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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Need-to-Know Wednesday

Chris Tomlin enjoys spirited salutations

Cal Hits the Talk Show Circuit

Cal Hits the Talk Show Circuit

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This week Cal took to the road to promote his new book Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out, and he left no stone unturned in getting the word out. As he continues to promote his book and talk about his signature coaching style, we’ve collated some of his sound bites from those interviews below.

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Morning Joe (MSNBC):
“It starts with recruiting. I tell [players] You’re not taking thirty shots if you come here, because you’re going to have other players who are just as good as you. The most anyone takes historically for my teams is thirteen, fourteen shots….I can’t promise you’re gonna start, how many minutes you’re going to get, all those things. But I’ve started something like thirty freshman in my time, or more now, and it all starts with recruiting.”

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Squawk Box (CNBC):
“People ask me ‘how do you do this? How do you get a new group of freshman year after year, how do you teach this?’ And the thing is, teaching them the grind. How hard it is. Teaching them about servant leadership, which is hard when every player on the team was the star. They never thought about everybody else — now I’m asking ‘please think more about everybody else.’”

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The O’Reilly Factor (FOX News):
“That’s what this book is about. They know that iIm about them and the decisions i make are in their interest, not my own, which is why I have a lot of kids leaving. I’m not influencing them to stay…that’s a big part of this. Do they trust you enough? Do they look at you and say he is going to do right by me? I have got to let them make their decisions.”

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The Dr. Oz Show:
“This book is all about…look, here’s what it’s about. If I eat, you know, a jellybean, or swallow a piece of gum, it might get hung up in my intestines or my colon for three, four days. I’m holding it back. I’m not letting it go forward. But if I’m constantly eating things like cabbage, lettuce — those things are going to ultimately leave and it’s going to be better for everybody, you know, a positive outcome. You can’t be the colon that’s holding things back. You put good into your program, you get good out. Sometimes it happens faster than others.”

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The View (ABC):
“What this book is about it, well, look. It’s about servant leadership. It’s leadership from the inside. If my wife Ellen is used to doing everything around the house herself, that’s no good for her. She’s got me, you know, a teammate. And I’ve gotta be like ‘Look, these shoes need to get out of the hall before someone trips over them.’ So what do I do? I move the shoes. In the same vein Ellen and I also have to work as a team, we also have to trust each other. We work hard together and then, you know, we go to the Olive Garden, then, you know, maybe Orange Leaf.  It’s the reward that comes with being part of that team.”

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Watch What Happens Live (Bravo):
“Listen, what this book is about…it’s about…look, it’s like, you can’t have Brandi and Joyce having a fight right in the middle of SUR, you know? It just doesn’t work. Joyce thinks Brandi’s tacky. Brandi thinks Joyce is using Michael. It’s whatever. At the end of the day, they’ve both got to be able to share the catwalk if Kyle’s fashion show is going to go well, you know? Those are the sacrifices you make. And what you need is a Yolanda, who’s just going to take the initiative and stand up and drag Brandi away from the table. But you also need a Lisa, and a Ken, who’ll help defend Brandi. That’s how it has to be. Not just one person has to step up, everyone does. That’s how a team works.”

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Fresh Air (NPR):
“What this book is really about is servant leadership. It’s about leading from the inside. Look, Terry, did you see David Maisel’s ‘History’s Shadow’ show at the Yancey Richardson Gallery? That’s like, you know, what Maisel does is that he focuses on X-rays as a point of aesthetic beauty, the point at where the visual and the science of the subject intersect to explore the dual processes of memory and excavation. And you know, it’s like when you look at a team like ours — that X-ray has to show a strength from the inside, you know? That natural beauty has to first exist at an internal level. Otherwise, as a team, it’s not art, is it? I don’t know what it is but it’s not art.”
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X-Play (G4):
“Look, it’s like the game Titanfall. It’s just not going to work when one guy’s got a Hammond P2011 and the guy next to him has a Plasma Railgun. You have to get on those headsets and communicate with one another. That’s the only way you sweep Angel City. And it’s the only way you win a National Championship.”

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The Maury Show:
“Listen. After this break, Maury, you’re going to open that envelope. And look — it doesn’t matter if the father of Rhonda’s baby is Taz, Rick or Shondell. What matters is that these four people come together to help this child be the best it can be. Two of these guys are going to have to step up and say ‘what can I do,’ you know? That’s how a team succeeds. But it probably won’t be Dan. Dan is a straight-up buster.”

Photobombing: Wisconsin

Photobombing: Wisconsin

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Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Madison! Here you’ll find all the comforts of home wrapped up in an academic enrivonment ready to prepare you for a successful life and career. In these hallowed halls you’ll meet skilled instructors and trusted friends — as well as experiences you’ll never forget!

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Who wants a free hug? This student’s belt clearly wants to give you one. Her colleague’s shirt reads “smile,” perhaps ironically. It’s this kind of friendliness, both anthropomorphic and ironic, which will greet you as you begin your life as a first-year University of Wisconsin student. Get ready for the best times of your life!

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Welcome to the best times of your life! These students are listening intently as their friend and classmate reads aloud to them from his textbook. Slow down, guys!  You have four years of valuable memories to make; try not to squeeze them all into the first month. The residence halls of UW are large enough for everyone to sit, and varying sizes of beanbag chairs are available from your residence hall advisors. There’s plenty of room, so there’s no reason to move your fashionable end-table!

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The student body of the University of Wisconsin is a diverse group, representing all types of people from Janesville to Eagle River. Learn from others who are different from you in a positive environment free from criticism. Notice the exquisite differences in one another and learn to come together as a cohesive community of individuals. Maybe you’ll find we’re not so different after all. You may even meet someone who wears a toboggan.

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Enjoy great meals any day of the week at one of the University of Wisconsin’s top-notch dining halls. Whether your preference is cheese curds, bread, crackers, cheese-filled bread or cheese curds, you’ll plenty of choices just around the corner from your dorm. Don’t worry about the Wisconsin “Freshman Eighty-Five,” it’s simply a rite of passage here at UW!

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Say hello to Bucky Badger, UW’s beloved mascot! Bucky can eat several hundred earthworms and other insects in one night and often digs a shallow pit within his burrow for defecation, keeping his fecal matter away from his food storage.  He most often mates in early spring and late summer and his mates can experience a “delayed implantation” of the embryo until food is more readily available. He also possesses stink glands in his anus which can squirt a pungent liquid up to several feet to deter enemies. If you see him, give him a hug!

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If you need help getting your bearings on campus in your initial months or just need to know where to find the best pizza, stop by and chat with your residence hall advisor Alex Trebek. He will have all the “questions” to your “answers,” if you catch our drift! (Alex Trebek’s game show Jeopardy reverses questions and answers is our drift.)

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Head men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan is currently leading the Badgers into the Final Four in North Texas this weekend. Be sure to cheer him on! Coach Ryan possesses stink glands in his anus which can squirt a pungent liquid up to several feet to deter enemies. Go Badgers! Bring home a national championship!

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You’re going to love your time here at the University of Wisconsin! #diversity

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Looking to make new friends? Stop by one of the University of Wisconsin’s “First-Year Social Hours” to get to know your classmates, colleagues and dorm-mates. Please bring your own protective eye-wear, though the student union will provide the plastic sleeves.

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We can’t wait for you to join us at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and look forward to spending the next four years facilitating the experiences and friendships which will follow you the rest of your days. You’ll never forget your time at UW! Also, for the love of God put some shoes on and get off the Lincoln statue. What’s wrong with you? See you soon at the University of Wisconsin!


A House Divided

A House Divided

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Hi Facebook friends! I don’t write a lot but I had to share this today. As you can all imagine, things are crazy around our house these days since UK and UL are going to be playing in the NCAA Tournament this weekend. I’m sure you all remember that Steven almost graduated from Louisville and I am a Kentucky graduate, so whenever the two teams play we always enjoy a friendly rivalry. It’s such a hoot! I wear my Wildcat gear and he wears his Cards gear and we get the CRAZIEST looks from people when we go out together dressed that way. But that’s part of the fun!

You should see the decorations at our house! You’ve probably all seen the half-Louisville-half-Kentucky license plate on the front of our Dodge Caravan, but we also have a sign in our yard that says “A House Divided.” It’s funny because that’s exactly what we are! On game day I’m going to make a cake with half red icing and half blue icing. You are all welcome to come watch the game with us. Louisville fans will have to sit on one side of the room and Kentucky fans will have to sit on the other side of the room. Trash talking is encouraged (except for Louisville fans…LOL JUST KIDDING)!

Our kids even get in on the act, which makes it even more of a blast! The other day Denny wore his Cardinal red to school while Heshimu wore his Kentucky blue, and everyone thought it was hilarious! We really have a LOT of fun with it. On Tuesday Denny cut Heshimu with a knife he made out of a broken UK coffee mug (nothing a little Bactine couldn’t fix!) and we all had a good laugh. It’s great to see that, even at this young age, the friendly rivalry will be something that bonds them together forever. I’m sure they’ll enjoy this for years to come. Denny turns up his Pit Bull music on FULL BLAST as Heshimu sits in his room peacefully embroidering his UK sweaters. He’s so much like me and Denny is so much like Steven – I’ll try to get a You Tubes video of it because you will all love it.

Steven says that this year is going to be an even bigger game because UK has so much to prove and Louisville has so much to defend. He goes on and on and on about it and I just roll my eyes! The other night he was rolling a pot blunt and he told me that UK women will never have the sweet fat booty that Louisville women have. Them’s fighting words, I told him, because I’m still carrying the baby weight from little Gorgui (yes I went there)!!! Steven cracks me up sometimes!

Steven says he’s going to get another tattoo this time, if Louisville wins, and this one’s going to be a fancy medieval-times “L” with fire-flames coming off it. I told him he better wait because Julius Randle is my man and he’s going to light up the Cardinals! Steven threw an empty bottle of Crown Royale against the wall and then fell into the refrigerator and knocked all the shelves down. The next morning I told him that’s what he gets for being “cocky!”

All the other lawyers at my work think it’s cute that we bicker back and forth about the Wildcats and the Cardinals, but Steven’s friends at the car wash take it super-seriously (I think one of them keyed UK BLOSE into the side of my van LOL)! This year we even have a friendly wager on the game: if UK wins I told Steven that he has to do the dishes for a year. If Louisville wins, Steven says I have to do a sexy dance and “mean it.” He’s so silly. All I know is that it’s going to be a great time Friday night and I hope our CATS bring home a victory!!!!  Like if you agree!!!

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First Round Storylines

First Round Storylines

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Hello, friends. I hope you’re well. Say, I was wondering if you had any drugs on you. You do? Really? What kinds of drugs are you carrying right this very second? Here, say it into this flower on my lapel. I see…uh huh…go on…okay, GET HIM NOW BOYS. ROLL IN. You’re under arrest for admitting that you have drugs. It’s all right here on my flower-tape-recorder. You fell for the oldest trick in the book. Have fun in jail, punk.

Friends, it’s NCAA Tournament time! That glorious time where all one needs is a couch, a remote control and a healthy appetite for mid-major basketball to enjoy the greatest weekend of the year. Of course, with the official selections released on Sunday, it’s only given the mainstream media three days in which to scramble for the storylines in the first round. I mean, how else are you going to know that Connecticut and St. Joseph’s have extensive rivalry history, or do not have extensive rivalry history at all? Today, then, I’ve delved into some of the early matchups to give you the skinny on First Round Storylines in this year’s tournament, so you’ll know exactly everything you need to know. You’re welcome. And as always, I’ll see you next week.

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Iowa State (3) Vs. NC Central (14):

Although fronted by senior forward Melvin Ejim, who netted the Big 12 Player of the Year Award, Iowa State also has Deandre Kane, one of the upper-tier point guards in the country right now. They’re strong. NC Central dominated the MEAC from beginning to end this season, but it may not be enough to take out the ‘Clones. Or is it?

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Duke (3) Vs. Mercer (11):

With freshman Jabari Parker as advertised, Duke’s 26-8 on the end of the year. But here’s the thing: Mercer’s also 26-8. And here’s another thing: Duke’s schedule included Syracuse and Virginia, and Mercer’s included St. Andrews and Stetson. But here’s the real thing: Mercer better make sure they’re beating Duke by more than 3 in the last three seconds of the game because, if they’re not, Duke magically wins. That’s the rule.

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Baylor (6) Vs. Nebraska (11):

The Bears have won ten of their last twelve games, which signifies that they’ve hit their groove late in the season, but this is Nebraska’s first NCAA Tournament since 1998, and a lot has changed. For one, the Huskers have never seen an iPhone, or a flat screen television, and they think ER is still on the air. They will be surprised and confused by terrifying “Fat Heads” and a visibly older Jim Spanarkle. Can they hold it together to pull out a win?

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Memphis (8) Vs. George Washington (9)

Every member of every Memphis player’s family died tragically while every member of every George Washington player’s family died of an illness. Also, every George Washington player was at one point told he had an injury so bad he’d never play basketball again and every Memphis player has a kind, elderly man in the crowd to watch him play who believed in him since he was a child. And one of the referees has debilitating irritable bowel syndrome and there are two cheerleaders who fell in love. And if George Washington doesn’t win the city forecloses on their mortgage.

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New Mexico (7) Vs. Stanford (10)

They don’t have anything in common, but when a paperwork mixup pairs Stanford and New Mexico together as unlikely roommates in a swanky New York City high-rise apartment building, things are about to get interesting! Stanford likes Arcade Fire. New Mexico prefers a campfire! When the uppity co-op board threatens to kick them both out, they’re going to have to learn to either team up or get turned out on the street. Can they put aside their differences and work things out? Find out this fall on ABC Family.

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Oregon (7) Vs. BYU (10):

You ain’t gonna believe this but Oregon was up in the club gettin’ it with Crystal’s man and BYU was all You a dog and Oregon was like You shut up so BYU texted NayNay and NayNay came down there like Where Oregon at and Oregon was all I ain’t done nothing wrong and BYU was like Uh uh I took a picture of it on my phone you can see it right here that s*** was CRAY.


Photobombing: The University of Arkansas

Photobombing: The University of Arkansas

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Hello, friends. You look great. But somewhat different. No, I can’t put my finger on it…wait, wait. I got it. You’re wearing a suit made out of human skin, aren’t you? Looks good on you. Not everyone could pull that off.

Friends, I don’t need to remind you that tonight our beloved Cayts take on the Razorbacks of Arkansas in a rematch after the Hogs defeated us in overtime on their home court in January. Now they’re stepping onto our turf, and we’re prepared. Since we have a bone to pick, I thought this might be a good opportunity for an Instant Hate Day post of Arkansas using material from their very own website. Don’t worry, you’ll hate it. Without further ado, let’s get started, I’ll see you here next week and have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Go Cats.

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Welcome to the beautiful University of Arkansas, located in picturesque Fayetteville, Arkansas — home of two Olive Gardens, a reliable city bus transit system and a newly-renovated Hampton Inn with an indoor pool open until eleven o’clock on weekends. Your adventure as a Razorback will begin here on the University of Arkansas’ lovely, vibrant campus and remain within a solid tenth of a mile radius of the campus. Feel free to roam and make yourself at home!

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Pants a little tighter? Don’t worry! As a first-year student, it’s fairly natural to put on some weight during your inaugural semesters at college. This is often called “the freshman fifteen,” and it’s very common. Should you begin to gain noticeable weight, your appointed U of A first-year body image coach will educate you on the changes to your physique and offer tips on managing yourself so you don’t look like a gross, nasty beast.

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Did someone say “safety?” It’s always the word of the day for the University of Arkansas Police Department. Should you need them, there are specialized call boxes located throughout campus in case someone steals your cowboy hat or rifle or you simply can’t find your Jason Aldean CD. They’re there to help! No need to thank them; just give them a chaw and they’ll be on their way. Stay safe, Razorbacks!

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How does your facial hair look? Your facial hair advisor is available during weekly office hours to help coach you through the growth and maintenance of your new look. Beards, goatees, sideburns — their expertise can help with any variation.  Look at this young man; he’s a regular Ronnie Dunn! Lookin’ good, buddy!

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Forward-thinking ingenuity is always in order in the classrooms of the University of Arkansas — and great ideas can come to life. Here we see an industrious team and its innovative technology after receiving a $75,000 Arthur Vining Davis Grant, $67,000 of which was spent on handlebars.

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Please, no hotplates in the dorms.

Paul Adams in chemestry lab w/ students.

Scientific pursuits are constantly furthered at the University of Arkansas, with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, accomplished staff and university support at every turn. Whatever your dream, you can follow it in the University of Arkansas Science Departments and perhaps one day make a terrifying disease a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the student above realizes there is no known cure for T.H.O. yet — but keep working on it!

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Ever pretended that you were flying on a broom in a fictional castle full of wizards? You’re not alone. The Arkansas Quidditch Team has competed against others around the country. It doesn’t matter that you’re twenty years old; your only limits are your imagination and your inability to talk to women — and your imagination will never end, Hocksney Boomblepratt (that’s your new Quidditch name!).

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Visceral demonstrations make the texts of classic literature come alive! Here, it’s like this class is actually living a scene from Moby Dick!

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I know what you’re thinking: You mean I can join the Collegiate Meats Quiz Team and score a free trip to see the famous Fargo, North Dakota hobo statue at the reciprocal meats conference? YES! YOU CAN!

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Enjoy every day at the University of Arkansas, new Razorbacks! Cherish each morning and each new opportunity. And remember, if your grades slip we may transfer you to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock campus, where you may be killed by a terrifying demon. Go Arkansas! Woo Pig Soo-ey!

 


Coming Clean

Coming Clean

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Hello, friends. I hope you’re well. Have you been enjoying the Olympics? What’s that, a homemade luge? That’s really cool, I like hey wait I don’t think you should use it on this icy street it’s not – ah, well, you are probably going to die now.

Friends, if you’ve been reading the news reports on your computer or computer-phone you no doubt realize that the single biggest news story in the NCAA this week is that Oklahoma University purged itself of its sins by self-reporting secondary NCAA violations dating back to 2012 which reportedly (according to OU itself) included an assistant football coach accidentally “pocket-dialing” a recruit, a hand-drawn picture scrawled onto an envelope to a football verbal commit and three student athletes receiving exactly $3.83 worth of excess pasta at a graduation banquet. But it didn’t stop there. The list of violations on which OU tattled on itself (described by The Oklahoman newspaper here and some below) included a great many other infractions OU needed to get off its chest, and the perpetually finger-tenting NCAA was more than happy to hear it.

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May 10, 2013: Three student-athletes attending a graduation banquet received pasta in excess of the permissible amount permitted by NCAA regulation.

September 12, 2012: Assistant coach Bruce Kittle pocket-dialed a recruit a day after receiving a permissible text message from the recruit.

October 3, 2013: The football staff mailed an envelope to a recruit, who was already verbally committed, that included a hand-drawn picture with the handwritten addressee information.

January 2, 2013: During a recruiting visit, a basketball recruit consumed a french fry dropped onto the desk of assistant coach Steve Henson while Henson was out of the room. Carefully recounting of the remaining french fries upon his return, Henson requested that the recruit donate the estimated $0.03 for the consumed french fry to the charity of his choice (American Donkey Shelters).

August 3, 2012: Football assistant coach Tim Kish was attempting to solve a complex and challenging “brain teaser” posed to him by Special Teams Coach Jay Boulware which involved randomized a sequence of numbers, which Kish typed into his phone to remember. These resulting numbers happened to be the phone number of recruit Jonathan Alvarez, who over heard a conversation about how “awesome” he was and how Kish and Boulware thought he would be “the coolest guy on the team.”

October 12, 2012: While visiting relatives in Arcadia, Oklahoma assistant basketball coach Chris Crutchfield was talking aloud to himself at a Cold Stone Creamery that “OU would really love to land point guard Jordan Woodard,” unaware that Woodard was at that moment behind the counter creating Crutchfield’s Personalized Ice Cream Experience™.

July 9, 2012: During a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Basketball assistant coach Lew Hill consigned an air-brushed T-shirt bearing the imagined likeness of high school basketball recruit Darrell Paulson dunking a basketball in a University of Oklahoma uniform. The owner of the T-shirt shop, impressed with the realism of the artist’s rendition, asked Hill if he could take a photo of it an display it on the wall. Two months later Paulson, on vacation with friends to Myrtle Beach, saw the photo on the wall while visiting the same T-shirt shop.

March 30, 2013: While taking a private plane lesson to log flying hours at a training facility in Bakersfield, California, a series of potentially dangerous emergencies in the air inadvertently led to Men’s Soccer assistant coach Graeme Abel spelling out the words “PLEASE COME TO OU JOSH GALLOWAY” in the sky over the home of Bakersfield High School soccer recruit Josh Galloway.

September 25, 2013: During a recruiting visit, Women’s Soccer recruit Allison Toller ate at the Norman, Oklahoma restaurant Asian Wok Buffet at a price within the permissible amount of money spent on a recruiting visit. Her fortune cookie’s fortune read “You will attend OU on a partial scholarship.” Our compliance office is still looking into it.


KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics (Part II)

KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics (Part II)

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Hello, friends. Happy early Valentine’s Day. Here, I made you this valentine. It took me a really long time, but I wanted it to be perfect. It’s a portrait made out of pasta of you, inside a heart, with Rod Strickland. I knew you’d love it.

Friends, if you’re like me you’ve no doubt been enjoying these 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. There’s nothing like the human interest angle on a bunch of faceless people clad head-to-toe in suits wearing helmets and gigantic goggles to really get people connected, am I right? Last week, we previewed Part I of the Winter Olympics, and so it’s only right that this week we finish up the pool with Part II of KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics. Shall we? We shall. Have a great weekend.

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Bobsleigh

What it is: Bobsledding is like riding a really great roller coaster, only if you accidentally don’t lean slightly enough to one side at the exact second you’re supposed to everyone falls out and has to go to the hospital. Other than that, super-fun!
What you need to know about it: Whenever Bobsledding is mentioned it sets off a chain reaction of Cool Runnings jokes and references. This is because Cool Runnings is the entire world’s only cultural touchpoint about Olympic Bobsleigh. Literally no human being knows anything else about it at all.

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Biathlon

What it is: Biathlon is a winter sport which combines cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting. Over the years it has been pared down from the less-popular Triathlon, which combined cross-country skiing, rifle-shooting and a real estate agent licensing exam.
What you need to know about it: The training regimen for biathlon is almost exactly the same as the training regimen for chasing a skier out into the country and then murdering him.

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Ice Hockey

What it is: Ice hockey is soccer for cold people.
What you need to know about it: If you don’t think that Canada or Russia is going to win the gold in Olympic Ice Hockey, you clearly haven’t looked at an NHL roster, ever. There are more z’s, c’s, out-of-place y’s and accent marks and dashes than a copy of Anna Karenina in a Montreal library.

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Skeleton

What it is: Skeleton is like Luge, only instead of riding a small sled feet-first, the competitor rides a small sled face-first down a very fast, steep track.
What you need to know about it: Skeleton is, essentially, luge for those with fewer people who care about them.

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Figure Skating

What it is: Figure skating consists of pair skating, men’s and women’s singles skating and ice dance. It is the only sport your mother cares about, and at one time everyone in the country knew the name of every famous figure skater. This was before there were more television channels or the internet or anything else in the world to look at or care about.
What you need to know about it: Figure skating has come under fire in the last several years due to the inhumane conditions of sequin mining in South America. Vancouver bronze medalists Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Germany were stripped of their medals after “blood sequins” were found to be used in their costumes.

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Ski jumping

What it is: Ski jumping is an Olympic sport in which competitors ski down a steep take-off ramp and jump into the air. Points are awarded by judges for length of jump, height, and not-dying.
What you need to know about it: Among skilled ski jumpers, popular techniques include Sweden’s V-Technique, Norway’s Kongsberger Technique and Germany’s Daescher and Windisch Techniques. The most common technique among unskilled ski jumpers includes “screaming.”

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Cross-Country Skiing

What it is: Cross-Country skiing is an event for both men and women which involves propelling one’s self across terrain using only skis and poles. Longer competitions can stretch up to 50km (31 miles).
What you need to know about it: There’s a reason it’s not on television, and that reason is that no one wants to watch someone ski for two hours. Trust me, you’re not missing anything.


KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics (Part I)

KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics (Part I)

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Hello, friends. How are you? You look well. Look out there, don’t slip. Oh! Are you okay? Here, let me help you. Oh, that looks bad. We need to get you to an emergency room. Hold on. Stay with me. Stay with me. What’s your name? What day is it? Stay with me.

Friends, if you know me you know that once every two years I get really, really excited about the opening of a new Winter or Summer Olympic season. To me, there’s nothing about learning new events, rooting for new athletes and the thrill of becoming a spectator for an entirely different set of sports than we here in Kentucky are used to. It is fun, no? With the next two weeks in full swing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in beautiful serviceable Sochi, Russia, there’s no time like the present to get started with part one of our traditional two-week series KSR’s Official Guide to the Winter Olympics. What do you think? Let’s go, then.

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Alpine Skiing

What it is: Alpine skiing is the traditional, back and forth downhill skiing style through slaloms and fixed poles, called “gates,” in a timed trial down a mountain to the bottom finish line.

What you need to know about it: We almost didn’t have this event. Before the invention of ski lifts in 1937, it’s widely believed that the sport of alpine skiing came dangerously close to extinction; namely, whenever anyone reached the bottom of a mountain and had to climb all the way back up to the top in snow skis, because that was a huge pain in the butt.

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Luge

What it is: A luge, which is actually the name of the sled in the Olympic Luge event, derives its name from the French word for “sled.” Alternately, the phrase “two-man luge” originally derives its name from the French phrase for “best friends forever.”

What you need to know about it: At speeds reaching up to 87 miles per hour, luge is the fastest and considered most dangerous of all the Olympic sliding sports. When done correctly, an experienced luger can win the Olympic gold. When done incorrectly, an inexperienced luger can end up a Jackson Pollack painting.

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Snowboarding

What it is: You wouldn’t understand, okay? It’s my thing, Dad. My thing. And I’m good at it. Everyone says so. And I don’t care if you don’t believe me. I’m not going to stop just because you think I’m wasting my life. Maybe I don’t want to be a quality control manager at the factory like you. I’m not you, okay? I didn’t ask to be born.

What you need to know about it: In case you’re wondering what it’s like to be a professional snowboarder, it should be noted that according to television commercials, drinking Mountain Dew’s Kickstart Energy drink will make you feel exactly like a professional snowboarder.

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Curling

What it is: Curling is a sport in which teams of four take turns hurtling a weighty granite stone toward a target. The “curler”slides the stone expertly toward the opposite end of the ice as two “sweepers” brush away the ice in front of the stone and redirect it toward its target. The fourth person on each team sits in a folding chair drinking Labatt Blue and spilling poutine gravy all over his denim button-down shirt.

What you need to know about it: It takes a long time to get really good at curling. A lot of time away from your house, and your family and your home responsibilities — but someday maybe you’ll get to go to the Olympics, so there has to be constant dedication. And that’s what you can tell your wife when she wonders why you drove over the fire hydrant in front of the house drunk at 4 in the morning again.

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Short Track Speed Skating

What it is: Short track speed skating is like a track and field event, only the competitors are hurtling at furious speeds around a short hockey-rink-sized track, knocking each other into walls, spinning out and sporting deadly blades strapped to their shoes.

What you need to know about it: Short Track Speed Skating is the roller derby of Olympic Events; the only difference is that as a speed skater you have to train every day with a strict regimen of weights and nutrition while in roller derby you only need to be a 350-pound woman who owns a pink wig and knows how to roller skate.

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Freestyle Skiing

What it is: Freestyle skiing consists of aerials and moguls, both events which reward the skier for acrobatics or “style points” during competition. Freestyle skiing also once included “ski ballet,” but does so no longer in Olympic competition.

What you need to know about it: Telling people you perform ski ballet is a great way to have no one ever ask you to pick them up from the airport, co-sign an apartment for them or ask you to watch their pets while they’re on vacation.

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Nordic Combined

What it is: The Nordic Combined consists of a 10-km cross-country race and a ski jump. There’s a large hill and a normal hill and two large hill jumps for each member and a relay and both individual and team events and…you know what? Just don’t worry about Nordic Combined.

What you need to know about it: If you understand Nordic Combined, congratulations on this year’s Olympics, I hope you win the gold because you are a competitor in this event.


Cal Unhappy with Tuesday Night’s Performance

Cal Unhappy with Tuesday Night’s Performance

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Hello, friends. I hope you’re well. Here, I brought you some rock salt. For your margaritas. Or your driveway. It’s your gift, use it however you want; I don’t care.

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that Tuesday night was a rough one for the Big Blue Nation. Not only is LSU a team we shouldn’t lose to, we lost in a pretty ugly fashion. As frustrated as we all were, however, it would seem that Cal was even more frustrated. Though his post-game press comments were of the standard “we just didn’t hustle enough” variety, as Tyler pointed out last night his coaches’ show was a lot harsher on the boys, calling it “the worst game we played all year” and calling out the players for not working or listening hard enough. Don’t believe me? Check out some of the actual comments he made on Wednesday night about the game and see for yourself:

On overall performance:
“…we got punched in the head and didn’t fight back, we didn’t pass the ball…we probably had three guys play their worst games of the y ear.”

On guard play:
“Our guard play was horrendous. Horrendous. We’re not creating shots for anyone on the team.”

On the fouling situation in the last seconds:
“When it got down to twelve seconds I was like ‘foul, grab him!’ and they just didn’t…we were just playing, and they were trying to win a world championship.”

On no one helping Dakari Johnson up after his tumble out-of-bounds:
“They’re not worried about Dakari on the floor. They’re worried about their own performance. That’s what nineteen year-old kids do.”

On Alex Poythress:
“I told him to stop that if he keeps Snap-Chatting on the court during regulation play I will take him out of the game. But that’s what nineteen year-old kids do. They Snap-Chat.”

On Julius Randle:
“Julius told me before the game that he was only going to do one thing and that was a dunk, but it was going to be a good one. To be fair, it was impressive. But you gotta do more than one thing out there. And also, why would you say that to a coach? That seems like a weird thing to say to your coach, doesn’t it? It’s weird.”

On Willie Cauley-Stein’s blindfold:
“I know he’s all about changing up his style lately, you know, with the hair and the bowties and everything, but I told him before the Arkansas game that I thought the blindfold was a terrible idea and he just won’t listen. He can’t see anything out there, he can’t shoot, he can’t play defense. It just doesn’t make sense.”

On Andrew Harrison leaving to go to Wendy’s during the game:
“It was like ‘where are you going?’ and he was like ‘We’re going to that Wendy’s we saw next door’ and I was like ‘There’s a game going on.’ But that’s what nineteen year-old kids do when they’re hungry.”

On not helping James Young:
“Look, this needs to be a team-first approach. When [James] was holding on to that bunch of balloons and started floating up into the air, these guys needed to help him out. I mean, he could float away, and then where would we be? Instead, they didn’t pay attention and James got dangerously close to the lights. We are all extremely lucky that we got him back down to the court without serious injury. I don’t know why those balloons were out there on the court anyway.”

On Dominique Hawkins:
“I know he only played four minutes but I thought that was a pretty bad time to decide to get a new driver’s license. But I guess that’s what nineteen year-old kids do, because their license is almost up and it’s time to get it renewed. Look, I don’t make the rules but I think he could have waited a little while.”

On winning a World Championship:
“At least we’re playing like we’re going to win that, whatever it is. I probably need to fill out some paperwork if we’re going to enter it. I don’t even know where that’s held. I guess I’ll look into it.”


How Much Do You Know About Georgia?

How Much Do You Know About Georgia?

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Hello, friends. You look well today. I like your hat. That’s a nice scarf, too. Your nose looks different, is that..wait, is that a carrot? Oh you tricked me! That’s a SNOWMAN. Good one.

Friends, will these Cats pull it together in time to win a championship? Enough of this lackluster-first-half-tomfoolery, am I right? The Wildcats, as you well know, will host the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday in Rupp — but what might surprise you is that the Bulldogs are actually playing much better basketball right now than the normally non-contender Georgia Bulldogs basketball teams of the past. They even beat Arkansas at Fayetteville, something our own boys couldn’t do. So that’s something. What else do we know about Georgia? Let’s find out today in a KSR Quiz we’ll call How Much Do You Know About Georgia where we’ll look at the state, the campus and the basketball program. Get your pencils out, remember to fill in the bubble completely, and when you’re finished just put your head down on your desk. Sound good? Let’s go.

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1. Check all that apply:
a.) I live in Georgia.
b.) I do not live in Georgia.
c.) I have driven through Georgia.
d.) I have an aunt named Georgia.
e.) I am a sassy male hairdresser with a recurring role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
f.) I am currently protecting fellow Georgians from zombies inside an abandoned prison.
g.) I had a particularly unsettling time while whitewater rafting in Georgia in 1972 with my friend Burt Reynolds.

2. Georgia’s chief exports include:
a.) Transportation equipment.
b.) Computer and electronic parts.
c.) Pecans
d.) “Truck Balls.”
e.) Exaggerated Confidence.
f.) All of the above.

3. The Governor of Georgia is (pick one):
a.)  Nathan_Deal,_official_110th_Congress_photo
b.) Yosemite+Sam+ysguns2
c.) Dixie Carter
d.) Unknown

4. The mascot of the University of Georgia is:
a.) A bulldog.
b.) A bloody deer head.
c.) The cartoon character Calvin urinating onto the logo of another university.
d.) A warm, half-consumed can of Keystone Light.
3.) The Fightin’ Rebecca Latimer Feltons.

5. The head coach of Georgia’s men’s basketball team is:
a.) Mark Fox.
b.) Michael J. Fox.
c.) Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox.”

6. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is:
a.) A current player for the Georgia Bulldogs.
b.) An NBA basketball player who played for the Georgia Bulldogs last year.
c.) A character in Dr. Seuss’ 1964 book Too Many Hats!
d.) Rick Pitino’s safe word.

7. The Georgia Bulldogs play basketball in:
a.) Stegeman Coliseum.
b.) Weinstein Arena.
c.) The Chang Center.
d.) Jerry Reed Memorial Gymnasium.

8. Which is of the following is the actual and most accurate name of a current Georgia basketball player?
a.) Kenny
b.) Paul
c.) Geno
d.) Kenny Paul Geno.

9. Picture_10
UGA’s mascot “Hairy Dawg,” is:
a.) One of Forbes Magazine’s “Top Ten Sports Mascots.”
b.) A self-appointed “Stadium Defender” during football games.
c.) An auxiliary mascot to “Uga,” a live bulldog.
d.) Peeking through your windows when your girlfriend gets undressed.
e.) All of the above.

10. Whenever Georgia wins a big game:
a.) Their fans rush the court.
b.) Athens’ Walgreens mysteriously run out of Robitussin DM.
c.) Ray Stevens plays a free concert at the UGA student center.
d.) It’s Truck Balls time.

11. The biggest threat to worry about with Georgia is:
a.) The recent emergence of forward Marcus Thornton as a leader.
b.) Mark Fox’s comfort with a previously-unstable starting lineup.
c.) An increased sense of morale and camaraderie within the Bulldog team.
d.) Hairy Dawg peeking at your naked, unwitting girlfriend.

Go Cats. See you next week, gang.


Foul or No Foul?

Foul or No Foul?

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Hello, Friends. You look well. You really should put a shirt on, you’re going to get really cold in this weather. Yes, we all love your tattoo. I’m not sure it’s spelled “Too-pock,” though. You might want to look into that. Yeah, I don’t think there’s a dash in that.

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that Tuesday night wasn’t fun. It was an exciting game, sure, but whenever an “L” is handed over to our Cats it isn’t much of a good time. The one thing most forefront in Tuesday night’s game, however, had to be the fouling situation. Sixty fouls in one game prompt even the casual viewer to wonder what’s going on with the NCAA and their new fouling rules for 2013-14. Don’t pretend like you understand them all, because no one does, and that one person you know who claims to is lying. Lucky for you, then, that you have your old friend Tomlin here to look up the new rules concerning NCAA fouls – and we’ll do it today in a little game we call Foul or No Foul. It’s easy. I’ll present a situation, you tell me if it’s an NCAA-sanctioned foul or not. Shall we? Oh indeed we shall.

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Q. While defending, a player sticking close to his man places his arm out to keep contact with his opponent’s forearm and upper arm, non-aggressively, to keep his opponent in check and at bay.

A. Foul. According to the NCAA rules, a personal foul should be called whenever “a player keeps a hand or forearm on an opponent” during play.

 

Q. A defender quickly jumps into the path of an offensive player as the offensive player starts his movement with the ball to either jump or pass the ball to a nearby teammate.

A. Foul. According to the NCAA’s newly revised block/charge call ruling, the defensive player “is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass.”

 

Q. A player swinging his elbows above his shoulders makes contact with his opponent.

A. Possible Foul, But Not Always. The newly-amended NCAA rules concerning elbows allows court officials to use the monitor to review elbow fouls to determine if the offending elbow contact was unintentional, garnering no foul, or a variation of flagrant foul on the offensive player.

 

Q. An offensive player, after being taken to an extravagant restaurant by the defending player with the defending player paying the entirety of the restaurant bill, makes a gesture of thanks by patting him on the back.

A. Foul. According to NCAA rules, “the use of an arm bar to impede the progress of an opponent” is prohibited and a personal foul should be consistently called.

 

Q. A defending player during game play approaches an offensive player and mimics placing his hand behind the offensive player’s ear, using sleight of hand to give the impression that the defender has just removed a quarter from behind the offensive player’s ear, both surprising and delighting the offensive player.

A. Foul. The receiving or accepting of moneys or gifts garnered in correlation to NCAA athletic play is strictly prohibited by the NCAA and should consistently be called a foul with possible committee investigation.

 

Q. A defending player is found to have a stray eyelash resting upon his cheek, whereupon the offensive player tells him to hold still and “make a wish” as the offensive player delicately blows the eyelash away from his cheek.

A. Foul. According to NCAA rules the encouragement of dreams and ambitions is prohibited by the NCAA in all ways, including wishing upon stars, blowing out birthday candles and depositing coins into fountains or wells (said coins are as well may be suspect to committee investigation and review concerning athletes and monetary gain).

 

Q. A defending player shoves an offensive player out of bounds during game play.

A. No Foul. Acceptable pending the opinion of the officials.

 

Q. An offensive player is dying. A defensive player who has special otherworldly powers unknown to him until only the past few months, and who has struggled to control these powers and come to terms with them, touches the offensive player with his hand and heals his body, making him well again to the crowd’s amazement.

A. Foul. No hands or forearms on the opponent.


Effective Immediately

Effective Immediately

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From: Sloane, Tracy
Subject: Effective Immediately
Date: January 9, 2014
To: PR Team

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Team,

As you are aware by now, former Louisville Football coach Bobby Petrino will be returning to the University of Louisville as head coach. I don’t need to tell those of you who’ve worked under Petrino’s last stint that he can be a bit of a “handful” from a public relations standpoint. With a checkered career past, both rumored and confirmed, it’s always best to be proactive from our posts. As our colleagues at Arkansas can tell you, it’s very difficult to predict the types of “unique” situations a coach like Coach Petrino will bring to the table, and we are going to need to be prepared for anything that may come down the pike. Better safe than sorry, and we don’t want to get caught unprepared by anything which may happen. Therefore, Gary, Susan and I spent a lot of time last night brainstorming – for our own safekeeping, should we require it – a set of guidelines to deal with these press rumors and possible situations. Please always consult this set of guidelines FIRST when dealing with an anticipated situation or rumor, and if it’s not covered here we can decide then how to proceed. Thanks.

Tracy

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Situation: Press is Negative about Coach Petrino’s New Hiring
Appropriate PR Response: “Regardless of what you may have perceived in the past, the University of Louisville is very excited for the return of Coach Petrino and we are thrilled to meet Louisville Football’s next chapter of tradition and success with him at the helm.”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino Rumored to be Considering Leaving the Program Again
Appropriate PR Response: “Be assured that Coach Petrino is very happy with the state of Louisville Football and his role as head coach and he has expressed to us that he intends to remain here for a very long time.”

 

Situation: Coach May be Secretly Interviewing with Other Football Programs
Appropriate PR Response: “Coach Petrino is very happy with the state of Louisville Football and there is no confirmed truth to any rumor that he is interviewing elsewhere at this juncture. He is excited about moving forward with his program.”

 

Situation: Coach is Rumored to have Been Unfaithful to His Spouse
Appropriate PR Response: “Coach Petrino and his wife have a wonderful relationship, despite past ups and downs, and their marriage is stronger than ever.”

 

Situation: Several Suspect Text Messages to an Alleged Mistress are Published in Media
Appropriate PR Response: “The texts attributed to Coach Petrino are not his, as Coach Petrino’s cell phone was stolen on the weekend of [DATE].”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino Hires Two Hooters Waitresses to Staff
Appropriate PR Response: “Marissa and Crystal are both diligent, hard-working and qualified candidates to head up the University of Louisville’s Running Backs coaching staff, and we wish former Assistant Coach Kenny Carter the best in his future endeavors.”

 

Situation: Several Racy Emails Directed to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor are Published in Media
Appropriate PR Response: “While Coach Petrino has nothing but the utmost respect for Justice Sotomayor and her notable rulings in the fields of civil and property rights, the two are simply longtime friends. That’s all.”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino and Coach Pitino are Discovered to have been Contestants on the 2001 Reality Program Love Cruise
Appropriate PR Response: “Coaches Pitino and Petrino regret their decisions to have appeared on the program, as both were going through rocky times in their lives and marriages. It should also be noted that Coach Pitino donated his winning prize money to charity and never said he ‘loved’ Dakota; the latter was manufactured in editing.”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino Crashes a Motorcycle
Appropriate PR Response: “We will keep you updated on Coach’s health and this situation as events develop.”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino Crashes a Hot Air Balloon
Appropriate PR Response: “While it is true that Coach Petrino had not completed all of the ballooning hours required to pilot a hot air balloon solo, the situation is being ruled a manufacturer’s error and not the fault of the operator.”

 

Situation: Coach Petrino Crashes a Garbage Truck
Appropriate PR Response: “We are looking into how Coach Petrino may have acquired a garbage truck and will keep you updated on the conditions of Coach Petrino and Justice Sotomayor.”

 

Situation: Louisville Wins a BCS Championship
Appropriate PR Response: “We are all very proud of Coach Petrino and especially the hard work of Crystal and Marissa, without whom this championship wouldn’t be possible. ”


Photo Bombing: The University of Louisville

Photo Bombing: The University of Louisville

Editor’s note: The number of pictures in this post is causing the site to slow down, so we are moving it off the main page. Apologies!

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Hello, friends. Hey, look! Mistletoe. Get over here, you.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I’m also quite sure I don’t need to tell you that this weekend is a big, big weekend for the Bluegrass in the almighty matchup between the Wildcats and Cardinals. Bragging rights depend on it. I wanted to learn more about this villain who lives among us, so I spent all of my Christmas Day ignoring my family and looking at the Louisville web site. I think I’ve come to a greater understanding of our foes, and I wanted to share this new knowledge — via Louisville University’s Official Photos – with you today. maybe we can all learn to live together. Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week.

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Welcome to the University of Louisville! I hope you brought your oar, because it’s going to be a great four years. Get to know this famous gesture, new Cardinals — it’s the classic “Louisville L,” and it’s a campus tradition not only because you can hold it up to signify your fandom, but you can also stick it in your pocket if you need to pretend to have a gun while holding up a gas station or liquor store. “L” yeah!

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Just look at this camaraderie. These students are taking a break from their studies to nestle themselves into a hole in a rock fence with Louisville native and My Morning Jacket lead singer Jim James. Maybe he’ll sing “I’m Amazed” for them! You never know what the day will bring at U of L!

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Who likes popcorn? There’s plenty of it at this year’s New Students Orientation get-together. Then afterward you can grab a cup of ice cold ginger-ale punch, if you can get Tracy to move her damn dirty feet off the table. Good times are had by all!

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No one knows what young people love like the Louisville Student Activities Department. Rap dancing, text-mailing, the Nintendos — there’s always something fun being planned by these resident experts. If you need them, you can find them huddled together in the stairwell of the Student Activities Center.

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These students are fitfully trying to make sense of this not-Hollister catalogue. Teamwork, guys! Good luck!

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I know what you’re thinking! How nice of these fine students to help one another move into the dorms on Orientation Weekend! Unfortunately, this is a photo of two students stealing a refrigerator from the commons-area kitchen of Miller Hall. Crime can be prevented if we all just keep our eyes open and report anything suspicious, okay?

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Hooray! Pool party, everybody! The spacious, glistening pool at this off-campus, Louisville-affiliated student housing is great for celebrations, vomiting, late night trysts or contracting meningitis. (The chances of your contracting meningitis are statistically very slim.)

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Move-in day! I don’t know if you’ve seen this year’s sophomore class yet, Freshmen, but you’re probably going to need to clean a little before you move in. There are a lot of Olde English 800 stains and weed burns in those rooms. Also, we only recommend installing a blacklight in your new dorm room at your own risk. Seriously.

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It’s a soap-suds party! We told you the Student Activities Department knows what they’re doing! Dance into the wee hours to Molly Cyrus, Two Chain or The Pit Bulls — and you’ll probably never even know these suds are being generated from a highly concentrated amount of lice shampoo. Killing two birds with one stone is what Louisville ingenuity’s all about!

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The holidays on campus are always a blast! From Valentine’s Day dances to St. Patrick’s Day parties, the students of Louisville always know how to make any holiday one to remember. And memories abound, indeed — here we see the late, beloved Professor Gant at this year’s Halloween party just before the unfortunate miscommunication which took his life. We’ll never forget you, Professor Gant!

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Should you, in fact, contract meningitis, no worries — U of L has you covered with a variety of treatments and health services at your disposal. Feel free to contact health services for the appropriate antibiotics you’ll need to squelch the disease. Go Cards! And L Yeah! 


This Year’s Holiday Christmas Cards Have Arrived

This Year’s Holiday Christmas Cards Have Arrived

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Hello, friends. I didn’t see you come in. As you can see, I’m wrapping some presents. This year, as usual, it’s handcut porkchops from Boone’s Butcher Shop for everyone. The key is to deliver the gifts before their natural juices soak through the wrapping paper. It’s tricky, but you go that extra mile for those you love at the holidays.

Friends, I don’t need to tell you that next week is Christmas. You’re probably well aware by now, considering everything’s decked out for the festive holiday. It’s also, as I’m sure you’re also well aware, a time to send Christmas cards – and these Christmas cards are often a good chance to update your friends and extended family about how your year has gone thus far. I myself have receive stacks on stacks on stacks of cards this holiday season, from some very well-known people, and thought you might find it interesting to see what others’ Christmas letters impart this season. I’ve included some excerpts below and hope you’ll enjoy. I also hope you’ll all have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays, and I’ll see you back here just before the new year.

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Been traveling a lot this year. March was rough, got stuck in Pittsburgh. This winter has been a little better. Had to take uneventful trips to Dallas, Brooklyn and Chapel Hill, though we’d really much prefer to stay home, as it’s always nice to just be at home. Looking forward to the new year and big things.
-John
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What a year! Things have really gone well. A Big Ten championship, an NCAA Tournament championship, an undefeated season so far. I can only hope 2014 is as good. Joani says I’m the best husband she could ever hope for, and our children are beautiful and lucky to have me. I hope you all are having a happy holiday. Kisses to you all.
-Tom C.
Unknown-1
…Our Fourth of July was awful. just awful. There’s no other way to say it. Got a new puppy in September, which we’re trying to discipline right now. You know, not swat it — I’m not gonna swat it — but, you know, “bad dog.” I swear, the kids just put their heads down and roll their eyes. They’re unparentable. Also, one of my players wants everyone to have a merry christmas. I swear, I thought that’s what he said. I got you a little something for Christmas, I’ll drop it by. It’s nothing big, but it’s like I tell my wife, you know? Doesn’t matter.
-Barry
 Unknown
I hope everyone is having a great holiday this year. This year we’ve had our ups and downs. Unfortunately, we just missed going to Super Bowl XLVII in January, which was a real bummer. But on the plus side, I am still married to Gisele Bundchen, which is nice because she’s really hot. I’ve also had some tough games this season, and not played as well as I hoped. But again, I have, like two $5 million UGGS and Under Armor contracts. Forbes only ranked me number 65 in this year’s Celebrity 100, but that’s okay. We all have off-years. I hope you’re doing well. Did you get that promotion at the car parts factory? What is it you make there again? Mufflers or something? My new car has two of those!
-Tommy
 Unknown-1
Happy holidays you piece of ****. I hope Santa comes down the chimney and ****s in your ******** face. Then I hope you and your family have a ******** Christmas and that someone ******s all over your tree. All the best to your family. Tell your mom I say hello and that I want to slap her in the face.
-Richie
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I hope you all are having a great Christmas season. It’s always a great holiday here at the Stallings house, and each year I look forward to it. I love eating the delicious turkey and Christmas cookies Lisa makes every year. Then eating the candy canes off the tree. Then eating the tree. And eating all the stockings and decorations and lights and presents. It’s one of the things that makes Christmas so happy.
-Kev
Unknown
Merry Christmas to you all. Things are good here. I spend most days yelling at the sun and writing complaints to the electric company. I was happy that NCIS got renewed again but I don’t like NCIS Los Angeles because it’s too fancy. My best friend, a rock, rolled away in June. I do miss it. I carved a mean face in a tree to keep the kids away from my house and I’m cold a lot. All of my money is buried in the forest and nobody will ever find it because President Truman isn’t getting his hand on my hard-earned cash. If you see Bill Garner you tell him that I’mma shoot him if he steps foot here again because I know he’s working with the bank to take my land. Please don’t anyone visit. Happy holidays.
-Bob K.

Excerpts from Roy Williams’ Book Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court

Excerpts from Roy Williams’ Book Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court

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Hello there, friends. I hope you’re all well. Look, I can tell it’s the holiday season because you have all that snow in your hair! Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you hadn’t been outside. I’ll sit over here, okay?

Friends, I know I don’t have to tell you that this weekend our Cats take on the villainous North Carolina Tarheels in Chapel Hill. It’s a rivalry as old as the hills around here: two storied college basketball programs and two revered modern basketball coaches. Of course I’m talking about Cal and Roy Williams, the latter a thorn in our side once at Kansas and for the last ten years in North Carolina. Oddly enough, I’ve recently been reading Roy’s 2009 book Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court and I’ve learned that Roy’s aw-shucks, rural-gentleman demeanor – one reason no doubt the fine folks of North Carolina and, previously, Kansas, love him so much – lends itself to a great many words of wisdom. So today I thought I’d share some of the actual quotes from Williams’ book and we could all get to know him a little better. Sound fun? Let’s do it then, shall we? And have a great weekend, gang.

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“At the end of each season, I hear some of my critics in the media say ‘Oh Boy, Roy’s going to cry again’…I’m probably too emotional. I went through a stretch at Kansas where I actually tried to talk myself into not crying, but it just wasn’t me. I just can’t help it.”

“I try to pick my battles about when to argue with an official. After all of my years as a referee in intramurals, I know how hard the job is, so I’ll only protest when I’m sure I’m right.”

“When it comes to mentoring my players, I look at myself like a teammate. I am playing as hard as I can every day to get them to believe in what I believe in: that there’s a right way to conduct yourself, there’s a right way to answer people, there’s a right way to dress when you go to a restaurant or get on a plane, and there’s a right way to play basketball.”

“We like to describe ourselves as a ‘family,’ and Wanda and I like to treat it that way. When recruits come on their visits, Wanda will fix breakfast at our house…if we’re not playing in the final of our conference tournament, Wanda makes brownies and banana pudding and the players come over to watch the NCAA selection show.”

“One time Ed Hightower called me after a game in my hotel room. ‘Hey Roy,’ he said to me on the phone, ‘you know, I think you were right about all those calls you were arguing about. I’m real sorry about that. I should have listened to you more out there.’ Sometimes it takes a while but if you have faith in people, they usually come around.”

“I remember one Christmas morning when Harrison, McAdoo and PJ woke Wanda and I up at the crack of dawn. They just couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought them. Dexter, Reggie and John had a snowball fight and then we all made cookies and sang carols by the fire. It’s times like that with your family you never forget.”

“One day after a really tough practice, I called Drew [Gooden] over to talk to me. ‘Listen Drew,’ I told him, looking him right in the eyes, ‘if there’s ever a tornado you make sure you get under one of those metal washtubs and wait for it to pass, alright? I’m serious. Okay?’ He nodded; I knew that he understood what I was saying. There’s a right way to survive a tornado.”

“Sometimes to relax before a big stretch of tough games, I like to take the team to see Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede show over at the Pigeon Forge. It’s a real good show, I get a group discount, and everyone gets one of those souvenir boot cups. They’ve got folks jumping through fire, real-life buffalo and the prettiest ladies you’ve ever seen riding on horses. Every time I try to talk myself out of crying, but I can’t. It’s just not me.”

“One time Tyler Hansbrough sassed me and I told him not to do it again. He did, so I made him go out and pick out a switch, then I put him over my knee and gave him a whoopin’ with that switch. He never sassed me again. That’s just how it is with families sometimes. Sometimes you gotta do that.”

“I believe in a loyalty to the people who believe in you. True friends, people who really love you, are few and far between, and those relationships need to be protected and nurtured at all costs because they’re the ones that really matter. That’s why I go with Nike.”

“Once I was mashing some onions with a hammer – the onions were making my eyes tear up – while I watched this movie, and in the movie the Home Alone kid got stung by a bunch of bees and died and I was crying so hard that I couldn’t see and I hit my thumb with the hammer and cried even harder. I know people were probably like ‘Oh no, Roy’s crying again,’ but that’s just me. Like I said, I can’t help it.”


Cleveland State Prepares

Cleveland State Prepares

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Alright, everyone. Gather in. Take a seat. We need to talk about Monday night.

Now, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, Kentucky is really, really good. It’s actually a good thing that we’re playing them, because it will bring in some money for the school and the program. And I’m not going to lie to you – we’re going to get completely demolished out there by them. That’s what we’re there for. But that’s okay. Because our trip to Kentucky has a silver lining.

We are not coming back to Cleveland.

What, you thought I’d just agree to send us off to Rupp Arena, the loudest place in the world, to a bunch of fans who are completely insane about a National Championship-contending team and who want nothing more than to see them make everyone in their path look like chumps? Look, I know we all work hard here, but that would just be silly. There’s been a bigger plan in place this entire time.

Don’t look surprised. You know you guys hate it here too. It’s so cold. It’s awful. It’s only November 21st, and two days ago one of our student managers froze to death in the wind. I was looking at my six year-old’s illustrated map of the United States this morning and the icon next to Cleveland was just a sad face. My wife and I had to celebrate our anniversary last week at a Joe’s Crab Shack. So we’re all going to Kentucky on Monday and we’re staying there.

Administration doesn’t have a clue but I have everything planned out. It’s all going to be perfect. I have a guy working on new drivers’ licenses and birth certificates for all of you, along with cover stories for your new lives in Kentucky. Trey, your new name is Richard Turlington. You’re twenty-seven years old with two kids and a managerial job at Garden Ridge. Marlin, you’re a floral assistant in Corbin. I myself will become Toyoku Utada, the assistant director of Tourism for the city of Carrollton. It’s not going to be easy for any of us – in my case, I don’t even know anything about what Carrollton has to offer – but I’ve arranged for each of you to get a small sum of money to get started along with a short dossier about your new identity. It’s not much, but maybe it’ll help.

Since we scheduled this game this past summer, I’ve spent every single night in my basement stuffing very tall burlap dummies full of straw and dried beans so the bus driver will think we’re all onboard and headed back to campus after the game. There’s a back exit near our locker room at Rupp Arena and afterward we’re each going to put on our new clothes and quietly slip out the door, one at a time, and into the night. Do not act like anything’s up. If any media asks you any questions you just tell them you tried your hardest but Kentucky’s really good and you’re looking forward to the rest of your season. Then meet me in the locker room where I’ll hand you your wig and glasses, shake your hand, and send you on your way to a new life.

This is a secret which will bond us together for the rest of our days. No one can ever know who we are. If anyone ever asks you about Cleveland, even if you know the answer, you’ll have to pretend that you don’t. And that’s not going to be easy, because there will be many occasions where you will be the only person in the room who knows anything about the Cleveland Cavaliers. But you have to stay quiet. Remember, no one knows anything about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not “regular people” like you, anyway.

I want to take this time to say it’s been an honor being your coach, but we can never see each other again. The same goes for your families; so make sure you enjoy this last weekend with them. But you’re going to love Kentucky. They only get snow there about nine or ten days in an entire winter. They have trucks which come around – sometimes once a week – to pick up garbage off the street. You can drink water straight out of the faucet. Someday you’ll realize this was all for you. All for you. There’s no way of knowing it now, but it will all be for the best.

Vaya con dios, my friends. We will greet each other with our true names next when we meet in heaven. Until then, here’s a copy of The Bluegrass Conspiracy and a True Blue Fan button for each of you. You’re going to fit in just fine. And someday, I know you’ll thank me for this.


The Latest Bracketology is Here

The Latest Bracketology is Here

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Tuesday night was a disheartening loss for the Kentucky Wildcats and their fans. I don’t think any of us can deny that. Though this team has tremendous talent and potential, the reality of their first major league opponent was simply too tough to overcome. Was it unfair to expect too much of a group of young players? Perhaps. Will they learn from these mistakes? Almost certainly.

The good news – and there is good news – is that my own bracketology predictions still show a lot of promise.

Should Kentucky drop to number four on Monday, which some experts are predicting, they’ll still be in theory a number one seed for the NCAA Tournment in 2014 – quite possibly in the South Region, playing in Raleigh, North Carolina. They would likely play sixteen-seeded Belmont University, which the Wildcats would win at an estimated score of 89-68. The next round would see the Wildcats facing a Weber State squad which has defeated bubble team La Salle and has by March exceeded many expectations as a Cinderella fan favorite.

Elsewhere, number three seed Louisville – having suffered losses at the hands of UConn and Central Florida – will face a hobbled North Carolina in Buffalo. The Tarheels will be sputtering after P.J. Hairston suffers two broken legs as the result of a late January snowboarding accident and the Cards will take them down early, but an Elite Eight surprise loss to Oregon will remove Louisville from the picture. With the Wildcats’ freshman clicked into place and firing on all cylinders, Kentucky meets a number two seed Arizona in the finals and takes home its ninth National Championship. A humbled Louisville’s embarrassing Oregon loss, however, changes the mind of sought-after recruit Parnell Gold, who opts instead to take his talents to Texas Southern University.

The ensuing victory will bring another stellar fleet of recruits into the Kentucky pipeline but the new crew won’t get its footing quite so easily. In 2017 Kentucky will make a strong run at another banner but will ultimately lose to eleven-seed Texas Southern — led by junior forward Parnell Gold — to give the Tigers their first ever National Championship. Bill Self will be fired after an embarrassing second round Kansas exit; he’ll quickly be snatched up by Wisconsin after Bo Ryan retires and Wisconsin within four years will be a consistent top-ten team.

A rivalry between UK and Wisconsin by aging coaches John Calipari and Bill Self will brew for several years, and by the time UK defeats Wisconsin in the Netherlands Classic of 2023 the feud will be among basketball’s greatest. The Netherlands Classic win will put UK in prime position to play as a number one seed in the Midwest Region, probably in New Milwaukee. A record fifth straight banner for Texas Southern will cement the Tigers as royalty and their dynasty will continue, garnering three more banners in the next five years.

In 2029, when national folk hero Parnell Gold leads the state of Texas to its independence through a long and bloody battle at the border of Oklahoma, Texas Southern is required by the NCAA — as it is no longer a recognized state of the Union — to vacate its nine National Championships. These vacated championships are then retroactively awarded to the runners-up of the respective NCAA Tournaments, which instantly adds two more championships to Kentucky’s legacy. It also garners the University of Florida two more banners, which boosts the school’s recruiting over the next two years and leads to a stronger team than Florida has seen in some time.

The 2032 National Championship game, almost canceled by a several-feet deep snowstorm at UNLV’s Thomas Mack Center on the eve of the game, is won by Billy Donovan Jr.’s newly-bolstered Florida Gators. As a result of the NCAA’s controversial new-technology “Time-Bye” provision, which allows a national champion the opportunity to travel back in time to replay one game in its history as long as the players of that team agree not to do anything which may affect any the outcome of anything else, the Gators choose their 2000 National Championship loss to Tom Izzo’s Michigan State team and this time defeat the Spartans, undermining what would become Tom Izzo’s legacy and costing Michigan State the recruits it would have otherwise employed to propel them to the NCAA Tournament for the next thirteen years. With UK’s space-time chronology still intact, Tuesday night’s game then becomes a lesser matchup of talent for Kentucky and the Wildcats win 97-78, adding back the game they need to have a perfect record on the season and making the foresightful merchants who copyrighted “40-0” into millionaires who donate a large percentage of the promotional money needed to turn UK’s new home base,  “40-0 T-Shirt Arena,” into a glistening reality. Also, dogs are now extinct because a Florida player accidentally stepped on a rare flower while back in the year 2000.

See? It’s not that bad. Keep your chins up. Everything’s going to be just fine.

Sorry about dogs.