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My “Dear Jon” Letter

jon-hood-mascotThis reminds me of our happier times…

Dear Jon,

I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through a letter and, though I’ve run through this hundreds of times in my head, I’m so bundled up with sadness and hurt that I’m afraid that you’re going to be left with a mess of words lacking organization or clarity. For that, I apologize. I do know, however, that my feelings can’t be explained in 140 characters and, because of that, I’m forced into communicating through this archaic medium. However, what my letter might lack in clarity, I can assure you it’s doubly weighted in conviction and confusion. These words are my heart, Jon. Please receive them gently and openly — for once.

This will be the last memory I’ll ever let us share together and one that, sadly, will probably be more meaningful to me than to you. But, then again, that might as well be the caption hanging over the cracked pieces of my heart scattered all over the KSR compound floor. I valued our relationship, Jon, and frankly, I embarrassed it took me this long — and trying to re-follow you on Twitter after I was blocked – to realize that you didn’t. Shame on me for not being as perceptive as I should have been. But, shame on you for being so heartless and cruel.

I mean, it might sound strange to you since I’m sure you’ve tried to push it out of your mind and hollow heart, but April of 2008 doesn’t really seem like it was all that long ago to me. I’m sure you can remember it too, if you’ll just open yourself up for a moment. You were still in high school. I was a new blogger at KSR. And, I’m fairly certain, the sun was shining. I had just written a post poking fun at you, which, in hindsight, should have  been sign number one that the stars weren’t aligned for us, but you took it in good stride and agreed to what I still view as my finest moment as a journalist. “Ten Questions of Debatable Relevance with Jon Hood”.

It was the first of the one phone calls we had together and is still the most memorable to me. We laughed, we stuttered, my phone cut out — it was like being in middle school all over again. During those five minutes, though, I gave you the gift of a lifetime — a nickname. And, not just any nickname either. It was a once-in-a-lifetime nickname that was unique to you and you only and, most importantly, was a marketer’s and copy editor’s dream. Mop. It’s like a mop, but it’s also an acronym for Most Outstanding Player — an award I just knew you’d win while you were at UK. Brilliant? I know.

But, like the rest of our relationship, I had to be an idiot not to see what was happening. Again, this was a microcosm of what we were and what we would eventually become. You see, Jon, I gave, gave, gave when it came to us. You know how many people would love to have a nickname like that? Huh? I mean Facebook is suggesting that I be friends with “Stacey Deuce Poole”. Yes, “Deuce Poole” – like a toilet. A freaking toilet, Jon! That dude would probably kill to be “Stacey Mop Poole”. Hell, I might actually take Facebook up on their suggestion then. But, no, he’s the toilet man because no one cares enough to come up with something special for him.

Sorry, there I go again getting too emotional for my own good. I know that’s not necessarily relevant to this breakup and I should have left Stacey Poole out of it. What is relevant, though Jon, is that when you were given the gift of a lifetime, I settled for nothing more than critical sarcasm from Evan Hilbert in the comments’ section. A wise crack here, a “you suck” there, it’s all a part of the game when you’re a blogger. And, you know what? I was 100% ok with it, Jon. Because it wasn’t about me. It was about you. It always was. Hey, I’m still ok with it. I’m sure I’ll get insulted about this, but I don’t care. You know why? Because, even though we might not be what we once were, blocking me on Twitter is just heartless and unnecessary.

Hey, I get it. I’m not stupid. You’re a big star and your career is taking off and you’re out jet skiing with Enes Kanter and whatnot while I’m at home changing diapers and making sure I DVR’d Glee for the wife. We’re at two different places in our lives and we’ve grown apart. It’s natural. What’s not natural, however, is holding a grudge against someone who, though you might disagree with, only wants the best for you. And that’s really all I’ve ever wanted, Jon. Well, that and the ability to see 140 character updates on your life from time to time. Why can’t we just get back to where we were a few weeks ago? You’re off living your life and I’m off living mine, keeping up with you 140 characters at a time. Seems fair enough, right?

Well, I have to admit, Jon, that if you’re even considering allowing me to be a part of your social media family again, I have to be completely honest. If, as I suspect, it was a Billy Gillispie crack that made you block me, I can’t promise you that there won’t be more. I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out what it was that made you so cold-heartedly banish me from your public personal life and all I can come up with is this response to you tweeting out that a guy showed up to camp in a white tuxedo t-shirt. But, let’s be honest, it’s not nearly funny or critical enough to warrant any sort of Twitter probation. Perhaps I’m confused or, as I unfortunately suspect, perhaps you rule your followers with an iron fist (new nickname?). Either way, I’m just putting it out there. I can promise you support. I just can’t promise you that it won’t be free of Billy Gillispie jokes.

But, make no mistake about it, Jon. I’m a strong man and I can move on from this social media shunning. I will continue to stand proud and be a loyal supporter of the Kentucky program and of Jon Hood. Just know that if I am not allowed to follow you again in the next 48 hours, I’m pulling the rights to your nickname giving them to Stacey Poole or another needy UK soul. I’m also demanding that all of my boys (I’m talking to you BPsycho, Arms of Delk Legs of McCarty and Echo 1) wear “Free Beisner” shirts to every UK game.  In addition, my children are currently on hunger strike, though they won’t be aware of this until Daddy gets home, and will remain as such until I can see your tweets again.

The choice is yours, Jon. Choose wisely.

Thomas Beisner

Article written by Thomas Beisner