With apologies to National Spay Day, the Treaty of Roskilde, and the tragic passing of King Eric XIV of Sweden, tonight we celebrate the birth of Michael Bolton. The “Can I Touch You… There?” singer and former Nicollette Sheridan beau joins Club 60 on Tuesday, making him one of the oldest men in American to still rock the left earring like a boss.
Born Michael Bolotin in New Haven, Connecticut in 1953, he began recording music in 1975 with his band, Blackjack. The band toured with Ozzy Osbourne in 1980, but the hard rock days with Blackjack wouldn’t last long. He gained his first major hit as a sentimental songwriter, co-writing “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” for Laura Branigan and later working on other projects with Cher.
Bolotin found success as a solo artist in the late 80s/early 90s, now under the name Michael “Bolton,” by stealing songs other people had already done and then releasing his own versions. In 1991, Bolton released “Time, Love & Tenderness,” which featured his Grammy Award-winning cover version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” I’d be lying if I told you that song isn’t on my iPod and a go-to “Oh, why is that on here?” listen in the car on dates. Try it, guys.
After eight top 10 albums, two number one singles on the Billboard charts, and awards from both the American Music Awards and Grammy Awards, Michael Bolton made his best magic in 2011 with Saturday Night Live‘s Lonely Island on “Jack Sparrow.” Bolton was a guest vocalist on the track and his appearance in the music video is the reason we’re celebrating his birthday tonight. All this Michael Bolton talk is really just an excuse to embed the video below, really:
Happy Birthday, Michael Bolotin. We’ll pierce our left ears in celebration.
News and Views?
After opening conference play with two consecutive wins, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State are on a nasty 12-game losing streak. That stretch of games includes a 32-point loss at home, a 35-point loss at home, a 42-point loss at home, and, most recently, a 41-point loss at home… to Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs scored 31 points against Vandy, 10 points less than the deficit and the lowest total by an MSU team in the shot clock era. It’s safe to say the last month has been a horrendous ride for Rick Ray’s bunch.
On Monday, Ray blamed the skid on his team’s razor thin roster — six scholarship players and two walk-ons — and said no team in America has faced the challenges they’ve had to face this season. “There’s nobody in the country that has went through what we’ve went through. I don’t care what level: NAIA, Division II, junior college,” Ray said. “With the numbers that we have. I would wonder if anybody in history of college basketball has gone through what we’ve went through as far as the off-the-court issues and the injuries. It’s been a trying season and to our guys’ credit they’ve really hung in there and tried to be good citizens and do some of the things we want them to do on the court and continue to try to compete. When someone says I understand what you’re going through, no you don’t. You really don’t. You can’t use it as an excuse at the end of the day. You have to go out and try to compete and win ball games because no one is cancelling the season.”
Ray, in his first season in Starkville, has been suspending players left and right throughout the season and is having to rely on a group of freshmen and two players, Baxter Price and Tyson Cunningham, who didn’t score a single point for Rick Stansbury last year.
Unless a magic Starkville genie grants MSU fans’ wishes for a canceled 2012-13 basketball season, the Bulldogs will have to suit up against Kentucky in Rupp Arena on Wednesday. For Kentucky fans, it’s a game we’re relieved to see on the schedule following an exhausting and pivotal game against Missouri. For Rick Ray, it’s going to be yet another SEC challenge that is almost certain to end in a blowout loss for his team. Ray said on Monday that he’s been watching tape of the Cats and he’s really impressed with how Coach Cal is running the offense with screens for Julius Mays and isolation for Kyle Wiltjer in the post. He complimented Wiltjer for his patience, post moves, and shooting touch, when most guys his age rush things in the paint. Ray also knows the threat that Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress pose, he called Archie “a terror to stop from getting into the paint,” and said Alex is a big, strong, physical kid. “I’m really concerned they’ll overpower some of our guys in that driving area and in that post,” he added.
Coach Cal also had a few things to say on Monday morning’s SEC teleconference, topics included Kentucky’s tough road ahead in these final four regular season games and… iPads??? Yup, Cal raved over the easy-to-use Apple tablets and how they’ve changed the way he reviews film:
“These iPads are ridiculous,” he said Monday. “You can blow through tapes much faster and with less frustration where you press a button and it goes too far ahead. I mean, they’ve got it down to a science, so it is much easier. I can really blow through tape in, like, 30 minutes and rush through stuff I don’t need to see and get a good feel for it. Also, your team. You can put clips and different things, stuff for them, on the iPads so they can see it too.”
Something tells me Erin Calipari has a great story behind her dad’s new fascination with iPads. We know he’s not interested in being tech-saavy, and iPads aren’t new to begin with, so there has to be a reason he’s pushing them now. I bet he plays Fruit Ninja religiously.
Also, I’d like to see an iPad tutorial video from Cal on his website. Make it happen, Eric Lindsey.
The new Apple junkie also some positive things to say about Archie Goodwin. He continues to tell us Archie is the first in the gym and last to leave, and he said Archie is in there working almost every night. The problem they face with Goodwin right now is getting him to play through missed shots and mistakes, and not let them affect him on the other end. Archie needs to learn to recover, instead of hanging his head and getting down on himself.
Though a win over Mississippi State is critical to earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament, Wednesday is also going to be a HUGE night for basketball recruiting. Andrew Wiggins, who was named the 2013 Naismith High School Player of the Year on Monday, will be in attendance for his official visit to Kentucky. It’ll be Wiggins’ third trip to Rupp Arena; he also attended Big Blue Madness and the thriller against North Carolina last season. This is Kentucky’s biggest shot to flip Wiggins back to a UK lean as his recruitment hits the final stretch. It’ll be his first time seeing the new locker room and the staff will be pulling out all the stops to make a strong push while they have him on campus one last time.
Wiggins will visit North Carolina and Kansas after taking in Lexington, then decide between the Wildcats, Tar Heels, Jayhawks, and Seminoles. Personally, I’ve accepted that there’s a high chance Wiggins ends up somewhere else, but I’m not ready to see him at UNC or Kansas. If he doesn’t pick the Cats, I’m rooting for him to land in Tallahassee.
For Kentucky fans interested in one last opportunity to see Wiggins play in high school, Huntington Prep will be taking on a team from Canada this Saturday at Boyd County Middle School. It’s the sixth and final time Wiggins and Huntington Prep will play in the Bluegrass State this year.
One last note for Wednesday then we’ll call it a night: The 1996 will receive championship rings during halftime of the Mississippi State game. Derek Anderson told CoachCal.com, “It’ll be like coming back to Rupp Arena when we won and seeing 24,000 people celebrating with us again.”
But the players from the ’96 team won’t be the only people leaving Rupp Arena with something to commemorate Kentucky’s sixth national championship, the first 10,000 fans through the door will receive special posters commemorating the unforgettable season. Players will be available to sign the posters and other memorabilia at the Kentucky Proud Market in the Lexington Center prior to the game. For more information on the signing and future signings, follow @BBNLegends on Twitter.
That’ll do it for now. We’ll continue to preview the Mississippi State game and whatever else pops up tomorrow.