Kentucky is on fire right now. Kentucky and its fine Kentuckians kicked all kinds of ass in 2014. Just like we do every year. We took a look back at 2014 and selected a few of our favorite stories of Kentucky kick assery. While there are thousands of great stories in 2014, we narrowed the list down to only 29. So here you go – 29 ways Kentucky and its Kentuckians kicked ass in 2014. If we left anything out please let us know. The list is in no particular order. Enjoy and let's put the Kentucky crush down on 2015!
1. Kentucky Bourbon: In Kentucky there are more barrels of bourbon than there are people. Kentucky Bourbon (America's Native Spirit) continues to put the Kentucky crush down on the world. Everyone loves Kentucky bourbon. According to a new study by the Kentucky Distillers' Association, Kentucky Bourbon is "on cusp of golden age". Hell yeah it is.
"The meteoric rise of Kentucky's signature Bourbon industry has nearly doubled the size of its workforce in the last two years, tripled the number of distilleries and set major new benchmarks for payroll, tax revenue, exports and barrel inventories."
2. Transylvania Frat Bros Lip Dub Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off': The Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at Transylvania University put the hard core Kentucky crush down on the Internet when they dropped a lip dub video of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'. The video went viral and was featured on People, Time, E Online, MTV, US Magazine, etc. Their video was loved by all and Taylor Swift even invited all the guys to one of her concerts. Apparently the video had over 16 trillion views before it was removed by Youtube (watch it here). Good job guys!
3. Raymond Burse: Kentucky State University President Raymond Burse cut his salary by $90k to raise workers' wages for 24 employees making minimum wage. That makes Raymond a Kick Ass Kentuckian. (Read all about it here)
4. Kentucky claims three of Southern Living's seven wonders of the south: Kentucky is home to some kick-ass wonders. Kentucky's Mammoth Cave, the Moonbow at Cumberland Falls and the Red River Gorge made it onto Southern Living's 'Seven Wonder's Of The South'. We straight up owned that list making Kentucky the most wondrous state (Commonwealth) in the south.
5. Jennifer Lawrence: We love J-Law. She put the Kentucky crush down on 2014. She was Google's most searched person in 2014. She tripped at the Oscars again. She photobombed on the red carpet. She was Forbes Most Powerful Actress. She won a Golden Globe for American Hustle. She was the reason Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie went viral. Remember when she wore that 'Kentucky Kicks Ass" shirt? We'll never let you forget that. She's a kick-ass Kentuckian.
6. Kentuckian Mike King: King kept a childhood promise to his dad and gave him a '57 Chevy for his 57th birthday. Mike's father Roger always dreamed of owning a 57' Chevy Bel-Air. At the age of 8 Mike told his dad that someday he would buy him a 57' Chevy. Sho'nuff, on Roger's 57th birthday Mike fulfilled that promise and hooked his dad up with a 57' Chevy. Hell yeah Mike, you just won son of the year! A bonafied kick-ass Kentuckian. Check out the awesome video (14 million views) of Mike gifting his father a 57' Chevy. Don't cry. Read about it on Gawker.
7. Louisville Purge: Someone in Louisville tricked the world into believing that a "Louisville Purge" was going to take place on August 15th. Fortunately it never happened. We'd hate to see a bunch of good Kentuckians get purged. However we do enjoy a good prank and we love seeing the world talk about good ol' Louisville. Check it out on the BBC.
8. Kentucky basketball: Coach Cal and the University of Kentucky have been straight up crushing it for the Commonwealth this season. The most talked basketball team in the country. Top ranked UK has put the Kentucky crush down on every team they've played. Will they win the National Championship this season? We think so. All eyes on Kentucky basketball. Basketball in Kentucky kicks ass.
9. Food for fines: From November 17th until December 19th Lexington Parking Authority allowed Lexingtonians to pay their parking tickets with canned food donations. Ten cans would take care of one parking citation. How kick-ass is that? The canned goods were donated to Gods Pantry and during that time period they collected 6,200 cans of food. Boomtown.
10. Packhouse Meats: Packhouse Meats in Newport Kentucky made national news this year for reinventing tipping. Kentuckians are always inventing and reinventing cool stuff. Basically they abolished tipping and pay servers either $10/hour or 20% of their food sales. Kuddos to Packhouse Meats.
11. "Kentucky people love talking about how much they love Kentucky": Buzzfeed published an article titled "What The State You Live In Says About You" and apparently that's what Kentuckians love to do – talk highly about Kentucky. Hell yes we do, Kentucky kicks ass.
12. Kentucky searches for John Wayne: By mistake, WDKY Fox 56 in Lexington, Ky. showed an image of John Wayne (as "Rooster" Cogburn) during a story about two inmates that escaped from prison. The image went viral. We love everything about this.
13. Kentucky 7th nerdiest place in the US: Estately crunched some numbers to determine which U.S. states have the most nerds per capita. Kentucky came in at a strong number 7. Hell yes, Kentucky is the 7th nerdiest place in the US. We love nerds.
14. Iconic things: According to the Huffington Post, Kentucky offers three of the 10 iconic things you can only do in America. Those three things are horses, bourbon and river boats. How awesome is that? How much ass does Kentucky kick? So much ass.
15. Anderson County Kentucky high school students hooked it up for the school's Janitor: The students and faculty raised $1,900 to send Ricky Spaulding and his wife to Italy to see their son (stationed in Italy) and new grandchild. Bunch of kick-ass Kentuckians. Good stuff. Check em out on Today.com.
16. Mitchell Turner: Turner put the Kentucky crush down on the ACT. Mitchell, a Kentucky middle school student, scored a perfect score on his ACT. He was one of only eight eighth graders in the country to do so. Mitchell is one smart dude, I'm sure this won't be the last time he makes our list.
17. Sturgill Simpson: We're big fans of kick-ass Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson. He makes the good music and has been putting the Kentucky crush down in 2014. He dropped a killer second album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. He's landed a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album. He's appeared on Conan, the Tonight Show, and Late Night With David Letterman. He's a proud Kentuckian. Keep on kicking ass Sturgill.
18. George Clooney gets married: We love George Clooney. He's a Kentuckian. He's also a beautiful man. People Magazine's sexiest man alive 49 times. Sorry ladies but old gorgeous George Clooney got married this year.
19. Fried Chicken Bone Necklaces and Fried Chicken Corsages: Fried Chicken was invented in Kentucky. Everyone loves Kentucky Fried Chicken. We sure do. 2014 was a big year for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Several new inventions came out of Kentucky using Kentucky Fried Chicken. Just in time for 2014's prom season, KFC got together with Louisville's Nanz & Kraft Florists to invent a KFC Chicken Corsage. Of course the world loved KFC's Chicken Corsage. In addition to the KFC Chicken Corsage, we (Kentucky for Kentucky) got together with jewelry designer Meg C to create a 'Gold Plated Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Necklace' (made with a real KFC chicken bones. Of course the world loved those 'Gold Plated Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Necklaces'.
21. Louisville: Speaking of minimum wage, Louisville became the first city in the south to raise minimum wage. How great is that? Read about it on MSNBC. Hell yeah Louisville.
22. Sinkhole swallows up Corvette museum: In February of 2014, a big ass sink hole formed under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky and swallowed up 8 Corvettes. You might be thinking – this does't kick ass. Well, you're wrong. It does. Kentucky straight up kicked the Corvette Museum's ass. Read about it on USA Today.
23. Dallas Robinson: There was only one kick-ass Kentuckian to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. His name was Dallas Robinson and he's a member of the U.S. National Bobsled team. He competed in both the two man and four man bobsled finishing 12th and 13th.
24. Hipster City: Louisville continues to bring the heat in 2014. Thrillist named it one of "America's Most Hipster Cities" (in 2013). Number nine to be exact. The ninth most hipster city in America. Forbes just named Louisville one of "Five Surprising People, Places And Things To Watch In 2015". It was number 8 on Outside Magazine's list of the "The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S.: 2014". It made MIC.com's list of "15 Cities for Creative 20-Somethings That Aren't New York or Los Angeles". Travel + Leisure named Louisville one of the "Best Places To Travel in 2015". Louisville crush.
25. Kentucky shaped bottle openers: The shape of Kentucky kicks ass. It's perfectly shaped for a bottle opener. We made that happen in 2014 – Kentucky shaped bottle openers. The world has been patiently waiting for this to happen since 1792. Don't worry, we'll have a new batch available in 2015.
26. Good States Vs Bad States: The U.S. Government did a study of the Unites States to determine what states were good and what states were bad. Their finding can be found below.
27. Kentuckians like quickies: Nerve created a map that shows which states have the longest (and shortest) sex. Turns out Kentuckians like to have quickies. That means more time kicking ass. Kentuckians love kicking ass.
28. "Kentucky Is The Real America": Kentucky has received some fantastic international press in 2014. Mirror said "Kentucky is the real America and offers more than just amazing horses and wonderful whiskey". Hell to the yeah. The BBC said "Kentucky: An adventure haven. This state has one of the most adrenaline-packed environments in the country, featuring both a rock climbing mecca and the world's longest known cave system." Another loud hell to the yeah. More proof that Kentucky really does kick a whole bunch of ass.
29. Bucket List Destination: USA Today named Lexington's horse country one of its "Ten Best Bucket-List U.S. Monuments And Landmarks". Strong. Kentucky FTMFW.