Tony Vanetti: If I could get The Governorâ€™s Cup like that every single year of course with a UofL win in the end Iâ€™ll take it. It was so entertaining – it was just a great day.
Matt Jones: Well, I donâ€™t know about entertaining. To me, and I would say this is true for even some of the Louisville fans, it was just too much. Like my nerves just canâ€™t handle games like that. If you donâ€™t care who wins, then yes, it probably was very entertaining. But I do care who wins and I canâ€™t take games like that, it just drove me crazy. Kentucky played as well as they can and Louisville was clearly the better team. The right team won, but if youâ€™re UK thatâ€™s tough because we had it in our hands – it was right there, Tony.
Vanetti: Letâ€™s talk about the pre-game festivities on the field between UK and UofL – the now famous picture from the Kentucky Colonel that captured Bobby Petrino grabbing one of the assistant coaches at UK which kind of set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. What are your thoughts on that whole situation?
Jones: Well I love the whole thing. I love Kentucky players sort of starting it – and I think they did start it. For so long theyâ€™ve been on the back feet, and they know that and they came out just ready to bring it. And I love that. But if youâ€™re going to talk like that you gotta play – and they did. I think itâ€™s good that Bobby took up for his guys and I love that that was the picture they got so I can continue to mock the notion that Bobby Petrino is a changed man. Heâ€™s going to have to do a lot of caddying this summer to make up for that. You know how I am – I like rivalries especially when the two people hate each other, so Iâ€™m glad to see some of that on the football field.
Vanetti: I will agree with you, football is a different kind of sport. When youâ€™re pushing and shoving everyoneâ€™s got equipment on (except for the one kid who had sweatpants on), but no one is getting hurt. Itâ€™s jawing, itâ€™s pushing, itâ€™s shoving, itâ€™s good stuff and itâ€™s great for the rivalry and I hope they do it every single year. And no one got kicked out of the game.
Jones: The one thing that shouldnâ€™t have happened was the guy who got hit, but itâ€™s a football fight. Everyoneâ€™s just pushing and shoving, no one really wants to be fighting. They are just acting like theyâ€™re fighting. I was a fan of it. I heard it led to some aggravations amongst the fans, but I wouldnâ€™t know any of that because as you know I refuse to go anywhere near that stadium without police protection.
Vanetti: And to that point – Louisville and Kentucky fans normally get along with each other but on Saturday, the rumors were that the Crunch Zone had some outbreaks and I donâ€™t like that. We have got to clean that up between the fans. If the football players want to push each other around thatâ€™s fine for them, but we need to keep the stands clean – I didnâ€™t like that.
Jones: People arenâ€™t going to like this, but to me, that happens only in this rivalry at the Louisville football stadium. The basketball arena is fine and generally speaking – because our basketball and football fans are a bit older – I do think thereâ€™s an atmosphere that begins at PJCS, in part because of the environment. Itâ€™s not because Kentucky fans are better than Louisville fans – which I donâ€™t actually believe, but Iâ€™ll say it, but I really think itâ€™s because of the environment there. The alcohol, the DJ – that environment invites fighting. It doesnâ€™t happen at UK games or UofL basketball games, but Iâ€™ll be honest with you – I donâ€™t feel really safe at Papa Johnâ€™s Cardinal Stadium. Now part of that is because Iâ€™m a loud mouth, but when the alcohol gets involved in that setting itâ€™s not good for the rivalry, and I donâ€™t know how to clean it up, but it needs to be.
Vanetti: I agree with you. The alcohol and the stadium do seem to get out of control, and then when you add Kentucky fans that didnâ€™t think they could win in the first place, and then they start winning, thatâ€™s just a recipe for disaster. And on top of that you have Kentucky fans who arenâ€™t used to being able to drink at the games, and now theyâ€™re throwing them back, and then if you try to take it from them it just adds fuel to the fire. Moving on to Kyle Bolin, Lexington native comes in and throws for 380 yards which is the most yards thrown by a quarterback this season at UofL you have got to just throw your hands up – because really??
Jones: Let me tell you something about Kyle Bolin, Tony. A 14-year-old Kyle Bolin used to come to UK games and be at the tailgates where I always was and Iâ€™d throw the football with him. It is not an exaggeration to say that in the last decade Iâ€™ve thrown a football more with Kyle Bolin than with anyone else in my life, and for that kid to be the one kid that ends up breaking Kentuckyâ€™s heart is just insane. I mean of all people….Kyle Bolin just had to be it. It was a great story for him, to be from Lexington. Louisville has done this over the years. Theyâ€™ve always had a kid that comes off the bench and ends up killing Kentucky. Brian Brohm did it, Hunter Cantwell, Teddy Bridgewater – now I donâ€™t know if this kid is going to end up on that level, in fact I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if he wasnâ€™t on the team next year, but I will tell you it will be one of those classic rivalries. The same way Cedric Jenkins will always have that the tip-in at the basketball game, now Kyle Bolin will be a name remembered, even if he never plays another game again.
Vanetti: Ok well letâ€™s wrap this up with grading the teams for the year. Give me your grade for Kentucky and Louisville.
Jones: I would say for Kentucky they get a B. Iâ€™d say they get an A record for them at 5 and 7, but I think there were too many games where they werenâ€™t competitive enough for me to give them an A. They werenâ€™t competitive at Tennessee, they werenâ€™t competitive at Missouri; and they needed to be in those games. But overall theyâ€™re advancing the program, so they get a B. Louisville I would say, B+. I think that 9 and 3 was the record Iâ€™d thought theyâ€™d come in at. However, I though theyâ€™d lose to Notre Dame and beat Virginia. I think they improved over the year. Itâ€™s a what might have been year for Louisville, so I would say a B+. I think both programs fans can feel good about going into the off season.
Vanetti: Both successful seasons. Kentucky fans were 5 and 1, even in the losses they were fighting tooth and nail against Florida and even the number one team – Mississippi State. There was so much exciting football and then you mix in the Missouri and Tennessee games and it was just baffling – different performances by the football team. Thatâ€™s what you get when you have young players. I will agree with you, freshman and sophomore players get a B for Kentucky. And for Louisville, with three different quarterbacks, a new conference a new coach Iâ€™m going to give them a B+ for 9 and 3. It was so close to being 10 and 2 that Virginia loss was heartbreaking but Bâ€™s all around.
Jones: Had Kentucky won that game that would have been one of the sweetest of all time.