Vaught's Views: Pulley not a popular selection

December 08, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Clearing out what has been a full, and interesting, e-mail bag from the last few days:

* Keith Taylor, sports editor of the Winchester Sun, weighed in on the Mr. Football voting that went to Hopkinsville's Curtis Pulley over Danville's Kelvin Turner and Boyle County's Brandon Smith.

"I was really disappointed with the Mr. Football vote. Kelvin Turner and Brandon Smith were my top two picks and I was torn between the two. In the end, I voted for Turner, but it could have gone either way. I just feel like those two players are on the higher-caliber teams who do nothing but win. I thought the voting was foolish."

Everyone in Title Town did, too.

* Gene Bluder of Danville, who last played football in 1953 when he was in high school in Chicago, wasn't overly thrilled with the Mr. Football voting, either.


"There are days when you expect great things to greet you as you step into our world. Today was not one of those. How in the world could anyone who had witnessed the Boyle County-Hoptown football game vote for Curtis Pulley as Mr. Football?

"I have no doubts that Curtis is a good kid and a credit to his school, his peers, and his family but he is not even in the same building when discussing the merits of an all-star quarterback. We need not consider his ability to throw a football with accuracy and speed. He has that ability.

"Let us instead consider his ability to lead 10 other kids when placed in a difficult situation. He comes up considerably short when placed next to some others.

"I saw a player who was not in the same league as his opponent. He stated that he had sustained a hamstring injury in an earlier game and was not at his best for the Boyle game. Possibly, but I saw a kid who flat quit. I would hope that Rich Brooks at UK witnessed the game. He may have second thoughts about signing Mr. Pulley."

Pulley could still be a terrific college player. He was just overmatched at Boyle. Still, there's no way to fault Bluder for his belief that Smith should have been Mr. Football. Or Taylor for voting for Turner. Or everyone in Title Town thinking either Smith or Turner should have won.

* Remember the LSU football fans who came to Title Town a few years ago to watch the Rebels and Admirals play on the same weekend that they were in Kentucky to watch the LSU-Kentucky game?

Marc Hagmeier of Dallas, Jim Fowler of Detroit and Richard Lewis of Richmond, Va., all LSU graduates, wrote to wish both Boyle and Danville good luck in the state title games. When they were here earlier, they ate a pregame meal with the Admirals and then attended half of each game. They came simply because they had read about Title Town and love football.

"With LSU not playing Kentucky for a while in football, we have really been missing central Kentucky," Lewis wrote. "We will just have to find another reason to come out there this fall. We miss seeing those teams play."

I think a lot of Kentucky fans miss the UK-LSU game, too, and that's one I wish the SEC had kept on UK's regular schedule rotation.

* Mark Ebert of Floyd Knobs, Ind., has mixed feelings about Joker Phillips being named Kentucky's offensive coordinator.

"The only thing I would add is that (Rich) Brooks did not hire from a position of flexibility. I hope the players and program benefit from him. But given Brooks has a foot in his UK coaching grave, where could he go for a coordinator? Who would be willing to leave a secure NFL, college or high school coaching job to move to a staff that could be out next year?

"I've never heard or read anything negative about Joker Phillips. I'm hopeful that Phillips will be the right coach for the job. I just hope he was hired because he was the obvious choice and not the only choice."

I suspect every UK fan has the same hope.

* Deva Hair of Casey County shared good news about her daughter, Misty Hair, a former standout athlete at Casey County and member of the Western Kentucky track team the last four years who was recently hospitalized with a kidney problem.

"She returned to school and is continuing her student teaching. Things are in line for graduation Dec. 18. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. It is a much higher power taking care of her. We did have some excellent news in that she is in excellent health and her kidneys continue to work just like a normal person's."

That's the kind of good news that makes for a perfect column ending.

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