Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio tells his origin story at Emerge14

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BY KAKIE URCH

The man who has the job that every Kentucky fan wants told a group of young leaders how he made that job for himself — through trial and failure.

IMG_0128Matt Jones, whose KSR “Kentucky Sports Radio” website is the “largest independent sports blog in the nation,” and who now has an actual radio show on 30 stations statewide, was once a lowly No. 2 graduate in his class from Duke Law.

He told the Emerge 14 crowd at the Farish Theatre how following his passion for UK basketball and being, first, lucky, and smart enough to ask a teenage Patrick Patterson about “American Idol” instead of his college pick all played into his success. He now does UK basketball for a living, covering games from the sideline. As a fan. The job that every fan covets.

The talk showed a bit of what got Jones, a native of Middlesboro, into Duke Law after Transy. He’s smart. He’s funny. And can make his case, point by point.  Through a series of anecdotes and analyses, he came back to five points and put them all together to make an argument.

He even offered a measured refutation of some of the criticism that’s been made of him by traditional media — and offered something of an apology. And, he offered homage to those who came before him, saying that Oscar Combs of “Cat’s Paws” was the pioneer of UK fan journalism.

As if he were a UK basketball player himself — fans in the crowd gathered afterward to ask him to take photos with them.

Kakie Urch is an associate professor of multimedia at the University of Kentucky and an Ace contributing editor.

Ace profiled Matt Jones as a New Media Model in the annual Ace-Year-in-Review issue in 2010.

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