I Like Mike - Kentucky's Starting Quarterback Mike Hartline

I Like Mike – Kentucky’s Starting Quarterback Mike Hartline

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Mike Hartline - Starting Kentucky Quarterback 2010
Mike Hartline Named Starting Kentucky Quarterback

Let’s start with a little logic exercise here:

- I am a good fan
- Good fans support the decision of the head coach
- The head coach went with Mike Hartline
- Therefore, I support the decision to go with Mike Hartline

That was easy, huh? Unfortunately, some fans are illogical. Because they were “present” at all the practices, team meetings, coaches meetings, and inside Coach Phillips’ mind throughout this process of selecting a starting quarterback at Kentucky, and they believe the Coach made a poor decision. And by “present,” I mean they read second and third hand accounts from message boards and blogs. Unfortunately for these fans, their definition of presence is severely lacking, and any negative feelings about Mike Hartline are unfounded.

Mike Hartline Kentucky Quarterback 2010 Starting
Mike Hartline
First, let me be up front about one thing: Mike Hartline is a friend of mine, and I think a lot of him. Heck, I even brought the kid to Hometown Pizza in Shelbyville, Ky. My brother Hunter, whose opinion I hold in the highest regard, is one of Morgan Newton’s best friends. My family is obviously very close with young Morgan Newton, and he might as well be a Montell in our book. I know Morgan took the news hard, and the young guy has every reason to be disappointed. I don’t know Ryan Mossakowski, but I have heard great things about that young man as well. I can only imagine he feels the same way. Its always hard when you have three great young kids working their tails off and only one of them gets the nod to lead their team. This is the nature of the game at a big time program, and I can only hope that Morgan and Ryan continue to work hard and keep their heads up. There are great days ahead for those boys.

At the end of the day, the coaching staff put their money on the #5 horse, and we should support that decision. While the other two guys show a lot of promise, there are many reasons to be excited about a General Hartline led campaign this season. Here are three:

1. This ain’t Mike’s first rodeo.

  • This will be Mike’s third year at the helm of this club. In 2008, the Cats were playing good ball under Mike’s leadership, starting the season 4-0. I was In T-town when the Cats almost pulled off the upset against the Rolling Tide. Mike hit Richard Lyons with a beautiful deep ball to put the Cats within 3 in the 4th quarter. When Dicky and speedster Derrick Locke down with mid season injuries, the coaching staff was left with few offensive weapons. The decision to adopt the WildCobb formation was a reflection of this, and not the result of the cowardly boos directed towards Mr. Hartline. How quickly people forget that absent the last minute heroics of one Matthew Stafford, the Cats would have taken down the Georgia Bulldogs in Lexington. And we would not have qualified for our third straight bowl game had Mike not almost single handedly taken down Arkansas, either. That year, Mr. Hartline completed 172 of 311 passes for 1,666 yards, completed 55.3% of his pass attempts and had a quarterback rating of 104.7. Not the terrible season as many would have you believe.
  • In 2009, Mike had the Cats 2-2 going into Columbia. The lone two losses: Florida and Alabama. I seriously doubt Timothy Couch nor Dre Woodson could get two wins in that stretch. Mike was just hitting his stride against the Chickens, before he went down with a leg injury. His track record is pretty good here, folks.

2. The kid is a soldier.

Mike Hartline UK Wildcats Quarterback
Mike Hartline Defeats UofL Cardinals
  • People seem to forget the 2009 Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Randall Cobb was out with an injury, leaving Mr. Hartline to the job of bringing home the hardware. Kentucky entered the game as an unranked 6-6 club, facing the 9-4 East Carolina Pirates. That club was ranked as high as 15th in the country that season. Winning that game was no small feat. But here’s the unreported story: Mike Hartine played the game sick. Really sick. The young guy had the flu so bad that he was rushed to the locker room in between series. Mike won that game under conditions that most of you would take off a week of work for. Never question the kid’s commitment to this team.

3. Mike Hartline brings a lot to the table.

  • I sincerely believe that Mike’s best days are ahead of him. Don’t get it twisted, we aren’t talking about little Todd Reesing. Mr. Hartline stands 6-6, and was a Ohio state high school hurdles champion. He comes from the same bloodline as Ohio State superstar wideout Brian Hartline, his older brother. With five years to learn this offense, there is no doubt in my mind that Mike has all the tools necessary to absolutely get it done this year.

So for all the haters: Mike Hartline is back, better than ever. And the fact that the coaching staff went with him over the two young studs Newton and Mossakowski, this fan base should be behind him 110%.

Mike Hartline - Kentucky Quarterback Joker Phillips Named
Mike Hartline Will Lead This 2010 UK Team

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Comments 10

  1. Jon Cooper
    Commented : 4 years ago

    The simple fact that he wears a glove on this throwing hand in warm weather definitely made him the QB to beat in camp.

  2. Jon Cooper
    Commented : 4 years ago

    And made him the obvious choice to be the starter.

  3. Drew
    Commented : 4 years ago

    To read more articles about Joker Phillips naming Mike Hartline as the starting QB, check out this list of links at A Sea Of Blue.

  4. Ryan
    Commented : 4 years ago

    That is funny Jon!

  5. Drew
    Commented : 4 years ago

    For further reading, check out these articles on TailgateReview.com:

    Hartline Announcement
    Thoughts on Hartline as QB
    Talking about QBs around Water Cooler

  6. Dan
    Commented : 4 years ago

    It was Ford that Hartline hit to bring it within 3. And it wasnt a deep pass if I remember correctly, it was a short pass that Ford broke for 50 yards.

  7. Tyler
    Commented : 4 years ago

    He hit Dicky On a third down that put them in that position. You’re right though, Dicky didn’t go in himself.

  8. Tyler Montell
    Commented : 4 years ago
  9. randy sanders
    Commented : 4 years ago

    how is that decision to go with the glove looking now?..it’s funny you bring up that “beautfiul” throw that mike made in the alabama game a couple years ago…the thing that really brings back vivid memories for me is when ol’ mikey did something that not many quarterbacks have ever done..he actually threw the ball and instead of it going forward like most quarterbacks mike’s slippery hands cost us big and he threw it behind himself..which alabama easily scooped up and scored six points…we went on to lose that game by…what was it again?…17-14?…if we would have had a mediocre quarterback we could have had a good shot to win that game which easily could have been the biggest road game in school history..but no..you forget about your boy’s epic failures in that game and the costly turnovers by mike that have killed us in countless other games..come on man..not your best stuff..if you are going to talk about liking a guy you shouldn’t talk about how you know the guy..as soon as you say that you know him it instantly makes you lose credibility on the subject

  10. Tyler
    Commented : 4 years ago

    Hey randy, I’d say the second highest grossing passer in the SEC is playing pretty well.