So far, four of the five CBS Sports’ Critical Coaches articles have referenced Cal or Kentucky. The series started off innocently enough, with an anonymous survey of 100 coaches on who was the most coveted player in college hoops (Nerlens Noel checked in at number six). Okay, standard, preseason stuff. Cool. Next, CBS Sports asked coaches who they though were the most underrated coach in the game (Calipari came in sixth). That’s a pretty nice article to put out, right? People saying nice things about other people and giving them recognition for a job well done. The next article, featuring the most overrated coaches in the game was not quite so nice, but Kentucky and Cal escape the wrath of these brave coaches hiding behind their pencils.
The fourth article in the series centered on the mysterious Worldwide Wes, who has always been associated with Calipari, and prior to its release, let’s admit it, we were all a little anxious. Fortunately, it was all for naught, as the article included little to no new information about Wes, just that most coaches think he is shady and may or may not have some link to Calipari. Groundbreaking stuff, really. However, today’s installment, “Who is perceived to be the biggest cheater in the sport?,” hit a little too close to home, and in doing so, accomplished its goal: stirring up the Big Blue Nation and generating hits for CBSSports.com.
By now, we’ve discussed the article to death. Cal, unsurprisingly, came in at number one, with 36% of coaches “perceiving” that he cheats. Most media members on Twitter slammed it, pointing out that asking coaches to anonymously accuse others in their profession of cheating is stepping over the line. Personally, I think the whole thing was ridiculously passive aggressive and meaningless. Of course 36% of coaches are going to say they “perceive” Cal as a cheater…he’s beating them in every way. If they can anonymously cast him in a bad light (how convenient!), they might have something to gain. What did I learn from the article? Thirty-six percent of coaches are jealous, bitter, and desperate.
Ranting aside, CBSSports’ tactic is genius: it’s the offseason, they’re tired of thinking up stories, and hey, who cares about basketball in August? Kentucky fans. Let’s poke Cal and the Big Blue Nation to generate hits and discussion. Monday’s article, “Which player had the dirtiest recruitment the last ten years?”, will be no different. At this point, I fully expect the next round of articles to go something like this:
Critical Coaches: Why was John Calipari in the Kraft Suite at Gillette Stadium?
Critical Coaches: Why did Drake get a Championship ring?
Critical Coaches: Coaches and Corporate sponsorships: how far is too far?
Critical Coaches: One-and-dones: Are they ruining the game?
Critical Coaches: What is the most obnoxious fan base in the country?
Critical Coaches: Do flat-tops give unfair height advantages?