I’ll admit it–I got sucked into the Royal Baby watch on Monday. However, it wasn’t because of my biological clock or secret anglophilic tendencies; I tuned for the sheer absurdity of it all. Have we ever stopped to think about how odd the British monarchy is? Or for that matter, the British altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy that this 8 lb. 6 oz. baby boy is third in line to the throne and could maybe “rule” Britain when he’s old, but come on guys. Would the Prime Minister’s son get such an elaborate welcoming party? The British monarchy isn’t exactly what it was two hundred years ago. Yet, the city of London got itself into such a tizzy for this tot that they swarmed the gates of Buckingham Palace to see a framed birth announcement that didn’t even include the baby’s name. And then there was this guy, a self-proclaimed “Town Crier,” outside of the hospital where the prince was born:
The moment when the media realized the “Town Crier” was really just some random guy was priceless. He’s probably been wearing that outfit for a week now, camped outside the hospital just waiting for Kate Middleton to pop. This whole spectacle would be so much cooler if Kate and William would bring the baby out onto a balcony and hold him up Simba-style while Elton John played “Circle of Life” from a bedazzled piano. Instead, the British are crowding the streets of London singing, cheering, and pretending the monarchy is still relevant in modern times. I can only hope that Mark Stoops’ next child gets the same treatment from the BBN.
Cynicism aside, welcome to the world, Baby Prince of Cambridge. May you only be swaddled in silk diapers until your nannies convince your parents to let you wear normal Pampers.
— The biggest “news” of the day had to be Jeff Sheppard’s criticism of the one-and-done culture in college basketball. Over the weekend, Sheppard spoke at a UK convention in Franklin, Ohio, and said that he doesn’t like the one-and-done rule (who does?) and said that there’s currently “a little too much emphasis on celebrating first round draft picks” at Kentucky. He later tried to clarify those remarks to Kyle Tucker:
“I think the Kentucky fan in general likes players staying at Kentucky for longer than six or seven months. That’s all. I understand. Heck, if I was good enough to play for six or seven months at Kentucky and get a multi-million dollar contact, I’d have left to.”
So, on one hand, he’s criticizing the system and how it’s changed UK basketball, but on the other, he’s saying that if he were in the same situation as these players, he’d make the same decisions that he’s been criticizing? I love Jeff Sheppard, and he’s totally entitled to his own opinions, but that doesn’t add up. Also, it’s important to note that the biggest critic of the one-and-done system isn’t Jeff Sheppard–it’s John Calipari. But the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that.
When asked about how things are at UK now as opposed to when he was playing, Sheppard said that his relationship with Coach Cal is very different than his relationship with Rick Pitino and for that reason, he would feel more comfortable in UofL’s basketball offices than in UK’s. He also joked that because Cal was the coach at UMass during his playing days, he was “the enemy.” Now, of course Sheppard feels closer to Pitino than Cal–Rick was his coach. That is perfectly understandable. But with the BBN, you’ve gotta choose your words wisely, something I bet Sheppard is well aware of after Monday.
Sheppard will call into the radio show tomorrow morning to discuss his comments about Cal and the one-and-done culture at UK, so be sure to tune in.
— Moving on, top 2014 target Emmanuel Mudiay posted his latest blog on USA Today’s website Monday and said that all of the drama surrounding Prime Prep has been cleared up, so there’s no need to worry about eligibility issues. Mudiay also insists that he’s going to give all of the schools recruiting him “a real look,” but later gushes about attending Big Blue Madness in October. It’s okay, Emmanuel–just wear that UK love right there on your sleeve. I won’t tell.
— Where in the world was John Calipari on Monday? Las Vegas watching Archie Goodwin play in the Summer League finals. Cal posted the picture above on Twitter Monday night and said that from the reports he’s gotten of Archie’s growth, he couldn’t be prouder. Archie did his best to impress his former coach, scoring 18 points. Eat they feet, haters?
— Raise your hand if you’re surprised that all charges against PJ Hairston were dismissed.
Thought so. So did PJ:
— Have you read Drew Franklin’s Team USA Mini-Camp Preview? If not, I suggest you start scrolling. The Mini-Camp started on Monday, and features John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. So far, we’ve heard DeMarcus Cousins tell reporters that he wants to stay in Sacramento and that his goal in the camp is to be “the best big man here.” When asked who his competition was, Boogie replied “nobody.” Attaboy.
— In football news, 3-star offensive tackle Brady Taylor tweeted that he will announce his college decision next Monday at 4 p.m. Kentucky’s one of the three finalists, along with West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Taylor visited Lexington over the weekend and had nothing but great things to say about his experience, so things are looking good for the Cats. Plus he’s from Ohio, and you know, Vince Marrow.
— On Tuesday, Mark Stoops heads to Bristol to make the rounds at ESPN’s annual “Car Wash” of SEC coaches, along with Guz Malzahn, Bret Bielema, Will Muschamp, Steve Spurrier and Butch Jones. Here’s Stoops’ schedule so you can watch him all day (all times Eastern):
11 a.m. — ESPNU College Football Podcast with Ivan Maisel
11:30 a.m. — ESPN.com chat (live)
Noon — College Football Insider with Travis Haney
12:45 p.m. — Digital Media room
1:15 p.m. — College GameDay
2:20 p.m. — College Football Live
3:20 p.m. — SportsCenter (tentatively live)
Spurrier’s going to be really pissed off when he finds out that the “car wash” refers to media rounds and not scantily-clad soapy co-eds.
— Last week, Drew told you about John Ryan Harris, a seven-month-old who was recently diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Doctors believe the tumor is solely behind his eye and cannot be removed surgically so he’ll undergo a 42-week chemotherapy treatment. Many of you have been asking how to help John Ryan, and as a result, the family has set up a fund to pay for his medical expenses. So far, over $7,000 has been raised, which is close to the family’s goal of $10,000. If you’d like to learn more and donate to John Ryan’s cause, click here.
You got this, little buddy.
— Last but certainly not least, Matt and Ryan will be LIVE from my hometown of Danville, Kentucky for stop #17 of the KSR Tour of Affiliates. They’ll be taking over the Bluegrass Community Trust Bank, so if you’re in the area, stop by, say hello, and sign up for a chance to win two tickets to a home UK basketball game next season from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com. Also, say hello to my mother and father, who will probably do their best to embarrass me. (Just kidding. Love you guys.)
I’ll leave you with this video by The Breedings, a brother and sister duo originally from Lexington whose new single “Calm” is generating some major buzz here in Nashville. Willie and his sister now live in Music City and are huge KSR fans. Sit back and let it take you into Tuesday.