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The Big Blue Nation Cares Telethon’s Thursday News & Views

There are times in life in which we’re reminded just how much we can accomplish when we unite for the greater good. Wednesday night was one of those times. After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast last week, people across the country have been looking for ways to help out. Days before the Cats’ first official game of the season, Cal has a lot on his plate. To say he is a busy man is a gross understatement. Yet, like he has so many times before, Cal decided to make time to give back because there simply was no other choice. In an appearance on Matt’s radio show this morning, Cal explained the reason he felt the need to help WKYT with the telethon:

“I don’t have time for this right now. But I have to make time. I don’t have a choice. I’m sitting in a seat that can make a difference. We know we’re not going to rebuild Staten Island, Queens or the Jersey Shore, but we may keep people alive.”

Cal didn’t have to do this. He could have quietly donated money on his own, which I’m sure he has, and gone on with his business. But, as we’ve been reminded time and time again, Cal understands the weight of the job he holds. He realizes the power of his popularity and that if he helped out with a telethon, it would quadruple the difference it could make. Hurricane Sandy was a salty smack from the perspective stick, reminding us all what actually matters in life: helping others.

“People say, ‘You play Friday against Maryland!’ Yeah, that’s big. I know it is. But I think what we’re doing here is bigger.”

For two hours, the basketball team helped volunteers answer over 2,500 calls and take donations, with the occasional break to goof off for the cameras or give Matt bunny ears (looking at you, Jarrod Polson):

Cal lent his special swag to the event, emceeing portions and dishing out the usual Cal-speak (“We’re not very good right now,” etc.). As of this posting, the telethon has raised approximately $500,000 from phoned-in pledges, a figure that doesn’t include the results of the online auction or Papa John’s fundraising efforts. That’s an amazing number, but Cal thinks we can do better and challenged the Big Blue Nation to raise $1 million before he takes the check to New York City tomorrow. You can still donate at or order a late night pizza from Papa John’s, who is donating $1 from every pizza sold on Wednesday to the efforts.

When united behind a common cause, is there anything the Big Blue Nation couldn’t do? (Sorry IU fans, Tom Crean’s creepiness is a lost cause.)

— As mentioned, Cal appeared on the radio show on Wednesday morning to discuss the telethon and the Cats’ game vs. Maryland. Cal said that he has no idea what to expect from his team on Friday, but that he does know that he has a few players who are “still playing for themselves and not for their teammates,” not because they’re selfish, but because they simply don’t know any better at this point. A large part of the preseason and the early games will be this team figuring out how to play together and although playing Duke and Maryland this early will be a challenge, there is no better way for Cal to learn about his squad.

Cal singled Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin out when talking about players that need to improve the most:

“Why would you be on your point guard and your other handler the most? Well how about that they’re going to have the ball 70% of the time. Well, then they better be making the decisions that we need them to make as our team. … Those two are going to be our point guards. We need them to play and have a vision of themselves that we have, not they have.”

In fact, Cal had advice for just about everyone on the squad:
Nerlens: “Nerlens is the hardest worker in practice so it’s showing. He’s the one that in the last fifteen minutes in practice, he has something left in the tank.”
Alex Poythress: “Alex isn’t active enough. Alex doesn’t run the court hard enough. Alex should average ten rebounds per game, he had two against Transy. When we get Alex right, then it gets scary.”
Willie Cauley-Stein: “Willie can only play 3 or 4 minutes in a stretch. The good new is he subs himself. He knows it.”
Archie: “We’ve gotta get Archie under control. I want you to attack, but you can’t run three people over and just throw it at the basket.”
Ryan: “You’ve gotta get tougher.”
Kyle: “You can’t rely on threes. You’ve gotta go get rebounds, you’ve gotta score around the basket, you’ve gotta get fouled. You went 0-5, and you don’t look very good because you don’t do enough of the other things.”

The best time to have these problems? November. Cal says the Cats could lose both of the games very easily and still be on the of best teams in the country. Have faith.

— Naturally, when you’re a former Cat and the number one pick in the draft like John Wall, haters gonna hate. But normally, those haters aren’t on your own team. Last week, the Wizards had to participate in a seminar on the business of basketball, which is surely as boring as it sounds, so Ed Tapscott, the team’s director of player development, decided to spice things up by holding an exam at the end for two courtside seats for a future game. John Wall ended up winning, much to the chagrin of Emeka Okafor, who accused him of cheating, claiming Wall looked the answers up on the internet: “But he’s from Kentucky, so I’m not saying nothing.” Okafor went to UConn, so how he has the nerve to accuse anyone of cheating is beside me. Wall, the classy Cat he is, had a priceless response: “How did I cheat? They gave us the questions ahead of time. No cheating. I won fair and square.”

— If you didn’t get a chance to yet, be sure to check out Jason King’s profile of Calipari over on King examines how Cal has taken the Cats back to the top of the game not only with excellent coaching, but with the marketing savvy that most Hollywood starlets would die for (at this point, Cal might even be able to save Lindsay Lohan’s career). King argues that through Twitter (he uses Cal’s pic with Charlie Sheen at a Reds game as an example), the All-Access special, relationships with hip-hop icons, etc., Cal has made Kentucky the premiere destination for top recruits in the country. As one SEC coach said of Cal’s dominance of the recruiting scene: “It almost doesn’t seem fair.” If that didn’t make you smile, how about this quote from Cal on celebrities wanting to be associated with the program:

People, on their bucket lists, are saying, ‘I want to see a game at Rupp Arena,'” Calipari says. “Magic Johnson will call and say, ‘I want to come to the game tonight. I want to see John Wall or Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.’

“It’s become fashionable to be seen here, because people want to be seen and associated with success. They want to be around it. It’s like going to Macy’s. It’s good to be seen there. Another store, you may lower your head and slip out. But if you’re at Macy’s, you want people to know you’re there.”

The piece also includes an interesting look into Cal’s psyche, and what keeps driving him to work around the clock. DeWayne Peevy says he thinks Cal feels like the “red-headed stepchild that can’t get accepted into the club,” which keeps him always wanting more. Seriously, go read it.

— Friday’s game just got a little tougher. On Wednesday, we found out that Maryland’s Dez Wells has been ruled eligible for the season, which means he will play Friday against the Cats. You may remember Wells for his part in the Xavier/Cincinnati bout, or the alleged sexual assault charge that got him expelled from Xavier. Wells looked at Kentucky before committing to Maryland, only to find out that his eligibility was denied. He filed an appeal, which the NCAA granted to everyone’s surprise on Wednesday. Convenient timing, isn’t it?

— Anyone with eyes could tell, but WLEX-TV and the Herald-Leader did an investigation on the attendance figures for the UK/Vandy game last Saturday and guess what? UK Athletics fudged that number just a little bit. Through an open records request, they found out that only 18,885 tickets were scanned at the game, which is just as depressing as we thought it was.

— But hey, it’s a new dawn, a new day for Kentucky football. On Wednesday, two coaches on Kentucky’s list of potential candidates dispelled rumors that they’ve been contacted by the Cats. First, Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease told reporters that he hasn’t heard from anyone at Kentucky and that he’s wholly focused on what’s going on in Gainesville, BUT that he saw potential in Kentucky’s program. Pease, the offensive coordinator and QB coach under Guy Morris at Kentucky, called UK a “great program” with a proven record of success under Morris and Brooks. He even went as far to say that “you can get good guys there,” which to me says he may not have heard from the Cats, but if/when he does, he will listen.

Duke’s David Cutcliffe followed suit, telling reporters on the ACC coaches teleconference that he hasn’t “felt the need” to address the coaching rumors with his players and that he’s happy with his position at Duke. **puke**

— Finally, who is interested in the Kentucky job? Bobby Petrino, whose father told the Courier-Journal that “I just know this, that he’s interested in Kentucky. He wants to stay in the SEC. That was his life’s goal was to go to the SEC.” Check out Matt’s post below for more.

That’ll do for now. Matt and Drew leave for NYC tomorrow, but be sure to tune into the radio show, as Ryan Lemond and the one and only Matthew Mitchell will be hosting. Judging from his last appearance, it’s going to be solid gold. I’m doing the MC Hammer dance just thinking about it.

Buckle up guys, it’s about to get real.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

43 Comments for The Big Blue Nation Cares Telethon’s Thursday News & Views

  1. eZ
    11:34 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Trevor Booker went to Clemson

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      11:52 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

      1- Good catch, it was actually Emeka Okafor that said it. I need to stop reading so fast.

  2. Rixter
    11:46 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Jarod Polson has got some LONG ARMS! His hands must drag the ground!

  3. Rixter
    11:50 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Also, Rick Barnes announced that he is taking his name out of consideration for the job (as he does every time a Kentucky job is open), so Louisville fans can already say we’ve been turned down by one of our top candidates.

  4. Jason
    11:50 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    I wish Matthew Mitchell was the host all of the time instead of the other db that runs this show. I can’t wait.

  5. Do it mitches
    11:51 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    BOBBY PETRINO baby!!! Oh yea it’s gonna happen! And we gonna be gooood

  6. Who
    11:52 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Who is Rick Barnes? Texas men’s basketball coach??

  7. Harvey Musgrove
    11:57 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink


  8. No brainer
    12:00 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Way to put this long post over the news people care about. Bobby has forced mitches hand. Get it done or be fired Mitch the b..,

  9. Billy Clyde
    12:07 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hey folks Billy Clyde here and I want #Petrino2UK

  10. Blasphemy
    12:08 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe we should hire Petrino ONLY to get even with UL. Eye for an eye?

  11. ne
    12:32 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hopefully now that it is public, Mitch will see the fan pressure to make this hire. Would be the most exciting time ever as a uk football fan. Now it becomes BP or bust…

  12. Catlogic15
    12:53 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Re: Paragraph on Cutcliffe. Horrible sentence structure with no real meaning. That is just sheer laziness=acceptance 2012=dumb down of youth=acceptance of mediocrity=loss of journalistic credibility=Obama=KSR=European socialistic acceptance.

  13. LeX
    1:14 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Oh god. Please Mitch. Please hire Petrino. You would have an equal to Cal. The revenue brought in from a successful football program is obscene. And we’d have a competitive team in the SEC for once. Please let this happen.

  14. huh?
    1:26 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    “an equal to Cal.” not quite, not till Cal crashes his harley on a joyride with a girlfriend then lies to the police and his employer about what happened. don’t think Cal will ever equal that.

  15. Beta testing
    2:01 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    How about lets let UK find the coach on its own. I really don’t care what someone’s father’s, brother’s, 4th cousin’s, step sister said about anyone. Petrino is a bum, has a bad track record, and UK does not need him. WE ARE UK. Not some school that has to beg for Loserville leftovers. Did we not learn from Pitino?

  16. Dezwells brother
    2:02 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Ms Tyler,
    Dez was falsely accused and rightfully aquitted of the sexual assualt charges, so why include it in your post? #blogger4lyfe

  17. John
    2:16 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    GET a #Petrino2UK movement going like #PackCommonwealth

    It deserves its OWN POST

  18. barn
    4:58 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    petrino is a screwup. he’s like a kid who doesn’t know how to handle success. just take another look at his picture in the previous post, in a neck brace with pavement rash all over his face, and then tell yourself “i want this guy representing UK”

  19. SeoulCat
    5:20 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino to UK. Shake a leg, Mitch. Now.

  20. SeoulCat
    5:25 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    After looking at that picture of Matt with the bunny ears, I was left wondering which is retreating more quickly: the Hurricane Sandy flood waters or Matt’s hairline?

  21. Joe
    6:02 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Mitch, hire Petrino. His father has already reached out, what more do you want? Surely if UL can keep Pitino and ALL of his indiscretions, we can give Petrino a chance. We put a morality clause in his contract. His salary should be such that he sticks around to earn more money – of course, based on results. First year $1.95 million, 2nd year $2.10 million, 3rd year $2.25 million and the fourth year of his contract should be $2.35 million. Subject to change.

    Morality clause in his contract. Get it done!

  22. Truth
    6:25 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    People that want Bobby lack integrity.

  23. duh
    6:46 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    17- cuz he now plays for maryland and uk plays them this friday nite. and him being eligible now makes this game that much more difficult. he may very well be their best player and Cal def was gonna take him if he thought wells was gonna be able to play this season… they have alot of big guards… gonna be a tough game for us

  24. SteveM
    6:50 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart does not have enough individuality/gumption to stand up amidst what will be inevitable criticism from certain mainstream circles and hire the best coach available for UK…Bobby Petrino. It’s not about Petrino and his weaknesses…it’s about Mitch’s weaknesses. He is soft and he is not overly intelligent. He’ll go with his hat in his hand like the compliant little man he is ans choose a safe, unknown pick. He doesn’t have it in him to make the bold pick.

  25. ukcatsfan2
    7:14 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Let me spell it out!



  26. K Fund
    7:58 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    I’m somewhere around the #90-110 number on k fund…
    If we hire Petrino I will jump to top 50!! I hope UK Is listening.. Ill go as high as 100,000 annual across the board!!!
    Petrino or bust! I hate hypocrite type people who act like they love Cal but wouldn’t give Bobby P a chance….. That’s beyond sad…
    Bobby doesn’t have half of Cals NCAA problems or past!!! Lets do this!!!!!!

  27. FU OLD MAN
    8:04 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Yo Cutcliffe, we didn’t want yo old, fat, boring, Mr Belding lookin’ ass. No need to address anything bro, stay at DUKE PLEASE!

  28. FU 26
    8:06 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hey 26 Let me spell it out.





  29. Kidnut
    8:31 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Why make it sound like Dez Wells is a bad guy? A very well respected District Attorney did everything in his power to make it painfully clear the kid did nothing, nothing wrong. So to make it sound as if he is a bad kid is a shame. I hope that wasn’t your intention but that is how it appears.

  30. Walter Sobchak
    8:48 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny Dykes would be a way better hire than Petrino. If I was a football player, I would not respect Petrino at all. How could you?

  31. Joey
    8:49 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Our program is in a place where not to many people can get it back. Petrino one of the only people that can get us back to where we need to be… I know some of you hate him, but he has proven success and knows how to turn around a program..(UL).. If he is truly interested, we need to take a shot at him..

  32. Walter Sobchak
    8:51 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Also, if you think Petrino will come in and make Kentucky an SEC championship contender you’re stupid. He will cause controversy (somehow) and leave after 3 years. And there is no way Mitch will hire him so get over this terrible idea.

  33. Walter Sobchak
    8:52 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    32) He has also ruined the last three teams he has coached for by screwing them over somehow.

  34. Josh
    9:12 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Just for the record, since it wasn’t mentioned in the main article, Dez Wells was exhaustively cleared of any wrongdoing in the sexual assault charge. It was actually a big deal up in Cincinnati just how poorly the clearly innocent young man was treated, both by the legal system, and by Xavier. I’m actually very happy for him that he won his appeal and gets to continue on with his life.

  35. Busted
    9:18 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    That Open Records Request is a bitch. You can’t hide anything anymore

  36. RealCatsFan
    9:38 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    I could go one way or the other on the Petrino. I wasn’t completely on board initially when Cal was hired, but he didn’t have the reputation for outright lying that BP has. And I think Cal has shown that he can win AND be an excellent ambassador for UK at the same time. I have my doubts about BP in that role. Cal’s hiring caused a bit of a rift in the fanbase initially that has healed over time – BP would cause an even greater rift, and I don’t know if it would resolve itself, even if he were to win big. I also remember some disparaging comments by BP about UK in the past – don’t ever recall Cal making such comments.

    I just don’t see it happening, especially in light of the fact that BP put Arkansas in danger of a lawsuit.

  37. billybob
    10:01 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Telephone you need to call to get help to storm victims. 202-456-1111

  38. UKBlue1!
    11:34 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    The best football coach available is Bobby Petrino. Some of the names make me sick, Cutliffe, Fulmer, Tressel-show cause clause for five years with NCAA. Yes, Petrino screwed up. Most have in one capacity or another. HIRE HIM! He can make UK a 7-9 win team every year. Who know we might actually win 10 or 11 games in a season before I die.

  39. FoodForThought
    12:54 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Has anyone considered whether Petrino may have difficulty recruiting now? And, not just because of the Arkansas shenanigans, but because of his inability to stay in a job more than 3 years and the overall image of him as a completely self absorbed, ego maniacal ass.

  40. Dear duh;
    1:17 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    No shit he is one of the best player on Marylands team. That’s not the point I was making. What I was saying is that Ms. Tyler included the sexual assualt charge yet failed to mention that he was AQUITTED of the charges, which means he didn’t do anything wrong. So her assertion that he was expelled from the university, while obviously true, is undoubtedly misleading.

  41. bluesman
    4:24 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    hire petrino and you’ll have to build a larger jail in lexington to hold all the thug players he’d recruit like at ul

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    9:46 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

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