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In Re Pearl




After a terrific win last night by the UK Hoops team in a sold out Memorial Coliseum, and with a road game for the fellas looming tomorrow at Tennessee, we find ourselves today sandwiched between two opportunities to make people in Knoxville sad.  I love these kinds of days.  But as much as I enjoy beating Tennessee, I don’t think it’s gonna be quite the same tomorrow with Cuonzo Martin on the sidelines.


Am I the only person that really misses Bruce Pearl?  I loved having that guy around.  A lot of you are probably thinking I’m crazy (first Rick Pitino and now Bruce Pearl? This guy has no standards!), but let’s be reasonable here.  I’m not saying that I like him, just saying that I miss having him in the league.  The man was a veritable comedic goldmine.  Maybe not intentionally (although I’d wager at least a few of his stunts were tongue-in-cheek), but he was definitely one of the better characters in the league.  So many of the other coaches can be so boring, like Darrin Horn, Trent Johnson, and Andy Kennedy (Wait, he did what!?  Nevermind, take him off that list.), that it’s nice to have that goofy, self-destructive presence to balance it out and bring some excitement to the SEC teleconferences.  Abbott needed a Costello, after all.


But if Kevin Stallings is Kevin from The Office, then Bruce Pearl was definitely Toby.  While it’s not a physical match at all, the similarity arose from just how fun it was to hate him, and I don’t think we’re gonna get that same satisfaction from making fun of the new guy.  At least, not at first.  Cuonzo Martin seems like a very normal, well-balanced guy, and that makes him just like all the other coaches in the league (again, except Andy Kennedy; he got taken off that list for being a crazy racist).  It makes him boring.  And what’s more, Bruce was actually a pretty decent coach that did very well for his team; we’ve yet to see if Martin can do as well (although he’s done better than most expected him to at this point).


Truthfully, as much as I hate to say it, we need Tennessee to be good.  I don’t understand the interest that some (not all) people have for seeing particular “rival” SEC teams lose, especially in non-conference games.  Any hero is only as good as the villain.  So I know you hate Tennessee, and I do too, but if I had my way, they’d start SEC play undefeated.  All the SEC teams would, for that matter.  There are those of you who think otherwise, and that’s fine, but I think many would agree with me.  The better the conference, the better we look when we come out on top.


But tomorrow is our first look at Tennessee’s new, and if not improved, then hopefully improving, look.  It’s fair to say that this is a down year for the Vols, and that’s really a massive understatement (in fact, I sometimes wonder who would win between the men’s and women’s teams), but the game in Thompson-Boling always has the potential to do nasty things.  Their roster has been fluid, to say the least, but never underestimate a passionate team of overlooked players performing in front of their own crowd (See: Devan Downey.  Still mad at that guy’s circus show at USC.)  But more permanent, and more important, than the myriad roster changes is the change at head coach.  Will you hate Cuonzo Martin like you hated Bruce Pearl?  Or, if you’re like me and actually enjoyed the old guy for his plucky comedic relief, do you think Martin can match his energy or his antics?  I think the answer to either question would be “no”, and that’s really a shame.


So, Bruce, I never thought I’d say this while you were coaching, but I miss you, big dog.  If you’re reading this, and you’re ever offered a job in the SEC, I hope you take it (But don’t bring Stephen.  He’s not invited.  What a chode.).  Until then, until that day when Pearl makes his triumphant and/or catastrophic comeback, we can only hope that Cuonzo Martin goes absolutely, flat-out Wesley Willis crazy.  Then, and only then, can he be deemed a suitable replacement for his predecessor.


(I said yesterday we’d see a Tennessee preview, but apparently that was rescheduled to hopefully go up today.  New, remember?  Eventually I’ll get the hang of it.  Maybe.)

Article written by Corey Nichols

49 Comments for In Re Pearl

  1. Dhatsthefact
    9:05 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Not a bad post but where the hell is Tara I look forward to her Friday morning Post!

  2. Ghost of Pat Summit
    9:05 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Dude, where’s my car?

  3. macon_volfan
    9:08 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    You lose any credibility by saying you wonder who would win a mens v women game. Even at UT’s Wade Houston worst in the early-mid 1990s the men would win hands down. The Vols that lost to Austin Peay (let’s go Peay!) is not the Vols that will meet the Cayts tomorrow afternoon. I don’t think UT will win, but I think the Vols are heads and shoulders better than the Awburn Tigers.

    And P.S. Most people in Knoxville (and the Vol nation in general) aren’t too sad about the Lady Vols loss. I’m happy when they win national championships, but pay little attention at any other times. I’m not an old person (yet) or a lesbian (hmmm), and most Vol fans are not one of those two either.

  4. CatsFanInKnoxville
    9:15 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I’m with you #3. The game down here tomorrow won’t be easy, especially when Stokes suits up. I’m wearing my blue proudly today at work. Don’t let me down, Cats! I Can’t wait for tomorrow at noon!

  5. TN Cat
    9:22 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Typical Vol fan. They act like they don’t care about any of the sports until they win.

  6. macon_volfan
    9:25 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    No. I care about men’s basketball. Always have. I went to TONS of games in the Houston error. Huge football fan. Ask anyone who knows me. Like, for example, most KSR writers. I have never, ever advocated for the Lady Vols. I’m happy when they win it all, simply because it’s good PR for the university. Bravo to the UK Hoops team last night. A game well played, I’m sure. But never accuse me of ‘caring about LV bball…at least until I’m around 67 years old or so.

  7. Floyd the Barber
    9:25 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    3. Of course you “pay little attention”…its in your DNA.

  8. hookem
    9:30 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Worst. Post. Ever.

  9. Echo 1
    9:31 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Hell yes, I miss Pearl. He was a cartoon and he was good for basketball.

  10. shields eyes
    9:31 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I thought BTI was gone.

  11. Whats it to ya?
    9:33 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Drew Franklin should write every article on here.

    This article embarrasses me to be involved with athletics. This article had to have been written by a person who doesn’t have a child. And has never had a child that has had their heart broken and come home…upset. And had to deal with the child…when he is upset…..Are you kidding me? Where are we at in society?

    Keep up the good work.

  12. wilDCat
    9:36 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    11 already wins for comment of the day. Although I have to say that I think it’s garbage, and anyone who reads it is garbage. Makes me wanna puke.

  13. jaxcats8503
    9:37 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I miss BTI.

  14. macon_volfan
    9:37 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    #7-you mean, as a man? That’s in my chromosomes, not my DNA. XY represent. and it works both ways #5. How many people cared about the UK Hoops team until they won? There would be NO mention of that team on this site were it not for MM’s success with the team. Hell, people get upset on here when Matt talks about the football team during football season….

    I will say one thing, though. I don’t let my fandom of sports get in the way of living my life. I was disappointed about the Vols loss last night. But it’s not going to ruin my Friday. I was very happy last Saturday when the Vols beat UF. But it didn’t define my weekend, either. I’m not a kid anymore–the successes and failures of 18-22 year olds don’t define my life.

  15. Me
    9:39 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I wish Pearl was still there so Teague could give him a ‘cup check.’

    Whats Pearl doing these days anyway, was it selling groceries or selling furniture?

  16. horny uk fan
    9:41 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Vol fans are toothless!

  17. macon_volfan
    9:42 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    #15-he’s VP for marketing for HL Hackney, and Co. and has a show on Sirius Radio.

  18. ScottfromhisTractor
    9:44 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    dude, you don’t hate Tenn Nearly enough, it really sounds like you like them. I hope they keep losing at every sport every day

  19. Another Perspective
    9:49 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I must say that it’s refreshing to have a writer on here who spells well and uses correct grammar (most of the time).


  20. yeah first!!
    9:49 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    @@ 14. Very nice post. Good to see a fan of an opposite team able to converse in a civil manner about a very passionate subject. You are the type of person who would make debates worth while. KUDOS to you!!

  21. Ron Paul Approves
    9:51 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I know it has been said, but, damn you love parenthesis.

  22. warrior
    9:52 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I hate Tennessee with evry fiber of my body. Invade Knoxville– Tickets still available.!!!!!

  23. QuickyRicky
    9:54 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Hey now, lay off macon vol fan. He brings it.
    Maxon is on TN fan we can play with.

  24. Polar Pop Shake
    9:54 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Too bad Mike Davis is too poor of a coach to get an SEC gig. Court-storming from fans is irritating, but when coaches do it, you get oodles of funny video clips.

  25. roosevelt gook
    9:55 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    pat summit had a quote this morning that was classic
    she was asked about the game last night and she said “what game” LOL

  26. CalifCatFan
    9:58 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Macon Vol Fan, how we miss you good buddy.

  27. eloy
    9:58 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I miss Bruce Pearl too. He was a good coach. I also miss the time I spent reading this post. I could have read something else instead. And I could have saved more time by not posting this comment. Crap.

  28. NBA league pass
    9:59 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I disagree with the “we need our rivals to win” statement. BS. Maybe in the old days, but not in the days of UK dominance like now. We just have to take care of our own business, and as far as I’m concerned, UT, UL, etc can lose every freaking game all year.

  29. Al's IndiCats
    10:00 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously although you might hate him because of the Orange coat but you have to admit Pearl was good for the SEC. I read all about his exploits when he was coaching in the Big Ten, what he did was nothing short of embarassing to him and the Big Ten. He’d still be coaching had he not lied, but Karma’s a bitch and he’s paying the price now.
    On the other hand Martin, will bring the filthy Vols back to respectability and bring them to be feared outside the SEC once again. No disrespect meant Macon_volfan.

  30. Bledsoe's Biceps
    10:01 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Pearl was entertaining, good for the SEC and good for the UK/UT rivalry. It’s really not a rivalry when there’s little to no chance for one team to win. And as Corey points out, the guy was absolute gold for dong things to generate comedy.

  31. UK in MO
    10:02 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    It seems that most of the people who comment are ignorant to the n^th degree when it comes to sports.

    I feel the exact same way about UT/Bruce “Grillmaster” Pearl. I grew up in Tennessee, where everyone was the Vol fan. I LOVE to see them fail. But last year, after starting off slow, and then picking up speed to make the tournament, and doing fairly well considering the beginning of the year, it makes UK look better.

    Pearl was a heck of a coach. He sucked at telling the truth, but he turned around that program. Sure, UT could come off with a win every now and then, but Pearl was able to take that program, and not only make the legitimate in the SEC, but they were legitimate in the nation. They were contenders for any game they played (ie., Pitt, Memphis, UK…)

    I hope UT loses every game they play….but I don’t. I love to see Vol Fans shut up, but I don’t like UK to have a cupcake schedule in a weak SEC. The stronger the conference, the better UK looks when they’re 14-2, 15-1, 16-0. But when we have Cuonzo and the thug-a-licious failures losing to the AP Governors, it invalidates the strength that UK has.

    And by the way folks, before you get your panties in a wad, read the posts. He said he didn’t like Pearl, and nor do I, but let’s be real – Pearl was a good coach and good for the SEC.

  32. broken dish plate
    10:16 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bruce Pearl was cool (the orange coat was tight). I don’t like TN (but who does?). Macon volfan writes good posts (really good cause they make flow nice and make sense). Maybe Macon-volfan could write stuff for KSR (or BTI).

    I don’t know (much ((that is!))).

  33. CalifCatFan.
    10:17 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Macon Vol Fan, we miss you good buddy.

  34. Randy Lemaster
    10:29 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I think Pearl was good for tenn. and he was great for the SEC, and the man could coach…He will be missed for years to come……

  35. Chris Thomas
    10:29 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    +1 for Wesley Willis. How did I forget about that guy for so long?

  36. macon_volfan
    10:41 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks #33 (and 32 as well). I’m not making it to the SEC Tourney this year. Sad times. I’ll post more now that it’s SEC basketball season. As you know, I’m one Vol fan who actually likes basketball maybe more than football.

  37. ConcernedReader
    11:02 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Writer of this post,

    Worst post ever. Point. Blank. Period.

    That is all.

    Concerned Reader

  38. jon freeman
    11:06 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    cannot believe you hired this guy

  39. landonsloan
    11:07 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    I too hated to see Bruce Pearl his job. Without rivalries the sport looses some appeal. Every leage needs a guy you love to hate and Bruce was the man in the SEC. I couldn’t even name their current coach and am not even looking forward to that game. However if Bruce was still there that date would be highlighted on my calendar. Keep the good posts coming Corey.

  40. ScotlandCatFan
    11:14 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good use of the word “chode”.

  41. BTI
    11:21 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Why is this Corey dude stealing my stuff?

  42. Jpat14
    11:28 am January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good post. Some of these other complainers and critics are jealous they don’t write for Ksr. Keep it up. I agree that basketball is better when Tennessee is good. They are improving and could be back soon.

  43. Rise of the Chode!
    12:20 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Spot on again Señor Nichols! Love the posts (and the parenthesis). The English language is tough for some people.

  44. STEVE!
    12:57 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Much too early to say UT stinks. They have a coach that makes them play sound fundamental ball, and Pearl left behind 6 guys that were 4-stars in high school. Add a 5-star in Stokes, and they should be pretty good once they get out of their old ways of playing under Pearl.

  45. RyanRobeySays
    1:49 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    Esto es una mierda

  46. Caveman2
    2:30 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    No. No I don’t miss Bruce Pearl or Bronzing jokes.

  47. beckster
    2:33 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    NO, no, no… Pearl is not Toby, He’s Creed. I bet he has free pancakes in his jacket right now and you KNOW he smells like mung beans…

  48. macon_volfan
    2:55 pm January 13, 2012 Permalink

    #47–“they smell like death…”

  49. David from San Diego
    10:36 am January 14, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, again I agree and liked your article. The SEC is better when Tennessee is good. Bruce was a good coach and comedy day in day out. I enjoyed rooting against him while he was coaching TN and wish he was still there so we had more to laugh about. Those snitches will never be the same without him.