Daily Briefing (9/14/11): Wildcats, Cardinals, Lions, Tigers & My New Favorite Thing

No, I’m not ready to reveal my pick for The Game Saturday night — you may exhale now — but I can say I’m sure looking forward to it. It’s always fun, no matter how woeful the teams may be. And this year has been pretty grim so far for both schools, even if the Cats stand undefeated.  (The surest harbinger: Tickets are still available.)

I’m getting a kick out of the faux feud over Charlie Strong’s statements that UK’s is the better program now. Strong and Joker Phillips are long time pals, good friends, former neighbors. Of course, they want their team to beat the bejeezus out of the other come game day, but the smack talk is more charming than serious.

What is serious is how each school is going to disguise their abundant flaws? Whose offensive line will prevail? Which QB will take charge of the game? Which school’s neophytes will be up to the challenge in their first rivalry game?

* * * * *

There is no evidence more telling of the disgusting legacy left by U of L’s most recent former football coach than the statements attributed in this morning’s C-J to UK LB, former Central Yellow Jacket Ridge Wilson.

He attended the 2008 “battle” at Papa J’s. Having grown up “entrenched in being a Cardinal,” he was attired in red. Kentucky throttled U of L, 27-2, in the former coach’s 2d season. The game wasn’t that close.

Asked if that game made a difference when he chose to matriculate in Lexington, he said, “It made a lot of difference. I want to be on the winning team. Louisville and Kentucky were kind of head-to-head. That game just kind of put the icing on the cake. When I saw that UK defense flying around and making plays, it sealed the deal for me.”

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Some of you have asked, why I follow the Detroit pro teams?

Because I was born in Motown. That’s why.

It’s why I’ve pulled out my Tigers hat. And why I need to find my Lions cap that’s been in mothballs for centuries it seems. At least since Yale Lary roamed the turf.

My Tigers won their 11th straight last night, besting Rick Bozich’s beloved ChiSox for the umpteenth time in a row. Justin Verlander won his 11th in a row, 23d of the season. He’s a lock for the AL Cy Young. Dave Dombrowski’s looking like ML Exec of the Year. He made some dynamite mid season acquisitions that have solidified the Tigers as a contenda.

Doug Fister? Go figure.

I just hope they haven’t peaked too soon. And Miguel Cabrera can stay sober enough to continue popping the tater.

And, if Matt Stafford can stay healthy — hardly a given — Detroit’s Lions might actually be a playoff contenda this season. They’ve got a winning streak going, a monster D line and new ‘tude.

They play 3 of their first 4 on the road. They survived in Tampa Bay as underdogs. After KC at home this weekend, they venture to division rival Minnesota then Big D to ball in the JerryDome.

* * * * *

I don’t know how long NFL TV’s Sunday Red Zone has been around, but I discovered it only this Sunday.

It’s the greatest.

The best plays from all the games all afternoon. So much for being locked into to the games the local channels deign to feed us.

Plus, if memory serves, I don’t recall seeing one commercial break on the Red Zone. Such a deal.

– Seedy K

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