Certain players need to have an attitude. I firmly believe that if some team comes down and “calms” Terrell Owens, they will end up with a really tall receiver who can be replicated by any team in the league. Tiger Woods is a great golfer….but he becomes the best golfer in the history of the sport when eggheaded columnists talk about how he is in a “slump” and how married life has “taken away his drive” (as if these two dollar Doctor Phil’s dont realize that most every golfer is married….and most to a woman not nearly as gorgeous as the Swedish nanny).
While watching the Cats play against Mississippi St, it became clear that our man Patrick Sparks has that attitude back. If you grew up in Kentucky, you knew a kid like Patrick Sparks…..wears a lot of camoflauge, likes to dip, thinks he is cute when he looks really absurd and needlessly full of himself no matter whether the task is basketball or basic geometry. Those types of people can be very difficult to like….unless life’s travels have made him your friend….or in Patrick’s case, but him on your team. Then there is something about that attitude that makes you smile. Just as when your friend hits on a girl who is way out of his league, fully confident that he will get her, watching Patrick throw a behind the back pass to Rondo for no apparent reason and then follow that up by throwing it into press row cant help but make you chuckle.
Last night was the culmination of the return of cocky Patrick Sparks….it wasnt so much that he made a lot of shots…..heck Richard Lewis can be cocky if he is not missing…..it was that he showed a little arrogance even when missing, almost guaranteeing to the Bulldogs that the next one would go down. When he made a tip-in that deserves to be on his career highlight reel, he ran down the court yelling “and one” as if the was on a playground that certainly does not exist in Central City. All of this of course infuratied the Mississippi St faithful but it should have energized the Big Blue Nation. For it is clear that for better or worse, as Patrick goes so go the Cats. In his two years of playing at Kentucky, the Cats have beaten exactly one team (Louisville this year) when he hasnt been on his game. Whether we like it or not, we need cocky Patrick Sparks….and he has returned….in full force.