By now the news is well-known. Like Larry King and Oprah, Rick Pitino has quit his own television show. (Details here.)
All right, technically he’s taking a year off. I believe that’s what Kevin Costner said he was going to do after wrapping The Postman in 1997. Now he’s trying to hawk oil extractors to the U.S. government.
Perhaps, as “Seinfeld’s” Kramer did when his fake show on the Merv Griffin set ran aground, Pitino is simply taking time to “retool.”
Regardless, what we’re left with is a show with no star. But like “The Office” sans Steve Carell, they can’t just let it die. U of L sports information director Kenny Klein says they’ll replace it with a highlights-feature type show hosted by Drew Diener. All well and good. Diener does a good job at everything.
But I have to agree with former Pitino show sidekick Terry Meiners, who said the idea of a coaches show without the coach sounds, “pretty antiseptic.”
I’m nothing if not helpful. Here, as a public service, I offer the TOP 10 CANDIDATES TO FILL THE SLOT FORMERLY HELD BY THE RICK PITINO SHOW (prospective hosts in parentheses).
10. Coach vs. Wild — Low level basketball basketball administrator is dropped alone into the middle of downtown Louisville with only his stipend from the previous season to sustain him. (Host: Shabaka Lands.)
9. Entourage — Friends of the head coach living the high life (Host: Vincent “Chase” Tatum).
8. Chapelle’s Show — Totally basketball unrelated, but man I wish he would come back (Host: Dave Chapelle)
7. Lost — Highlights from near-misses on the recruiting trail. (Host: Marquis Teague)
6. Extreme Makeover: Bridge (Season) Edition — Designers come in and re-do Pitino’s team while he is not looking. (Host: Patrick Henry Hughes)
5. That 70’s Show — Taking the whole thing retro. (Host: Denny Crum)
4. Mad Men — Clash between a couple of PR-savvy high-rollers. “Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.” (Hosts: Tom Jurich, Terry Meiners).
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm — A show from the U of L fan perspective. (Host: Guest fans.)
2. Arrested Development — “This is a story of a rich program that lost everything, and the one coach who had no choice but to keep it all together.” (Host: Ralph Willard. Now we know why he left the sidelines — to focus on the TV project!)
1. $#*! My Coach Says — Hidden camera, documentary style. (Host: Well, I’m usually free Sundays)
NOTE TO READERS: Yes, I am aware you will have your own possibilities. Please be advised, we try to stay family friendly here. So while I am prepared for your “Sex In the Cities,” your “Big Loves,” your “How I Met Your Mothers” and your “Cougartowns,” we’re running a family outfit here. Nonetheless, thanks for reading.