Friday, November 20, 2009

Lexington Revisited: 2008 Georgia-Kentucky Road Trip

When BFR and I went to the Kentucky game last year, we had what might be one of the best road trips imaginable.

If you've never read the story, I've posted the best part of it below.

You can also see the original post here. It is longer, but I recommend you read my entire blathering to get the full experience.

Luckily, the friends we made on this trip are coming to Athens for the game and BFR and I will have the opportunity to re-pay the hospitality.

Lexington: A Road Trip For The Ages

Disclaimer: Read this story of our trip from Lexington, because you know going to Auburn, or anywhere else for that matter, won’t be this good. This story, my friends, is why you go on road trips.


After the game, we searched for the one group of Dawgs we knew, but never found them. We did run into all the players as they were coming out of the locker room. BFR and I were able to speak to AJ Green real quick, and also say hi to everyone's favorite person, Willie Martinez.

On our way back to the car, we stopped at a tailgate of a group of Kentucky fans. We had seen this tailgate initially walking to the stadium. This setup was astounding.

These fans had a trailer that, on the inside, was essentially a bar. The upgrades included flooring, nice cabinetry, seats, a huge area for food, a giant flat screen TV, and a smaller flat screen TV. A large opening on the side of the trailer with a counter provided a perfect seating area to enjoy the spread of food and drinks while watching other games on the two TVs.

Outside of the trailer were tables and chairs in blue and white, and the entire setup was surrounded by a white picket fence and a Kentucky flag flying over it all.

This awesome tailgate was right on a nice corner lot just a small parking lot’s distance from the stadium. Essentially, it was the best location imaginable.

We introduced ourselves to this group and met Elmo, JR, Chrissy, Joe, Michelle, and a whole host of kind people whose names I can’t remember.

We were talking with everyone for a good while, and they invited us to stay and watch the LSU/Bama game with them.

In the midst of all this, Joker Phillips walks up to Elmo and some other people at the tailgate. Joker wasn’t walking by at chance and they stopped him. No, Joker was walking by and purposefully stopped.

BFR and I were just blown away. Not only is this a great tailgate, but Kentucky’s [future] head coach is here talking with everyone (he didn’t seem to be in the best of moods, which is understandable).

As we watched the game and drank with these great people, we began to learn a lot about Kentucky.

Kentucky fans would rather be terrible at football and be in the SEC than be great at football in another conference.


Kentucky fans despise Louisville. Their description of Louisville fans reminded me of Florida fans, which automatically makes me hate Louisville.


They criticized Big East football games as being worse than watching a duck fart or listening to Oprah. Louisville vs. UCONN is not a real football game.


They also loved Munson, and their favorite quote was Munson speaking about Lorenzen: “Godzilla is on the loose!”


At about the time LSU/Bama went into overtime, they were ready to leave and we were planning on heading towards Atlanta. However, our new Kentucky friends insisted we join them at a steakhouse called Malone’s (It also conveniently has a sports bar). How could we turn this down?

BFR and I arrived at the steakhouse and joined the group in the bar. JR, who played for Kentucky in the “Couch era” told us he was inviting a friend of his named Anthony White, who also had played for Kentucky.

SEC fans may well remember Anthony White, who also played for UK during the “Couch era.” Anthony let us Georgia fans know that he considers Herschel Walker to be the best running back in SEC (and college football) history…but he considers himself the second best (embellishment on our part, makes the story better and Anthony would definitely go with it!). He is the only back in SEC history with 1500 receiving yards and 1500 rushing yards in the same season, thus he has enjoyed the nickname “Mr. 1500” as much as he was enjoying his Courvoisier Saturday night.

The eight of us sat down for a great meal and several more hours of talking about football, basketball, baseball and life in general. The conversation focused on sports and held the attention of the entire table and most of the rest of the restaurant. Anthony dropped one-liners on us like bombs:

-“One time playing Georgia, I was giving Kirby Smart the business! No offense, but you had a white DB trying to tackle me?!?”

-That Tennessee quarterback is horrible. Every time he drops back, it looks like he is playing dodgeball with the defense!

-Joker Phillips should put me in, I’ll win a national championship right now.

After treating us to a wonderful meal (that we tried to pay for), we bid farewell to this great group of people as they headed home.

We, on the other hand, didn’t head home. We joined Anthony at a party afterwards with a bunch of ex-football players from Kentucky and some of the UK Athletic Assoc staff.

Even decked out in red and black, everyone was great to us, particularly Anthony for bringing us along and introducing us to everyone there.

After a few hours, we knew that we had at least a three hour drive ahead of us, so BFR and I decided to call it quits and we headed back to Knoxville.

All in all, this was the best experience we could have imagined, far exceeding our simple expectations for our trip. I have a new found appreciation for Lexington, the University of Kentucky, and their fans.

I hope BFR and I get to return the favor soon to the great people we met, as well as other fans in the future.

Let this also provide a lesson to everyone: If you don’t feel like going on that road trip, DO IT ANYWAYS! After this trip, there are no longer any acceptable excuses for not making the road trip.

Go Dawgs!

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