You may have thought the star of the UK Canadian tour was Brandon Knight…or maybe you thought Darius Miller…or potentially even John Calipari’s wardrobe designer. You were wrong. No, the star of the entire trip was a formerly unknown Windsor sportswriter who took the Commonwealth by storm, the now legendary, Dominic Papa. Papa was hired on by the Big Blue Network to provide sideline interviews for the game. Why, we arent sure. Potentially to give a little local flavor, potentially because Rob Bromley was holding out for more money….it isnt clear. But what is clear is that from moment one, Dom Papa became a star. Round, Canadian and full of flair, Dom Papa had a huge opening night in which he wore a Windsor shirt, pronounced the UK players names slightly incorrectly and referred to Dave Baker as “Dale” the entire evening. A legend was created.
As the week went on, Papa was in the house some more, although he mixed it up a bit. He put on a UK shirt for the last two games, learned how to say “Doron” and even called Buzz “Dave”, just for good measure. On my live blog, comments about Dom Papa were made more than any other subject except Calipari’s “Rascall Flatts concert meets Puerto Rican pimp” look on Tuesday. Papa became a star and suggestions included starting a “Dom and Brom” pre-game show for games this fall. Now there is a movement afoot to even bring Dominic Papa to Kentucky. A Facebook site has been created and the message boards/comment sections are showing that Papa is the best Kentucky cult hero since Dancing Guy.
For his part, Papa seems to be oblivious to the attention. After the last game, I went up to him and asked, “do you know that you have become a star in Kentucky?” He looked at me baffled and asked what I meant. I said, “in Kentucky, you are the hot topic with your sideline reporting.” He looked at me without cracking a smile and said, “I am glad they enjoy my work.” See that is what Papa is all about. He does the work and hopes you appreciate it…and then moves on to his regular Windsor beat. No frills…no sass…no Cutler moustache…just good old fashioned Papa-filled journalism. We need more Dominic Papas in this world and if I were running a major sports media channel, I might tell Erin Andrews she has some new competition in the sideline reporting/ballroom dancing world.