Friday facts and figures

“Enough is enough and everybody is tired of it. We need to get on with the important things in life like the economy.” — Rick Pitino, August 26, 2009

I agree. Pitino is right. It’s the economy, stupid. He knows times are hard. His driver makes about $35,000 more per year than the median household income in Kentucky, but he knows.

So yes. By all means. Let’s talk about the economy.

This week President Barack Obama announced that he will keep Ben Bernanke on for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman, claiming that Bernanke helped the nation avert a second Great Depression.

Hey, you know what’s depressing? Waking up every morning to a new sports headline that reads like a scene from Animal House.

Sex in a restaurant. Driving drunk through Lawrenceburg? What’s going on? Basketball is one of this state’s chief exports. It is one of Kentucky’s “brands.”

Right now, our state’s highest-profile coaches (and former coach) are drawing more negative press than AIG. But I’m digressing.

Here’s an interesting money matter. The Grand Champion country ham from the Kentucky State Fair brought a record $1.3 million at auction when two local businesses, Proof on Main and Republic Bank, split the bidding Tuesday. I was there.

What, by the way, was the proof of stuff Gillispie was drinking? He couldn’t get the keys into his trunk to open it? And he was only getting into his trunk to look for his insurance card? In his golf bag? I thought I was the only one who kept my proof of insurance in a golf bag. But back to the economy.

The best line, though, I believe, is when the officer asked Gillispie what he’d been doing, he said, “Playing golf.”

Overheard at the Fair yesterday. “I paid $4.95 for a membership to CoachCal.com only to get the scoop that some walk-on had been put on scholarship?”

This got me interested. I went to the site. He bills it as an “unfiltered” look at UK basketball. Respectfully, there is no filter like a coach.

But, you know, there’s nothing wrong with a coach earning a little extra. (For the record, Calipairi’s web site earnings go to charity.) Which brings me to a great Adolph Rupp story. I don’t know if many people realize or remember, but Rupp for a time spent his summers while at UK traveling the state selling hail insurance.

I love the image of Rupp and Harry Lancaster driving across the state, going door-to-door. Who could refuse the Baron? Well, one summer, apparently lots of people could. They were out in a hot, dry summer, and weren’t having any luck. And, as the story goes, they’re driving down the road and Rupp turns to Lancaster and says, “Harry, you know what this state needs? . . . A damn big hailstorm!”

Why do I feel like we’re being hit with one now?

— Not-so-random movie quote of the day: From the Caddyshack caracter Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase, who teaches a life lesson we should all heed:

“Let me tell you a little story. I once knew a guy who could have been a great golfer, could have gone pro, all he needed was a little time and practice. Decided to go to college instead. Went for four years, did pretty well. At the end of his four years, his last semester he was kicked out. . . . You know what for? He was night putting, just putting at night — with the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Dean.”

Postscript. When I used my Animal House line on my C-J webcast with Rick Bozich yesterday, as I left the newsroom I overheard several people trying to pair local sports people with their Animal House counterpart.

There were some votes for Pitino as “Otter,” but there was some disagreement on this. Nor could anyone reach consensus on John Calipari — though it was agreed he would be on double-secret probation. Gillispie was definitely Bultarsky. I don’t know. This is not my thing. However, it was happening. And while these events aren’t funny in themselves, I think folks at this point have been subjected to enough that they’re entitled to do what they want. Just don’t forget your pledge pins.

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21 thoughts on “Friday facts and figures

  1. Peccary Pitino has 'shrew'dly moved Eric from the main bad news story to another, in a fashion that ought to make proud every supply-side economist. But don't forget the main 'stimulus package' of six years ago you-all. How many times did Pitino invoke the Ted Kennedy passing into his foaming at the mouth tirade yesterday? There are also proud Kentuckians around folks.

  2. Proud Kentuckians??? Of what??? Everything that has been in the news about Kentucky in the last month has been a national joke. The only bright spot has been the prize ham at the Kentucky State Fair that went for $1.5 million. Now that's money well spent!

  3. U of M Athletic Department could have bought that ham if so inclined, having saved us $36mil, and having increased the revenues enormously from 09 fan seating based on the great runs The Great Swami orchestrated for two years before a greater calling. See you Cats at the NC2A final game next year. And as a great Spots writer might have suggested, pack your erasers.

  4. You reckon ol' Harry and Adolph sampled a little corn squeezins out thar on tobacco road. Wonder if any of them farmers got them in a friendly poker game, and sent them home with a dime for the phone? Bet them boys was in a hail storm when they got home.

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