Rather than give Saturday’s game ball to a player, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips elected to present it someone he felt was much more deserving for his performance one day before the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
Phillips said the wife of a U.S. Army soldier (Marcos Alaniz) stationed in Iraq came to the Kentucky¿football office to present him with a UK¿flag and plaque. He said the inscription, “This flag was flown in the enemy’s face,” was something he really liked.
“I had a chance to get on Skype, something (assistant coach) Tee Martin taught me. He (Alaniz) did not know it was me. His wife said she talks to him every day on Skype. I said, ‘Let’s Skype him on my iPad.’ When he showed up, he had a UK¿hat on and behind him you could see a UK¿flag. He did not know it was me calling,” Phillips said. “After talking to him, and his wife presented the flag at that time to me, just knowing that we got fans across the country, guys that support us, I got cold chills in talking with him as he teared up talking about our football team, how it’s like family to him.