As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, we tend to always remind ourselves what we are thankful for. Whether that be our health, our faith, or our friends and family. There is always something to be thankful for, and for Kentucky fans we have had tons to be thankful for this past year.
1. Kentucky Sports Radio
“Welllllllcome everyone to Kentucky Sports Radio, I am your host Matt Jones joined alongside Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin, and Shannon The Dude”. Being apart of Big Blue Nation those are always the sweetest words in the world to hear. Whether I’m listening to the show live between the hours of 10-12, or I’m listening to the show on podcast, its always a time of the day where I can just sit back, listen, and enjoy.
It’s a show that’s unlike really any other to be honest, yes I know it’s a sports talk radio show but its more than that. For myself personally I often mind myself enjoying the show more whenever they get off topic. Like of course I wanna hear about how Coach Cal and the team is doing, but sometimes I would much rather hear about Matt and Ryan talk about Rand Paul and how is neighbor tackled him off his lawn mower.
It’s the perfect Kentucky radio show for Kentucky fans. So I just wanted to let Matt, Ryan, Drew, Shannon, and the rest of the KSR family that I’m thankful for them.
2. Stephen Johnson
The man, the myth, the legend Stephen Johnson. That’s my quarterback!
Heading into this upcoming game Saturday, Stephen Johnson has a record as Kentucky’s starting QB of 14-8. Let me repeat that, Stephen Johnson has a record of 14-8 as Kentucky’s starting QB! That’s a better record than both Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen, some pretty good quarterbacks who were at the helm at Kentucky.
Whenever Stephen Johnson first arrived in Lexington, he was a no name quarterback from a school called College of the Desert. I have no idea how Kentucky would ever hear about the school or Stephen Johnson, but they sure did find a diamond in the dirt.
Stephen is starting to become one of my all time favorite players. But not because of how good of a player he is, but of how special a person he is. It’s been known that Johnson had suffered from Tourette’s syndrome as a child, being diagnosed at the very young age at 8. But through sports, his faith, and prayer. His Tourette’s syndrome left him altogether. Now Stephen uses his past experiences with the unusual condition to help children who also suffer from the Tourette’s.
Not only a special quarterback, but a special person. I believe all of the Big Blue Nation should be thankful for Stephen Johnson.
3. Brad’s Tattoo
“Earned Not Given”
I always enjoy a good laugh and this is always the gift that just keeps on giving.
With probably the most ironic tattoo in the history of tattoos, Brad has brought me to smile time and time again. I hope there was a least buyers remorse when it came to this purchase, but probably not. I know your father hates this tattoo Brad, but I am surely a fan of it and for that, I’m thankful.
4. Vince Marrow
What more can I say about Vince Marrow, the man has an eye for talent. He first came to the University of Kentucky as just the tight ends coach, but was quickly got promoted to the staffs recruiting coordinator after just one season here.
Since Marrow he has recruited key members of this years football team such as Lynn Bowden, Josh Paschal, CJ Conrad, Jordan Jones, Mike Edwards, Dorian Baker, and Darius West. None of which were a five star recruit. It’s safe to say that Coach Marrow see’s something that most coaches don’t see in players.
Coach Marrow is so good at his job as a recruiting coordinator that he has even gotten the attention from other big time programs, such as Michigan. Who in 2015, the Michigan Wolverines and coach Jim Harbaugh tried to lure him away from the Cats. But luckily for us, he was turned it down and stuck with our Cats. The future is bright for our football program as long as we have Vince Marrow on our staff, and for that I’m thankful.
5. Mitch Barnhart
Apart from his obsession with checkerboards on everything, I think Mitch Barnhart is the perfect Athletic Director here at the University of Kentucky.
Mitch Barnhart has put our athletic department at the top with hires in John Calipari, Mark Stoops, and Nick Mingione. As well with his commitment to academics and making sure that these kids understand the “student” aspect in student-athlete.
Mitch was named NCAA Division I Athletics Director of the Year by his peers in 2015, as well as the university finishing in 11th place in the NCAA’s Director Cup. UK is currently in pursuit of Barnhart’s Elite 1-3-5 initiative, which directs UK Athletics to reach unprecedented heights once more. The aim is for each UK team to be No. 1 by winning a conference or national championship, sustain a department-wide 3.0 GPA and rank in the top five of the Directors’ Cup standings by 2022. Which by the way things are going, it looks like the athletic department will achieve these goals.
But to be honest, what really started to make me thankful for Mitch Barnhart was whenever I started to see the nightmare over at Louisville. Seeing how Tom Jurich did things over at Louisville and seeing how Mitch does things over here in Lexington, you really got to appreciate him just a tad bit more. Mitch would never give Rick that many chances and Mitch sure as heck would not hire a fool like Bobby Petrino.
But Mitch is one of the best and I don’t think he gets as much praise and recognition for his efforts at the university, and we should all be thankful for his work.