Over the course of this summer, due to numerous events related to the UK program and outside of it, different groups of people have come out of their basements and reared their lame heads for the world to see. They are the worst kind of people, because they don’t realize how pitiful they are and thus keep going and going and going like an energizer bunny or Karen Sypher at a sports bar. Make sure you don’t fall into one of these groups, because I promise you that the majority of regular human beings (whether they say it or not) find you to be comically lame:
1) FACEBOOK/TWITTER GUY
-As was pointed out by Matt a few weeks ago, some people have taken upon themselves to comment on both current UK players and recruits facebook/twitter pages. Now, on the surface, there is nothing wrong with this. Telling Darius Miller “good game” or asking Quincy Miller to come to UK is fine with me. But, it seems that a small number of people actually think they have a personal relationship with these KIDS. See which word I capitalized? It’s is AMAZINGLY lame for a middle aged man or woman to send constant messages to a KID to the point of harassment. The loser who was not happy with Darius’ language on his Twitter account needs to come out his bedroom every once in a while and realize that’s the real world. The guy who sent a UK recruit 16 (I think) Twitter messages in a hour needs to realize that he does nothing but hurt UK’s chances with the kind of obsession, not to mention that Twitter messages don’t come into play in a kid’s decision, no matter what you may think.
Then my favorite Facebook/Twitter guy is the jilted fan version. Whether its Terrence Jones coming to UK, or a player jilting Kentucky, it seems every time a big recruit chooses a school, the schools he did not choose get their sad little feelings hurt. Clearly these people don’t have kids or hobbies, because the fact that a 17 year old choosing to not come to your school hurts you so bad you are opening critical to the kid on his facebook/twitter page is just embarrassing. Go hit some golf balls. Play with your kids. Go for a run. Touch a woman for the first time. I really don’t care. Just don’t be THAT guy.
2) OBSSESSED WITH REPORTERS GUY
-OK, let’s think about this rationally for a minute. Across the country, most people don’t like the University of Kentucky basketball program. With the addition of John Calipari and his perceived history, it only intensified the hate. Plus it appears UK is getting great recruiting classes year after year. So, when a reporter writes a story like the one the Chicago Sun-Times wrote last week, WHAT ACTUALLY CHANGES?? Well, you could argue that it will force the NCAA to investigate those claims. Fair enough, but if you think that Calipari is running a clean program, then you have nothing to worry about. If you think he is running a dirty program, then the reporters story is accurate and you can’t criticize him.
Then let’s take a guy like Pat Forde, who it seems may have a grudge against either Calipari or UK. Assuming that is true, how much damage can Forde (or other reporters) actually do? Do you actually think that a highly touted recruit is going to say: “You know what, I read that Forde article a couple weeks ago and I just don’t think UK is the place for me”. HELL NO!! So again, what impact does a reporter like him or any other reporter who wants to write negative articles about Kentucky actually have?
The answer is nothing. Kids will still want to come to Kentucky. The fans of other schools already hated us, so their opinion is not changed. And the NCAA already has a close eye on the program, so nothing changes there. The point is, to get worked up EVERYTIME an article is written that puts UK in a negative light is a waste of energy. Think about all the Forde articles, and all the articles before the UK-Cornell game. Now, think about what actually changed because of those articles. Tell me again what’s the reason to get all fuming about them.
3) CLEAN PROGRAM GUY
-Quick scenario for you to consider: Kentucky is recruiting a guy, along with 3 other top basketball programs. Kentucky is running a clean program and the other 3 programs are dirty. The other 3 programs offer a top tier kid 5-figures to play at their school, while Kentucky says they will not pay a cent. Which school do you think the kid is going to?
I do not say that to suggest or insinuate that Kentucky is dirty. I am simply pointing out that blindly saying that you KNOW the program is clean because “It’s Kentucky” and “We don’t have to cheat” is delusional. College basketball is truly one of the dirtiest businesses in the country. I think it’s dirtier than you can even imagine. I know some of the stories I have heard from the recruiting trail would knock you to the ground. And the problems almost always starts with shoe companies. It’s not so much that the programs themselves are dirty, its that they let these show companies to have too much power because those companies can guarantee kids.
Point being, as a fan, you should always defend your program. Always. But to do so blindly, without any real consideration of the real world, is setting yourself up for a bigger disappointment. The ENTIRE system is dirty. If you investigate any college basketball program, some violations (some minor, some major) are being committed. I don’t care if the jersey says KENTUCKY on the front, because program prestige is not important to the highly ranked recruits of the today. What matters is how to get to the pros, and how they can do that the easiest.
Just don’t be THAT fan who can not actually reason inside their brain that their program has warts too. Louisville is cheating. Syracuse is cheating. North Carolina is cheating. And if it were up to me, I would say scrap the rules, and everybody cheat as much as they want. But, that’s not the way it is now, and fans from EVERY program need to recognize this.