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:
There’s no way to adequately describe everything that took place during the six-hour event, but here are some of the highlights:
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.
Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue