Musings from the Bald Prophet: The Toughest/Greatest Job in Lexington

Marc DaleyAnalyst IMay 1, 2009

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 13:  A referee holds a basketball during the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisiana State University Tigers during the second round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 13, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This article is part of a collection of the "best/worst" of local media around the country.  Lexington, Kentucky isn't as big as some of the cities which will be represented but, considering its No. 1 interest, it definitely belongs in the discussion. 

There's just one little problem, though.  Most people are going to nominate journalists based solely on the aspect of opinion and not ability.  For example, Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader gets flayed constantly even though he backs up his opinions with facts. 

I don't agree with him half the time, either, but when people were wondering if he or Gillispie would get fired first only because he questioned the move of firing Billy G. I thought it was a bit harsh.

OK, Alan Cutler (NBC affiliate WLEX 18) and Rob Bromley (CBS affiliate WKYT 27) could be considered UK homers, too.  But in Cutler's case it's hardly annoying.  He used to say before each UK basketball game "After the Cats win...".  That's not exactly Jack Edwards calling World Cup games. 

Bromley is obviously pleased when the Cats do well in his occasional role as play-by-play man for the early season games.  But he's not Johnny Most, who used to rail at refs every time Kevin McHale wasn't hacking up pieces of lung.  Most is considered a legend.

John Clay and Mark Maloney are the most solid local journalists in a city where covering UK sports is the best/worst job to have.  It's the best because almost every person would love seeing the games and talking to what some people regard as rock stars, plus get paid on top of it. 

It's the worst because every opinion is likely to get shot down in flames by dissent, no matter how solidly it's supported.  Clay and Maloney have been fair and unflappable for several years of doing this. 

So if you're looking for a piece that attacks the local media simply because they don't agree with your Bleacher Report colleague, look elsewhere (I can think of a few people but I'm good so I won't mention names).  In general, the local sports media represent themselves well in the toughest job they'll ever love.