The 2012-13 season is still a few weeks away. However, the guess here is that the Cats will not be able to improve upon last season’s performance, which saw losses to hated rival Indiana (which didn’t even make it past the Sweet 16 lol) and Vanderbilt (which is more known for its academics than athletics). To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Reminder: On October 12, Kentucky will be featured on ESPNU’s coverage of “Midnight Madness.” Though UK fans will surely tout this as more evidence of the popularity and relevance of the Kentucky program, those fans apparently failed to read the fine print of their DVR’s programming guide. As it turns out, only portions of the exhibition at Rupp Arena will air, not the whole thing. Also, it seems Kentucky is not the only program that will receive airtime during this telecast. In addition to UK, ESPNU will also feature footage from 12 more teams, including football schools such as Florida State and Baylor. And lo and behold, another team in the state of Kentucky will be host to the watchful eye of ESPNU: Murray State. So not only is Kentucky — at best — just one of the 13 most popular programs in college basketball, but it can’t even claim superiority in its own state. ESPN has traditionally been seen as a shill for the UK program, so to see the Cats forced to share the stage with 12 other programs (including — GASP! — the Baylor women’s team) really sheds light on just how ordinary this program really is.
*Broken Crown: On September 23, the Kentucky fanbase was permanently fractured when UK coach John Calipari spoke at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative. The website describes the CGI as follows: ” Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI convenes a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.” Bill Clinton, of course, is a Democrat. Many UK fans, of course, are Republicans. The fact that Calipari would thumb his nose at so many Big Blue supporters in such a brazen manner is hard to believe. But even after alienating so many UK fans on the right, Calipari wasn’t finished. He then issued a big “F YOU!” to all liberal-leaning Cat fans by having his picture taken with Jenna and Barbara Bush, who are the daughter and mother, respectively, of former president George W. Bush. In other words, not only did Calipari purposely antagonize one half of Big Blue Nation by appearing at the event in the first place, but he then proceed to antagonize the other half by having his picture taken with the Bush family. Talk about Big Blue Madness.
*I Will Wait: In a couple of weeks, Kentucky will hold its annual Midnight Madness exhibition. In preparation for the event, UK fans camped out in more than 500 tents outside of Memorial Coliseum so that they could get their hands on tickets for the event as soon as they were distributed. In other words, UK and John Calipari literally left Kentucky fans out in the cold. Even though there was a lot of available space inside the Coliseum, not once did Cal offer to open the doors and let the fans — some of whom were mere children — come inside. Yes, the coach attempted to assuage some of his guilt by making his players give pizza to the fans, but the last I checked, pepperonis and mushrooms don’t prevent frostbite. It has been said that as UK coach, Calipari “gets it,” but several shivering fans would beg to differ. Contrast this approach to that taken at Louisville by Rick Pitino, who is so concerned about the comfort and health of UofL fans that he doesn’t even conduct a midnight madness.
* On this date: On this date in 2008, Indiana fans were eagerly anticipating the start of the Tom Crean era. However, not even the most optimistic Hoosier backer could have anticipated that in 4 short years, the Hoosiers would be back (to the Sweet 16).