I assumed this would be a long, but peaceful day. I spent the morning in the hallowed halls of the Whitley County Circuit Courtroom and then headed north to La Grange to shoot a television commercial for the KLAW (Kentucky Law Works…which is fighting for YOU, in case you didnt know). We picked a spot next to the courthouse in La Grange, Kentucky, a gorgeous location with the sun beaming down, an old-school county courthouse square and a train that comes through the middle of downtown at a snail’s pace. If you were going to take a snapshot of Americana, you would bring a brass band to this location, have a parade and sell apple pie. It is that perfect. Or at least that was what I thought. While I was saying my lines (with a new suit and green tie I might add), a man got out of his red hummer and seemed to scratch the door of one of the young women working on the shoot. She mentioned it to the other lawyer in the commercial (the beautiful, intelligent and somewhat fiesty Vanessa Cantley), who then confronted the man in a nice way, just to ask if he knew he scraped the car. The man exited the Hummer (which was huge and the reddest car I have ever seen), then proceeded to yell at the two women and tell them they were liars. That officially drew my interest to the situation and I came over and told him that he should stop yelling at the women and treat them with respect.
What happened next is a bit of a blur….he walks up and gets in my face (or as close to my face as a 5’4″ man can get) and starts yelling at me, the three men behind me move not an inch (their chivalry obviously knew some bounds) and the women (both our two and his wife in the car) try to calm him down. He then says to me, “you should be scared of me”, I tell him that I am not, and he proceeds to walk to his car and out of my earshot apparently says words that could likely be seen as terroristic threatening in some states. As he reaches into his car for what seems to be something other than Starburst, the situation becomes tense. His wife in the Hummer then grabs his hand, yells at him to get in the car and they pull away, cursing as they drive. We all look at each other a bit shaken, and I realize that we just had a situation that almost became really bad really quickly and I actually was not the instigator. We went back to the shoot and I spent the rest of the afternoon looking out of the corner of my eye for a red Hummer creeping to the side.
So what do we make of all of this? Well first of all, La Grange, Kentucky is officially the most dangerous place on Earth. If you can be threatened in the courthouse grass, across the street from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, then imagine what would happen in the back alleys away from the County Court Clerk. As Willie Nelson famously said, Mama Dont Let Your Babies Grow up to Live in La Grange. Let them be doctors and bloggers and such, but make sure that all commericals they make are in Bullitt, not Oldham County. While nearly everyone we met was similar to the guy who ran the Papa Johns (who offered me free pizza due to his fondness for KSR…we do it for the SWAG), and was very nice, it is clear there is a lurking criminal element in La Grange, just waiting for the chance to pounce on unsuspecting videographers. If your business takes you La Grange, I am not calling for a police escort…but be careful my fellow KSRers…it is a dangerous world out there.
With that intro, some notes:
— Calipari had a press conference and talked about everything. The one thing he couldnt address directly was the neverending Terrence Jones saga, which is slowly creeping into the official “I dont care anymore” type zone for me. Calipari said that he had not received any new Letters of Intent and he didnt know whether to expect another. He did however say that he did not recruit players once they had committed to a school, unless they publically decommitted first. I am not sure what that means for Jones, but it is clear UK still wants him and at this point, nothing is decided. I will do my best not to post that sentence again tomorrow.
— Calipari also addressed the national media topic of the day, the UK GPA. I always get a notion of how things are playing nationally by seeing if (a) it is mentioned on the Tony Kornheiser radio show, (b) a friend of mine who is a fan of a team outside the state texts me to make fun of it and (c) someone from another state asks me to come on a radio show to talk about it. The GPA story hit all three criteria today. Calipari addressed it today by saying that sometimes teams have bad semesters and everywhere he has been, the GPA and graduation rates have gone up when he arrived. I am sure that is true, but that will be hard to do at UK, where both numbers were pretty high for UK previously. Nationally, the general consensus from all but the strongest of Calipari haters seemed to be very similar to my view. Calipari needs to get it higher, but it isnt the end of the world and must be seen in the context of what these guys are doing for their future. Get it higher next semester, but remember that for many of these kids, they are about to be very rich, very quickly.
— Calipari also made two roster comments, saying that he didnt think that Orton or Bledsoe would be back and that he expected both to hire agents. That is the most definitive statement he has made about both players and seems to spell the end for the UK careers of both. HE also said that Darnell Dodson’s status was still uncertain, although he acknowledged an issue and said he wasnt sure what would happen.
— Finally, Calipari addressed the JV team and said it would have Kentucky kids and give more a chance to wear the Blue and WHite. He also said it might have some “varsity” players who needed game experience in a particular year. I am for the idea and think a BTI UK Junior Varsity Live Blog is required.
— Tonight saw a little twitter fest between Demarcus Cousins and Gary Parrish, with a small dose of KSR mixed in. If you saw Gary Parrish’s CBS column earlier today, he said basically that Demarcus Cousins would have a blow up in the NBA because people never change and even if his year at KEntucky was calm, his history suggested that he was (to quote Parrish), “a knucklehead.” I texted Gary back and forth a bit, taking up for Cousins and saying that Parrish really didnt know him well enough to make that assertion. He did the usual “you are a homer” response, but did say that if he stayed out of trouble for two years, he would write a “mea culpa” column, if I did the same. I agreed. Then Cousins chimed back on Twitter, giving a “shout to my boy Gary Parrish”, sarcastically noting that he loved people like Gary and giving a shout out to all his fellow “knuckleheads” out there. So Parrish vs Cousins is now in full effect, and I cast my lot with Boogie. Show the haters they are wrong big guy.
— There are now two Barnstorming events set, one in Tell City, Indiana on Thursday and now another on Friday in Ashland, Kentucky at Paul Blazer High School. The Seniors and Patrick Patterson will be at both events as will some other former UK players. Come out if you can and support the players for one final send off.
— Finally, one last word. Tim Couch’s father Elbert passed away today, one of the biggest UK fans around. He is best known for being the father of Tim and his brother Greg, but he was also a great citizen of Leslie County and a huge Kentucky fan for his entire life. Our prayers go out to his family and to the Big Blue Nation as a whole as we celebrate the life of the father of one of UK’s true legends.
Prayers go out to the people of Nashville and all those who are dealing with the floods and their aftermaths. Help with relief efforts or donations if you can for the many fans, both Big Blue and other shades, who are having such difficulties.