There's a new sheriff in town, and with it, renewed optimism. I'm speaking specifically about UK coach John Calipari and the excitement he's generated since being on the job since April 1.
Coach Cal has spent a good portion of his time in the Bluegrass State meeting fans and spreading the word, that Kentucky is back and in a big way. He nearly single-handedly raised the excitement level to a fever pitch, in what was one of the most anticipated basketball seasons in recent UK history.
Now, Coach Cal is reaching out to the fans, again. This time on his weekly basketball show, "This IS Kentucky Basketball," which airs around the state on the Big Blue Sports Network. The first installment airs this Sunday here in Lexington on WKYT.
The show is a departure of any traditional coach's show -- Coach Cal is a fan of social networking and reality, so "This IS Kentucky Basketball" will attempt to marry the two.
One of the segments of the show is entitled, "Coach Cal's Virtual Mailbag." This is the fan participation part of the show and it allows the biggest of Big Blue Fans to strut their stuff. Each week Calipari (along with some help from his TV friends) will choose a "fan of the week," after scouring the Internet for videos from UK's most loyal supporters. Cal wants fans to upload their videos, of themselves in their wildest Wildcat attire, or of their Wildcat dens, showing off their unwavering support for all things blue.
Martin Newton, Director of Basketball Operations at UK, says fans should have fun and be involved in the show.
"I've seen how fans here respond and share their feelings for Kentucky basketball. I want them to do the same for Cal's show," he said.
To participate, fans should go to ukathletics.com and submit an entry form. Click on the Virtual Mailbag tab on the men's basketball page. Then, upload the video to an Internet provider, such as YouTube.com, and we'll do the rest. One lucky fan will win a pair of tickets at the end of the season for participating.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.