By now, most of the Big Blue Nation, which includes about 60% of the city of Louisville, has heard about, or read Courier-Journal "sportswriter" Rick Bozoich's article stating that Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has a serious case of Rick Pitino envy. (I'll wait, I'll wait) Now that you've quit laughing, hysterically, and wiped the coffee off your computer screen, allow me to continue -- Yesterday, our own Glenn Logan mocked Bozoich with this post, bringing into question Bozoich's sanity, motivation, and just how Bozoich goes about backing-up his indefensible contention. Today, though, we have the answer to why Bozoich, until now, a highly respected sportswriter, opted to thoroughly trash his credibility with what can best be described as a homer blog post by a blogger not getting enough hits (read: attention).
A Sea of Blue, by virtue of nothing other than pure luck, has come into possession of a tape recording. The recording includes the voice of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and CJ "sportswriter" Rick Bozoich. The conversation between the two took place early Thursday morning, evidently after Bozoich was given the OK to publish his article by a purportedly dazed and confused CJ sports editor, Harry Bryan.
Pitino's location, where the recording originated, was the Seelbach Hotel ("wife" Joanne will not allow him in their home), while Bozoich was located under a Big Top tent, somewhere between the horse's ass stall and the clown room. The recording, transcribed here, has been sanitized in an effort to make it a rated PG conversation. It begins with a female voice, saying, "Rick, the phones for you ..."
Pitino: (gruffly) "This better be good, whoever this is; I'm in the middle of something. (an inaudible voice can be heard saying something in the background, Pitino then seems to cover the phone with his free hand, and yells), Don't you have an 8:00 class, go to sleep!"
Bozoich: (breathlessly) "Rick, this is Bozoich; did I call at a bad time?"
Pitino: "No, no, just tell me, did they let you publish it."
Bozoich: (hesitatingly) "Well ... it's published, but it doesn't include some of the things you wanted in it."
Pitino: (clearly irritated) "Bleep, Rick! Why not!"
Bozoich: (now nervous) "Uh, I just couldn't sell Harry (Bryan) on Calipari having an affair with Joanne (Pitino). He wasn't buying it. He asked me for proof, for chrissake; I couldn't believe it."
Pitino: (sighing) "Well ... I don't know. But, he did buy the other stuff about a that bleeping bleep bleep Calipari, didn't he?"
Bozoich: "Well, yeah."
Pitino: (agitated) "Well, bleep Rick, that stuff was just as unbelievable as that son-of-a-bleep Calipari sleeping with my wife. (now clearly angry) You have to SELL IT, Bozoich. It doesn't matter if its a steaming pile of bleep bleep, you have to SELL IT!"
Bozoich: (pleading) "But I was already selling the other bleep bleep you had me write, and that was tough, tough as anything I've ever had to do. Rick, Harry just wouldn't buy everything."
Pitino: (angry again) "Well, bleep bleep, that bleeping Calipari is kickin' my bleep every way it can be kicked. He's out-recruiting me, ME, he's out-recruiting ME! He's stealing my best bleeping recruits! That no-count bleeping bleep is kickin' my bleep on the court, too! He's gonna win a title and then I won't have anything on him ... we have to control the damage, Rick! Control the damage. In case you've forgotten, that's your job. I'll do what I can, but damage control is your job, not mine"
Bozoich: (defeated) "That's gonna be hard, Coach. I hate to say it, and I know you don't like to hear it, but Calipari is, uh, I don't know ... hot, he's on fire, like freakin' (George) Brett chasing .400. I mean, I've never seen anything like it."
Pitino: (now incensed) "Would you shut the bleep up! You don't think I know he's bleeping hot. In two years the son-of-a-bleep has already been to a Final Four; the closest I'm gonna come to a bleeping Final Four is standing next to my '97 trophy! (voice rises, with a slight quiver) I bleeping know that bleep bleep is so far ahead of me in the game ... I can barely see his bleeping tail lights." (losing steam) I can't even keep my own recruits; that cheese-eating son-of-a-bleep stole Teague, and now we're the one's who are gonna pay."
Bozoich: (comforting) "Rick, it's gonna be all right, don't let it get to you. You know buddy, your best days may be behind you, but that doesn't mean you can't win some games, make a tourney run ..."
Pitino: (angry, again) "What, what did you say?! Make a tourney run? What the bleep are you talking about? I haven't made a tourney run since gas was under a buck-fifty. Rick, I've been beaten on the first weekend of the (NCAA) tournament five times; I've lost in the first round two years in a bleeping row, the first bleeping round!! I've been to the NIT twice since I've been at this god forsaken place. Tourney run, Rick? I doubt it."
Bozoich: (calmly) "Well, maybe you can beat that bleeping bleep this year in your game in December. That'd really stick it to him ... and you'd be beatin' Teague too. (chuckling) Wouldn't that be great?"
Pitino: (flabbergasted) "What the bleep are you talking about, Rick? Are you hittin' the pipe, because that's the dumbest thing you've said this week. That bleeping bleep has what might be the best recruiting class in the history of the bleeping game, plus, that son-of-a-bleep somehow got (Terrence) Jones to stay, and my best player (Preston Knowles) is gone. The game's in bleeping Rupp ... it's gonna be another humiliation. (mumbling to himself) I just hope I don't look as clueless in this year's game, as I did last year. (throat clearing) Anyway, I just don't think I have much of a chance this year. (defeated) Did you know that bleep bleep has won 64 games since he's been coaching the scourge of my life?"
Bozoich: "Yeah, I know."
Pitino: (still defeated) "Know how many games I've won?"
Bozoich: "I don't know ... not as many?"
Bozoich: (consoling) "Geez, coach, I didn't know it was that big of a difference ... I'm sorry."
Pitino: (choking up) "And you know something else; Calipari has stolen my identity. It's him that's sending guys to the NBA like there's no tomorrow, and who've I sent to the NBA? Freakin' Francisco Garcia and T-Will (Terrence Williams) ... that can't compete with Wall, Cousins, Knight, Bledsoe, and all those other guys. (audibly upset) It use to be me who sent guys to the pros ... now that bleeping Calipari is stealing what's left of my thunder ... how am I supposed to recruit against that? I mean, what do I tell a kid whose being recruited by both of us ... (sarcastically) uh, 'come to Louisville because you can start and play 35 minutes, but at Kentucky, their roster is full of great, future NBA players, you won't see as much time.' What message does that send to the kid? I'll tell you what message that sends. It says that great players like to play for bleeping Calipari ... that bleep bleep dribble-drive ... (gathering himself) Calipari is the bleeping King of Camelot, and I'm the Court Jester. And that Rick, is precisely why we have to bury this guy in the media. We have to bury him."
Bozoich: "OK, OK, coach. Well, what do we do next?"
At this time, once again, an inaudible female voice can be heard saying something.
Pitino: "Bozoich, hold on for a second. (Pitino then covers the phone, but can be heard saying), Yes, yes, bleep, I'll look into getting an implant, now go to sleep, you have class in seven hours ... sorry about that Rick; it doesn't matter what I'm doing, all she's worried about is ... well, never-mind."
Bozoich: (half mumbling) "Don't worry about it ... so, what next?"
Pitino: (more confident) "I'll tell you what, I want to throw that son-of-a-bleep Matt Jones under a bus before we go after that slippery son-of-a-bleep Calipari again. That bleeping Jones is stirrin' up everybody, makin' me look bad. Bleep, he practically lived at the bleeping courthouse during the (Karen Sypher) trial ... I hate that son-of-a-bleep!"
Bozoich: "Well, what do we do, because, you know, I think I might have went overboard by making fun of Eric Bledsoe's high school academic standing. We might want to be more careful this time, and remember, Jones is a lawyer ... I think he went to Duke's law school"
Pitino: (again, getting angry) "I know the bleeping bleep is a bleeping lawyer; you think I give a bleep he's a lawyer ... (calming down) You know what, though Rick, you might have hit on it. Jones went to Duke, right? ... somehow ... (thinking) .... somehow we have to put it out there that Jones is masquerading as an idiot Kentucky fan, and he's really working behind the scenes to bring down Kentucky basketball, because he's truly a Duke fan ... yeah ... yeah ... what do you think, Bozoich?"
Bozoich: "Honestly, if they'll believe that fantasy I weaved with the jealousy article, they'll believe anything."
Pitino: "Good, good. Get on it."
Bozoich: "OK coach, I'll do what I can."
End of transcript.
I don't know about the rest of the Big Blue Nation, but to me, it looks like the gloves are off.
Thanks for reading, Go 'Cats! and Go Calipari!, bury Pitino so deep it'll take a thermonuclear explosion to dig 'im up.