DEMAREE: UK Color man gets ready for season

The guys that sit behind the mike on Saturday's have their own conditioning program to get ready for Saturdays. Play-by-play announcer Tom Leach is a local radio personality and he absorbs a lot about what is occurring in the off-season with the football team just by being around. But what about the other half of the team color man Jeff Piecoro, who resides in Cincinnati and is removed from the day-to-day talk?

"I've gotten about half of the media guides. I'm reading Georgia's now. I picked up Phil Steele, the Athlon, and the Street and Smith publications," Piecoro said. "He (Steele) breaks it all down about as well as any." The Phil Steele magazine has now become the football bible it seems. Yours truly are weighing in.

The exciting and excitable broadcast team that followed Cawood Ledford and Jeff Van Note had big shoes to fill, but they have carved out a niche for themselves. "Obviously when Note couldn't do it anymore and I was doing the MAC, I got a call from Jim Host," Piecoro explained. "I sat down with Tom (Leach) and did a half of a TV game and from that point it was up to Jim and Mike Dotson. They brought in some other qualified people, also." Piecoro said he was making more money with the MAC but this is his Alma mater and he jumped at the chance to call their games.

Piecoro played on one of the best UK teams in the modern day era. His team went 9-3 and beat Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. How much does it bother him to see the Cats struggling now?

Piecoro said: "It bothers me the fact the Fran Curci said there's no reason that football and basketball can't coexist at UK. He said if they could just get to where they are winning 6 games every year, they couldn't build a stadium big enough. This makes it even more frustrating."

Some people see you as sometime being too much of a homer. What do you say to those people?

"Tom is so excitable and I'm a fan and I want something to happen because I graduated from here," Piecoro said. "It's exciting when I see a guard pull into the hole and kick out a d-tackle and the running back breaks off a good run – that's fun to watch and just want to bring it to the fans as colorful as I can. I don't listen to what people say about me but I will listen to what others in my profession say. They may have something helpful to say."

We ask Piecoro what he presently knew about the prospects for this year's addition of the Cats? I get on the Internet on some of the websites and I learn some thing about the Cats.

"Mike Archer was up here (Cincinnati) to a baseball game a couple weeks ago and he said we've got the most athletic linebackers we've ever had at UK. He said that we would be pretty good at the end of the year. He said we've finally got some size. And I heard coach say Brooks last week that they are going to be real good in 2006. I can see possibly five wins. We haven't beaten Tennessee since I played there and I am now 43 year old now. It's got to happen soon.

"From what I can see, this staff rivals the staff of the Blanton Collier era in the sixties." Piecoro said that he would be ready when the season commences.

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