By Jeff Goodman
He may be the most level-headed Kentucky fan out there. I know, that's the ultimate oxymoron.
In all seriousness, if Ashley Judd is UK's No. 1 fan, then No. 2 could be a dead heat between Josh Hopkins or maybe World Wide Wes.
Hopkins is a Lexington native who co-stars with Courtney Cox in the show Cougar Town, which makes its Season 3 debut tonight (the show changed from Wednesday's to Tuesday's) at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. I'm not shy in admitting I was a huge fan of the sarcastic comedy filled with one-liners well before I first spoke to him shortly after Kentucky's win over North Carolina earlier this season.
"It's a really poorly named show," Hopkins said from New York City on Monday night. "There are no cougars in it. People think it's about some 40-year-old looking for young man when it's actually about a bunch of friends who drink wine and make fun of each other."
The 41-year-old Hopkins went to Auburn, but has been a diehard Kentucky fan since he can remember. He's taken in a handful of games this season in-between shooting the 15 episodes they recently completed for the season, plans to go to the SEC tournament in New Orleans and also the Final Four -- as long as his top-ranked 'Cats made it.
"If 10 is completely irrational on a scale of 1 to 10," Hopkins said. "I'd say I'm a 11."
"I don't just think about this team all the time," he added. "I'm thinking about next year and even the year after with possibly the Harrison Twins."
Hopkins talks about the length of this team led by freshman Anthony Davis, the remarkable job John Calipari has done and that Kentucky's coach should receive more consideration for National Coach of the Year honors and how Marquis Teague has made strides as a young point guard after a rough start. However, the most impressive and overlooked aspect to this team is something I've been saying since the summer.
"I don't know how much the average fan realizes that these are really great kids," Hopkins said. "Not once have we seen Davis block someone's shot and stare them down, get in their face or yell and scream. These are great kids and it makes it so much more fun."
Hopkins ducked the question when I asked him earlier this year about being linked romantically to Cox, Erin Andrews and Jennifer Aniston. That's yet another reason I'm a big fan: That's not a bad trio.
"It's a real funny season," Hopkins said. "Tell everyone to watch -- or else I'll be looking for a new job."
Then he'll have even more time on his hands to obsess about his 'Cats.