Confession: I belong to the dumbest club in Kentucky, the Louisville Quarterback Club.
How dumb are the members?
Well, the Quarterbackers could have sold out just about any banquet room in Louisville but the audience was limited to club members and their friends.
What was the big draw? Two of the absolute greatest Kentucky athletes in history:
Paul Hornung, the only Kentuckian to win a Heisman Trophy, plus he was an All-American at Notre Dame and All-NFL with Vince Lombardiâ€™s Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. He was the NFLâ€™s leading scorer in history whenÂ he retired and is in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Jim Bunning is the other Kentucky headliner. He is a member of Baseballâ€™s Hall of Fame after a glittering career in both the American League and the National Leagues. He led AL in strikeouts twice with the Detroit Tigers and twice in the NL with the Philadelphia Phillies.
And they werenâ€™t the main attraction!
Towles is UK bound
One of former U.S. Senator Bunningâ€™s talented grandsons, quarterback Patrick Towles of state champion Fort Thomas Highlands, was the big attraction. Even before the 2011 season started, Towles was favored to win top individual honorsâ€”and he did. He committed to UK before the season and he canâ€™t wait to get to the Lexington campus for summer school. And passing to some of his Wildcat teammates.
Patrick says he is â€œjust a bit betweenÂ 6-foot-5 and 6-6.â€ He is a magnificent specimen for a football player with about 240 pounds in all the right places. He said, â€œI am very excited about Kentucky.â€
Best since Couch?
A lot of football observers say that he is the best quarterback our state has produced since Tim Couch.
Grandpa Bunning just wantsÂ everyoneÂ to know that his grandson will lead theWildcats out of the doldrums and to the promise land of football. â€œAnd I will be there every game. And we will beat Florida too, every time and at Florida too. I am so proud of what he has accomplished. We will have a winning program every year.â€
You may be interested in how the QB Club got started. When Paul â€œBearâ€ Bryant became head coach at UK, he asked The Courier-Journalâ€™s Larry Boeck how many quarterback clubs the state of Kentucky had.
Told that there was no such club, Bryant told Boeck, â€œWell I want you and The Courier-Journal to start one!â€
Boeck and C-J sports editor Earl Ruby got busy and we suddenly had one!
Membership is open to anyone. One of my black friends, an attorney,Â asked if black members would be welcome and I told him yes.
Crawford main man
The president is Gordon â€œCripâ€ Crawford. He does all of the legwork putting together the annual banquet and getting the winner, his coach and his parents and friends to the luncheon.
The Bunnings have nine children, 35 grandchildren and sevenÂ great-grandchildren. One of the Bunning sons, David, is a Federal judge. He presides in Pikeville and Covington.