Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:43:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 KFC Yum! Center says they’ve sold most tickets for NBA Exhibition Game in history Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:42:52 +0000 The NBA to Louisville effort is real folks. Earlier today on ESPN 680 in Louisville, Robbie Valentine of the KFC Yum! Center announced that they have sold more than 19,000 tickets for the exhibition game between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans. He also announced that with over 19,000 tickets sold, that they have set an NBA record for the most tickets ever sold for an NBA exhibition game.

valentinenba 500x500 KFC Yum! Center says theyve sold most tickets for NBA Exhibition Game in history

You can listen to Valentine’s interview on ESPN 680 by clicking here.

Quite a statement for a city that can’t support an NBA team. Quite a statement for a college town.

All sarcasm aside, these numbers are impressive and they are exactly what I was hoping and believed we would see when they announced that this game would take place in early April. 19,000 tickets sold in Louisville, Kentucky for a game that doesn’t even go in the record books. Of the 30 teams last year, just seven averaged over 19,000 fans per game. And those games count!

And that arena that can’t be shared with an NBA team because no NBA team would want to share a so-called college arena. Just ask the Miami Heat players what their first impression of the KFC Yum! Center was. Valentine said they were floored by the impressiveness of the arena. His exact wording was, “their face dropped”. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I think that means they wouldn’t mind the arena being their home for 82 games.

There are still tickets available to the exhibition game on Saturday, but less than 1,000 remain. So if you want to go, you better get them now.

On Saturday, Nick Curran and myself will be set up at Bearno’s By The Bridge for an ESPN 680 NBA Exhibition Pre-Game Show. Right now I think we will be on from 4-6pm, but that could change. We are looking to load this show with guests that have unique perspectives on what an NBA team, as a whole, could do for the city of Louisville.

Because doing this one Saturday in October is fun, but how amazing would it be to do this 82+ times every single year. And you have your own team. Amazing.

We will also be selling Strait Pinkie Colonels T-Shirts for $15 before the game at Bearno’s because we want everyone rocking old Kentucky Colonels gear at the KFC Yum! Center.

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Sunday Morning Hangover – 9/28/14 Mon, 29 Sep 2014 03:06:12 +0000  Sunday Morning Hangover   9/28/14

Nick and Nick break down Louisville’s win over Wake Forest and Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt. Seriously, if Wake Forest and Vanderbilt played each other, would they ever score a point?

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Victor Martinez’ extraordinary season Sun, 28 Sep 2014 22:03:53 +0000 victor martinez 500x284 Victor Martinez extraordinary season

Victor Martinez had a career year at the age of 35 for the playoff bound Detroit Tigers. Here are a few things he accomplished this season at the plate.

  • He is only the third player since 1914 to play at least 50% of his games at DH and have 33+ doubles. 32+ home runs and 3+ stolen bases.
  • He was 93-for-276 with two strikes, a .337 average, the second best behind Todd Helton, since 1914.
  • His 93 hits with two strikes were the second most since 1914, only trailing Matt Carpenter (95, ’13)
  • He averaged 1.31 extra-base hits per strikeout. (via @aceballstats on Twitter)
  • He became the third player since 1990 to have 30 or more home runs, and 42 or less strikeouts. (Barry Bonds ’04, Gary Sheffield ’92).
  • Became first Detroit Tiger since 1901 to have 30 or more home runs and 42 or less strikeouts.
  • First American League DH to lead the league in on-base percentage since David Ortiz in 2005.


Stats via the Baseball-Reference Play Index

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Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Louisville’s 20-10 win over Wake Forest Sat, 27 Sep 2014 23:57:01 +0000 It wasn’t pretty at all, but the Cards escaped with a 20-10 win over the Deamon Deacons. Here are my six takeaways.

ulwake640 500x234 Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Louisvilles 20 10 win over Wake Forest

Enter Brandon Radcliff – Listed fourth on the depth chart to start the game, Radcliff emerged as Louisville’s best back against Wake. A week after averaging 0.3 yards per carry on the ground as a team against FIU, Radcliff rushed it 17 times for 129 yards and two touches. He ran hard and when the o-line created holes, he hit them hard. His second touchdown was a great run. He hit the hole, shuck off tackles, and fought his way to the end zone. The coaching staff often talked about how hard he ran the football. They also feel like he is faster than Dominique Brown. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Radcliff from here on out and Cards fans need to be happy that they saw a lot of him today, because without him, they may not win.

Enter Reggie Bonnafon – I think Louisville has their quarterback for the rest of the season regardless of whether Will Gardner comes back healthy or not. And it’s not because Bonnafon lit the world on fire. Bonnafon was not spectacular. He completed just 50-percent of his passes for 206 yards. He did make mistakes on multiple handoffs and put the ball on the ground to give Wake their lone touchdown, but he showed signs. He showed signs of being able to make plays when the o-line didn’t protect. The play he made when he was flushed left, threw across his body, just over the head of a defender to hit James Quick at the sideline. That is why Bonnafon is your guy from here on out. With their line, he is just the better of the two options.

This defense – Because of the struggles of the offense, not much has been said about how good this U of L defense has been. And today, they once again took advantage of less-than-stellar offense and made them look even worse than less-than-stellar. Wake Forest had zero chance to score the football on offense. None. John Wolford spent nearly half of the game on his back. He had to feel like he was playing All-Madden the first time he ever played the game. The Deacons ran the ball 23 times for -22 yards, which includes Wolford’s rushing stats of 10 rushes for -53 yards because of all of the sacks. I know that Wake is awful on offense, but you can’t watch a game like that and not give Louisville credit. Plus, they have looked like that all year.

Lack of discipline of offense is on Bobby – It seems to me that everyone is quick to give Bobby Petrino a pass on the struggles of the offense. That’s crap. This offense lacks discipline and their mistakes continuously put them in positions that disallow them from finishing drives. The offensive line has received most of grief for the team’s struggles so far. And rightfully so. One thing Petrino can’t do is make them more talented. I get that. But, what he can do is get them to play more technically sound. Get them to make less mistakes. Get them to play to the best of their ability. He hasn’t done that. The amount of penalties in this game was ridiculous. Don’t give me the, “What else can the holier than thou Bobby Petrino do to make them better?”. He can coach them better. Their lack of discipline is squarely on Bobby’s shoulder.

And his fake punt attempt? Really? A team that absolutely can’t move the football. You run a fake punt and give it to them there? Awful. Awful call. Once again, that’s on Bobby.

The Pick Magnet – The Cards have played five games. Gerod Holliman now has six interceptions in those five games. That’s video game numbers. The kid continuously is in the right spot to make plays and when given the opportunity he capitalizes. Of course, Louisville didn’t take advantage of the pick and missed a field goal.

Orville Reynolds for Heisman – This is how good I must be at NCAA College Football on PlayStation. I once played in an ACC Dynasty with some idiot friends of mine. I was Wake Forest because that is where Muggsy Bogues played hoops. I realize I am way too obsessed with Muggsy, but I digress. Wake was awful on there too, but I did a hell of a coaching job. Got them competitive. And when Orville Reynolds was a senior, which would be this season, he won the Heisman trophy. I’m not looking it up, but I’m pretty sure it had to be the first and only Heisman in Wake Forest history. Today, he rushed seven times for eight yards. Point being, I am a better coach than Dave Clawson.

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Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentucky’s 17-7 win over Vandy Sat, 27 Sep 2014 19:39:01 +0000 It wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky got a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon in Lexington. The win ends their ridiculous 17-game SEC losing streak. Here are my six takeaways from the game.

ukvandy640 500x234 Pick 6: Six Takeaways from Kentuckys 17 7 win over Vandy

Defensive Pressure – The story of the game was Kentucky’s ability to get pressure. True freshman Wade Freebeck was on his heels the entire game, as he completed just 8 of his 25 passes for 85 yards and three interceptions. Those three picks all came when Freebeck was pressured. Put into perspective that UK had just one pick all year last year. That’s crazy. Overall, their offense was just never able to get into a flow, as they managed just 139 yards and zero points.

I know this is Vanderbilt, but I’m prepared to say that this Kentucky defense is pretty damn good. If they can get that kind of pressure, they will have a chance against anyone in the SEC.

Third Down – For the last three years, one reason why Kentucky has struggled is because of their inability to pick up third downs, as well as their inability to get off of the field on third down. On third down, the defense pinned their ears back the entire game and gave Vanderbilt no chance whatsoever to convert. They finished just 2-for-12 on third down. Kentucky’s offense started the game converting on thirds. But, they finished just 6-for-15 on third. They were just 1-for-7 on third downs in the second half.

Inability to put it away – Much like the Ohio game, in which Kentucky dominated, they were unable to simply put the game out of reach. Miscue after miscue. Failed third down attempt after third down attempt. The offense simply did nothing in the second half to put this game out of reach. And Vanderbilt did nothing with the opportunities they were given because Kentucky’s defense refused.

The improvement of this team is obvious. They are now competitive and obviously more talented that at least one team in the SEC. The next step will be getting that killer instinct and putting teams away. They lack that on O’s for some reason right now.

Plethora of weapons – I know they did nothing in the second half. I know they only put up 17 points. But, the amount of weapons that Kentucky continues to use on offense is amazing to me. Four running backs had at least five carries. 11 guys caught balls and none of those guys caught more than four balls. I thought they maybe would shorten their rotation by now, but maybe not. And most of these guys are freshmen. Not a bad way to recruit. Look, if you’re good, we’re going to find spots to play you.

Towles – Towles started off the game completing his first 11 passes and finished 23-for-30 for 201 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. Still, I didn’t think it was his best game. He missed some open guys and Andre Ware made that quite evident during the broadcast. Ware often sounded like the guy that watches you play football over your shoulder on the sticks. “Duuuude, Triangle was wide open on that play. How did you miss him?” Shut up dude! Towles also threw a pick six and put the ball on the ground a few times, one that Vandy scooped up and gave them a chance to get back in it. And then the UK defense came up with another big stop. I’m not that mad at the pick six. That’s just a great read by Darius Sims, a really good player. Still, to beat South Carolina, Towles will have to play a more complete game. He’ll have to be good for 60 minutes.

Kentucky Wildcat – I’ve never seen a team run out the clock by utilizing the Wildcat like Kentucky did against Vanderbilt. UK ended the game with eight straight Wildcat plays. JoJo Kemp kept it on seven of those and handed it to Ryan Timmons for one. Vandy look gassed and they couldn’t stop it. On those seven attempts, Kemp picked up 60 yards, including a 30-yard scamper that was their biggest play of the game. Oddly enough, Kemp had just one carry before he became the show in the final minutes. Still, if I’m Patrick Towles, I’m pissed. You’re gonna make me split wide left eight straight times to end the game and I do nothing?

Extra Point – I’m not sure what Vandy is doing. They didn’t get creative on offense. They refused to realize that Kentucky was going to bring pressure. Especially on third down. They refused to run a screen play that could have dashed UK’s overzealous defense. And then they just quit with two timeouts and down ten with a little under two minutes to play. I don’t care how much you can’t move the football. Never should you go to the locker room with two timeouts in your pocket in a ten point game. Force UK to get a first down and knee it. You never know what is going to happen. Heck, maybe you force a fumble and take it to the house. If I was the AD I would be in Mason’s ear after the game.

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Pinkie Picks: NFL Week 4 Sat, 27 Sep 2014 07:40:38 +0000 Your boy Nick Evans finally did something right last week as he finished 11-4 and moved into first place in the Pinkie NFL Pick ‘Em. His lone misses where Cleveland, Miami, Green Bay, and Carolina. Josh and Ryan both went 10-5 and Nick and Jim went 9-6. So, overall not a bad week.

Here are the standing after three weeks.

Nick Evans 28-17
Jim Wombwell 27-18
Ryan Ritchey 27-18
Nick Curran 26-19
Josh Wilson 26-19

And now here’s Week 4.

Nick Evans
Nick Curran
Josh Wilson
Ryan Ritchey
Jim Wombwell
SURVIVAL PICK Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
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Quick Look at the Vanderbilt Commodores Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:11:28 +0000 After losing to Temple 37-7 to start the season and then nearly falling to UMass, Vanderbilt looked like the Vanderbilt of old and James Franklin looked like he must be the best coach in the history of earth. Then last week, they gave South Carolina a run for their money, eventually falling 48-34. Two of their touchdowns did come via kick returns, but they still managed 379 yards of total offense against the Gamecocks.

With the close loss against USC, the ‘Dores have some momentum. And Kentucky is looking to maintain the momentum that they have built up by taking care of the ‘Dores. A team that has beat UK each of the last three years. The combined score in those three games, a stupid 100-14. 100-14!!!!

Despite that crazy differential the last three seasons, this is a must-win game for the Cats. The first of the Mark Stoops era.

At 1-3 now, Vanderbilt is feeling better about themselves. They feel like they are coming together. They finally scored some points. They feel like they are finally gelling.

They are likely to run two quarterbacks at the Wildcats. The first is sophomore Patton Robinette. Robinette is a bit banged up and there is a chance he may not play. If he does play, he is the most experienced of their QBs. He has led this team to big wins in the past, including a come-from-behind win against Georgia last year. He is a run threat, so if he’s in there look for QB draws and read options.

The other QB is true freshman Wade Freeback. Freeback is more of a deep ball threat with a really strong arm. But, he’s a freshman and is still learning how to make the right reads. If he has to go, they will really lack the leadership that Robinette provides.

vandy640 500x234 Quick Look at the Vanderbilt Commodores

Freshman Ralph Webb is probably their most talented player on offense. He is an undersized running back, but he makes great decisions, and he doesn’t hesitate to make those decisions. He is quick to hit holes and does so at 100-percent. He is a speedy back that once he gets free is tough to catch. He finishes funs and falls forward in an attempt to get that extra yard.

On the young season, he has 77 carries for 378 yards and a touchdown and fans are calling for him to get even more touches. That could be the case against UK. Look for them to run the ball a lot against UK in an attempt to possess the football and keep Patrick Towles off of the field.

They have a new-look defense and like Louisville they are running a 3-4 this season. They blitzed more against South Carolina than they had the previous three games, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues. They have a young secondary and blitzing could open up opportunities for them to be exposed.

Overall, this Vanderbilt staff knew they were going to take a step backwards. But, I’m not sure they expected to get crushed by Temple and then nearly lose to UMass. They lost Jordan Rodgers. They lost Wesley Johnson. And they lost their entire secondary. They are playing 31 freshmen. So a learning curve was expected. But, this team has committed way too many penalties and not moved the ball enough in the first four games to win. They hope that last week’s effort against the South Carolina was proof that the learning curve is trending upwards.

Oh, and don’t kick it to Darius Sims. He’s the guy that had two kickoff return touchdowns last week.

The fact that this game is up to a 17 point spread is a little too much for me. I think Kentucky will win. I think they need to win. But, there is no way in hell I am taking 17 points.

Kentucky 27, Vanderbilt 14

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Strait Pinkie Podcast – 9/24/14 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 01:40:10 +0000  Strait Pinkie Podcast   9/24/14

In the second ever Strait Pinkie Podcast, Nick Evans and Andrew Miller break down U of L’s matchup with Wake Forest, what it could mean for Reggie Bonnafon to play 60 minutes, UK’s game with Vanderbilt, and whether our outlook for Kentucky’s season has changed. We then got into some Teddy Bridgewater starting for the Vikings and the Bengals’ hot start.

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J. Bruce Miller responds to Darrell Griffith on NBA to Louisville efforts Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:45:48 +0000 If you care about the NBA to Louisville effort at all, I’m sure you have seen former Louisville Cardinal Darrell Griffith’s comments about what the NBA could do for Louisville.

“If people think the Yum! Center is great, if they think UPS was great for the city…get an NBA franchise you’ll see what happens to this city. It’ll take it to a whole other level,” says former U of L and NBA star Darrell Griffith.

Griffith made the comments in an interview with WDRB’s John Lewis and went on to say that he believed an NBA team would help Louisville retain young professionals who tend to relocate as they advance in their career.

He then went on to talk about if Louisville could obtain a billionaire owner, they would have a shot at getting a team.

Longtime proponent of the NBA to Louisville, J. Bruce Miller, responded to Griffith via Facebook.

“Darrrell: Thanks for the continuing support. As you know, I continue to QUIETLY work to locate a majority ownership individual or group. Quite frankly we have several SIGNIFICANT possibilities, but I don’t intend on publicizing any of it until we have the deal IN PLACE. We’ve had enough press conferences around here about things that never happenned (a/la Museum Plaza, recent discussion of a hotel at the Fairgrounds, etc., etc.). I’ll be in touch as the work moves toward a final document — which could well be in a few weeks!! All the Best, my Friend. Look forward to working with you like we have done before.”

Miller is exactly right about the press conferences of the past. Those excited about the possibility of the NBA coming to Louisville have grown tiresome of the pressers that have led to nothing. So, until there is real news regarding this issue, it is best to keep everything under wraps.

I do know one thing, Miller will never stop pursuing an NBA for this city. And when I say never, I mean never. Most would have quit 20 years ago, given the backlash that he has received amid his relentless efforts to better the Derby City.

And there could be no better ambassador for the NBA to Louisville then Darrell Griffith. Griffith is arguably the most recognizable Louisville Cardinal of all-time and the NBA to Louisville movement needs all of the positive PR from the U of L side of things that they can get.

To listen to Griffith’s entire interview on WDRB, click here

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Pinkie Links: Dr. Dunkenstein thinks NBA will work in Louisville, Qatar will not host World Cup, and more Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:39:37 +0000 ]]> 0