” — Abraham Lincoln
Bill Connelly previews the SEC games this weekend, including the Kentucky at LSU game:
Kentucky is indeed improving; the Wildcats are 59th in the F/+ rankings. For a team that hasn’t ranked higher than 86th since 2010, that’s exciting.
Yes, but don’t get your hopes too high, and read the whole thing.
New conference Power Rankings. Well, new as of Wednesday, anyway.
Other sports news
Interesting piece by Jonathan Tjarks about why athletes thank God. Consider:
As a result, overt displays of religion tend to make even professional journalists, who are trained to deal with just about anything happening on live TV, uncomfortable. Take, for example, when Doris Burke interviewed Kevin Durant after an NBA game last year. K.D. had been on a tear, averaging more than 30 points a game. "What goes into a streak like this?" Burke asks him. "God. That’s all I can say. Jesus Christ," says Durant. After a brief pause, the veteran reporter laughs nervously, and asks — "You had nothing to do with it?"
In his defense, Durant isn’t trying to say that God came down and willed the ball into the basket — it’s more simple than that. He’s not saying that God is responsible for his success on the basketball court; he is saying that God has a hand in every single thing he does in his life. Therefore, it would be crazy not to praise Him when good things happen. Without Him, Durant believes, none of this would be possible. Christianity defined, basically.
If you think about it, it’s hard to explain when players get in “the zone,” or make shots that seem impossible under great pressure. I remember Jodie Meeks’ performance against Tennessee. It seemed that every time he shot, the ball had a guidance system on board that controlled both its flight and destination. It seemed impossible to explain that kind of precision because it happens so rarely, and it’s easy to think that a higher power had an influence. Certainly, we’d be nonplussed if the athletes thanked themselves for their great skill.
In the end, I think it’s less about religion than it is finding an answer to the unanswerable, that is, why players sometimes do incredible things, incredible mainly because they are so rare. Appealing to the divine is as good an answer as any, seems to me. But your mileage may vary on that.
Asking the important questions: Can Apple stop the slide in the tablet market?
Creepy, fast-food style funerals: Michigan funeral home offers drive-thru viewings. McFuneral Home?
I hope 911 doesn’t take clues from England’s 999: Emergency operator told caller: ‘You could try a warm bath, hot water bottle in the painful area but if you collapse, become unconscious, unresponsive, faint, or become pale, cold or clammy it’s 999.’
That’s good training — telling a caller to call back if he “becomes unconscious.” The man later died painfully. Via Fark