A day after ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit was quoted as saying Kentucky football is “like an appetizer before the real thing starts,” he took to Twitter to explain the seeming dig was taken out of context.
“I’m a Mark Stoops fan. You, and anyone else, who thinks I was blasting UK football is dead wrong. Taken out of context — what a shock!” he tweeted about 9 a.m. Thursday.
Herbstreit attended a fundraiser for the Parklands of Floyd Fork on Wednesday where he spoke about a number of topics including Louisville Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and his “College GameDay” co-host Lee Corso.
But it was his Kentucky football comments that drew the notice of Big Blue Nation on Wednesday.
“Not as many people pay attention to (UK football) because it’s a basketball world,” Herbstreit was quoted as saying by the Courier-Journal at the event. “… But when you’re at a place like Kentucky ... they like the football, but it’s almost like it’s an appetizer before the real thing starts. That’s just the reality of their history. I think Mark understands that. Hal Mumme won, what, seven games and they named a street after him? That tells you all you need to know. I think at Alabama, they’ll fire you for winning seven. At Kentucky, they name a street after you. It’s all based on expectations.”
The full context of Herbsteit’s comments praised Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops and the job he has done, but when the “appetizer” snippet is condensed into the 140 character count of the world of Twitter, perceptions don’t always jibe with intent.
Herbsteit has spoken well of UK football in the past and picked the Cats as one of his six surprise bowl teams ahead of last season. Kentucky ended up making good on that prediction with an upset win over Louisville and a TaxSlayer Bowl appearance.