, Corbin, KY

November 26, 2012

Who's ready for the Toilet Bowl today?

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — As the high school basketball season approaches, I want to take the time to once again thank all of our area coaches for making our annual basketball preview a little easier to handle.

Without the help of the 16 coaches who lead our coverage teams, there’s no way in the world we could do the job we do every season as we try to supply our readers with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to whichever local team you choose to follow.

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed in the early stages of planning for our preview because sometimes we forget just how broad our coverage area is when it comes to basketball.

When you consider the fact we try to keep our readers informed on most of the happenings in the 13th Region, that makes for a lot of information to gather, but I think it’s well worth it in the end. From team pictures and rosters to schedules and feature stories, I think it’s as good a preview as anybody in southeast Kentucky produces and I hope our readers feel the same way.

As for the basketball season getting started, I couldn’t be happier. From this point on, my work will be done inside a warm gymnasium and the fact that I get paid to watch sports is always my best arguing point when people ask why I enjoy my job so much.

• The Toilet Bowl

Before the high school basketball season gets started though, there’s still one college football game to be played today that some local fans (at least 12 of them) have an interest in and I’m tabbing it the Toilet Bowl.

As Kentucky gets set to face the University of Tennessee today, I can’t remember a time when fans were more excited about the offseason than they are about the matchup itself.

Both teams are in a funk they haven’t seen, at least not at the same time, in a long time. Both are going separate ways with their coaches and the Vols’ former coach isn’t even coaching in today’s game.

As for Joker Phillips hanging on until the end of the season, I’m not so sure that’s the smartest thing for him to do either. He’s already beaten UT the year before, so why take a chance of going out with a loss to a long-time rival.

I suppose when you consider the ties Phillips has to the Wildcats’ program, there would be no better way to go out than with a win today. I do admire the idea of seeing the job through and when you think about it, it’s not like things can get any worse no matter how the game turns out.

The bad news is that while writing this column, I think I’ve talked myself out of watching the game.

• Spread some cheer

While talking to Corbin Lady Redhound coach Jennifer Parsons earlier this week, she made me aware of something her team did as a group and I thought it was worth expanding on the story I did for today’s paper.

The Lady Redhounds filled 29 shoeboxes with gifts and other items to be sent to some less fortunate people during the holidays.

Not only is the type of thing Parsons’ squad is doing good for the community, it's  a great way to help some less fortunate people during a special time of year. It’s also a way to build character and remind some of our local athletes just how lucky they may be.

I’m not saying that every athlete in the Tri-County has an easy life, because I’m not naïve enough to believe that myself. I know that in these tough times, people struggle in all walks of life and a lot of times there’s no way to know when some people are down and out.

Pride is a tough thing to deal with when it comes to asking for help, especially when you’re in a small town, which is why it’s so important to lend a hand when and where we can.

A lot of kids these days, and adults for that matter, don’t realize there are people struggling on a daily basis and a little helping hand may be all they need to get them back on their feet.

My hat goes off to the Lady Redhounds for their effort and I say we should all do a little more during the holidays. No matter how bad things are, there’s always someone that has it a little worse.