Finally, a happy Monday after the rarest of football weekends — U of L won, UK won and WKU won. I went to the Cards’ game, which left me with two lasting memories. First, the biggest play of the game, the one that spelled doom for Rutgers, was the pass that would have been a game-clinching 84-year TD had Mark Harrison not dropped it. But he did, and the Cards managed a much-needed 16-14 win. But the victory was marred by the game’s other defining moment — when cornerback Anthony Conner slammed into the knee of Rutgers wideout Mohamed Sanu early in the second half.
While Conner lay motionless on the field, the Rutgers players gathered on their sideline, taking a knee, exhibiting a measure of class and sportsmanship rarely seen in college football. Conner suffered a broken neck, and his football playing days are over. But the good news, relayed by Charlie Strong in a somber post-game, is that Conner was not paralyzed.
UK did what it needed to do – beat up on a school from a lesser division in Lexington, silencing the “Fire Joker” crowd for at least a week. And Western Kentucky ended its 18-game home losing streak against Louisiana Lafayette at Homecoming (wish I had gone), as coach Willie Taggert has the Toppers on the right track.
But really, the weather’s changing, and its basketball season around here. WHAS-TV’s Adam Lefkoe is doing a season-long look at the UK-U of L rivalry.
“I’m going to be doing an ‘ongoing’ documentary on the UK-UofL Rivalry this season. Deep coverage of both teams while also getting the fans reactions (barbershops, radio shows etc.) and putting it all together with high production value. With all of the excitement heading into the year, I think it’s the perfect time to do it.”
Ought to be fun. Here’s a teaser, with clips from that 1983 NCAA game in Knoxville included.
Elsewhere in today’s news:
Code Red? The name brings to mind images of Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.” but today Metro Government unveils its Code Red initiative so that citizens can be informed during emergencies. There will be three types of warnings, all, I’m sure, the same as those sent out by TV stations. I just signed up, and it’s easy, but you have to sign up to get the alerts. I hpe they show some restraint on sending them out, as I don’t want to hear about a rain event at 4 a.m.
Headscratching with Hart: I spent some time with Ed Hart at his Highlands office last week, and heard all about how the negotiations to open Kentucky Kingdom broke down. Most of what was said was off the record, but I can say that it’s staggering to think of the money (at least $11 million annually) in annual revenue, and the thousand jobs, that won’t happen because of politics. And that the state, which couldn’t find a way to work with an existing park, is supporting the silly Ark Park in the middle of the state.
Hart has offered up all his research and documentation to the Fair Board, which must now find a new operator that would give it a better deal than the one Hart offered, which included $29 million in private financing. Conclusion — there is no better deal, and it’s as likely the Park will be torn down as re-opened.
Hart told me he spent a year and a half, and many 18-hour days, working on the project, and that he’s expecting to get all the money he’s invested back from the state. Now he has more time to focus on his movie business, featured prominently in today’s C-J.
Cordish Concept: Given its track record in town, this statement from Friday’s C-J makes me skeptical: Space formerly occupied by Borders bookstore at 4th Street Live will become an “upscale” restaurant and bar owned by the entertainment district’s developer, The Cordish Cos. That’s just one whopper that I find it hard to believe. Here’s another – How about that Cordish is starting the $10 million renovation of the Gardens next year? Or that it will spend $500K on upgrades to the parking garage it just got for the bargain price of $2.7 million? The city says it’s going to make sure Cordish spends the money on the garage, but why would we think it will be any different that how they spent nearly $1 million on a sports bar?
VIA Gets Some Pub: Here’s a shout-out to Kelly McKnight and Jason Clark, of VIA Internet Studios. The company just celebrated its 15th anniversary, and got this feature in Business First. What’s more, Kelly can now legitimately call himself an “online guru” cuz that’s what the headline says.