Well, here I am. Sorry to those of you who are real sticklers for routine and like your Matt Jones Thursday posts to break up your Wednesday and Friday Beisner posts. I’m just as disappointed as you are, though, and I promise to make quick work of this. I need to hit the sack. Here are a couple of brief notes from a fairly action-packed Thursday:
- In the process of his cross-state tour, Cal got in a couple of subtle Clyde jokes. The first came at his appearance in Louisville, when he told the crowd that he wanted the job two years ago but following Tubby would have been tough. “Now,” Cal said, “ya’ll need me”. Then, late this evening, he posted the above picture with the one that got away from Clyde, Jeannine Edwards, who was apparently at the Women’s Clinic tonight. It might have been innocent and simply titled “with our special guest at the women’s clinic”, but it was still amusing. And I’d like to think it was intentional.
- Also, while in Louisville, Calipari made mention of Big Blue Madness and said that he wants the event to be more about the players and not the new coach. He said that UK has asked him to address the crowd this year, which he will probably do, but will not be doing so in the future. On specifics of the event, Coach said that you can expect it to be all about basketball. “We dont need rap songs or painted faces…I dont think they want to see the players dance..I think they want to see them on the court.” So, sorry to those of you that were hoping for a repeat of Bobby Perry’s rendition of “Party all the Time” or Shagari, Ramel and Joe Crawford (?) doing a RUN DMC impression.
- And speaking of next Friday, UK released a statement today on the Big Blue Madness ticket situation and some of the criticisms of the process. In the letter, the school said that the were “disappointed” that tickets ended up for sale online and that they would review the current distribution process in an effort to make it more effective in the future. You can read the whole release here (at the bottom of the page).
- Perhaps my favorite moment of the day, though, was at the opening of the luncheon in Louisville when Southeast Christian Church pastor Rich Shanks opened with a prayer that included wishing for a long, successful Calipari tenure and a random giving of thanks for Kentucky great Mike Pratt. So, I guess I’d like to take this time to apologize to Mike Pratt. I haven’t been giving thanks for you at night and I want you to know that it has nothing to do with you. It’s all me. You are certainly thanks-worthy and I plan to rectify that situation moving forward. I hope there are no hard feelings. And to my unborn son, sorry. Dad can’t concentrate for too long while praying and your spot just got taken by Mike Pratt. When you get named an All-American and score 1,000 career points, we’ll reevaluate your prayer standing.
- On today’s SEC coaches teleconference, Steve Spurrier was asked about the state of the Cats, The Ole Ball Coach said that “anybody in the country would be 2-2″ after playing Florida and Alabama. While this is likely just coachspeak and he has some stronger, less political feelings underneath, it was still somewhat a gesture of respect for Rich Brooks’ team. I guess.
- On the same conference call, Rich Brooks was asked what he thought of the early start time for some of his team’s games. Brooks said that he preferred the noon start when on the road because “The tailgaters don’t have quite enough time to get well-oiled”. Win or lose, he at least gives out a good line every single time he steps in front of a microphone.
- In an interesting non-UK story, Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw had domestic violence charges dismissed against him….thanks to the victim’s Tide-loving dad. Apparently the father of the women involved in Upshaw’s domestic dispute is a huge Alabama fan that pleaded with Nick Saban after Upchurch’s arrest to not punish the linebacker and shouted “Roll Tide” as he and his daughter left the courthouse following the dismissal of the charges. Ladies and gentleman, please do not compare UK basketball fans to Alabama football fans ever again.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we get you all geared up for Spurrier and Co. and continue to build toward a very exciting evening next Friday. See you in a few…