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Bruce Almighty

September 20, 2006 by David Stephenson  
Filed under David Stephenson, Sports

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When you’re told to go photograph Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl, you generally think you’re heading to Rupp Arena or hitting southbound I-75 to Knoxville.

As a general rule, when you enter a high school gymnasium in Kentucky, it’s not going to look like opening day of deer season and you certainly won’t hear the band playing Rocky Top.

Instead, I headed north to Maysville last night and entered a kind of dreamland.

“It’s like the Twilight Zone, isn’t it?” said Kelly Clark, a former basketball player for Mason County High School in Jerry Tipton’s story in today’s Herald-Leader about Bruce Pearl’s visit to Maysville on Tuesday.

The heartfelt adoration that Mason Countians holds for their hometown hero Chris Lofton apparently makes them do crazy things, like root for UT where Lofton currently stars.


Pearl’s visit to Maysville included a stop at the Boys and Girls Club,
a stop at the Mason County gym for a public speech, and a long chat
with the Mason County head coach Chris O’Hearn (including some
conversation about Macon County’s current star, Darius Miller).

In a rather, umm, bold gesture, Ky. State Representative Mike Denham
presented Pearl with a certificate making him a Kentucky Colonel at the
end of a Rotary Club dinner.

A sea of orange in a Kentucky high school gym. The Tennessee head coach
being named a Kentucky Colonel. It’s not natural. I’m ready to wake up now.


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