BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Kentucky football team traveled to Birmingham on Monday as the Wildcats begin on-site preparations for the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 8. The day was highlighted with a community service activity as Coach Joker Phillips and the Wildcats played host to a "Gameday Ready" event for Birmingham children.
Similar to his "Gameday Ready" tour in Kentucky during the summer of 2010, elementary and middle-school children from the Boys and Girls Clubs took part in a series of educational and football activities in the Birmingham-Jefferson County Convention Center. Phillips opened the event by speaking to the children on the importance of success in school and developing good exercise and nutritional habits. The football fun featured stations in which the children participated in stretching, running the 40-yard dash, carrying the football in an agility drill, running through a rope grid, shuttle run and vertical jump.
Ten of the early-arriving Wildcats took part in the event, helping and encouraging the children, including Ed Berry, Tyler Davenport, Alex Dutton, Nathan Dutton, Justin Henderson, Gene McCaskill, Morgan Newton, Ryan Phillippi, Sam Simpson and Eric Simmons.
Several Birmingham media covered the event and Coach Phillips was asked why he would take time out of his bowl preparations to do a children's educational/football clinic.
"This is what we do at Kentucky," Phillips said. "We're in this for the long haul. You have to give back. So, in that regard, it's not hard for me at all."
The event was organized by Jason Schlafer, Nathan Schwake and Erin Menard of the UK Athletics Marketing and Promotions staff.
The team will practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and have a walk-through on Friday. The game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, tri- champion of the Big East Conference, is scheduled for Saturday at noon EST (11 a.m. Central) at Legion Field.
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Six Wildcats Headed for NFL Playoffs: Six Kentucky Wildcats will be playing in the National Football League playoffs. On Saturday, fullback John Conner and the New York Jets will take on tight end Jacob Tamme and the Indianapolis Colts. On Sunday, punter Tim Masthay and the Green Bay Packers will visit cornerback Trevard Lindley and the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensive tackles Corey Peters (Atlanta) and Myron Pryor (New England) are on teams that earned byes in the first weekend of playoff action.
"Cat Walk" Set for 8:45 a.m. Central time: Fans wishing to participate in the "Cat Walk," cheering the Wildcats when they enter the stadium at the BBVA Compass Bowl, should be at Gates 16 and 17 of Legion Field at 8:45 a.m. Central time.
Sideline Seats Available Through UK: Tickets are available to the BBVA Compass Bowl for both season-ticket holders and the general public. Fans are encouraged to buy directly from the Kentucky ticket office, as all tickets from the UK allotment are sideline seats. All tickets are $50 each.
Tickets may be purchased:
· In-person at the UK Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· By calling the ticket office during the hours listed above at 800-928-2287
'Operation Win' to Benefit Birmingham: To implement the 'Operation Win' initiative in the community, Coach Joker Phillips and the Cats plan to sponsor children from elementary schools around Legion Field, as well as Birmingham-area military personnel. Building off the GAMEDAY READY tour that traveled around Kentucky this past summer, the Wildcats hope to give back to the Birmingham community by providing game tickets sponsored by Wildcat fans and supporters.
Fans can participate by:
* Making a 100% tax-deductible contribution to the Operation Win Birmingham Fund
* Contributions can be made in $50 increments - the cost of one BBVA Compass Bowl ticket
* Ticket blocks will be donated to local Birmingham elementary schools and military personnel
* Help provide an opportunity for youth to experience Kentucky football
* Fans can make contributions to the Operation Win Birmingham Fund in addition to purchasing their BBVA Compass Bowl tickets
* Fans will receive three K Fund points for every $100 contribution
* Fans will receive one K Fund point for a $50 contribution
* The Operation Win drive will continue throughout December, as these tickets will be assigned separately from any priority ticket requests
To contribute to Operation Win Birmingham, fans may call the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287 or the K Fund Office at (859) 257-6300.