I know. It’s a mortal sin of blogging to go more than a day or two without updating. So I’m here for penance. Writing from Raleigh, N.C., and heading out soon for my first trip to the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill, N.C., where the University of Kentucky will face top-ranked North Carolina at 9 tonight. Plenty of blogging on that to come in a bit.
But first, I’ll play some catch-up . . .
1). 93.9 The Ticket cashes in
I’m sorry to hear this, and not just because friends and C-J colleagues (and excellent talk show hosts) Rick Bozich and Jody Demling will be off the air, but because a lively lineup will go silent. Word is that the station is going to an oldies format. More money, less expense, probably. But at a great cost to the city. Any time local voices lose a platform, the city loses. The place isn’t the same without Bob Hill, and I still feel the loss of Joe Elliot’s show every night. It’s a shame that these things really have nothing to do with how good the talent is, but with the financial bottom line. That is, however, where we are.
2). Rich Rodriguez has Capt. Kirk moment
Add another tactic to the column I wrote last week about coaches lashing out under pressure. Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez said yesterday that some Michigan fans need to “get a life.” ESPN quotes the coach saying, “It’s amazing some of the things that people would say [on a message board] or yell at you of a personal nature,” he said. “You almost want to tell them, ‘Get a life.'” I’m reminded of William Shatner’s famous bit on Saturday Night Live, when he went to a Star Trek convention and told all of the Trekkies, “Get a life. For crying out loud, it was just a TV show! Have you ever kissed a girl?” In a related note, an informal poll conducted by this blog shows that a majority of Wolverine fans now would accept William Shatner as coach over Rich Rod. Who wouldn’t like to hear, “Empty backfield, trips right, two tights, phasers to stun, good luck, Kirk out.”
3. Rodriguez II: It’s the economy stupid!
Rich wasn’t content, though, to just tell Wolverine fans to “get a life.” He quickly pivoted to say, “There’s a whole lot bigger problems, look at the economy.” Of course, he’s right. But a Treasury hearing isn’t near as much fun to watch as Ohio State Michigan.
4. Pitino weighs in on U of L football
Rick Pitino, on his Monday night radio show, let U of L fans know that next year “might be rough too,” for U of L football, but that “the next year, we’ll be right back to where we were with Bobby Petrino.” It’s a statement I can only agree with if by, “back to where we were” Pitino means playing in the same stadium and using the same facilities. It’s more than a two-year job to get back to the Orange Bowl at this point, no matter who is doing it.
5. Jurich weighs in on U of L football
U of L athletic director Tom Jurich told U of L football fans that if they’re going to blame anyone, they should blame him for the fall of Cardinal football. There’s a lot of hindsight going on here. I haven’t liked Jurich’s comments about fans, or the disparaging of Petrino. But neither have I blamed him for a bad hire. Go back to the time Kragthorpe was named. Not a person in the nation thought it was a bad hire. It drew rave reviews. Kragthorpe was succeeding at what has been traditionally one of the worst Division I-A programs in football. Yes, the hiring came quick. Yes, the two had a long acquaintance. But Jurich used the same formula for this hire that he has used for every other coaching hire he’s made at U of L in every sport, and I watched most of them up close. He identified his top candidate before the fact, and went after him hard when the time came. Sometimes the process took longer, but the process itself has always been pretty much the same. Now, it hasn’t worked out the way anyone really thought to this point. But for fans who don’t like Petrino’s history being revised, they ought not revise the history of this hire. It looked good at the time, and the vast majority of people around the program and nation agreed. So you can say it didn’t work out or call it a bad hire in retrospect, but to criticize the process now is to get a bit heavy handed with hindsight.
6. More Monday Morning Quarterback
My Monday feature is taking on a life of its own, with readers sending in their own suggestions for stats, downs, quips. I love it. All submissions are welcome and as of now may be used in print, crediting the contributor, of course. Send me enough and I can take Sundays off. Anyway, this week’s prize submission came from James Michael Flynn of Northern Kentucky (but originally from Burgin, Ky.) Harking back to a head-scratcher call in U of L’s loss to Cincinnati, this one was elegant in its simplicity:
Third and 23: Draw play!
7. Facebook Nation
All — well, almost all — entries from this blog are linked to my page on Facebook. You can access them by clicking the Facebook button on the right hand side of this page and signing up.
More to come. It’s good to be back . . .