Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky is the worst game featuring an SEC team in the modern era. It’s also the worst game I’ve ever seen in person. And I watched it all. Worst of all, I got to Nashville’s LP Field at 11:45 AM. That’s eight hours and thirty minutes before kickoff. Or roughly as long as it took either team to gain a first down on Thursday night.
We broadcast 3HL from a tent on the south side of the stadium. We are the only people anywhere near the stadium. No one is tailgating. It feels a bit like the world has ended only we don’t realize it yet.
I predict that Western will win 14-13 and Kentucky fans are furious. A listener brings us an 18 pack of Coors Light, but we can’t drink them on-air. If only I’d drank them the moment the show ended and passed out.
Instead I went to Western Kentucky-Kentucky.
This is my story.
I should have known I was in for trouble. This is a photo of the LP Field parking lot a few hours before gametime.
1. I go for Mexican food with my wife and two boys after the radio show.
This is a bad decision. Moments after I arrive at the “tailgate” I have to go to the bathroom. (Tailgating for today’s game is roughly akin to driving to Wal-Mart, parking a long way from anyone else, and drinking a beer by yourself in the parking lot).
It’s sit on a port-o-potty toilet in 100 degree heat or come up with a more brilliant plan. I come up with a more brilliant plan.
So I decide on the Ramada Inn, across the street from LP Field. Only you’re not supposed to enter the Ramada Inn to use the bathroom unless you’re staying there.
I take two clean-cut white guys with me. Clean-cut white guys can get away with anything. Bearded guys, not so much. But with two clean-cut white guys we could have walked up the stairs, opened a hotel room door, taken out a television, carried it down the stairs, and said, “We’re taking it to get fixed,” and no one would have stopped us.
You think I’m joking but this is 98% of Goldman Sachs’ business plan.
So using the hotel bathroom is easy.
Sadly, this playcalling is better than any offensive play run by either team all night.
2. Western Kentucky is a harem disguised as a university.
The girls are unbelievable. The percentage of women at WKU must be 70%. And all of them look like former high school cheerleaders. (FYI, I tried to find pictures of the girls on Google image search, but there were none. Which just confirms my theory that this university is actually a harem. Perhaps for Arab oil sheiks who are worried about their cover being blown in a post-9/11 environment. I’m on to you, sheiks.)
And what are these girls wearing? When did it become commonplace to be able to tell what color panties girls are wearing under their dresses all the time? Why did this trend not exist ten years ago when I was a college senior?
By the time my boys are in college girls aren’t going to wear tops to college classes. Just pasties.
Needless to say I came home from tonight’s game convinced that I’m going to tell my sons to go to Western for four years and then go to college after that. Hell, I wish I could go to Western Kentucky now too.
Put it this way, if my wife left me tomorrow, there is roughly a 36% chance I’d go back to school to get another college degree at Western.
3. Back from the Ramada Inn bathroom, we try and set the over/under on the number of girls that will engage in sexual activity in cars parked in the LP Field parking lot tonight.
I poll three tailgaters.
“Forty,” says one friend who wishes to remain nameless.
“Fifty says another,” also nameless.
“474,” says the last.
He’s dead serious, the Danny Sheridan of parking-lot sexual activity predictors.
4. There are more Western fans than Kentucky fans.
The Big Blue Nation, tonight at least, is Moldova, a landlocked former Russian satellite with a high-rate of meth use and substantial kidney-selling underground.
Worse, they’re selling beer to these people and it’s already an angry crowd. I turn to Chad Withrow, my fellow co-worker at 104.5, and say, “This is going to be really ugly tonight.”
Undeterred, we begin drinking at the game. (Clearly, we’d already been drinking in the parking lot).
5. Our seats are midfield in the UK section.
This is not a typical SEC football crowd. Primarily because most of the people sitting around us don’t appear to have jobs. Or GEDs. They are angry. And loud. And did I mention they are angry? Two men have to be separated after one man knocks the nachos out of another man’s hands.
Basketball season can not arrive soon enough.
6. Morgan Newton, Kentucky’s quarterback, throws an interception on the second offensive series.
The interception is his fourth best throw of the night. A UK fan behind us, wearing a Jared Lorenzen jersey, screams: “You five star bum, you suck!”
There is still 55 minutes remaining in the game.
7. WKU kicks a field goal to go up 3-0.
Another UK fan is furious at the Western kicker’s celebration. “He’s taunting us,” screams a bellicose member of the Bluegrass faithful, “I’d tear his ACL on the kickoff.”
By “tear his ACL on the kickoff,” I assume he means werewolf style, as in bite his leg and rip out his ligaments. Taylor Lautner would be proud.
8. There is no one at this game.
It’s like a bad high school game that happens to coincide with the school play. People are milling around. Someone is dressed like Virginia Woolf. Many fans have entire rows. I’m picturing the members of the Nashville Sports Council, the group that brought the game to the city, doing shots of Jack Daniel’s in their suite. Drawing straws over who is getting fired for the lackluster ticket sales.
It’s possible Western Kentucky’s football team is going to have to scrap practice on Monday and donate blood plasma to pay for the shortage instead.
9. Kentucky fans begin to boo.
There is 50 minutes left in the game.
Bobby Rainey, Western’s stud running back, scampers out of bounds untouched. “Break his legs, don’t let him run out of bounds,” yells another UK fan near us.
10. Withrow and I decide to focus on drinking.
Plus, it’s really hot, stifling hot where we are sitting. So we move to the Western Kentucky student end zone at the end of the first quarter. For the next two hours I will stand here and drink.
11. Withrow and I debate how hard you’d have to work to be kicked out of Western Kentucky for grades.
Then we decide it is impossible to be kicked out of WKU for bad grades.
12. Two older men, Kentucky fans, pay Western girls to have their picture taken with them.
“I hope I never get that old and creepy,” Withrow says.
“They should have picked the hotter girls,” I say.
13. Western Kentucky has a linebacker named Andrew Jackson.
He has a sack. Withrow suggests I write this down.
So I write, “Straight from the Hermitage, bitch,” on my iPhone.
If I was named Andrew Jackson and I played for WKU I would say this every time I sacked anyone.
(The Hermitage is lovely in summer.)
14. Okay, I might say, “I just Battle of New Orleans’d your ass,” too.
15. Okay, I might also say, “First Charles Dickinson, now you.”
16. Basically, what we’ve proven here, is that I wish my name was Andrew Jackson and I played football.
17. Kentucky scores after Western throws an interception in its own territory.
At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that if Western runs the ball on every play all game long, it wins tonight.
18. My radio show co-host Brent Dougherty arrives in the end zone.
Shortly thereafter Western Kentucky’s Big Red mascot appears, posing for photos. Only he’s got to be down for the halftime show. Brent chases after him and asks if we can have our photo taken.
Big Red points to his furry red arm, attempting to tell us he has no time.
Brent won’t take no for an answer. “We’re with 104.5 the Zone,” he says.
Yep, my co-host had to namedrop our station to get Big Red to pose with us.
19. A security guard who listens to 3HL comes to hang out with us.
He says, “Half the Western Kentucky band is passed out from the heat. The other half is having a brawl in the parking lot.”
He is not joking.
20. Attendance is announced as 24,599.
The security guard scoffs. “We’d have people in the upper deck if there was more than 20k here. We don’t have people in the upper deck.”
21. A Kentucky fan stumbles up next to me.
The Wildcats have less than 100 yards of offense and there is ten minutes left in the game.
“We don’t have a bad team,” he says, “we’re just getting outcoached.”
You have a bad team.
22. They’ve stopped selling beer.
Instead of stopping to sell beer, everyone who came to the game should be allowed to drink as much free beer as they possibly can.
It’s the only way to erase what we’ve all seen, the worst football game featuring an SEC team since the forward pass was invented.
23. Someone Tweets me that Dave Neal, my old buddy from Jefferson Pilot Sports, is calling the game for ESPNU.
Neal, whose dulcet tones have described some of the worst SEC games of the past decade, describes the game thusly: “It’s not been pretty, but certainly it has been close.”
@trunkmuffins on Twitter responds to Neal thusly: “Yes, just like my sack and asshole.”
Those seven words sum up this game perfectly.
Hopefully LSU-Oregon is better. I’m hopping a plane tomorrow and OKTC will be live from the game on Saturday night. In the meantime, consider going to back to college at Western Kentucky. At least there are lots of cars rocking in the parking lot.