Okay, here it is. Calipari flatly denies interest in the Chicago Bulls job, and by implication, any other coaching job, although that scope is somewhat debatable. Can we all chill out, relax and start talking football now?
Not a chance.
I knew the answer to that one, of course, before I even wrote the question. As a card-carrying member of the Big Blue Nation, I know just like all of you reading this that college basketball is our obsession here in the Bluegrass. Yes, we like football when it comes along, and we passionately want our football program to succeed. Some of us love baseball, the great American pastime, and we want the Bat Cats to succeed.
But at the end of the day, all our hopes, dreams, and by far most of the passion of the Big Blue faithful go into what happens with the basketball team. I know that some people lament that, and I can't criticize them for it. But if you think it's bad here, just look at the Florida Gators, who are only vaguely aware that they possess two NCAA championships in basketball -- only 14 teams in the land have that many, and lots of so-called "basketball schools" have fewer. You would think that would make them care. You would be wrong. But I digress.
Most people, perhaps even most in the Big Blue Nation, will say that Calipari's denial means nothing, and in a real sense, that is somewhat likely. Calipari denied interest in the Kentucky job in 2007, but we learned when UK actually did come after him in 2009 that he was not only interested in 2007, but waiting with bated breath for the phone call from UK representatives.
So in the end, the flat denial probably means that there is no mutual interest. Could Calipari be interested and still make the denial? Yes, he has done that before. But what this likely tells us is that Calipari is either actually not interested, or he knows that there is no interest on the other side. You, dear reader, will have to draw your own conclusions about who has the lesser interest.
For the nonce, this should at least give some reason for Wildcat fans to step back from the brink and take a deep breath, and perhaps even start enjoying the onset of spring. Calipari has denied interest in the Bulls job and in other coaching jobs pretty unambiguously, at least for now.