Category Archives: John Huang

Welcome to the Johngle

For people growing up in Kentucky, it’s always been difficult choosing an NFL team to root for. With no professional franchises residing within our state, fans have had to pick their football favorites based on a number of arbitrary factors. Back in their heyday, the Dallas Cowboys were “America’s Team” and had a legion of followers throughout the Bluegrass. Everyone remembers at least one friend whose love for the Cowboys bordered on the obnoxious. Likewise, the Pittsburgh Steelers and their “Steel Curtain” following often rivaled Dallas fans in their arrogance and boisterousness. To this day, I still can’t stand the mention of Hollywood Henderson or Mean Joe Greene. Continue reading Welcome to the Johngle

UK Football – Kroger University

Kroger Field - Photo by UK Athletics
Kroger Field – Photo by UK Athletics

By John Huang Contributing Writer for Bluegrass Sports Nation
Those of you old enough to remember the “Let’s Go Krogering” jingle know that the Cincinnati based grocery chain giant has never shied away from hokey marketing promotions. None of us should have been surprised, then, when we heard of Kroger’s latest takeover of the hallowed grounds of our beloved football venue. Out with Commonwealth Stadium and in with Kroger Field. For a mere $1.85 million per year, Kroger bought not only the naming rights, but a direct path to the mind, hearts, and wallets of the Big Blue Wildcat faithful. Continue reading UK Football – Kroger University

UK Football – Media Day – Media Day Buzz

UK Wildcats
UK Wildcats

(John Huang is a guest columnist for Bluegrass Sports Nation. He can be reached at www.huangswhinings.com or follow him on Twitter @Kyhuangs)  There’s something about UK Football Media Day that brings out the eternal optimist in all of us. Every August–at the end of talking season–hope springs eternal as die-hard Wildcat fans dream of “this finally being the year.” Perhaps it’s because the Cats are still undefeated in August, maybe it’s the fact that everyone’s energized and healthy, or maybe it’s just because Kool-Aid tastes sweeter at Kroger Field, but there’s definitely a notable buzz around this particular team. Everyone seems confident, from the casual fan to the most grizzled journalist. Continue reading UK Football – Media Day – Media Day Buzz

UK Baseball – Role Reversal

NCCA Super Regionals UK vs UL - Photo by Brendon Miller
NCCA Super Regionals UK vs UL – Photo by Brendon Miller

Early in the 1986-87 season, Kentucky basketball coach Eddie Sutton uttered the famous phrase that would forever vault the UK versus UL rivalry into the stratosphere. “Kentucky is like the big brother and Louisville is like the little brother,” the embattled coach proclaimed when asked about the antagonism percolating between the two schools. Understandably, that quip rankled many in the Louisville camp and for the subsequent three decades, UL fans have simmered like a petulant younger sibling, trying desperately to bury that well-fitting moniker. Continue reading UK Baseball – Role Reversal

UK Baseball – It Just Means More

UK advances to Super Regional with win over NC ST - Photo by Mike Cyrus
UK advances to Super Regional with win over NC ST – Photo by Mike Cyrus

The new Southeastern Conference slogan, “It just means more,” certainly applies to its baseball teams. Unbeknownst to many Big Blue basketball die-hards, America’s pastime has always surpassed hoops in both attendance and interest throughout the other 13 SEC campuses. Although the pigskin still reigns supreme on Saturdays down south, bleached cowhide consistently surpasses dimpled leather every other day of the week. Continue reading UK Baseball – It Just Means More

UK Softball – For the Love of the Game

Photo provided by Chris Shoals - UK Athletics
Photo provided by Chris Shoals – UK Athletics

The UK Softball team advanced through the NCAA Lexington Regional on Sunday with an exhilarating 4-2 win over Illinois. The Wildcats, riding the golden arms of senior Meagan Prince and Junior Erin Rethlake together with the sizzling bat of freshman Alex Martens, swept through DePaul and the Illini twice this weekend to survive the double elimination format. Continue reading UK Softball – For the Love of the Game

UK Baseball – Blue Blooded Chemistry

Hugging is allowed on the baseball field - Photo courtesy of baseballamerica
Hugging is allowed on the baseball field – Photo courtesy of baseballamerica

While all of BBN has been fretting over the Diallo decision and the Kroger corporate takeover, the UK Baseball team has been quietly and methodically winning games, mowing down traditional SEC powers and moving up the national polls en route to possibly the most magical season in program history. What’s making this team so special? What supernatural Gatorade have they been drinking? The same players who last year went .500 in the conference and missed out on post-season play suddenly have their sights legitimately set on Omaha.   Continue reading UK Baseball – Blue Blooded Chemistry

Great Expectations

UK Blue White Game - Photo by Mike Cyrus
UK Blue White Game – Photo by Mike Cyrus

Curiosity won’t kill these Cats, but expectations just might. In one of the most highly anticipated seasons in UK Football history, hopes are already running rampant across the Bluegrass State. Last year’s on-the-field successes together with another Mark Stoops/Vince Marrow recruiting bonanza have combined for an upcoming perfect storm of a triumphant gridiron campaign.   Continue reading Great Expectations

NCAA Tournament – Blue Memphis

Hawkins with the drive - Photo by Brendon Miller
Hawkins with the drive – Photo by Brendon Miller

The second weekend of the NCAA Tournament is the proverbial emotional roller coaster ride for die-hard Wildcat fans like me. I love the weekend and yet, I hate the weekend.

I love the exhilaration of knowing your team is one of sixteen teams still with a chance to win it all. I hate the realization that at any time during the weekend, your team can be sent packing, its season ended with a bad call or unlucky buzzer beater. Continue reading NCAA Tournament – Blue Memphis