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Women’s Clinic – Food, Fashion, Fun & Football

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The 2016 Kentucky Football Women’s Clinic is now history, but the ladies who attended certainly had a day they will remember for quite some time.   This annual event is always a lot of fun, and this year was no exception.

For those unfamiliar with this event, the Women’s Clinic provides an opportunity for the ladies of the BBN to meet the coaching staff, as well as some of the players.   At $75 per person, this event is a great value.   Besides the interaction with the coaches, each attendee gets a “goody bag” with some nice gifts, a continental breakfast, tickets for door prizes (very nice door prizes, I might add), a mini-fashion show which included three players modeling various uniform combinations, lunch, and a tour of selected facilities.

In addition to all of that, there are also presentations by both the defensive and offensive coaching staffs.  The ladies saw typical schedules for game weeks, charts of play options, videos of practices, and a lot of other detailed information.  Even if nobody learned anything about football, they certainly gained a new appreciation for all the planning and preparation that goes into each game.   For example, take a look at a partial game week schedule for the defensive staff:

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There’s no way to adequately describe everything that took place during the six-hour event, but here are some of the highlights:

  • First, let’s talk about the venue:  The Woodford Reserve room in Commonwealth Stadium.  This was a huge upgrade over clinics past, and at long last we were able to enjoy a large portion of our day in air-conditioned comfort.  And let’s not forget about the beautiful view of the football field from beyond the window.20160723_080250
  • Defensive Coordinator, D.J. Eliot was very entertaining.  As he shared how much he enjoyed the Women’s Clinic, he said he had been asked why there was no Men’s Clinic.  “Why don’t we have a men’s clinic?  That would be the worst day of my life.  The ladies actually listen!”
  • Wide receivers coach, Lamar Thomas was very popular with the crowd, possibly due to his recent trolling of his former employer, U of L.  During breaks, Thomas was talking with the ladies, and most everyone became aware of his obsession with Skittles.   When called to the stage by Coach Eliot, Thomas was asked about being at Kentucky and his response was, “The other guy I used to work for wasn’t as good as this one.”
  • The fashion show was a bit low-key, but Courtney Love and JoJo Kemp were great models, sporting different uniform combinations.
  • In addition to Love and Kemp, several other players were in attendance and graciously signed posters, took pictures and interacted with the ladies.  J.D. Harmon and Landon Young seemed to be very popular, and with good reason:  both were so genuinely friendly, one couldn’t help but want to be around them.
  • The tour of the new Football Training Center — there just are no words to do it justice.  The excitement about this new state of the art facility was bubbling over from the coaches and players.  Coaches, players, and support staff escorted groups on the tour which lasted roughly 45 minutes (and it could have taken longer, but a couple of areas were still getting finishing touches applied).  If you want to know what all the hype is about, I suggest viewing this video tour from UK Athletics.
  • The ladies were also given the opportunity to head down to the field and participate in some practice drills with the coaches.   I declined this year, not because it isn’t a great experience, but because it was 150 degrees outside (well, closer to 97, but I digress).  Besides, I more than got the full experience last year when I had a spectacular wipeout during one of the ball-chasing drills.

Of course, the event did include a small bit of controversy, though how much controversy there was would depend on who you talked to.  During Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran’s presentation, he was explaining the typical daily schedule for the offensive staff, which was broken down into 13 “periods.”   Gran said, “Hinshaw likes to joke we have 13 periods in practice and women only have one.”   For a second, there was total silence, which was then followed by audible groans and not a few boos.  Gran immediately reminded everyone it was Hinshaw who said it, and then quickly followed by saying, “Hey, I have 3 daughters.”

The questionable joke did Gran no favors during the Q & A session, either.  When asked what his plan was for the tight ends this year, Gran replied, “We plan to throw the ball to the tight ends a lot!”  One of the ladies yelled out, “Can we get that in writing?”, clearly referencing last season’s inability or unwillingness to utilize the tight ends effectively.  Gran remained straight-faced and then said, “Fair weather fan?  I see how it is.  Hey, you’re either with us or you’re against us!”  Then a few seconds later, perhaps sensing that comment was not appreciated either, he added, “And I was totally joking, OK?”

During the lunch break, I spoke with several ladies to get their view on the “joke” and got mixed reactions.  A couple of them said it was “no big deal” and people are “too easily offended” these days.  But a larger number thought it was indeed a big deal, and one said, “No man should ever be making period jokes, especially in front of a room full of women.”   While I don’t think Gran intended the joke to be sexist, it was definitely not a wise decision to share it.   I think the fans have a right to expect more professionalism from our coaching staff, and though Gran did apologize, I would think a more formal response would be in order.

The joke aside, Saturday was a very successful day.   The ladies seemed to have a fantastic time, and there was no doubt whatsoever that the coaches and players are very excited for the upcoming season.  The new training center seems to be adding that “something extra” that this team needs to get over the hump and secure at least 6 wins this season.  The common theme among players and coaches alike seemed to be the need to learn how to finish.  They also seemed exceptionally optimistic about the direction the Kentucky Football program is headed and are more than ready to prove that this program is indeed on an upward track.

As for this Wildcat fan, I feel very encouraged for the upcoming season and greatly enjoyed the time I got to spend with the coaches and a few of the players.   I would urge all the ladies in the BBN to try to attend this clinic next season.  You’ll be glad you did.

The beautiful new lockers in the FTC. This one belongs to Ryan Timmons

The beautiful new lockers in the FTC. This one belongs to Ryan Timmons

 

Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue

 

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Michele Brown
Michele Brown
Writer at CameronMillsRadio.com since Feb. 2015 Co-host of Big Blue Views podcast. Mom, Christian, sports junkie, golf addict and speed typist. I can cook your mama's food better than she can.

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