Future For Joker Looks Grim

| August 2, 2012

Paul Hornung, Patrick Towles and Jim Bunning.

Who will be Kentucky’s starting quarterback this season? Will it be freshman sensation Patrick Towles from powerhouse Highlands of Fort Thomas? He won the Paul Hornung Award as Kentucky’s finest high school player and is considered our state’s top prep quarterback prospect since Tim Couch of Leslie County.

The one thing I can tell you for sure is this: He didn’t sign with the Wildcats to sit on the bench – and you can take that to the bank.

He, more than anyone else, can save Joker Phillips’ job. But if Towles gets the same treatment from Phillips that Couch got from Hal Mumme, Joker might as well pack his bags.

Towles is the grandson of retired U.S. Senator Jim Bunning, a great pitcher who is in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Happy knew

Here we go again.

Happy Chandler was a two-time governor of Kentucky, a United States Senator and High Commissioner of Baseball.

When he was governor of our state, he was chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Kentucky. While in that office, he allowed himself to get too close to UK head football coaches.

Maybe you haven’t thought of this before, but UK football coaches are hired to be fired.

I can’t tell you how many times he told me, “We always have treated our coaches shabby.”

Are we getting close to where it’s about time for another Wildcat football coach to get the ax?

Unfortunately, yes. It doesn’t make any difference how many times the UK president says he’s supporting Joker Phillips. Enough Wildcat fans have voted to put another good man on the edge. It took an open-records request by The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jennifer Smith, who covers UK football, to tell us how grim the football ticket sales are.

A week ago, 35,486 season tickets had been sold. Remember this: Alabama draws in the neighborhood of 85,000 for its spring game!

Here are recent numbers of how Wildcat season tickets have dropped:

2002: 49,281
2004: 48,843
2005: 45,489
2006: 42,974
2007: 52,551
2008: 54,788
2009: 56,440
2010: 52,349
2011: 48,405
2012: 35,486 through two weeks ago

It doesn’t make any difference how many times Joker sheds tears, the figures are against him.

The UK schedule:

Sept. 2: At Louisville 3:30.
Sept. 8: KENT STATE 7:30.
Sept: 15: WESTERN KY. 7
Sept. 22: At Florida TBA
Sept. 29: SO. CAROLINA TBA
Oct. 6: MISS. STATE TBA
Oct. 13: At Arkansas TBS
Oct. 20: GEORGIA TBA
Oct. 27: At Missouri, TBA
Nov. 3: VANDERBILT  TBA
Nov. 17: SAMFORD TBA
Nov. 24: At Tennessee TBA

The UofL schedule:

Sept. 2: KENTUCKY 3:30
Sept. 8: MISSOURI ST. 3:30
Sept 15: NO. CAROLINA 3:30
Sept. 22: At Fla. International 7
Sept. 29: At Southern Miss. 8
Oct. 13: At Pittsburgh TBA
Oct. 20: SO., FLORIDA TBA
Oct. 26: CINCINNATI 8
Nov. 3: TEMPLE TBA
Nov. 10: At Syracuse TBA
Nov. 24: CONNECTICUT TBA
Nov. 29: At Rutgers 7:30

You will notice that the starting times of nine of UK’s 12 games are unavailable until TV decides starting times.  Only four UofL games  are listed as “To be announced.”

That could cause some fans to wait to see if games will be televised and at what times.

Patrick Towles playing against Eastern in 2011.

Category: Earl Cox on Sports

About the Author (Author Profile)

Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
502.897.8910

Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.

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