As if having Willie Cauley-Stein on wasn’t enough, Erin Calipari called in to this morning’s show to chat with us about her brother Brad joining the team and how proud she is of him. Erin said Brad’s put in a lot of hard work the past few years to elevate his game, and her dad definitely wouldn’t let him join the team if he wasn’t ready.
“Honestly, my family is tougher on our own family members than anything,” Erin said. “If my dad didn’t think Brad knew what was coming this way, I don’t think he would have let him come there. …I really, really don’t think if my dad didn’t think Brad was ready for it, that he would have encouraged him to come there.”
Of course, KSR listeners love Erin for her appearance on the show a few years back, when she divulged some secrets about her dad, including that his favorite song is Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.” Today, she gave us some more behind-the-scenes info about Coach Cal, specifically, his superstitions. Erin said that although Cal has mellowed over the years (in his early days of coaching, he used to wake up at 6 a.m. after big wins to cook pancakes for the family and the team), he’s still extremely superstitious when it comes to game day.
“He’s also really superstitious and he gets really angry. At UMass, when they were 27-0, they come in to the pregame meal, and there were raisins in the oatmeal. My dad flips out about the raisins in the oatmeal. He’s convinced that those raisins are the reason they’re going to lose that day. He gets kicked out of the game, gets two technicals, gets kicked out, and they lose. To this day, literally, raisins are not allowed in the oatmeal.”
(In fact, Calipari threw that bowl of oatmeal with raisins against the wall, according to this interview from last November.)
Then there’s the Wendy’s chili superstition that goes back to Calipari’s days coaching the Nets in New Jersey.
“In New Jersey, my dad used to go Wendy’s and get chili — this is disgusting — and he would eat half of it and leave the rest of it in the fridge and my mom was supposed to eat the rest of it. But in the NBA, there are 80 games. So, you’re eating chili 80 times — from Wendy’s — a year? That’s pretty intense. So, he’s pretty superstitious.”
Sadly, I wasn’t thinking on my toes enough to give Erin the Wendy’s Call of the Day for that story. Thanks again to Erin for calling in (you can thank her too at @TheErinCalipari on Twitter). You can hear her segment below, and the entire podcast by clicking here.