Continuing with my search for other voices on the blog, this piece is from the pen of reader “The Teller.” Enjoy.
A lifetime Investment
by: The Teller
It’s safe to assume that most of you KSR listeners/bloggers from the Eastern Coal fields all the way west to the Jackson Purchase are bluegrass-bred, derby pie-eatin’, bourbon sippin’, Ashley Judd dreamin’, denim jersey missin’, good ole county boys (or girls) who have yet to find an icebreaker more apt in social settings than “So, how do you think the Cats will do this year?” Face it, aside from 9/11, there is probably only one point in your life where you can vividly recall every last detail of what you were doing/wearing/eating the day Pitino decided against guarding the inbound pass on that fateful evening in ’92.
That being said, I think we can all agree that Rupp Arena stands a close second to our First Baptist Churches in terms of spiritual sanctuaries. Kentucky Basketball is not just a way of life, it is life. (I think I still have a “No Fear” shirt from 3rd grade with those very words). Sadly, in recent years we have seen what was once a highly-feared pinnacle program, rich with tradition, fade into a negative slump of hard losses and embarrassing preseason polls. We all have our reasons, we all have our arguments, and yes, we all have our excuses as to why Kentucky is no longer the Final Four contender it was just a decade ago. Personally, I like to think of our heralded program as a blue-chip corporation, in which we, as loyal fans, have all owned a share of its stock since the day we were born. The key issue discussed at the last quarterly meeting: Big Blue’s stock hasn’t been performing to its shareholders standards, earnings are down, and employee morale is low. Now, for those of you who might not know, the primary goal of any publicly traded company is to maximize shareholder wealth. Plain and simple. As part owner of UK basketball (for the sake of argument), it is your job to decide what has went wrong, if anything at all? CEO Mitch Barnhart has been under a lot of heat in the issue of whether to fire Tubby as President. Is this good for the company? Chief Operations Officer Bill Keightly hasn’t moved an inch in the last twelve years, so it’s highly unlikely that Mr. Wildcat’s job is in any sort of jeopardy. But the question at hand for all of us is have the board of directors found the right mix of employees to reach its target price level–the holy grail of college basketball, a national championship?
As the first shareholder to raise his hand during this meeting, my suggestion is as follows: long-time employees Sheray Thomas, Bobby Perry, and Lucasz Orbzut have seen little progress in their tenure at UK. Mr. Orbzut is never late for work and always puts a cover sheet on his faxes, Mr. Perry is liked by all his employees and lately has proven himself to be an asset of the company, and Mr. Thomas makes the best pot of coffee this side of the Mississippi. However, their productivity suggests that the company has invested too much time and has incurred sufficient losses and thus should cut their salaries. Mr. Perry should, however, undergo one final job appraisal, seeing as how he has a sweet stroke and is willing to work overtime during March. But we must agree to cut our losses with the other two and invest more time into our recently hired freshmen class. Mr. Morris has shown considerable improvement in the paint warehouse, I motion for a stock option bonus and profit sharing five-hundred dollar handshakes. Just kidding President Smith, we all know you run a clean program. Mr. Crawford has unbelievable potential, but he rarely shows up for work. Mr. Bradley should stick to SG in the backcourt office, I move for a demotion from PG to promote Mr. Jasper as full-time PG of backcourt operations, but he has to stop that one-handed pass BS. I think Mr. Meeks reminds us all of unforgettable past employees, but he needs to make a name for himself. Mr. Porter looks like he should work for Duke, Inc. but I like his tenacity, and Mr. Stevenson is just plain nasty.
All in favor?