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Chris Mack “clears the air” with John Calipari after reigniting the rivalry

Chris Mack never meant for his post-Kentucky celebration video with former Louisville offensive lineman Eric Wood to go public. Once it took off on social media, he never had any intention of apologizing for it, except to “clear the air” with John Calipari.

Rather than discussing the 45-point loss to North Carolina, most of Monday’s pre-Notre Dame press conference was centered around the video shared by Drew Franklin of a maskless Mack directing a message to Kenny Payne after December’s victory over UK, his first as the Cardinals’ coach. He made it a point not to apologize. Mack was simply sharing he context of the video.

“I would tell you that most of you know it was the Kentucky game. I was having the Mack Family Christmas. We had a three-day break immediately following the game so I was having Christmas at the house. A few neighbors walked over to my house and they happen to be really, really good friends with Kenny Payne. Golfing buddies, they go way back. They hang out together. I don’t know Kenny that well but Eric [Wood] and his buddy, really, really good friends with Kenny. They thought it would be funny to FaceTime him, text him, give him grief for the game,” Mack said.

“That’s what they did and obviously it led to the video that was then sent to Kenny. That was the context. It was a private video. Obviously it’s not private today, that’s why I’m talking about it to you guys. It was a joke amongst buddies and Kenny. How it got out, I have no idea. It’s really irrelevant. Although Kenny didn’t get it out.”

Once the video got out and Mack realized he stepped in it, two things crossed his mind. First, this is a bad look in the middle of a pandemic. He said he respects the virus that has sidelined his team for eight games, but…

“I will say this, when people come over to my house, which hasn’t been very often since last March, I’m probably a violater, and obviously was that night. Neighbors or friends stopped by, not putting my mask on around the house. So, not a good look. So, for that I’ve got to do better.”

Covid wasn’t the only C-word that worried Mack.

The first thing I really thought of was Calipari. I didn’t want him think it was some shot, that this was directed out to the worldwide web and I was trying to send a message to him, so that was the first person I called when I was aware of the video yesterday morning. I just wanted to be able to clear the air and tell him the great respect I have for him and his program and the job he’s done. And that’s how I feel. So I wanted him to know it was a joke to Kenny Payne and obviously it went sideways.”

Mack did not share too much of the conversation he had with Kentucky’s coach, but was quick to praise Calipari.

“Gracious as always. He was understanding,” Mack said. “I think he understood the context. Any time I’ve ever dealt with Coach Calipari, he’s been great. He offered a few words of advice, which I’ll just keep between he and I but I was appreciative of his response.”

Never mind the fact that Chris Mack made this little video to try to take a shot at ‘John’ back in September.

Never mind the fact that three Louisville soccer players got kicked off the team for hosting a party over the summer. They had their scholarships reinstated on appeal but were not accepted back onto the team. Does Mack believe he deserves discipline?

“That’s not really my judgment call. As I said, made an error. It’s not like I invited everybody over for a big party at the house. I’ll be a big boy and whatever comes my way, comes my way, but no.”

The rivalry lost its luster when Rick Pitino broke so many rules, the cheatingest school that ever cheated could not excuse his behavior any longer. Finding a figure to stoke the rivalry’s flames was not going to be easy. Chris Mack came off as a likable guy. Now that he’s sat in the seat long enough, he’s starting to act like a coach the BBN loves to hate. A once stale rivalry has been reignited by a pair of videos over the last six months.

“As I tell my players, when you do things that happen in the spotlight, you’ve got to own it.”

Mack had to own it today. Just wait until he has to “own it” it on the scoreboard every time he faces John Calipari’s Cats.




Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

29 Comments for Chris Mack “clears the air” with John Calipari after reigniting the rivalry

  1. BlueBanker18
    3:19 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    The day can’t come soon enough where I read an article and the person of interest’s mask wearing or lack thereof isn’t mentioned.

  2. Buffalo Cat
    3:24 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    “Not a good look” is kind of an understatement. Mack looked like an immature and unprofessional fool.
    Like they say, after you do something great, “act like you have been there before.”
    Oh, wait…

  3. IndianaSucks
    3:38 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Why are we still talking about this…

    • ukkatzfan
      4:29 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

      You are still talking IU and they have been irrelevant for a much longer time 🙂

  4. goteam94
    3:51 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    I could care less about that video. Is it just KSR making a big deal about it or are other websites doing it too? Even if it was sent out to everyone as a jab I wouldn’t be butt hurt. Grow up people it’s a rivalry I wish things like that happened more. You don’t have to be buddy buddy all the time.

  5. millertim
    4:01 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Coach Cal showed true class, while Coach Mack comes across as a big a– ! Sorry but you don’t get a pass for this kind of stupidity! I love a good joke and teasing— but in this day and age of videoing (recording) the act is just stupid and puts another black eye on a university that is enshrined in ignominy… As the face of U of L sports, he needs to be beyond board in his behavior and comportment. He should have remained in the background and stayed quiet in the video while his buddy talked trash… Still a greater question— who released this video? Obviously someone who wanted to make Coach Mack look bad… mission accomplished!

    • chardun20
      8:12 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

      Coach Mack should not have been in the video, not smart on his behalf.

  6. secrick
    4:04 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Come on guys he was having a little fun it’s no big deal. Don’t blame him for the mask at all his home with a few neighbors. Evidently one of the neighbors is an butt hole for sharing.

  7. 44stewart
    4:20 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    His team and university has had multiple shutdowns because of covid. I could care less about the video. I like that kind of stuff and we need it if we are ever going to be considered the best rivalry in basketball. However thr non mask thing hosting a gathering in the middle of a pandemic is inexcusable. He should receive some punishment. Fine or suspension

  8. RexRox
    4:25 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Love how Cats leapfrogged loserville in Pomeroy rankings over the weekend. Mack should make a video regarding the UNC game. Idiot loser!

  9. secrick
    4:27 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    I heard the person that released the video was wearing a mask. You just can’t trust those masked people.

    • ukkatzfan
      4:35 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

      Okay Tonto, quit throwing Kemosabe under the horse.

  10. ClutchCargo
    4:53 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    If he wants to make a horse’s ass of himself, who are we to be mad about it?

  11. Brutal Hustler
    4:59 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    I think this is good. It was ultimately harmless and helps fan the flames of the rivalry a bit. And then Mack showed humility and an apologetic spirit, things the last UofL coach never had, by calling and apologizing. Now if Mack could just get better at being funny in his “jokes” and “pranks” we really might get somewhere

  12. Rixter
    5:07 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Ok, so Mack is seen in a video hanging all over ‘neighbors’ without a mask before his team lost 8 games to Covid, and others were dismissed from teams for doing the same thing, and his response is “I’ve got to do better’

    THAT attitude, friends….. is why U of L is the only team to ever have a championship taken down, and why they awaiting word on their second NCAA disciplinary action in 4 years.

    Yes, you should ‘do better’, coach.

  13. Jambluehue99
    5:16 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    If there is one thing he shouldn’t apologize for it’s not wearing a mask. It’s time to give up the virtue signal.

  14. peaches76
    5:24 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    If you add the toilet paper antics of the football coach and AD to this situation, the question is (to loosely quote Vince Lombardi) “just what in the h3ll is going on out there?”

  15. Stop Hammer Time
    6:08 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Video was actually hilarious. This website is as bad as it gets when it comes to acting like a jackass. Pretty rich to see any writer on this site being critical of anyone else’s antics.

  16. Papaw
    6:37 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Funny how everyone is so sorry, and claim that isn’t the real”me” AFTER they get caught

  17. DoubleB65
    6:38 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Somebody needed to do something to breathe new life into the rivalry. It hasn’t been this good since Pitino flew the bird as he exited Rupp.

  18. zoupman
    6:59 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Much more than family get together. It was out right party.
    Said it’s going to be tough for AD to do much about it, for he attended also.

  19. Rixter
    8:13 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Nothing needs to be done. It’s already been done. The hypocrisy is exposed. Tyra kicked kids off the soccer team for attending a party…. right after he attended a party.
    Carry on.

    • zoupman
      8:08 am February 23, 2021 Permalink

      Soccer kids are owed an apology. Always easy to come down hard on non revenue sports.
      WKU did same thing. Football team terrorizes campus, but does school do? Suspend swim team.

      How many games has u of L missed to the China virus? A lot. More than most teams in country. Bad luck? Doesn’t seem like it.

  20. chardun20
    8:18 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    Rivalries are fun when you take jabs at each other back and forth. When one side takes jabs and the other side says it’s just jokes and don’t reply it becomes pathetic. Next someone going to say if you can’t laugh at yourself, I feel bad for you. Just Sad.

  21. The Big Lebowski
    9:09 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    The biggest @ss in this whole episode was the turd who released a private video to the public.

  22. dwhite
    10:40 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    It’s a rivalry. It’s fine. Go Cats!!!

  23. wills
    10:43 pm February 22, 2021 Permalink

    …this is not even a rivalry anymore cardinals is just another game yet exciting to whipp their asss as an embarrassment in public exposing their cardinals sin! strippers not allowed

  24. Urincatland
    4:06 am February 23, 2021 Permalink

    The way I see it is, if student athletes are held accountable for their actions, the coaches should be as well. As far as the video, I love it because that makes me hate Louisville that much more. Now, let’s get back to kicking their ass! Go Cats!

  25. Racerr11
    9:00 am February 23, 2021 Permalink

    Lol typical low life loserville look like a bunch of morons. Mack looks like a monkey on goofy ass Eric woods back. I mean I would be embarrassed if I were a Louisville fan. In the end the CATS have won 11 of the last 13 games. That’s why loserville is little brother. UK 11 loserville 2. Roflmao