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I miss Chuck
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December 31, 2008 in Editorial

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Much like posts in this blog… Hayes hasn’t gotten much time lately… I miss him.

That is all.

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Where good friends Happen.
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April 23, 2008 in Editorial

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, NBA 07-08 Season
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, NBA Playoffs
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, Photos
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For those wondering, this picture was taken for me because I couldn’t make the trip to Houston for the first round of the playoffs. Thanks Mig! (You too can visit Clutchfans to find great people like I did)

I will make this into a wallpaper when I get some free time to update the site so that everyone can share :)

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Remembering “Mr. Wildcat”
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March 31, 2008 in Editorial

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, Former Teams
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, Kentucky
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, News
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from UKAthletics.comIt’s very hard to put into words what I want to say about Bill Keightley.

So I am going to say it like this and hope that my words ring true.

To me he epitomizes what is truly beautiful about being a UK fan.

My family, like so many in Kentucky, have followed and cheered the Wildcats for many many years, even though I was in high school before I was able to attend a game at Rupp. My father, well he was over 40 before he was able to see a game there. My grandfather, in his 60’s. But for years, Mr. Wildcat, equipment manager, symbolized for us the every fan. He was, at least in my mind, my representation on the UK bench.

I don’t remember ever watching a UK game on television where I couldn’t find Mr. Keightley sitting on the bench. He was behind Tubby or next to Rick, or somewhere down the line of trainers and assistant coaches behind the players. It is sad that Billy Gillispie will only get one season of having him as part of the team, but I am pretty sure it didn’t take long for Gillispie to understand Mr. Wildcat’s role for our team.

A quote that stuck out to me from Gillispie today was that even with the disparity in their ages Keightley had become one of his best friends. He apparently had that affect on everyone, even those of us who never met him felt as though he would be a good friend.

The media will tell you that UK fans are rabid. That we are all monsters who run coaches out of town and that we don’t know a good thing when we have it. People have to understand that there are always going to be some people who do give our fandom and tradition a bad name by their behavior.

There are also UK fans who after hearing of Mr. Keightley’s death walked to Memorial Hall with candles to cry a bit and honor a man that gave half his life to the program that we all love.

Some UK fans won’t discover until morning that he is gone and will have to call their family and friends to relate the sad story, probably hiding a few sniffles as they read the news reports.

There will even be fans that will go to school with a symbol on their backpacks or ribbons on their jackets to show that they understood what a single person can bring to the UK family.

But if you want to see the definition of what a true UK fan is…

Look in Wikipedia under the name William (Bill) Bond Keightley.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Bill. We will never forget you and know you will be working on pulling the strings up there to get us another Championship banner.

Thanks to Matt at KSR

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for the following Youtube video

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New Addition to the Site
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June 24, 2007 in Editorial

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, News
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, Photos
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I have been wanting to add a photo gallery to the site for some time. Over the past few years I have gathered heaps and heaps of Chuck photos that I can now share with everyone. Like I said in my “About” page, this is sort of an online fan scrapbook and like any fan I have “clipped” photos. Keep in mind, none of these photos are mine, I simply copied them from various sources. At the moment I have already uploaded 150+ and I am working to get the rest of them off my hard drive and into the gallery.

So if you haven’t checked it out yet, spend a little time perusing the pictures on http://gallery.chuckhayesfans.net

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Another UK Era Ends
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March 22, 2007 in Editorial

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, Kentucky
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, Opinions
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Earlier today I received a disturbing phone call. My mother, who’s cousin was a Kentucky State Trooper that spends his free time escorting the UK basketball coaches to and from the court on game days, called to tell me that Tubby Smith had resigned as head coach of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team.

The news broke around 2pm

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here in Kentucky, so I am sure by the time anyone reads this Tubby will be doing his press conference. He is heading to Minnesota, a school that struggled greatly in the Big Ten this year, going only 9-22 on the season, where I am sure he will build yet another program and prove again that he is a fantastic coach.

As a lifelong fan and alumnist of the University of Kentucky, I am not only saddened by the news of his leaving, but disgusted by the events that led up to it.

Kentucky fans are a rare breed. In Kentucky there is really only three professional sports. The first is most obvious, Horseracing. A few years ago the we built a NASCAR track in the stretch between Louisville and Northern Kentucky, making it the second. The last, UK basketball.

What? You ask. Well that’s how this team is viewed, as professional athletes. The problem is, this is a college program. For the last fifteen years it has been a clean program without violations. Due mainly to the upstanding practices of Tubby Smith and the personnel that he surrounded himself with.

But search the internet, you will find a lot of uneducated Kentucky fans that think winning 20 isn’t enough. That having a 10 loss season is unacceptable. Obviously, the only college games that any of them watch are Kentucky, because this is a team that yes, though it hasn’t reached the final four since 1998, has had a twenty plus win season every year.

That’s not something a lot of colleges can say over a ten year span.

UK can say it because Tubby is one of the best “on court” coaches in the NCAA. Don’t believe me, ask any of his peers. Or look at his record over a ten year span at Kentucky, 263 – 83. A clip of 76%.

From start to finish Tubby has had to deal with criticism. From the color of his skin to the slow down offense that he prefers over a run and gun. He has constantly been second guessed by a bunch of people who a: never played the game, or b: never coached the game, or c: think they know his players better than he does.

I would bet, if you ask any of his players over the years if he made them better players, they will say yes. Some of which are now playing in the NBA, ie Chuck, Kelenna Azubuike, Nazr Mohammed, Keith Bogans, Tayshaun Prince.

I would bet, if you asked any of his former players over the years if he made them better people, they will say yes.

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota, you are getting a great man and a great coach in Tubby Smith.

Tubby, though I know you won’t read this, thank you for making the last ten years of Kentucky basketball the best that you could, and finding players that we could root for long after they left UK.

And to you Kentucky fans who are celebrating the loss of a great coach, shame on you for your behavior. The Lexington media, the heated comments yelled from behind the bench, the boos in Rupp, you have all made me ashamed to admit I am a UK fan. No ten loss season could do it, but you all certainly could. Remember that everything that you have said or done will come back to you tenfold.

Other Tubby Links:

SI.com

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A Spiritual Point of View

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Sporting News

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Editorial: It’s times like these..
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November 13, 2006 in Editorial

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, Injuries
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, NBA 06-07 Season
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, Opinions
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Once upon a time a kid from California, unheralded as a great prospect came to Kentucky to play basketball. He had been praised as a football player, but basketball fans didn’t know much about him.

The fans loved him, cheered his hustle for four years and he left Kentucky with a fond farewell, hoping to be drafted to the NBA. His height had the NBA coaches believing he wasn’t going to make it and on draft night he was passed by, but he was drafted to a lower league, the NBA Developmental League.

He went to the Thunderbirds franchise and worked hard. His hustle and basketball IQ was rewarded and he signed to play a 10-day contract with the injury prone Houston Rockets.

He continued to work his pants off and scored his first NBA double double in only his second game in the big leagues.  The Rockets liked it so much they signed him for the rest of the season.

Now here it is, 7 games into his second season, he’s starting position questioned by just about everyone, NBA analyst confused as to who this kid is, and he goes up against Shaq without fear.

Unfortuneately, he gets hurt.  The Rockets fans who have watched him develop into a real role player are rallying around him, praying for him, saying he’s their hustle man.  And bemoaning the fact that he won’t play against the in conference rivals tomorrow. 

It’s times like these, with fans who celebrate players like Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Yao Ming, Steve Francis, and T-Mac, that you know our boy has arrived.  

May no injury keep him down for long! 

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