Tucker's Tales


Let's talk about selfies baby

Posted by Tara Bilby on April 7, 2013 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Social Media sites start as one thing and turn into something completely different once they gain popularity. Take facebook for an example: it used to be a great place to connect with friends, now it is a great place to post pictures of a woman's uterus. The newest site that is beginning to change is instagram. Selfies have always been around, but Instagram has encouraged more of them recently. You can't get on instagram without seeing a selfie of someone. And then there's Snap Chat, which was basically created for selfies, especially the raunchier side of selfies. Believe it or not, selfies are changing the world. Thanks to selfies more pictures are taken in a bathroom then anywhere else. There are a lot of different types of people when it comes to selfies and I will list them below....

A Selfie Newbie: A new and confused person entering the world of Selfies..

The Ally Tucker's of the web: The Ally Tucker's of the web hate despise selfies and will announce their disdain loud and proud.

That one dick would be someone who fits in this category.

The selfie taker who thinks a guy is going to be happy and turned on seeing 100 photos of her on their phone, most of these include cleavage. If it doesn't include cleavage, the guy will go from satisfied to annoyed very easily.


The Belieber: This group of people are very loyal Justin Beiber fans stalkers. They do everything Justin does. If Justin takes a selfie... they better take a selfie too.

The duck face selfie: this category fits the majority of selfie photographers. The majority of women today believe that if they pucker their lips like a duck they become instantly more attractive.

A skill that they're teaching their babies...

The "I work out, have muscles, and think that taking a picture of me showing that will get me women" selfie:

Tip for guys: Selfie's like those above are not cute. Buy a puppy or something and use that as your prop, not your 10 pack abs.

The Drunk Selfie: doesn't need an explanation

Disclaimer: I'm not 100% sure the above girls were drunk when they took their selfies and posted it online... but I sure hope they were.

Selfies of "The Older Generation": These our elders, who have learned to embrace selfies the best way they can

Selfies have come and with the advancement of camera phones, selfies are here to stay. Get with the times. If the selfie of the grandmother and her granddaughter doesn't make the ally tucker's of the web appreciate the art of selfies, then nothing ever will.

Greetings From The Womb

Posted by Tara Bilby on May 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

If you have been on Facebook recently, there are 2 things that I am sure you have seen. Pictures of shoes, and pictures of children  fetus aliens in the womb. We all look back on our childhood and can remember exact moments when you think NOOO! MOM!!... HOW COULD YOU?!

Thank. God. Facebook wasn't around in my parents days. I would like to think my parents wouldn't be the type to put pictures of my moms inners on the interweb.. but pride and love for your children make you do a lot of weird and unusual things. With every womb picture I see.. a piece of my heart goes out to the little child who sees a picture of themself in the womb for the first time.

I understand wanting to update your friends on the progress of your child, but let's face it.. about 60% of your Facebook friends aren't really friends. 5% are ex boyfriends or girlfriends, 10% are current significant others of those ex boyfriends or girlfriends and the rest are just people who want to creep on your pictures (the only thing Facebook has left going for it now that Twitter has taken over). Now do you think these people want to creep on pictures of your uterus? 

Things need to change. If you want to update me on your child's progress here are some appropriate ways of doing so:

Tell me what size your child is by comparing them to fruit.

As your child grows, Simply post, "my child is size egg today." "my child is moving up in the world, my child is now a size Cantaloupe." "My child has moved to size cantaloup to size watermelon." I would geniunly be interested in what size fruit your child currently is on a monthly basis. This is the type of stuff that interests me.

Tell me what organ or body part has developed that week,

As your child grows its spine simply post "my child now has a backbone. #badass #takingaftertheirmother."

As they begin kicking say "my child is already starting to kick me... a rebel and she doesnt even have hair yet."

When your child is born, it is then appropriate to post a picture of the badass/rebel that I have pictured in my head as coming out with a bandana, and a few tattoos.

"Coping With A Loss" by Cole Adams

Posted by Ally Tucker on July 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Just when you thought we were done with our World Cup coverage here on Tucker's Tales.....well, we're not! Guest blogger Cole Adams has come around for Round 2 and we are thrilled to have her. 

"Coping With A Loss"

By Cole Adams

Good evening. My name is Cole and I am a bad loser.

I trace my sore loser roots to my development as a tater tot and a treacherous deed committed by my father. You’ll see that Steve-O, my dad, was my chief and I was his little Indian. Nonetheless, he betrayed me.

For approximately a year, I was the World’s #1 ranked Candy Land competitor. From 1986-1987, I was undefeated. The final violet square on the board waited for me like a beacon in the night and the king of Candy Land never stayed lost for long. For a shining moment, I was a Candy Land hustler. Until one tragic evening when my chief, Steve-O, decided it was time for me to learn to play by the rules . . . The EFFIN RULES!!! Long story short: My mom had to physically restrain her flaxen haired angel to quell the screaming and possible attempts to slit her father’s throat with Candy Land playing cards.

That day left a remarkably bitter taste in my mouth. I now loathe losing and also deplore the idea of someone “letting” me win. A casual game of Slap Jack can turn into a bloodsport in a heartbeat. I haven’t learned a new game in years. It’s not safe. I will go Anton Chigurh (Google it.) on whoever is teaching me euchre, darts, or whatever nonsense someone thinks would be “fun” to play. If I’m not a prodigy, I hate it.

I was the kid on your 5 and 6-year old t-ball team who kept score (even though there wasn’t a scoreboard). If my coach made the grave mistake of calling us winners when we weren’t, I made sure the whole team knew about it. Without reservation I would turn a Capri Sun and granola bar from sweet to bitter by telling my teammates we lost 21-3 . . . to the chunky team. As a 6 and under swim team member, I wanted to swim fast enough to finish my lap and get out of the water to taunt the person who came in second. Not making it to my taunting position in time was, in effect, a loss. Do you see the start of a problem?

Although I haven’t been able to conquer my “losing demons,” I have sifted through some coping mechanisms over the last 25 years. In the wake of the US Women’s National Team’s tough loss to Japan Sunday, I felt I might share some of my tips with you.

You may have heard of the Kübler-Ross model. It’s more commonly known as the 5-Stages of Grief. It was intended for use when individuals were confronted with death and dying. I use it to handle sports failures. Tacky? Inappropriate? Overkill? Ridiculous? Useful? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And, Yes.

Stage 1: Denial.

When I worked for the Department of Public Advocacy (if you couldn’t afford an attorney in a few counties in South Central KY, I could have been the lawyer provided to you), I discovered the champions of denial. My clients. Nothing could shake them from their bizarre fantasy worlds. Did I just get indicted? Nope. If I don’t open the envelope with my Criminal Summons in it, it never happened. Do I have a warrant out on me? Nope. If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. FYI, a warrant is like the wind . . . you may not see it, but you’ll feel it knock you on your ass.

On Sunday, I used a few different tactics to embrace denial. I paused the game after we kicked our 3rd PK, deleted all evidence of World Cup coverage from my DVR, and went outside to stare at the sun for a while. After 15 minutes and a couple singed retinas, there wasn’t a shred of proof in my house that the World Cup happened and I couldn’t see it if it did.

Stage 2: Anger

After a UK loss, I like to wallow in my rage for a little bit. In particular, I like to hate on Doug Gottlieb, Seth Davis, and Bobby Knight. Why? Because they’ll talk trash about my Cats the next time someone let’s them have a few seconds of air time and I consider my anger a preemptive strike. If all else fails, pull out your trump card and disparage Joakim Noah. I don’t even think his own mom likes him.

Unfortunately, I was so heartbroken after the game Sunday that I couldn’t muster an ounce of rage. My soul was crushed, so I moved on to the next stage.

Note: I am not a mental health professional. I am relatively certain some sorority sisters tried to perform an intervention or two on me my senior year at Transy; so, if anything, I am probably in need of mental healthcare. However, Wikipedia tells me I don’t have to transition through the stages of grief in chronological order. That’s awesome because I don’t think my fragile spirit could handle being a failure at grieving appropriately.

Stage 4: Depression

Time to get your sad on. I like to call this the blackout stage. You can take one of three approaches (or combine them if you’re brave):

1. Blackout Drunk: Grab a brick of Mad Dog, a case of Natty Ice (if you’re Sarah Burns or Jen Hamblin), or some Popov. Download some sad country songs, My Old Kentucky Home, and/or a dreadfully slow version of the Star Spangled Banner. Drink, sing, and sob. When you do all three to excess, you’ll have bigger things to worry about in the morning than your team losing such as:

• Where am I?

• Ouch. Is that my liver throbbing?

• Has anyone seen my sense of dignity?

2. Media Blackout: When I wake up in the morning, I turn on SportsCenter. At work, I watch Mike and Mike in the Morning. When I head home for lunch, I listen to the Scott Van Pelt Show. I keep KSR open in a window on my desktop to refresh throughout the day. When your favorite team suffers a monumental loss which will be covered by all of your favorite media outlets, it’s time to enforce the blackout. You can either keep functioning as normal and feel like your toenails are being ripped out one by one every time coverage of the loss comes up OR you can go on a sports hiatus. After the UK loss to UConn, the wide world of sports was cut off from me (by me) until Derby Day. For safe measure, I also stayed out of sports bars . . . like I really needed to break down crying over a basket of boneless wings in BW3s when Kemba Walker’s highlight reel played. Strangely, I actually worked at work. Damn media blackout.

3. Distraction Blackout: In the real world, hot button topics include things like abortion, marriage equality, and healthcare. In the world of Tucker’s Tales, Harry Potter is a hot button issue. My husband-roommate utilized the distraction technique to soothe himself after Sunday’s loss. He took me to see his homeboy, Harry Potter. For two hours, Mark was at Hogwart’s and Japan couldn’t touch me. Although I don’t care one way or another about an odd boy with a rad scar on his head, Harry Potter worked as a distraction for me, as well. I spent two hours trying to remember what the hell a horcrux was, wondering if I gave a damn if any of the characters died, and imagining what a badass wizard I would make. When I was done daydreaming, the movie worked as a double distraction . . . People were so busy watching Harry that they couldn’t see tears softly falling from behind my 3D glasses or hear me whimpering over the sounds of wizards wanding. I was able to mourn the loss in peace without gawkers.

Stage 3: Bargaining

I think for people who actually use these steps to cope with the dying process, this is a tough stage. Folks ask questions like, “Is there something I can do for more time?” or “How can stop this from happening?” For me, this is actually the easiest of the grieving steps. It’s like playing a sports-related game of creepy hypotheticals:

• Would you name your first child Adolph if UK could surpass UCLA in national championships and remain on top of that list for your lifetime? Yes. No doubt.

• Would you slice off the top portion of your left pinkie finger if the US Women could go back in time and beat Japan? Sure. That seems reasonable.

• Would you be willing to live in a wig wam by the Kentucky River for the next 25 years if UK could win one SEC Football Championship? Not sure. While I love winning, I also love our lowered football standards. It’s fun to cheer for a team with a fanbase that celebrates first downs like we just beat Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.

• Would you suffer through epic hemorrhoids for the rest of your life if the United States could win the medal count at the Summer Olympics for the remainder of your lifetime? Probably. Even though the new Preparation H commercial makes it seem like having ‘roids feels like a cactus is growing into your butt, I pride myself on being a patriot. Throw in the Winter Olympics and it’s a no brainer. After some relaxing bargaining games, it’s time for the final stage.

Stage 5: Acceptance

I accept that the US Women’s National Team wasn’t the best team on the field on Sunday. That is all I am willing to accept.

I had an absolute blast watching the Women’s World Cup. Our team displayed an embarrassment of riches in personality, spirit, and athletic ability. I found the person I want to be like when I grow up: Pia Sundhage. I experienced the most excitement I’ve ever been a part of as a spectator during the Brazil game. So, we didn’t win this year. The fact that we didn’t bring home the trophy means we might get the joy of seeing a 35-year old Abby Wambach return in 2015 to try and get the victory that still eludes her (stay healthy, Abby). And the next Summer Olympics give us a chance to cheer on our team in a major international competition, again. Personally, I resisted taking any interest in soccer for about 20+ years, and this team got me to surrender to World Cup Fever. I couldn’t be more proud.

In Pia We Trust.

Observation: To assist you in moving through your stages of coping, I recommend the assistance of food. Between the hours of 4:30 and 9:00 on Sunday, I ate the following:

• Jumbo size buttered movie popcorn;

• 2 Baja Chicken Chalupas, a soft taco, and a Steak Quesadilla from Taco Bell;

• A Hot Fudge Sundae from McDonald’s;

• Four Doughnuts (2 cake, 1 glazed and 1 cruller); and

• A bowl of cereal.

When your waistband is cutting off bloodflow to parts of your body and your husband-roommate looks at you with junk food contempt, losing to Japan seems less important than trying not to throw up.

"Spotlight of the Month" by Guest Blogger

Posted by Ally Tucker on July 15, 2011 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (1)

**The following blog entry was submitted by a fellow former co-worker at Eastern State. This is her 2nd contribution to Tucker's Tales as a Guest Blogger. The blog entry speaks for itself....

"Spotlight of the Month"

by Anonymous Hospital Employee


Suspend reality and basic common sense as I invite you to Eastern State Hospital...


Many of you have shown interest in my job as a Mental Health Associate. This is probably due to the serious life-saving work that my fellow co-workers and I accomplish. Hey, coffee doesn't drink itself! However, many of your have only heard half of the story. The truth is there is a very serious contest conducted every month at ESH. The winner of said contest gets their very own picture taken which is placed in the monthly newsletter along with their answers to 16 hard hitting questions. I've never been let in on the secret details of how such employees are chosen. I have often questioned the validity of this award due to the fact that I have never been nominated. Ludicrous, I know. I imagine that there must be some sort of electoral college establishment involved in the selection process. This would explain how I could have possibly lost 47 months in a row. Like Al Gore, I'm winning the popular vote, but sadly, my brother is not the governor of Florida.


Thanks bro!


Like being President, winning Spotlight of the Month provides you with the unique opportunity to force your opinions and thoughts down other people's throats. However, the people that have been winning this prestigious honor have just ruined it, and here's how:


#1 How long at the hospital? - Okay, this one is a give-me.

#2 Something people don't know about you? - Here is where 100% of the people who answer this questionnaire begin to go wrong. Everyone picks some irrelevant fact about their life. If no one knows about it, it's probably because it makes you look a) boring or b) like a criminal. However there are options, people! For instance you could answer with the number of people you've slept with! This is completely relevant as everyone at that place under the age of 35 hooks up like we're on the cast of Grey's Anatomy.

#3 Where were you born? - Kind of a boring question. Spruce it up by lying!


#4 Favorite restaurant? - Oh you can afford to eat out at restaurants? Good for you.

#5 Favorite beverage? - Unacceptable answers include but are not limited to: water, diet anything, soda, and tea. How about you love a good martini straight up on the rocks with a twist. I have no idea what those words mean, but it sounds more bourgeois than water.

  I love water too, in the form of ice.


#6 Favorite TV Show? - People who answer: "I never watch TV" are lying snobs, and people who answer with a television station or multiple shows would fail at the game Simon Says. As a television connoisseur, I sympathize that this may be a tough call, but life is full of hard decisions. Start with the small stuff.

#7 Top 2 movies of all time? - 90% of people say their favorite show is something garbage like Dancing With the Stars, yet want to state their favorite movie is a classic like Gone With the Wind. #1 I'm not buying it. #2 That movie is long and the ending sucked. Life is full of disappointments and failures, I don't need to watch a movie to make me feel melancholy. I want to laugh.. or see some people get murdered, ya know, whatever.

  My attention span is also gone...


#8 All time favorite cartoon character - if I see Bugs Bunny one more time I'm going to start taking hostages.

#9 If you weren't doing this you would be? - Quit telling us you would be a lawyer or an accountant. How about happy, richer, or a porn star? Something legit.

#10 What was on your grade school lunch box? Ugh, I'm so tired of people saying they didn't have a lunch box. Oh did you walk to school barefoot uphill to school both ways in the snow for 12 miles too?

#11 All time favorite athlete? - The only wrong answer here is "I don't watch sports"... or I guess "OJ Simpson".

#12 The theme song for your TV show would be? - Again, a tough call. Right of the bat I can tell you anything in the genre of country music is going to be the wrong answer; and don't go with the obvious current Top 40 Hits. Think of the best song ever written.. and choose that.

#13 The world would be a better place if... - Classic wrong turn here. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE says "If we all just hugged, held hands, and sang kumbaya". You disgust me.

   This is how germs are spread...


#14 The last book I read was... - Don't say you don't read. We don't care if you've been working on Crime and Punishment for 3 years.

#15 Four people in history you'd most like to have dinner with - this question was what inspired me to write this piece in the first place. I can't even count how many times I've seen four names out of this list: Jesus, MLK, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ghandi, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Jackie O, Bobby Kennedy, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah, FDR, and Ronald Reagan. I mean honestly people. First of all I want you to ask yourself how is that dinner going to go? What are you going to wear? What are you going to ask/say? What restaurant are you going to suggest to THE SON OF GOD? Hmm? No seriously? Are we going to go to your favorite restaurant which is probably Bone Fish or Qdoba? Who is going to foot that bill? Will Jesus turn your water into wine to save money? If Marilyn, JFK, and Jackie all show up do you think that would be a little awkward? If Oprah Winfrey puts a new life under your seat are you going to jump and down and scream? No, you're going to sit there and text your friends "OMG this is so awkward! Like do I apologize to Jesus? Him and Mother Theresa seem to be good friends but Jackie just keeps givin Marilyn the stink eye, I'm scared. Reagan just showed up and he wasn't technically invited, do I ask the waitress for another chair? This table is so small? AH!!!" Yea, I'm calling a formal bullshit on all of you

   How's the family?


#16 The most influential person in your career has been? - This is a trap. They said ONE person. Name someone outside of ESH and save yourself the headache of having to say "No, no! You've been super inspirational to me TOO!!!"

There it is folks. Now, I wrote this in honor of one special person today. Ally Tucker. It is her last day of work at Eastern State. We wish her good luck. In honor of her departure I've decided to pose to Ally a real Spotlight of the Month to answer on her phenomenal blog TuckersTales.net - check it out. If she chooses to tackle the 16 questions then you will have not one, but two fine reads ahead of you, as I am going to leave you with my own answers.


#1 How long at the hospital? 3.5 years

#2 Something people don't know about you? I'm in the witness protection program.

#3 Where were you born? On an airplane over the Atlantic.

#4 Favorite restaurant? Chez Starvation. They have a mean Ramen Noodle.

#5 Favorite beverage? Vodka and grapefruit. I know, I'm a health nut.

#6 Favorite TV show? Snapped. I like to learn while I watch television.

#7 Top two movies of all time? Silence of the Lambs and Super Troopers.

#8 All time favorite cartoon character? Natasha Fatale

#9 If you weren't doing this you would be... Drunk.

#10 What was on your grade school lunch box? Beauty and the Beast.

#11 Favorite athlete of all time? Kerri Strug. Epic.

#12 The theme song for your TV show would be... Take it Easy by The Eagles

#13 The world would be a better place if... Everyone carpooled - you have friends to complain about your job with on the way to work, and a DD on the way home from work. Oh, and you can save the environment!

  Work hard. Play hard.


#14 The last book I read was... The Mysterious Island - just a hint, read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea first, no one told me that until the last 12 pages.

#15 Four people in history you'd most like to have dinner with...Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (to see if they would adopt me) & Chelsea Handler and her agent (to see if they would make me famous) So maybe they're not dead but they're making modern day history so suck it, it's my dinner party.


#16 The most influential person in my career has been: Nurse Jackie.



She's got the right idea....

(This is Tucker speaking/typing now....)  

Thanks to Tess for her brilliant blog and Q&A session. And thank you for now giving me the opportunity to answer the 16 hard-hitting questions..... I've been jipped for 2.5 years on getting this chance. Here goes nothin'......

#1) How long at the hospital?     2.5 years of .... time toward state retirement

#2)  Something people don't know about you?  I've slept with 67 people...just kidding. But I have swallowed 67 gold fish in one night. Boom.

#3) Where were you born?         Gragg 1, the geriatric unit at Eastern State. 

#4) Favorite Restaurant?              Megowen (after 2.5 years I still don't know how to spell it) Dining Room at Eastern State.....but only on the following days: Pizza days, fried chicken days & cheeseburger days. NEVER on Chili Dog Day or Sauteed Beef Tips Over Noodles Day. I repeat, NEVER!!!!

#5)   Favorite Beverage?    The lingering taste of Crystal Light in my mouth after making a batch for the patients. Also enjoy blowing my nose and having it be purple when I make grape flavor! 

#6) Favorite TV Show?                      Mostly I enjoy when I get to watch UK basketball games or World Cup games at work.... while getting paid. Cheers, ESH!

#7)    Top Two Movies of All Time? The movie I plan to write one day about my experiences while working at Eastern State....and the sequeal, "ESH 2.0....Breaking Ground On The New Hospital"

# 8 ) All Time Favorite Cartoon Character?  Bugs Bunny....jk Tess. I hate cartoons. 

#9) If you weren't doing this you would be? Monday Night Karaoke. 

#10) What was on your grade school lunch box?   Hope, the ESH hair stylist

#11) Favorite Athlete of All Time? Hope Solo & Abby Wambach are tied.....with me at ESH during the summer of 2010. Did you see how many wins I got in "Around the World?" They named the court after me..."The Dark Ally"

#12) The TV Theme Song for your TV show would be?    "Here Comes the Hotstepper"

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#13) The world would be a better place if....?    The United States Women's National Team wins the World Cup on Sunday....

#14) The last book I read was.....   Any 1 of the 183 books I read while sitting on close during my 2.5 years at Eastern State. Oopsies. 

#15) Four people in history you'd most like to have dinner with? Michelle Kwan so I could give her the gold medal that is rightfully hers (that I made in leather crafts class at ESH), Tara Lipinski (Maaaaan, how awkward would that be for her when she sees me giving Michelle her gold medal....plus I bet Michelle would open hand slap her at some point in the night), Pia Sundhage (just read the most recent blog entry on here entitled "Short Hair Don't Care" if you want to know why), and Tyra Banks (I want to test out my ability to give a full frontal lobotomy). 

#16) The most influential person in my career as has been? Oh wait, being an MHA has nothing to do with my career. Next question. 

"Short Hair, Don't Care" by Guest Blogger Cole Adams

Posted by Ally Tucker on July 14, 2011 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (2)

Hey remember this face/name from Tucker's Tales Celebrity Survivor? (that went well, huh?)

Please welcome Cole Adams back to Tucker's Tales. She has dropped by to grace us with her first (hopefully of many) Guest Blog Entries. I have to be honest....this blog that she wrote might be the funniest thing I have read on here in a long time. Hats off to you, Cole. 

"Short Hair, Don't Care"

By Cole Adams


Like many 5 and 6-year old children, my parents signed me up for packball—commonly known as soccer for people who aren’t tall enough to ride rollercoasters. My fond soccer memories include:

1. A kick directly to the face by a teammate which resulted in a bloody nose and my coach attempting to carry me off the field like a baby while I tried my best to squirm out of his arms. My nose was bleeding, but my legs still worked, jackass.

2. Eating oranges until I was ready to vomit.

3. My mom sitting in her plum with gold trim Chrysler Town & Country minivan drinking coffee and reading the paper. She was a child of the Cold War and soccer was not the sport of democracy.

Despite being 4 feet tall and weighing 36 pounds (do the math, that’s not a pound per inch), I was brainwashed into switching from soccer to flag football as a tater tot . . . Clearly, football was a sport in which I had reasonable hopes for endorsements, a professional contract, or, at the very least, a scholarship.

As I got older, soccer meant one of two things. Option A was my conscription into service as a ball girl for Transy soccer games. Allegedly, the women’s soccer and softball teams were “sister sports” at Transylvania and, as a member of the softball team, I was responsible for acting as ball girl at a few soccer games each season. I HATED it. Why? Because the soccer players were mean and yelled at me. Why? Because it was obvious I wanted to be day/evening drinking somewhere and was constantly out of position. A stationary wheelbarrow full of inflated soccer balls would have been more useful. Option B was that I was attending a Transy soccer game as a fan. In turn, that meant either I had been daydrinking or I had been daydrinking and needed an excuse to put on facepaint.

Unfortunately, between my youth soccer experience and college soccer experience, I was the stereotypical American soccer fan. For instance, I cared just enough about soccer during World Cup years to skip class/work and meet people at a bar in the morning to watch soccer/be a Patriot/get my drink on (see a theme?). But that all changed when I met (aka Google stalked) Pia Sundhage.


I am utterly obsessed with the US Women’s National Soccer Team, now. Sure, Hope Solo is a badass—best goalie in the world, hot, baby voice, purple jersey, bionic shoulder. We get it. At this point, I’d like to be head butted by Abby Wambach just to know how it feels to be the tying goal against Brazil or the go ahead goal against France. Megan Rapinoe scored against Colombia and grabbed ESPN’s corner microphone to sing a brief bit of “Born in the USA.” Awesome. But why is our US Women’s Nation Team able to rock so hard? Battle through the 123rd minute of a quarterfinal game after being a woman down from the 65th minute? Keep really tiny head bands on their heads for an entire game? I submit one answer: Coach Pia Sundhage.


Top Ten Reasons You Can’t Love Pia Enough:


1. I’m 95% certain she didn’t wear a bra during the game against Brazil. Pia says, “Short hair, don’t care.

2. She has cleaned up and reunited our Women’s National Team after our calamitous appearance in the 2007 World Cup. Pia’s first step in repairing the damage done to the team (mostly in the morale department) was singing Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A Changin” a cappella at the first team meeting of her first team training camp.

3. Speaking of Bob Dylan, former National Team defender, Kate Markgraf, has noted one of Pia’s many selling points is that she knows all of the lyrics and most of the guitar riffs to the collective works of Bob Dylan.

4. The saying “those who can’t do coach” does not apply to the Swedish soccer mastermind. She was on the Swedish national team for approximately 22 years (longer than some readers have been alive), finished 6th in FIFA voting for Women’s Player of the Century, and in 1988 was featured on a Swedish postage stamp. Seriously, your face on a stamp pretty much means you’re a hero—unless you waste money getting photo stamps of you and your boo for wedding invites or, if you’re single, you and your cat for holiday cards.

5. Because her quotes are extremely awesome: a. On why Hope Solo is the team’s No. 1 goalkeeper, “She’s playing the most minutes . . .” b. On Abby Wambach before the Olympics, “Abby Wambach. Dear Abby. She is fantastic. She is great. You can ask any coach or player in Europe. They look at Abby and say, ‘Wow. That’s a good player.’ I’m very happy with the way she improved her game. When I saw her at the first camp in December, she was not good.” c. On beating France, “We didn’t play well today. France played well.” d. Most importantly . . . Her thoughts on ruining Marta’s trip to Deutschland, “It's hard to put all the feelings that are going through my head right now into words. I come from Sweden, but this core American value of bringing the best out of one another is infectious. I'm very proud and happy to be coach of the USA.”

6. Sweden might have taken a victory from us in group play, but we stole Pia from the desolate existence of Scandinavian winters. In fact, the Swedes are still a little broken up about it. Pia is so good she’s been rumored to be a candidate for the Swedish National Team coaching position . . . the MEN’S Swedish National Team.

7. After the United States beat Brazil, Pia celebrated by playing air guitar on her leg across midfield.

8. She looks like Pete Carroll but isn’t a bad person.


9. According to Coach Pia, since she took over the team in 2008, she’s been pissed at her players approximately three times. That sounds absolutely insane if you’ve ever been a member of a good, bad or ugly sports team. If you’ve observed Team Tucker’s Life Draft Round #3 Pick, Parviz, it sounds like an impossible anger calculation for three minutes of a game. Her players love her because she’s positive. Pia prefers to praise the good aspects of her team’s game rather than criticizing the weaknesses. And as we all know, women are weak so we need constant praise or else we’ll start crying and spontaneously combust into a PMS mushroom cloud.

10. Her substitutions have been on the money. As I’ve already detailed, my soccer education was acquired on the short bus. However, my roommate (who my mom refers to as my husband) has a ton of soccer knowledge. We’ve conferred and decided (and so has every other person with half a brain) that Pia has been spot on with controlling her line-up. Starting with the first game of group play, Pia’s substitution of Lauren Cheney for Megan Rapinoe as a starter led to a goal and a team USA win. Pia picked Becky Sauerbrunn (starting in her first World Cup game ever) to replace Rachel Buehler in the semifinal game against France and she played like a baller. Most notably, Rapinoe and Alex Morgan came off the bench in the game against Brazil and breathed new life into an exhausted team USA. You might also recall a ridiculous cross, parked on a dime, from Rapinoe to Wambach to keep the Red, White, and Blue alive. Pia’s coaching is dirty. I think she’s made a deal with the devil and I couldn’t be more pleased with that decision.

(Super Sub)

11. BONUS: She’s got sweet moves.

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I realize that many fans of this site are devoted soccer fans. I know you’ll be watching the game this Sunday whether Tucker’s Tales existed or not. For those of you who were like me BP (before Pia), I encourage you to turn off all the soccer comedy in your head, allow yourself to stop saying that women are “slower, lack skill, and are less physical,” and enjoy watching our women execute Coach Pia’s perfectly developed strategy to dismantle the tiny, androgynous, technical wizards that constitute the Japanese National Team. On Sunday, we’re going to drop a (nuclear) bomb on them . . . Too obvious? Yes. More tasteful than a tsunami joke? Questionable.


When a reporter asked her about President Obama coming to the World Cup Final on Sunday, Pia said, "I would say to him, just like to anyone, make if it you can. Because it is going to be phenomenal." You should tune in, too, because Coach Pia is never wrong.

"Stained Sweater Vest" by Guest Blogger David Scull

Posted by Ally Tucker on June 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Please welcome back Guest Blogger David Scull for his second contribution to Tucker's Tales. 

Beyond the Sweater Vest: Buckeye Scandal Reveals Deeper Issues

by David Scull


In light of the recent fallout in Columbus over allegations of widespread corruption and cheating, there have been calls from many questioning the NCAA laws on amateurism and benefits. After all, these kids are 18, 19, 20 years old, and many come from underprivileged backgrounds. Why shouldn't they be allowed to take a free meal every once in a little while, or maybe get a shirt or two for their efforts? In fact, its gotten to the point where some are calling for players to get paid, essentially turning intercollegiate athletics from an amateur game into a full-blown semi-professional operation.

Many will say that people like me are naive to think that any school is clean. They are emphatic that cases like the one in Columbus are closer to the norm than the exception. I will agree that kids at nearly every single Division 1 school in the country takes the occasional free drink at the bar, or maybe takes a break on a bill at a restaurant because of who they are. I also agree that it is virtually impossible for any school's compliance department to be aware of every single little violation that occurs under their watch. But to try and absolve a school like Ohio State or a coach like Jim Tressel (of sweater vest fame) of any blame in the current scandal is laughable. What happened in Columbus seems to be a clear example of a school which refused to empower their compliance department to do their job. They were too afraid to challenge the coach or report blatant violations by players who are treated like Gods. Terrelle Pryor reportedly has driven at least 8-10 different vehicles since he arrived on campus his freshman year. You would have to be blind not to see this as a coach or a staff member. Tressel clearly has the gift of sight, so this indicates complacence. I don't want to rehash the entire incident, but sufficed to say, his guilt has been established.

(Unlike Jim Tressel, Helen Keller did not have the gift of sight)

What I am concerned about is the larger issue which this has broached. The issue of amateurism. Is it realistic to expect kids not to take benefits? In the light of recent massive money TV contracts and record revenues for the biggest programs, why shouldn't student-athletes get a piece of the pie? Schools are making money hand over fist while the kids get nothing. Nothing? This is a fallacy. Kids are getting a free education, tons of free clothes and gear, free room and board, free books, and if they live off campus, they get a living stipend. I was a member of a Division 1 football team for a short time, and I can tell you everybody lived comfortably, and to my knowledge nobody took extra benefits. Even beyond this fact, there are several reasons that paying players simply cannot work.

First, due to equality laws, you can't pay football players and nobody else. You have to pay every student athlete. In about 95% of Division 1 schools, football and basketball are the only revenue sports. Every single other sport already costs the school money to operate. If you make these schools pay all student-athletes, the first move most would make is to begin eliminating sports left and right. No more women's rowing, no more lacrosse, no more swimming, soccer, or track & field. It is not a sustainable model.

(Are you prepared to say goodbye to Women's Division 1 Bowling? I'm not....)

Second, even if the NCAA can swing it so only student-athletes in revenue sports must receive a stipend, there are only a select amount of athletic departments that could afford that measure and remain profitable for their institutions. This would probably include the BCS conference schools and a few of the larger non-BCS programs (BYU, Boise State, etc.). The athletic budgets of schools like Kent State and Marshall just aren't built for that type of system, nor are many of these schools inclined to include themselves in such a system. Believe it or not, many schools are academic institutions first, and would frown upon such emphasis and benefits being bestowed upon student-athletes.

There is also the proposal that Steve Spurrier, everyone's favorite visor enthusiast and head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, put forward early last week. He suggested that the all of the coaches in the SEC pay each player on their dress list $300 per game. That's 80 players. So, $24,000 per game. Over 12 regular season games (not to mention any kind of bonuses for post-season participation, etc.), that would cost each coach $288,000 per season. That's fine for Spurrier, who makes over 2 million annually, but what about James Franklin (Vandy's coach)? He makes $750,000 per season. I am not so sure he is as gung-ho about this idea. Besides, everybody knows that if any such resolution was passed, Spurrier would go straight to the athletic director and get a raise of roughly $288,000 dollars per season.

Ultimately, if the NCAA or its member schools try to institute the paying of players, it could only result in a split between the haves and the have-nots (which is one of the rumored results of the current BCS mess anyways). We could see the 70 or so major programs become their own separate entity. It may work for football, but think of what would be lost with the rest of the sporting world. Basketball would never be the same. The NCAA tournament would be a shell of its former self. No more Butler, Gonzaga, George Mason, etc.

Personally, I don't believe that stipends of any kind above what student-athletes already receive are a good idea. At all. They are absolutely impractical and they wouldn't solve any problems anyway. No matter how much you give a kid, there will still be a certain section of the population with their hands out, believing they are entitled to more. Whether you scoff at the notion of amateurism or not, it is still key to what college athletics are all about. The answer is for schools to step up to the plate, to not be afraid of empowering their compliance teams, and to police rogue boosters, instead of just accepting their money, no questions asked. The Ohio State case will be a good test for the NCAA. Will they go light, or will they drop the hammer on the Buckeyes for what amounts to complete loss of institutional control? The situation is entirely in their hands.

"Becoming a Karaoke Regular" by Guest Blogger: Colleen Tucker

Posted by Ally Tucker on May 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Let me take a moment to introduce you to our newest Guest Blogger, my own flesh and blood, my sister.....Colleen Tucker. 

Colleen hails from the same uterus as I do. Colleen is my older sister (although people often confuse our birth order...sorry Colleen, but the truth had to be told). Colleen is just like me, except she's older, smarter and funnier. Oh, and she can karaoke better than I can too. Which is why I invited her to come on the blog and share with all of us some tips on how to become the best karaoke regular possible. You see, I have just recently begun to dip into the world of becoming a karaoke regular. Colleen has been karaoking on the reg for years now. She is a well known commodity on the Bardstown Road karaoke scene (and yes, there is a scene there...I doubt any one street has as many karaoke spots as Bardstown Road). 

Anyway, Colleen stopped by to share her wealth of knowledge, as she has so many times in our lives, to her little sis (and all of you all). Thanks Kees! (If you know what I mean when I say "Kees" than you know you are a close friend of ours)

"How To Become A Karaoke Regular" by Colleen Tucker


Congratulations. You’ve made the wise decision to become a karaoke regular. I have a couple bits of advice, things I’ve picked up over the years, to help you be the best karaoke regular you can be.

1. Pick your first song wisely. This will set the stage and let the karaoke guy know whether he wants to give you more or less songs as the night progresses. This is not the time to sing the new Justin Beiber song you kind of know. You want to pick a song that you know so well you could sing it even if there were no words on the screen. Starting the night with a great song will build your confidence and inspire your song selections for the rest of the night.

2. Don’t burn out after the first song. You’ve got to build up to your best number. You want to start strong, but save your best song, your trump card, for your second or third song. You want to hit your dougie somewhere between midnight and 1am.

3. Don’t sing the same song every time you go. This may be the hardest advice to follow. I know I want to sing Ballroom Blitz every Monday, but you’ve got to restrain yourself. Leave them wanting more. Try to remember your all-star numbers too. If you ever visit a new karaoke bar or bring friends you want to impress to your karaoke bar, you’ll have several homeruns ready to knock their socks off.

4. No more than 2 people should sing a karaoke song together. Exceptions are bachelorette parties and birthdays. It’s fun for you, but everyone else hates it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen 10 frat guys “singing”, really yelling, Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s a good song, but not when that many people sing it together.

5. Tip the karaoke guy. It may be the first time you’ve heard Bad Romance this week, but he’s heard it 47 times. You tip for drinks, tip for songs. Building a relationship with the guy in charge of the music is the most important job of a regular. Start by tipping often and early, back it up with good song choice, and you’ll be one of the gang in no time.

6. Never go to karaoke if you have something important to do the next day. “One more song” has been known to keep people out later than intended. Karaoke responsibly.

7. Save the weird stuff for the end. Maybe you’ve been dying to sing 3 is the Magic Number (one of my favorite late night choices), but a lot of other people in the bar either don’t know or don’t like that song. Wait till they’ve been drinking for a while to sign up for that one.

8. Be a good audience member. This is something I firmly believe in. You don’t have to pay attention to everyone’s song, but you better applaud and cheer like a maniac when their finished. If you can, sing along with them (just stay in your seat, nobody likes the drunk sidekick they never asked for). Karaoke is supposed to be fun, and the more enthusiastic you are, hopefully the more supportive everyone will be when you sing.

9. Don’t chase the weirdos, they’ll come to you. I’ve met a drunken cowboy, a homeless man with a bedazzled Sponge Bob Square Pants hat, and a numerologist who believed Harry Potter was real. I didn’t have to initiate any of these conversations. This brings me to my next bit of advice…

10. Have an escape plan. You’ve got to become a regular with a good group of people at your side. Choose your karaoke friends wisely. If drunk cowboy’s been chatting with you for too long, hopefully you’ve brought a friend that can come rescue you. It’s also nice to have a bartender friend who will kick out the more dangerous riff raff, but that’s not usually necessary.

I’m sure there’s more than I’ve come up with here, but you’ll just have to figure the rest out on your own. Being a regular is a blast. Have fun and keep singing!

#Hashtag AKA #BestBlogEntryEverWritten

Posted by Brandon Daulton on May 11, 2011 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)


The above is a conversation anyone in America today can probably decipher.  But, thanks to Twitter, we now have a new addition to pop culture lingo: The Hashtag - and it's taking America by storm.

Slam Magazine, as pictured above, is even getting in on the act.  That magazine cover is pretty self explanatory, and I think everyone would have understood perfectly if it said "Ready For Primetime."  However, Slam wanted to make a deeper impact on society at large.  So they went with the increasingly popular hashtag.

So, how is the hashtag used?  Well, there are several ways, and I'm going to give them to you.

1. First and foremost, the hashtag is used on the Twitter.  It is used to group tweets with other tweets that reference the same subject.  For instance, at 11:16 on Wednesday night, 5/11/11, some of the current hastags are:


  • #dontgetmestarted (Don't EVEN get me started....)
(You may recognize "Jeannie Darcy")

  • #whitepeoplesayings (You know, like "I'm not racist, I voted for Obama)

  • #Icanttrustyouif (One such example appears below, in a slightly more bedazzled form)

So, these are examples of the classic way that you use the hashtag.  However, as with all trends, the in-crowd comes up with innovative uses.

2. In daily conversation, either verbal, text, or other forms of social media.

The hashtag in daily conversation can be any of the things you would actually say on the Twitter.  A popular one can be summed up in this photo:
You got it - #longhairdontcare.

Now, I must admit, I had to ask Ally Tucker how to properly use #longhairdontcare.  Not that I wasn't throwing it out there from time to time - I certainly was.  But I realized I didn't really know what it meant.  But apparently, it just means that you don't give a shit.  Kinda like this lady:

Another one I use quite often is #sorryforpartying.  This can be used when you are partying, and do something stupid.  Or some stick in the mud judges you.  It's actually a very sarcastic way to tell someone, well, sort of that you don't give a shit.  For instance, you knock someone's drink over, and you get berated for it.  #sorryforpartying.
Yeah....you get the idea.

So what else?  Well, in addition to saying the hashtag aloud, many people (maybe even me) are actually saying the WORD hashtag before saying something.  You know, HashtagTAKEABREAKBIEBS!
(Apparently, based on WhatTheTrend.com, the Biebs has been a little under the weather, and his fans think he needs to take a little break from touring.  Basically, anything you can put the # in front of, you can actually say "Hashtag" to give it a little extra effect, or even to be a little facetious.  After all, not everyone is 100% into the Twitter yet.  Not really sure why I keep calling it the Twitter.  I tend to do that sometimes.

So, no longer is the hashtag representative of the pound sign on your phone, for referring to a certain number, or to a certain amount of pounds, or even for representing the "H" in the word "Shit" when they curse in the cartoons.  The hashtag is a symbol or word that emphasizes something with conviction.  It can be a word (#LAME, #drunk, #why? #boobies) a phrase (any of the above), or a song or artist that you want to make sure everyone who is having the same thought, will see (#JUSTINBIEBER, #WilliamHung, #LorettaLynn #NeverGonnaGiveYouUp).  The hashtag is whatever you want it to be.  

Within reason.  The hashtag is reserved for those statements that truly make an impact.  Please don't use it for boring things that would be sufficient to be said alone, without the hashtag, for instance a way you are feeling at 11pm while sitting at home watching TV with your aunt (#bored makes you sound #boring...).  Use it for a saying that is going to leave a mark on your friends, the Twitterverse (#sorry), or any other social networking site.  But most importantly, save the hashtag for these occasions where they really hit home.  Don't just throw them out like Randy Jackson throws out "Dawgs".
Don't abuse the hashtag.  Just think of what happens when you do...
Get on Twitter.  Observe the use of the Hash (I like the Hash for short).  Use it...but don't abuse it.  And by the way, #BigBrotherStartsJuly11th.  #PeaceOut.


The Twitter Account You're Not Following (But Should Be)

Posted by Richmond Bramblet on May 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

"90's of The Day" was created as an homage to all the great 90's music videos, movies, TV shows, commercials, ands sports moments from the era of most of our childhoods.  

Created by professional wrestler "Magnum" Joey Ryan:

(The Sleaziest)
Twitter: @joeyryanonline

Every tweet that he has produced so far has been a nice little trip down memory lane and I can only imagine what his mind will come up with next.

Sample Tweet:
90sOfTheDay: SPORTS -- "Bream to the plate!" 1992 NLCS Game 7 Braves vs. Pirates http://t.co/QBJjCHn via @youtube #90s

Sample Tweet:
90sOfTheDay: TV show of the day -- Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990) - PILOT SCENE 1 http://t.co/lsOswqf via @youtube

He is only six tweets in, but I encourage you to follow/share @90softheday with everyone and RT some of your favorite tweets to help "Magnum" get this account off the ground.  Maybe at some point, I could get him to write a guest "Raised by Television" if we help him out.

Thanks and Enjoy!

Q&A With Your Resident Derby Enthusiast: David Scull

Posted by Ally Tucker on May 5, 2011 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Please join me in welcoming yet another Guest Blogger to the site. You know we love your all's input. I was thrilled when David Scull agreed to write a Guest Blog post on the Derby. You see, I have never seen someone appear to be as genuinely excited about the Derby as Scull...and I have a lot of Louisville-obsessed friends. He takes the cake though. His Facebook statuses have been almost exclusively dedicated to the Derby since the day Louisville lost to Morehead State (Sorry Scull...had to throw that in there). 

David Scull hails from the same high school as me, South Oldham High School. They never gave awards called "Mr. South Oldham" or anything like that, but had they given such an award, Scull would have surely received it. He was not only everyone's favorite guy around campus, but he also attended and cheered like his life depended on it at virtually every sporting event our school had (except football, because he was on that team). I can't say this with 100% certainty....but pretty darn close anyway.....but I think he invented the famous South Oldham cheer that the student section loved during basketball games. It went a little something like this.....

(The cheerleaders would come over to the student section and try to prompt us to yell back the same thing that they yelled at us)

Cheerleader:  "Yell Green, Green!"

Fans (lead by Scull):  "Yell Grey, Grey!"

Cheerleader: "Yell Grey, Grey!"

Fans: "Green, Green!"

Cheerleader: "Yell Green!"

Fans: "Grey!"

Cheerleader: "Grey!"

Fans: "Green!"

Cheerleader: "Everybody say HEY!"


Best cheer sequence ever. Anyway, without further ado....please give a warm welcome to Guest Blogger DAVID SCULL....

"Q & A with your Resident Derby Enthusiast"

By David Scull

I am a Derby-phile. This is a known fact. I love anything and everything about the Kentucky Derby. It has been brought to my attention that there are people out there that have no idea what the Derby is all about. This troubles me. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to educate the public in the form of a good old fashioned Q & A...with all of the questions and answers provided by me, myself, and I.


Q. What exactly is the Kentucky Derby? Is it some kind of a bluegrass-themed hat? I'm confused.

A. It's okay to be confused in the face of such awesomeness, especially if you haven't been properly prepared. The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race held in Louisville on the first Saturday of every May at the legendary Churchill Downs. Its the longest consecutively held horse race in the United States, as its been held every year since 1875. More importantly, it is a massive kick-ass party! Its a well-known fact that bourbon + gambling + fancy hats = FUN. Its simple math. Derby is one big excuse to have a couple of weeks of hard partying leading up to exactly two minutes of horse racing action...but what a ride!


Q. But Scull, I don't know how to bet on horses! How am I supposed to have fun at a horse race?

 A. Relax, young one. I have been betting on horses since well before I was of legal age to do so, and I still don't know what I am doing. I could spend the next several pages explaining dosage numbers, bloodlines, Beyer speed figures, the merits of dirt vs. polytrack, and the win percentage of Steve Asmussen's first time starters, but the truth is a beginning horse player is better off to come up with their own strategy and stick with it. I suggest something easy for beginners, like picking a favorite jockey (preferably a good one), trainer, or a quick look at the past performances. Start with light betting, maybe straight win, place (2nd), and show (3rd) bets before moving up to real degenerative stuff. Trust me, once you get your feet wet, you'll be wheeling trifectas and keying superfectas in no time.

 If all else fails, just pick a name you like, you'll probably win more money than me.

Q. Is there alcohol involved in such an event? Wouldn't that be dangerous to mix booze with such a large number of people?!?

A. Yes, there are a lot of people who partake in the festivities at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend, with about 100,000 attending the Oaks and 150,000 attending the Derby. And yes, alcohol is involved and can be perilous...but it can also be fun! It is a scientific fact that bourbon makes any event better.

(Note: no comprehensive research was done on this matter, but I have done extensive field research)

Q. What's a mint julep? Are they good? How do you make one?

A. Aaaaaaah, the mint julep. Louisville's famous cocktail recipe. Quite simply put, the mint julep is the sweet nectar of life. The only proper way to make a julep is to make your own simple syrup (not hard to do, heat and stir sugar and water together until it makes a good syrup), get some fresh mint, some crushed ice, and a fine Kentucky bourbon. I would start by muddling the mint in a glass (technically a silver tumbler, but they can be hard to come by in most situations), add crushed ice and simple syrup, then poor the bourbon on top of the ice/mint/syrup. You can mix by transferring to another glass once or twice. Garnish with another sprig of fresh mint and enjoy. If you don't like the result...give it to me, I'll drink it. These are by no means meant to be enjoyed responsibly.

Q. Is horse racing a good investment? It seems like its a fun way to make money!

A. Yes, of course it is! In fact, I suggest quitting your job and gambling on horses full time. Also, empty your 401K...this is the most foolproof plan since putting it all on red 17.

 (Note: David Scull is not a financial professional and should not be consulted for actual financial planning advice and guidance)


Q. What should I wear? What is the proper Derby attire?

A. Who the hell am I, Joan Rivers? Alright, I guess I can help a bit. If you're going to the infield, where shorts and a tee (or nothing, like Naked Cowboy always does), but if you're going anywhere else, dress up. And if you're a chick, wear a big-ass hat. The goofier the better.


Q. You mentioned the infield, I've heard that its quite a party! What can I expect if I go down there?

A. Mini Mardi Gras. Its hard to describe exactly what the infield is...I guess the best way to put it is that it can be whatever you want it to be. You'll get a spattering of street performers, said Naked Cowboy, young ladies who seem to have lost their shirts, families having picnics next to the young ladies who seem to have lost their shirts, overpriced food, booze, booze, and more booze...The trick with the infield is sneaking in your alcohol. They tend to pat down everybody who comes in, so naturally ladies have a natural advantage in this department, as a security guard is less likely to get handsy with a female (at least in theory). All I can say is if you go to the infield, pace yourself and employ the buddy system. It can get rough out there.

 (Note: The infield is not the best location for actually watching the race...just a thought)

 Q. So, who you got?

A. Down to the serious stuff. There are several horses that I try to throw out from the get-go, just to limit my scope in a 20 horse field. A couple of things to note, the Derby is a highly unusual race, as there are 20 entries (when the vast majority of other fields will have less than 14), its a 1 1/4 mile race (longest any of these horses have run to this point), and there is a massive crowd that the horses cannot ignore. The added traffic, often wet conditions, and added distance make for an unpredictable race. On top of that, this year's field is overall pretty mediocre and wide open. Frankly this is an incredibly hard race to handicap, but I'll give you some of my thoughts.

Back to the horses I was going to throw out. First, anything worse than a 4th place finish in their last prep is generally a bad sign. You can toss any horse with that characteristic right off the bat. Then, I have a personal bias against any horses coming out of the Keeneland prep races. nothing against the track (beautiful place), but ever since they went to polytrack (artificial racing surface), the winners of the Bluegrass Stakes and Coolmore have been duds in the Derby. So, in the interest of limiting my betting interests, I can throw out Brilliant Speed and Twinspired from the BG Stakes, and Derby Kitten from the Coolmore (Remember, this just means I don't think they can win. I bet a ton of exotics [trifectas, superfectas, etc.] and will use some of these ponies for those bets). Next, I'll take out all of the horses that finished worse than 4th in their last prep race. that eliminates Stay Thirsty, Soldat, Santiva, and Watch Me Go. A couple of horses I love drew challenging post positions. Archarcharch was one of my favorites, but he has drawn the 1 post, a very difficult starting spot prone to traffic. Uncle Mo and Nehro (two of my other favorites) have drawn far outside posts, which will keep them out of the main fray and early traffic, but unless your horse has early speed, you may end up taking a long route around an already long track. Luckily, Mo may have the early kick to overcome this.

I won't go in to detail about the rest of the process, but basically there are so many angles you can play on a race like this that you need to find your favorite and go with it. There is always a danger of information overload. Basically, in the end, I am looking at Dialed In, Mucho Macho Man, and pants On Fire for the top spot, with my choice being Mucho Macho Man. He lost a shoe at the gate in the Louisiana Derby and still got up for third. I feel like his pressing style will keep him close enough to the front pack that he will be in the hunt and ultimately will take the roses with a strong closing kick. I think the best closer (Dialed In) will be there in the end, but ultimately won't have enough room to get there before the wire.

Now that you've read all of that (and trust me I spared you a huge chunk of my thinking), I feel the need to inform you that I haven't picked a Derby winner in 15 years. So, maybe you should just pick your favorite name, or better yet, do what my sister does and bet big on every horse I throw out.

Alright, folks, hope you learned something. I could have literally written a novel about the Kentucky Derby, but I have a feeling that none of you would have read it. If you do make it to the Downs, make sure you stand during the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home", and sing the words loud and proud if you hail from the Bluegrass state. And if you happen to see a portly goateed gentleman with red cheeks and a tear in his eye, don't be alarmed, its just me ("My Old Kentucky Home" before the Derby gets me every time...). Good luck!

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