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season never ends

By RENE CORNETTE

John Spalding’s love for calendars began at an early age when his parents gave him a new UK wall calendar every year for Christmas. Spalding always believed he could do a better job than the company who made the UK wall calendar. It was that belief and love for all things UK that inspired him to make a box calendar and fill every single day of the calendar year with a UK story that happened on that day.

Spalding made all of that a reality in 2007 when he paired up with fellow Lexingtonian and University of Kentucky graduate, Steve Mott, and made the first Season Never Ends calendar. This year will mark their sixth year making the calendar while sales continue to grow.

Spalding says this year’s calendar is packed with more great moments in UK history, trivia, fun facts and quotes while also going into a whole new genre by incorporating the world of Twitter.

“This year we really emphasized the fan base. We really tried to integrate the Big Blue Nation with this calendar. We found the biggest fans, the ones you should follow on Twitter and put them on the calendar. This is in my opinion the best one we’ve ever done,” Spalding said.

Spalding also pointed out that this year’s calendar was proofread by two devoted Kentucky fans whom he met on Twitter, Alena Nichols and Brian Couch.

Spalding goes on to acknowledge the calendar has been helped immensely over the years by many great Kentucky basketball players like Josh Harrellson, Scott Padgett and Kenny “Sky” Walker while crediting, Jeff Sheppard as being a key helper in the success of the calendar. “No fan should ever doubt Sheppard’s passion for the program,” said Spalding. “He is loyal to Pitino but make no mistake UK comes first. “

Spalding went on to say he also owes a debt of gratitude to Larry Vaught, whom he credited in last year’s calendar for a May 15 item with UK fan Megan Dills when she shared her feelings on the Kentucky-Indiana series ending and IU fans behavior in a story featured on vaughtsviews.com May 15 of the previous year.

This year’s Season Never Ends calendar cover will feature Jack “Goose” Givens and it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for any UK fan. It retails for $15.99 and can be bought at seasonneverends.com and retailers starting this week such as, Fan Outfitters, Kennedy’s Bookstore, Alumni Hall, All Sports, Kentucky Korner, Joseph Beth Booksellers, Calendar kiosks in Fayette Mall, Jay Dee Beckers in Louisville and Jeff Sheppard’s new store in London, just in time for the upcoming holiday season.

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you are looking for a Christmas gift for any University of Kentucky basketball fan, the 2013 Kentucky Basketball Calendar is for you. Once again, it is available at various retail outlets across the state or you can find more information in a rotating ad on the top left of the vaughtsviews.com home page.

I know I am proud this year that John Spalding credited vaughtsviews.com for a May 15 item with UK fan/Playboy model Megan Dills who was injured at last season’s Indiana-Kentucky game. When it became clear the teams would not play this season, Dills shared her feelings on the series and IU fan behavior in a May 15 story.

And is you use the code word “Larry” you can save $3 off the purchase price.

Spalding offered these other insights on his calendar, which is becoming more and more popular every year.

Question: Who is on the front of this year’s calendar?
Spalding: “The UK Mascot with a Unibrow (We wanted a shot of the national championship trophy or the banner, but the unibrow was just too funny. I wanted an image from the 2012 season, but those players are just too expensive).”

Question: What changes will UK fans see in the calendar? New posts? New information?
Spalding: “Every win from the 2012 season is here as well as ‘old’ gems from the past that we uncovered. Players that we couldn’t talk about from 2011 & 2010 because of eligibility (Lamb, Miller, Jones) changed how those stories were written. We’ve got commitments, NBA draft updates, and new angles — like the Megan Dills story. Plus, those little ‘bragging rights’ banners have been updated to include 8 national titles, 15 final fours, 12 Olympic gold winners, NCAA Tournament wins, SEC championships and of course 15 draft picks in the last three years.”

Question: What continues to make this calendar so popular with UK fans?
Spalding: “It’s a mix of things, starting of course with the recent success of the program. It’s an easy gift to give any fan (one size fits all). It’s not cost prohibitive. And there’s a vanity aspect to it. You put this on your desk at work and it just screams ‘Kentucky Basketball is awesome.’ Plus there’s nothing else like it made for any other school. This year we’ll ship to all 50 states and for the first time, a federal prison.”

Question: What is the most consistent comment you get about the calendar?
Spalding: “The most frequent comment is a question: ‘Is it different from last year?’ I find that the funniest on two levels. One is, yes, every page is different because there are new stories, games, commitments, players – Kentucky Basketball Never Stops, you know? (said a different way, The Season Never Ends!  Part two of that is, I’ve been writing this calendar for five years. There are more than 300 stories. I can’t even remember them all. So even if I kept all the same stories and just changed the dates, who would be able to tell? But what fun would that be … so each is totally different.”

Question: On dates with more than one big event, how do you decide which one to include?
Spalding: “March takes the longest to write. I could include five stories on each day of the month if we decided to do it. For a single day, February 15 is the toughest. That is anniversary of UK’s Bombinos upsetting Shaq and LSU in 1990, and also the date of the Mardi Gras Miracle in 1994 when UK came back from a 31-point deficit. Of course, for this year’s calendar I went with a story from 2011, when freshmen Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb combined for 44 as the No. 22 Cats handed Mississippi State an 85-79 loss.”

catalist

For IPhones/IPads, and new for Android devices, the Catalist app by Larry Vaught is the best way to keep up with UK basketball. It's free!

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