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Excerpts from Bobby Knight’s Upcoming Book “The Power of Negative Thinking”

Hello, friends. You look well on this sunny spring Friday. If you’ll indulge me, I hope you’ll allow me to bring some dark clouds into your world for just a second. As we all know by now, Kentucky’s own personal Darth Vader — former IU coach Bobby Knight — recently announce that he’ll be penning a book, with help from Bloomington Herald-Times sports editor Bob Hammel, entitled The Power of Negative Thinking. According to Knight, the book will focus upon the many ways in which negativity can be important in one’s life. Being a resourceful journalist, I recently reached out to Knight’s press folks to see if I could get a sample of what readers might expect in Knight’s upcoming tome, and surprisingly they were very forthcoming with some excerpts from the book. As a service to you, I publish those here. We’ll just have to wait until the book comes out to see what else Knight has to ruminate upon, but for now enjoy this sneak peek, won’t you?


From the chapter “Humble Beginnings”:

“…My name is Robert Montgomery Knight. You may call me Bobby, but not to my face. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, as many of you likely did, spending time with friends and doing the things many young boys do: basketball, going to school, playing ‘hit the cat,’ throwing rocks at old people, burning Christmas wreaths and luring hobos off the nearby trains with promises of alcohol and fanciful cakes only to throw beehives at them behind the trainyards. It was a simpler time, then. A purer time. Before hippies, and back when no one believed what transients told the police.”


From the chapter “Influencing Others”

“…I’ll never forget a player I had in 1970 as a coach at Army. A young, fresh-faced player named Michael was going places. He seemed to be interested in coaching. One day, as I sat in my office cursing at the sun for being so bright, he stopped in for advice. ‘Coach?’ he said, ‘I want to be just like you some day — I want to coach college basketball.’ I looked at him and gently rested my hand on his shoulder. ‘Someday you will, Michael, because I believe in you.’ I loved that kid like a son. I’m sure you can probably guess by now who that kid turned out to be. It was Mike Gogglesworth, who went on to serve fifteen years in a Pennsylvania prison for beating up several nuns. I’ve never been prouder.”


From the chapter “Motivational Behavior”

“…It’s always of tremendous importance to find the right motivation for the right player. For example, I once had a player at Indiana who was in a tremendous slump. The shots just weren’t falling for him. This was back in 1977. Just before a game, I took him into the locker room before the game, sat him down, and looked him right in the eye. ‘Glen,’ I said to him, ‘I’m not going to lie to you. I just got a call that your family has been kidnapped by the Khmer Rouge, and if you can’t lay down more than twenty-two points against the Boilermakers tonight, you’re never, ever going to see them again.’ The kid cried and cried, but you know what? He went out that night and lit up the scoreboard with twenty-five points. He was so excited and asked me when they would be freed. Then, just for laughs, I told him that his family was still going to be kept in a Cambodian prison for the rest of their lives because we still lost.”


From the chapter “Picturing Your Victories”

“…One crucial thing for success is to mentally envision the things you want to happen, and will them to be so. I learned an important lesson in February of 1985. Marty Simmons got slapped with a terrible foul call, just horrible. I got really upset, and Fred Jaspers issued a technical. I grabbed a nearby folding chair and threw it across the court at him. Now, what I wanted that chair to do was hit Jaspers in the face, then maybe bounce off Jasper’s face and hit Steve Reid in the face, and then bounce over and hit all of the Purdue assistant coaches and stupid Gene Keady in the face. All of them, knocked down by that chair. But I was in the moment, I was raging, and I wasn’t concentrating, so it just kind of skidded across the floor and stopped. I was lazy then. I didn’t will it to be so. The next time I threw something, it was a rubber traffic cone in a construction zone that had stopped traffic and made me late for a dinner party. I hit, like, eight guys with that cone. Sure, you didn’t see that on the news.”


From the chapter “On the Controversies”

“…I’ve been accused of slapping many players over the years, from the ‘love tap’ I gave to Joe B. Hall to several incidences with Indiana players. I don’t see any problem with it, and stand by those gestures. To this day, I still keep my slapping hand strong by going out behind my house and slapping an old oak tree. Sometimes I’ll slap that tree for hours, calling it names, telling it it’s ugly, that its leaves are awful. And you know what? That tree just keeps getting bigger and bigger. That’s just nature’s proof that a firm hand yields results.”


From the chapter “Good Health”

“…A lot of people ask me what the key is, you know, to living to be 71 years old. I always tell them the same thing. You gotta go out there, get you a nice baby, and eat it. See, if you eat a baby you absorb the strength of that baby. So you get even stronger. A lot of people will tell you that’s the wrong thing to do, but don’t listen to them. Look at me today. I’m a man with the strength of forty babies. I could probably punch your head right off your shoulders right now. Don’t tempt me, or I swear I’ll do it.”

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

63 Comments for Excerpts from Bobby Knight’s Upcoming Book “The Power of Negative Thinking”

  1. Bats#!t Crazy
    1:37 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    The best post in KSR history. By far. Baby strong.

  2. SexnNursinHomes
    1:38 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Not even a chuckle. Please give it up Tomlin!

  3. RMK
    1:39 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    You forgot one of my favorite chapters: CHAPTER 10 – The day I lost my innocence.

    (picking up from the middle of the chapter)

    I’ll never forget that first time a young Mike Krzyzewski walked thru that gym door, and into my arms. I had never seen such a beautiful sight in my life, bushy eye brows, caveman like face, and the most milk white thighs I had ever seen. Our eyes locked, gazing into one anothers souls, and as I took his hand and placed it upon my manhood, his hands trembled….he seemed to be both frightned and excited. I whispered in his ear, “Mike, this is forever”, and he replied “Coach, the balls are in your court”.

    To read more, you’ll have to buy the book!

  4. Old Henry Man
    1:41 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Now that is funny

  5. Mtn Wildcat
    1:43 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    What a loser in every respect! Wish you would quit now, and NEVER post anything from him, referring to him, or about him, ever again! He is a miserable person and a complete waste of fresh air! Be done with him. He is totally irrelevant, especially to Ky fans!

  6. Mercer
    1:44 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Truly one of the best ever……Tooshay C.M Tomlin you have gained my respect for 8 lifetimes…..everything is 8.

  7. Mercer
    1:46 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    #5 is definitley not a Bobby Knight guy

  8. scoretowin9
    1:51 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good Health…nice!

  9. really?
    1:51 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously no one cares about this guy. Quit taking up space with this nonsense

  10. Bats#!t Crazy
    1:59 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good Grantland article about Cal:
    My favorite part: “In fact, when you look at the players Calipari offered but didn’t get, his “failures” can be chalked up to one of two reasons, and both are out of his control. One, there was a better player at that position coming to Kentucky. Two, the player decided to stay close to home. The apparent lesson for other coaches here is to be located in the general vicinity of awesome players, or go after Calipari’s table scraps. Got it?”

  11. LOL
    2:00 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks for the entertainment.. I thought it was great!

  12. Gobigblue
    2:00 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    #9 “KSR. University of Kentucky basketball, football, and recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.” it’s supposed to be goofy

  13. Boyd Baker
    2:00 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I thought it was hilarious, especially the baby part!

  14. Cory
    2:01 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Those of you crying are as bad as Bob Knight. Sure the guy is a dbag, but it sure is fun to laugh at him.

  15. Greatgooglymoogly
    2:01 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    2 You sir r crazy. Well done Tomlin, picturing your victories made me lol.

  16. buzzkill
    2:04 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Best KSR post of the year, hands down. Well done.

  17. The Episode of "Who's the Boss?" where Tony Sees Angela Naked in the Shower
    2:04 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Tomlin, that was amazing.

    One suggestion though: Since it is clear that a large part of the KSR following in 2012 (as opposed to 2007) has the IQ of a bucket of sea salt, you may need to just tack onto the end of your post a Porcini’s joke or something else that involves genitals or excrement. Better yet, just put it at the beginning of your posts, and after the idiots read it, they can move on. The rest of us will know it’s just a buffer and go on and enjoy the rest of your actual post, and the idiots will be less likely to post stupid comments about how they thought your post wasn’t funny.

    I can only assume things are different now because it took 5 years from a lot of the dumber regulars around here to figure out how the f to spell “radio.”

  18. Ghostface Killah
    2:06 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I usually don’t like Tomlin, but this was good. Well done.

  19. Bats#!t Crazy
    2:07 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Archie Goodwin
    Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, Ark.), SG
    Signed to: Kentucky
    The school that came in second for me was …
    “Kansas. I love coach Bill Self and I loved Kansas. The school was great, the fans were great and they did a great job recruiting me, but, honestly, there wasn’t anything they could’ve done to get me. I had been saying since the ninth grade that I wanted to play for Coach [John] Calipari. I tried to give everyone a chance, but I never got the same feeling I did with Coach Cal.”

  20. ForRealz
    2:09 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    #17, that about sums it up. nicely done.

  21. Roland
    2:10 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll call you Boobie (as in dumb). Like to stick the facts.

  22. uk3k
    2:11 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    haha, the crazy thing is parts of this I could see being true.

  23. Dash
    2:15 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I thought this was great. Didn’t know till now what happened to Mike Gogglesworth.

  24. Bobbytwoboners
    2:15 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink


    It’s funny cause he’s an aszhole n probably what the rough draft said

  25. BUCats
    2:17 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Classic KSR and Tomlin – excellent post!

  26. Radio Silence?
    2:19 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Can we get today’s podcast on the KSR site or WKJK? Who is slacking?

  27. The Old Oak Tree From “On the Controversies”
    2:21 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Every night i pray that someday in the future a strong wind will uproot me and I will crush his home and all its contents.

  28. Hamburger
    2:23 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Whos side are you on?!?! I thought you guys liked KENTUCKY! Why would you print such nice things about our arch ENEMY?!?! If it ever gets out that your site gave him this much credit, we’ll be ruined for sure!!

  29. bigcat76
    2:26 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I assume he’s holding a little something back for the sequel book since there was no mention of him shooting his buddy? What could be more negative than shooting you best friend?

    Speaking of slacking.. no tweet beat! What’s up with that?

  30. 4incherpitino
    2:27 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Remember that time bobby knight showed up at halftime and the mud dogs won the bourbon bowl

  31. Azubuike's Bicep
    2:28 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    26-Not worth it. It was THAT bad…

  32. Svobodasmcfarla
    2:30 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Crazy old man! “get off my lawn”

  33. catfan269
    2:30 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Tomlin normally sucks. Tries to be funny, but usually fails miserably. But THIS one is a masterpiece. Great stuff!!

  34. Awesome
    2:31 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome post! Very creative…keep it up!

  35. pitino's labido
    2:38 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink


  36. Bubba Earl
    2:39 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I am not going to give him the satisfaction, not 2 words!

  37. MustangCat
    2:43 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Great post! We should never mention him by name though! Just call him “the idiotic mad at the world old fart formerly from Indiana”. No first name, no last name. Having said that, the post was outstanding! He could fill up many books, couldn’t he?! I’d call the book “His – hall of shame”. Because i can’t use his name.

  38. REAL BLY
    2:48 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink


  39. Tom Blevins
    2:48 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    So this is a Not-Jerry-Tipton type of article, right? (Although, since it’s about Bobby Knight, you can never be sure.)

  40. catlogic15
    2:50 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Outrageously creative. Very nice work. This said from an old-fart UK Journalism major from the mid-70’s.

  41. sangaman
    2:52 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Absolutely brilliant. Another hilarious piece by Tomlin.

  42. TheNewOriginal
    2:53 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    17/ Very well said.

  43. Throw_my_Chair
    3:08 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bobby has that Jeff Dahmer look …. he needs to be heavily medicated and put in a quiet, dimly lit room

  44. Bob
    3:44 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Great stuff, Tomlin.

  45. Lord Almighty
    3:44 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    OMG, that was wonderful.

  46. Bobby Knight
    3:53 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    You forgot my chapter on women’s issues. Rape is nothing to joke about but I say, if you are getting raped, just lay back and enjoy it.

  47. hole
    4:04 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink


  48. Al's IndiCats
    4:06 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    GREAT post Tomlin, but in actually the book should be renamed since he got his start at West Point, A Officer and a AZZHOLE!

  49. WWMKGD
    4:08 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    My only criticicism is the use of the word incidences. Sorry but its just not a word. Did you try to combine the words instances and incidents?

  50. bigbluenation74
    4:21 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Now that was funny. Great Job Tomlin.

  51. LA
    4:57 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    pulitzer prize winning work on this one, bobby knight what a disaster of a human being.

  52. Tomlin from WAY downtown!!
    5:26 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    YESSSS!!!! Finally finally finally finally finally finally finally finally FINALLY Tomlin actually posts a funny article!!!!! After so many countless epic failures (most recently the unreadable post that had something to do with preschool kids), this one made me literally L.O.L.!! Congratulations!! (now quit while you’re ahead!!)

  53. gottodoit
    6:04 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Does Knight include a chapter in his book explaining why he didn’t volunteer to serve in Vietnam while he was coaching basketball at West Point?

  54. New Tomlin Fan
    6:09 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    I laughed out loud at the Kidz Place recruiting piece, now this. 5-star effect from Tomlin’s last two posts!

  55. UK#8in'12
    7:26 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Hmm…probably more truth there than intended. Now I can go back to ignoring the foul-mouthed, egotistical, old fart, safe in the knowledge the hobos will soon seek their revenge (hope it involves the creative application of bee hives).

  56. macon_volfan
    7:37 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Everything CM has done has been funny.

  57. Pooptooth2
    9:08 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    wow, Bob Knight slaps his wood behind the house for hours…… perverted bastard….

  58. barn
    9:20 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    nice. very witty

  59. Treedoc
    10:29 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Im just glad to announce that after thirty years of trying, B.K. Finally got that oak tree pregnant. There’s a doctor in his town that will now be relieved to never have to remove the splinters from B.K.s crotch again.

  60. JVice
    11:05 pm April 13, 2012 Permalink

    Best writer. Worst voice.

  61. IamSaulSmith
    2:49 am April 14, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome, Tomlin’s my favorite.

  62. UKinNC
    9:06 am April 14, 2012 Permalink

    20 years ago I visited a friend in Indianapolis. He took me to lunch at his country club in the area. At a nearby table were three neurosurgeons, getting ripped and bragging about their greatest medical triumphs. One said, “I was on duty when they brought in a girl who had her hands mangled in a garbage disposal. I was in surgery for 6 hours. Now she’s a renowned concert pianist.” “That’s nothing,” replied the second. “They brought in an 11-year old kid who had his legs mangled in a wood chipper. I was in surgery for 12 hours and he won a gold medal in the Olympic 440-yard dash.” “That’s really nothing at all,” said the last neurosurgeon. “There was a head-on crash out on the interstate years back. One car was compacted the size of a refrigerator. There was nothing left of the driver but a red sweater and an asshole. Now he’s coaching basketball at Indiana University.”

  63. BoobyKnight
    12:31 pm April 14, 2012 Permalink

    CM is one of the top writers on this site, classic KSR material.