“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realising that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.” ~Salma Hayek
Kentucky football has finally started doing what it should have been doing all along and that is recruiting in the midwest. The harsh realities about UK football are these: UK means very little to the rest of the country, outside of the state of Kentucky. When coaches from UK go into the deep south to recruit in places like Florida, Georgia, or Louisiana; they are already late to the ball. They are the awkward girls who didn’t have dates and instead they end up going with their biology lab partners or their second cousin from another school.
What UK ends up dragging back to Lexington from the south are often times leftovers, problem children, and guys who shouldn’t be playing in the SEC anyway that they could’ve probably found right here at home. The midwest has better schools, quality high school coaching, stronger communities and is generally just a better place to live for working class people than the south. Kentucky isn’t going to ever get the cream of the crop in Florida, but in Ohio they have a shot at getting quality kids who would rather play in the SEC than at Purdue or Michigan.
The southeastern part of the United States is filled with a lot of great football talent…and the Playboy mansion is filled with a lot of hot women. I don’t know about you, but I stand a better shot at getting into the bar down the street than I do the Playboy mansion. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not going to pass up on an opportunity to run around in my underwear in Beverly Hills; but I will not forget where my bread is buttered. We need to look in the mirror and be realistic.
So, when UK head football coach Mark Stoops looks in the mirror, what does he see? Apparently he has been listening to Ms. Hayek and sees the beauty that is UK. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.
Kentucky is so damn sexy because they play in the SEC, snow isn’t measured in feet in Lexington, and Big 10 girls are, well, big 7s at best. There is a lot a kid from God awful places like Ashtubula, Youngstown, or Cleveland would love about Lexington. The point is, that in the middle of nowhere Ohio, Kentucky is the sexiest girl in the room.
Kentucky has stopped taking selfies with the cheerleaders and has instead started drinking beer with the softball players, and its working. The fan base recognizes the new branding. Just last week, everyone was afraid that Vince Marrow was headed to Michigan to coach with Jim Harbaugh. Marrow is the key recruiter in Ohio for the Wildcats. Twitter was flooded by #bbn pleading with Marrow to stay. He listened and stayed. I think Kentucky recruits itself in the north and midwest but I too am glad Marrow is sticking around.
The shift in recruiting is real and was pointed out in the Lexington Herald yesterday:
In the three recruiting classes before Stoops and Marrow, Kentucky signed 22 players from Georgia and five from Ohio. With Stoops and Marrow, the past three UK recruiting classes have had 21 Ohio products vs. three from Georgia.
I think that is great news for the Wildcats. They are exploiting the market. They are surrounded by the ugly gray skies of the wintery Big 10 campuses. And while Lexington isn’t a tropical paradise by any stretch of the imagination, it beats living in Columbus, Lansing, or Happy Valley. Kentucky has made themselves the sexiest girl in the room by hanging out with the less desirables.