TGR on Facebook
TGR on Twitter
TGR Feed
Sep 19

The Tailgate Review – Florida

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 8:35 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Random Notes

Coach Matthew Mitchel

If you are fortunate enough to be friended by me on Face Book, you are undoubtedly aware of the great sacrifice I made on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. If you are not one of the chosen few, here is how it went down. In hopes of breaking the dreaded “streak” which began the same year I introduced myself to the Clark County public school system as a kindergartener, I made a major move. I decided to not watch the Kentucky v. Florida game live. I decided to leave my modest home for a place where there would not be a TV, radio, and I promised not to check my phone for the entirety of the contest. I did all of this for my beloved Wildcats, and for my wife, for whom I had purchased tickets to the Jason Aldean – Florida Georgia Line concert for Mother’s Day. Here is how it went down…

First, let me say, for all of you parents out there that raised your daughters to believe it is perfectly acceptable to wear nearly nothing to concerts… Bless you! I don’t have the best eyesight, so when I can tell you are not wearing much more than a pair of boots, you probably aren’t wearing much more than a pair of boots. You girls can’t all be groupies, so what are your “hopes” for the evening? And where were you about 10 years ago? I didn’t think my mind would be able to be distracted from the fact I was not watching the Cats, but… it was.

We saw some people we knew before the concert got started up and I could tell immediately, seeing the Pedigos out and about minutes before a Kentucky kickoff is a very surprising sight for many. It seemed very comparable to a Bigfoot sighting or seeing a Louisville fan without a line beard. People were actually shocked when they caught a glimpse of us strolling Rupp’s corridors. I must say, it was a very uncomfortable feeling for me too. I felt as naked as those girls lining up for fireball shots all over the damn place in their boots, and not much more than their boots.

Once we arrived to our seats, I got settled in a bit to my situation. I did very well as far as our tickets went. Floor seats, basically front row. There were only a few nearly nude girls standing between us and Jason Aldean occasionally. I knew going in that the Florida Georgia Line boys and Jason Aldean were all Georgia Bulldog fans, so I anticipated that they would probably give the score of the game, as long as it was good for the Cats. After FGL didn’t give the score during their set, I was a bit worried. Then, as expected, in his set, Aldean started talking about how his Bulldogs had just lost to SC, so, tonight, he was a Kentucky Wildcat fan, because he hates Florida. He then said, “Kentucky 10 Florida 6. 20,000 strong went nuts, and that number included yours truly. I was immediately on edge for the remainder of the show. I never checked my phone, I never grabbed the radio, but I really wanted to. My wife kept making comments about “staying in Lexington” and “What are we going to do afterwards” that made me think, she knows something, and it sounds good. Some might think she was giving me hints about something other than celebrating a Cats victory, but I know her fairly well, she wasn’t.

Before the show started, we ran into Coach Mitchell and his wife. It was a quick interaction, but as soon as the concert ended, the two of them were with us at our seats. I could no longer take it and grabbed the headphones to tune in Tommy Leach. I was losing my mind and the unknown was overwhelming! I tuned in just in time to hear, “Florida 23 Kentucky 20, and the Cats will have the ball”. I yelled out the score and probably ruined the plans of those around me who had DVRed the game and were going home to watch it, but I didn’t care. This might have been the case for Matthew Mitchell who was still standing beside me and I had totally forgotten that fact. I yelled the score at him, because the speakers we sat by had completely blown my ear drums out, that we were down 3 with the ball and he seemed as excited as I was!

My mom worked the concert with our friend JC, and they were going to give us a ride home. We hustled out the backstage to get to mom’s truck and more importantly, her radio. We got there in time to hear the Cats move the ball down the field into field goal range. We were surrounded by tour busses, trailers, and those nearly naked groupie gals wearing boots as we blasted the call in the Rupp lot. AS the first field goal attempt went through, only to be erased by a penalty, I screamed out “son of a b..ch!” and one of the groupie booted women thought I was yelling at her. It was intense back there BBN! When the 2nd attempt was in the air and I heard the Florida fans start to cheer in the background, I thought it was over, but… Leach said it was good and it was as much fun for a few moments as we have had with UK football for years! We drove through Lexington for all 3 overtimes, with my wife screaming out the window to random people until the battle was lost.

As crushed as I was Saturday night, I am that much more excited today about our Cats! I hope that all of BBN will join us on September 27 when our Cats return to do battle with Vanderbilt in our ol’ Kentucky home! Our Cats have shown how much fight they have in them, now let’s show them how much fight we have in BBN! Get there early, stay the ENTIRE game, no matter the score, and let’s celebrate together the greatness that is the Cats, girls in nothing but boots and the University of Kentucky football program! C! A! T! S!

Sep 8

The Tailgate Review – Ohio

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 9:56 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Random Notes

weatherIf you are like me, there are very few people on the face of the earth that can actually have a major effect on your day to day life. There are only a few people that assist me in preparing for my day, help decide what I do in a day, or produce any other determining factor in how my day goes. For me, the number of people can be counted on one hand, if in fact you have all of your fingers, and one of them, unfortunately, is a gosh dern meteorologist. You don’t have to be a best friend of mine to know that I have had an on-going feud with nearly all of the meteorologist I have ever heard utter the words upper level low, dusting, straight line winds or polar vortex. I once heckled a weather man as he attempted to kick a field goal at halftime of a UK game. He is no longer a weather man in Lexington, and I am a better man for it.

Saturdays tailgate extravaganza was damned by local weather freaks to be a sloppy mess all week leading up to game day. I heard torrential rainfall, seasonally low temperatures and extensive cloud cover more than a few times every night. Which leads me to my first bad decision of the day, I wore jeans Saturday… For, you know, the unseasonably low temperatures? If 90 is “low”, what is high? Besides the meteorologist apparently?

Thankfully, since I was wearing jeans in what felt like Amazon Jungle type conditions, we started the day at Winchell’s for breakfast. Again, this happened because it was going to be raining and we thought a nice dry environment would be the most responsible decision. This, by mistake, was the only good decision the meteorologist made for me Saturday, because Winchell’s breakfast is great. With all of the TVs, bloody Mary’s, and the sausage, egg an cheese bagel I had, they have a great pregame atmosphere. They have Blue and White pancakes if you find the need to not only wear our colors, but eat them too, just as my wife did. Love ya honey, mean it!

67 seconds after leaving Winchell’s, we were smack dab in the red lot! My mother passed up breakfast to go ahead and set up shop with some help from her friends, because, you know, there was a storm a brewing’! #fail. Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than arriving at your tailgate theater only to have it already assembled and ready for business! The only thing we had to get put into place was our second tent, because, it was going to pour rain and we should have as much shelter as possible #fail. After only a few minutes I was gracefully rolling across the red lot to the UK souvenir tent to see if they had any shorts for purchase. They did not, but I did consider either borrowing the scissors in order to make myself a pair of jorts, or buying a t-shirt and putting my legs through the arm holes. I am telling you folks it was H O T and my mind was playing tricks on me.

I managed to make it in Commonwealth without having a heat stroke, but with a poncho, a cute little battery powered fan that blows cool mist on you and a frog tog, which I will let you Google. The damn nations I was hurling towards all that is wrong about 21st century weather predicting were interrupted only by the beautiful glimmer from those sick new helmets the Big Grey, I mean Big Blue were wearing! I loved the entire uniform… More of that please! I also forgot to mention how much I love the Cats entering the field of play behind a player caring a Kentucky flag last week. This week I heard Matt Elam carried in an American flag, and that is fine, I would just rather it be a Kentucky state flag. There are a few states represented by stars on Ol Glory that I could do without… Here’s looking at you Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and Utah.

Story, or question of the day… My good pal, we will call him, “Ryan”, sat with me Saturday. I will first point out that I LOVE watching football with “Ryan”, He is a good Kentucky football fan and agrees with me on most things when it comes to Big Blue football. The 3rd quarter starts and I tell “Ryan” that I have a headache. He tells me I am probably dehydrated and he agrees to go grab me a beverage after no one around us has any Tylenol. “Ryan” leaves and returns to our seats to inform me FIRST, the lines were long at the concession stand, but he got me something better than what they would have there and “Ryan” hands me a snow cone. I don’t think I have been more disappointed in my life. I was so ready for a delicious fountain drink, or bottle of water or anything else a 34 year old man might get. I was even more disappointed when “Ryan” was mad at me for being completely baffled by his purchase. I felt he had handed me a shredded up ice cube and he felt he had handed me the most beautiful refreshment god’s great hands could produce in our situation. I am still hearing from “Ryan” how big a jerk I am for not being happy with the snow cone and I continue to let “Ryan” know that 34 year old men don’t by each other snow cones when one of them is possibly dehydrated, just because there is a line at the concession stand. So, who is right here BBN? Me or “Ryan”?

It was another great tailgate, despite the best effort of the bluegrass region’s finest weather trackers. We managed to go the entire morning/afternoon without seeing Kentucky Joe, we broke bread with a bunch of fine Americans we only see in football season and the Cats were victorious! We ended the night in a barn on Van Meter Road in Winchester listening to a symphony! STRIDE’s Symphony Under The Stars was a great event and raised a lot of money for a great cause I am very proud to be a part of! You might be asking why we were in a barn? That’s right BBN…. Due to the severe weather threat, the event was moved indoors, or at least inside the barn. #fail

Thanks to meteorologist, I never stopped sweating from 8 am to 10 pm and “Ryan” bought me a snow cone… Thanks guys! C! A! T! S!

Sep 2

The Tailgate Review – UT Martin

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 8:28 am | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Random Notes

KY Joe

There is something very spiritual about a “first”. Whether it is the first game, the first child, a first kiss, a first beer, a first blog post after a 1,025 day hiatus from the game, or even your first run-in with the infamous, Kentucky Joe, of KSR radio fame, a “first” can be nearly orgasmic.

I remember the first Tailgate Review e-mail (the e-mail chain that started this blog years ago) like it was yesterday! I remember how I told stories and gave meaningless information about that day’s tailgate party in the red lot in our spot that we have been in for 10 years. I remember telling everyone about how that guy got so drunk and that girl was so annoying and how those opposing fans were so mad at us for calling them terrible names and I remember… Well, I don’t really remember any of that, or the first e-mail that started Tailgate Review, but I assure you, it was a lot like that.
So, let me clear my throat, and get back to what we do best…

My world has changed in a number of ways since my last Tailgate Review many years ago. Teenagers have gone from drinking purple drank, to getting all hopped up on some chick named Molly and doing shots of liquor in the eye balls. I am not here to judge, but Molly seems like a slut. This is the only change in my life I find to be note worthy.

Let me start by quoting my good friend and philosopher, Jay, “Noon games are the devil!” Less time to tailgate, hangovers, and extremely grumpy wives at 6 am are reasons to support that statement. I’m all for arriving at Commonwealth at 8:15 am, but for a 7 pm game, not a nooner!

Like I said, 10 years in the exact same spot in the red lot. But, it was predetermined this season that we were going to attempt to relocate in the red lot. I know I know, it would be a very sad day in Big Blue Nation if that were to happen, but my 2 year old has nearly been hit by a car twice in 2 years, so we are striving for safety this season. After 3 minutes of scouting the red lot for a more kid safe area, I.E. away from the road, we ended up in the exact same spot by the exact same tree we have abused for several seasons. Lil R.A. didn’t make the trip anyway, he had a meeting with a client. Might just have to look into a helmet for him for future tailgates.

A silly noon game also makes for slim pickins on the nourishment front. Sure, people try to do big things like breakfast casseroles and other things, but I will be honest… I have never met a breakfast casserole that didn’t remind me of what a college kid’s 2 am breakfast from Waffle House looks like on his bathroom floor the next morning. In other words… Not a fan. For me and my early birds on Saturday morning, it was chicken minis from Chick Filet! If you aren’t familiar with this genius of fast food breakfast cuisine, get familiar!

It was a strong showing by BBN in the lots early on. I was impressed with the RV presence as well as some of my people in the red and blue. There was definitely a buzz within the Commonwealth shadow and it felt really nice. Ryan Lemond and Jared Lorenzon were floating around the lots on their KSR-mobile, if in fact “floating” is possible with that much pay load.

But, let’s get down to the highlight of the pregame festivities… The moment Kentucky Joe made his first TGR red lot appearance. If you are a fan of the Kentucky Sports Radio radio show, you are well aware of the legend that is Kentucky Joe. At this point his fame has become more because of Matt’s annoyance with his calls, and less for his many songs he has contributed to UK lore. as we sat dreaming of Tds and Booms, TGR legend, Jay, looked up in time to spot Kentucky Joe striding toward our area. I asked how he knew it was him, and he quickly said because he is wearing a KSR t-shirt and you can just tell. Joe walks right up to us and says, “I hate to do this, but you know I have to… Do you all know who I am?” Jay, without hesitation says, “Yeah, you are John short!” and the fun began! From there, I couldn’t have been more excited about meeting “John Short” and Kentucky Joe seemed very irritated with me. To try to explain who he was he sang the hook featured on his hit song, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein Man, which was cool, because I too am a WCS man, and, my son thinks his name is Willie Cauley-Stein.

The “John Short” joke ended there and we continued on knowing who Kentucky Joe was. He sang us his rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ that he sang to MJ last week and made it clear that he was doing a “King” impression during that segment. I then asked Joe if he was having any luck with the ladies, but I was a bit more crude than that with my verbiage and things got really weird, if things could get any more weird. Joe suddenly started speaking with an Irish accent. No idea why or what triggered the change, but it was both fantastic and troubling. Joe then uttered a line that will live for many years in our red lot spot for its randomness and brilliance… Joe said about himself, ” I am a full blooded cocker spaniel. ” We have no idea why he said that, but we don’t care, it was awesome, and t-shirts could be in the process of getting made.

Our interaction with the legendary Kentucky Joe ended with him asking us if we would like to take a picture with him (pictured above). I have never met anyone in my life who believes they are a bigger star than Kentucky Joe believes he is. I will sum up our moment with him in one word… Sadlyfunnyoddlypitiful.

We were all Big Blue fans in the morning on Saturday and it was a great return to the red lot, Commonwealth and the W column for Big Blue nation! Today, we are ALL, full blooded cocker spaniels! C! A! T! S!

Apr 3

Getting 8 Feels Gr8t!

Posted by: Ryan at 10:36 am | Leave a Comment (26)
Category: Basketball

Mar 19

WE’VE TAKEN A BREATHER

Posted by: Ryan at 12:01 pm | Leave a Comment (17)
Category: Random Notes

We’ve gotten old, have kids and day jobs and there just isn’t enough time or money rolling in to support blogging on TGR for now….. But, we have one hell of a Facebook Page. Check it out:

Feb 10

Kentucky vs. Vandy Preview

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 11:42 am | Leave a Comment (29)
Category: Basketball


Tomorrow the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats (24-1) will head down to Nashville to do battle with the Vanderbilt Commodores (17-7) in a key game in the hunt for the SEC Title. The Cats will enter this game on a roll as they come off a pasting of the #8 Florida Gators on Tuesday night while Vandy is fresh off of a victory over the sliding LSU Tigers. The Cats appear to have rounded into form over the last 2 weeks and they will not easily be derailed as they prepare to head down the home stretch of this college basketball season. Freshman Anthony Davis (14.0 ppg, 10 reb., 4.8 blk & 1.5 stls) continues to be the centerpiece behind a defense that is just downright frightening at times. The Cats are still looking for a total effort on offense but there is no denying the way they play defense. Davis is literally the front-runner for not only “Defensive Player of the Year” but also “Freshman of the Year” as well the possible “Player of the Year”; no player has ever won all three awards in his first year of playing college ball. But Davis will need help from Terence Jones, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller if the Cats are to come away from Nashville with a “W” tomorrow night. Marquise Teague will also have to have an excellent floor-game to allow those guys to be able to produce.

For the Commodores, the season has been a combination of ups and downs, injury filled and sometimes a lack of passion and intensity. This is a veteran team that some thought could win the SEC and at times they have looked very good (i.e. a 17 point victory over a then “hot” Marquette squad in late Dec.); however the ‘Dores have inexplicable losses (home losses to Cleveland St. and Indiana St.). So it is hard to get a read on a team that had high expectations coming into this season. John Jenkins leads Vandy averaging 19.7 ppg but he will need help from Festus Ezeli and Jeffery Taylor if they hope to topple the Cats. Coach Kevin Stallings knows this is a chance for his team to build some momentum as they head toward March, something they sorely need after being bounce in the 1st round of the big dance each of the last two years. Vandy still has at the very least “Elite 8” talent but they will need to at least try and add another marquee victim to their list (Marquette is the only ranked team they have beaten).

My thoughts for this game are simple, the Cats routinely have problems playing in down in Vandy and that is usually atypical of any visiting opponent to Nashville. However, the friendly confines have not been all that friendly as mentioned previously. The Commodores need this victory badly, if for nothing else, to pad their resume. #1 going on the road for a tough conference game usually smells of upset but I am not so sure the Commodores believe in themselves the way UK does; give me UK 72 – Vandy 68.

Jan 11

UK Visits Auburn

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 12:33 pm | Leave a Comment (79)
Category: Basketball

Tonight, the Kentucky Wildcats (15-1) will pay a visit to the state of Alabama to play the Auburn Tiger (10-5). The Cats are fresh off of a good victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday while Auburn was thoroughly beaten by Vanderbilt (65-35) in its SEC opener over the weekend.  Kenny Grabiel (6’8’’ forward) leads the Tigers in just about every important offensive & defensive category (11.9 pts per game, 7.8 reb. per game, 1.5 steals per game and 2.7 blocks per game. While Auburn had a pretty good start to the season with their non-conference record of 10-4, they really didn’t beat anybody worth speaking of. Their best win on paper appears to be against South Florida, but only because the Bulls are in the Big East Conference. Auburn had bad losses to Seton Hall (81-59), Long Beach St. (64-43) and Florida St. (85-56). The Tigers really have trouble putting the ball in the basket, even more than UK’s last opponent, the Gamecocks. Usually home-court advantage means something for a team (worth between 5-10 points possibly) but for the Tigers, it just means there will be no long bus ride after this “mercy killing”.

For the Cats, this game will be about focus and not letting up on the road against an inferior opponent. Terrence Jones finally re-emerged as he had maybe his best game of the season against South Carolina. Anthony Davis continues to give opposing players fit when they attack the rim. The Cats cannot come out sluggish and uninterested because much like the Commodores did, you want to take the heart and breath away from a team like Auburn early because that will lead to them hanging their heads and being frustrated.

This one should not be a challenge except if you are betting whether or not the Tigers score more than 40……….I’m betting they will, but barely; UK 70 – 45.

Jan 10

Cousins Gets A Mention On SNL

Posted by: Ryan at 9:49 am | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Basketball

Dec 27

Coach Cal and the Cats Get Ready for ___________

Posted by: Ryan at 3:02 pm | Leave a Comment (22)
Category: Basketball

 

Dec 20

Rumblings With Ralph

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 2:21 pm | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Basketball

Well we are about 1/3 of the way through the College Basketball season and we have seen a lot of different things up to this point. We saw a mammoth clash between UNC and UK that went right down to the wire before the Cats pulled out a victory. We seen a great group of teams assembled for the Maui Classic, including Duke, Kansas, Michigan, Memphis and Georgetown but when it was all said and done, the “Dukies” continued their mastery of the islands and brought home the championship. We have already had 3 teams stand atop the polls at #1; we started with North Carolina, then we had Kentucky and now we have Syracuse. We have been surprised by some teams while disappointed by others but thru it all, we are prepared to witness even more great things as each team quickly approaches conference play. So with that being said, let me hand out a few honors as well as a few “head-smacks” for what has transpired thus far.

The Five Most Disappointing Teams:

  • UCLA Bruins (5-5) – Began the year as a Top 15 Team; they have won 3 in a row just to get to .500. Howland’s seat in Westwood is starting to get warm.
  • Vanderbilt Commodores (7-4) – Began the year as a Top 15 Team; the Commodores are struggling with injuries in the post and they have been abysmal at times on both ends of the court.
  • Villanova Wildcats (7-5) – While most people knew Jay Wright’s program would be rebuilding most could not have thought it would be this painful.
  • Memphis Tigers (6-4) – Began the year as a Top10 Team; now to their credit, Memphis has lost to some good teams but they better get it turned around quickly.
  • Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish (8-5) – Much like ‘Nova, fans in South Bend knew this team was not as good as the last couple of seasons but the loss of Tim Abromaitius may be more than this team can withstand.

The Five Most Surprising Teams:

  • Missouri Tigers (11-0) – Currently #9 ;Despite the changing of coaches over the off-season, some wondered if the Tigers were getting the worse end of the deal with former Miami coach, Frank Haith………..I think the record says it all
  • Indiana Hoosiers (10-0) – Currently #17; Tom Cream finally looks to have what he wanted in Bloomington, a team that is solid on both ends of the floor.
  • Georgetown Hoyas (9-1) – Currently #16; many thought the Hoyas would be scuffling just to get wins but they have beaten Alabama and Memphis already.
  • Virginia Cavaliers (9-1) – Currently #24; The Cavs are one of those “under the radar” teams with no big-name player to speak of, but they have already beaten Michigan.
  • Harvard Crimson (9-1) – Currently #25 (USA Today) – Tommy Amaker has a solid ball club whose only loss thus far was on the road at Connecticut.

The Best Conference: The Big 10 – After the Big 10 destroyed the ACC in their annual conference clash, there is no reason not to believe that this conference can put 8 or 9 teams in the “Big Dance” in March.

The Most Scrutinized Team: The Louisville Cardinals (10-0) – Some people are saying the Cardinals are the worst Top 5 team they have seen but the numbers show different. The have beaten Vanderbilt, Memphis and Butler but they have only played 1 game outside of the friendly confines of the YUM Center….that game was right up the road in Indianapolis.

The Most Scrutinized Conference: The PAC-12 – This conference does not boast ONE single team in the Top 25 in any poll at this point and that quite frankly is reason for concern. Stanford (10-1) and California (10-2) have the best records but when they have played a team of caliber, both have lost. The third best team at the moment is Oregon State………., yes I said Oregon State (9-2).

The Most Improved Player: Dion Waiters (Syracuse) – Waiters has gone from a guy that barely saw action last year to a star in the making. Waiters came out of high school highly acclaimed but then struggled to understand the offensive and defensive philosophies that Jim Boeheim teaches. Waiters even considered transferring this summer. But he seems to have a renewed spirit and dedication and he is one of the reasons the ‘Cuse are #1 right now.

The Conference Most Likely to Turn MMA: The Big East – Between the Georgetown Hoya’s brawl with the Chinese National team over the summer and the fight the Cincinnati Bearcats had with Xavier, the Big East referees must be fully prepared for anything once conference play begins. Factor in other physical teams like UCONN, PITT, Syracuse and Seton Hall, some of the conference games could resemble a match in the caged “Octagon”.

Conference With the Most to Prove: The SEC – Because John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats have ruled the recruiting and the conference for two consecutive seasons, it has overshadowed nearly every other team. This season, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are considered to be contenders to the throne but more importance will be placed on what they do in March.

The Best 5 Teams I Have Seen Up to This Point:

  • Syracuse Orangemen – This may be Boeheim’s best team since Carmelo Anthony was in the Orange.
  • Kentucky Wildcats – The Cats have tremendous talent at every position but one, at the point. While Teague is quick and explosive, he is not in the Caliber of former PGs, Wall and Knight so he will have some growing pains along the way.
  • North Carolina Tar Heels – The Heels are similar to UK in that they have talent all over the floor but Marshall must become a factor offensively if UNC wants to be a complete team.
  • Missouri Tigers – The Tigers are truly “high octane” at the highest level. They push the ball on offense and will even press you 94 ft. on defense.
  • Duke Blue Devils – The Blue-Devils have a good inside / outside combination that makes it hard to key on anyone facet of their game.