Category Archives: John Huang

In Search of Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal at the Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/metro.co.uk)

Rumor has it that there have been a couple of Rafael Nadal sightings so far this week. The lone mega-superstar remaining in the men’s portion of the Western and Southern Open tournament has supposedly been spotted on one of the practice courts. Because he received a bye directly into the second round, Rafa has yet to play an official match even though it’s already Day 4 of the tournament. I’ve yet to catch a glimpse of him either on the court or in the media center. Like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s even here. It’s time to go in search of Rafael Nadal. Continue reading In Search of Rafael Nadal

Tennis is Served

Every time an announcement comes out that a top-seeded player has withdrawn due to injury, a collective groan circulates throughout the tournament grounds. This year especially, there’s been a lot of groaning at The Western and Southern Open. Even before the start of the ATP Cincinnati tour stop, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka had already shut themselves down for the remainder of the tennis season. Then, defending champion Marin Cilic and two-time winner Andy Murray pulled out a couple of days right before the tournament draw was announced. Kei Nishikori said sayonara after arriving on site as did Gael Monfils and Milos Raonic. Roger Federer’s unexpected announcement that he tweaked his back in Montreal and needed to rest this week capped off the volley of bad news. Continue reading Tennis is Served

Tennis Anyone?

Yup, he’s tall. John Isner takes on Viktor Troicki and Ryan Harrison meets Gilles Muller to kick off the main draw today. Follow along on Twitter @Kyhuangs

Tennis in the United States is currently on life support. The lack of American star power at the top of the men’s rankings has relegated the once popular sport to the entertainment cellar. The Yankee goodwill garnered by past champions such as John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras has grudgingly given way to the European dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Unless a Sam Querry, Jack Sock, or John Isner breaks out and wins an upcoming Major tournament, the resurrection of American tennis will unfortunately remain as hopeless as my backhand. Continue reading Tennis Anyone?

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