The highlight of my Rupp Arena experience yesterday was certainly not the action on the floor….it wasnt the various co-eds with the “We Love Kentucky Sports Radio” t shirts….it wasnt the sight of Mark Gottfried looking confused and like he had been out a little to late at Chinoe Pub the night before. No the highlight for me had to be the rap stylings of the Herald Leader’s Jerry Tipton. Now many know that I give Jerry a fairly hard time on this website and often for good reason. He is extremely negative at times and as the main beat writer for the most important newspaper covering the Cats, I do feel as if he should have some joy in covering the team for the masses that rely on his words. Having said that, Jerry is a very good reporter, who is one of the best writers around and almost always asks good questions….well I say almost because there are times that things change just a bit.
In our thirst to try and get interesting stories out of the players, sometimes we try to “relate” to them in some way that will have them open up to us and give them us the lowdown. This almost always doesnt work, in large part because the UK media corp is one of the oldest, whitest and least hip groups of humans gathered in one spot on the planet. I dont say that to judge, I am not officially part of the group at times and I am fall victim to the same tendencies. This trait however has never been more at play than yesterday when Jerry Tipton attempted to get the lowdown from Ramel Bradley on his famous “Dynasty” hand gesture. Tipton looked at Ramel at the end of his interview time and said, (this is paraphrasing):
Ramel I havent seen you do the “Jay Z” in a while, why is that?
Ramel gave Tipton a look that I wish I could have captured on camera. It was half “this guy cant be serious” and half “did Jerry Tipton just really say “Jay Z” to me.” Ramel looked at him and said, “what?” Jerry then came back with:
You know the Jay Z thing you do with your hands.
At that point, Ramel got that big Ramel smile on his face and tried not to laugh in Jerry’s face and described why he didnt give the Dynasty symbol to the crowd during the games anymore. He mentioned that it promoted individuality and he was all about team, etc. All of the younger reporters around Tipton now were starting to laugh and Ramel was trying to stay serious when one of the younger guys asked, “Jerry are you going to put out your own “Black” album?” Those of us who were born prior to 1970 began to laugh. with Ramel really losing it and Jerry did one of those “I dont know what everyone is talking about but I will chuckle” grins that my Prof. Johnson in law school used to give anytime anyone made a mention of a pop culture reference that didnt have to do with the one think he knew, which was Star Trek. Ramel then proceeded to continually say that he was done with the “Jay Z” for now, emphasizing the name “Jay Z” in a pseudo-dorky voice that had me rolling everytime.
After it was over and as Ramel was walking out, he asked me, “do you think I should play him (Tipton) some Jay Z ?” Before I could answer, he laughed and said, “I am not sure he could handle it.”
Jay Z, Ramel and Jerry Tipton….a trio for the ages….