From the Evansville Courier & Press and the Meade County Messenger
By Jacob Bennett
You might not realize it, but Kentucky is a hotbed of hotness.
With George Clooney's recent second win as People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," the Commonwealth has four wins, more than any other state or country, making everyone else as blue as our grass.
Thoroughbreds Tom Cruise (from Louisville) and Johnny Depp (from Owensboro and some obscure island) also have the mantastic award on their man-tles.
Not to mention the 8.1 I once got on amihotornot.com.
And no Kentuckians had to do anything lame to catch People's attention, such as star in "Dirty Dancing." Just sayin', Swayze.
Although when Clooney got it the first time in 1997, he did star in "Batman and Robin," most often summed up with a head shake and the phrase "nipples on the Batsuit."
Don't feel left out, Illinois: your boy Harrison Ford was Sexiest Man Alive in 1998. No Hoosiers have earned the honor, so Indiana is kinda like the hot guy's best friend. In "Top Gun," Indiana would be Goose.
Even worse, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Indiana Jones would be played by Kentucky.
To be fair, Sexiest Man Alive is a tough brass ring to grab. I mean, Justin Timberlake couldn't get it in the year he brought sexy back.
(Speaking of sexy backs, Brad Pitt was People's sexiest living dude in 2000.)
At least People gives out the award every year, instead of waiting until the current king is dead. Otherwise Mel Gibson, the first guy to twinkle People's eye, would still have it. You'd think there'd be a better punchline with Mel Gibson involved, but I got nothing.
But you know, if they did have an issue for Sexiest Guy Not Neccesarily Alive, I'd have to go with Michael Landon.
That's not saying that life in Kentucky is all (a run for the) roses. Except for smokin' hotness, Kentucky often finds itself in the bottom half of a lot of state rankings: School test scores, for example, or percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees, or prevention of rickets.
But now I think I know why: The bar is set so darn high, there's no point in trying. Even if your goal is just to get by on your looks, people can dismiss you with a quick, "Well, he's no two-time Sexiest Man Alive winner like Clooney."
And it's even worse if you want be judged by your actions and ideas. Who do you think is going to be remembered as Greatest Kentuckian Not Necessarily Alive--you, or Abraham Lincoln?
I mean, even if you do a fair amount of emancipating in your life, you're still not gonna be the Great one.
And even if you become president, you're still not gonna get your face on Mount Rushmore.
But there's one place Clooney got his face that Lincoln never did: People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue.
Although I'd probably put him second to Landon.
Columnist Jacob Bennett is so hot, he'll take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never e-mail her again from email@example.com.