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Sports Journalists -- The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Every day I read hundreds of stories in my feed reader.  Some good, some bad, some right and some wrong.  Thank God for sportswriters -- they can lighten my day even when, like my fellow members of the Faithful, I am wandering about aimlessly in the desert of basketball desire.

One of the great lessons I have learned as a blogger is that before you begin mocking what someone else said, make darn sure you have all your own facts straight.  Nothing is more embarrassing than mocking someone for something only to find that one small part of your proof was mistaken.  It destroys your entire argument, regardless of the validity of it.  There is no recovery.

Comes now Patrick Reusse of the Rochester, MN Post-Bulletin.  Today, Patrick decides to take on Kentucky "wackos" that continue to blame Tubby Smith for the current struggles of the Wildcats.  We all have our opinion on that -- some of us agree with the "wackos," and some of us, including yours truly, not so much.

But Mr. Reusse, in his effort to prove his point, gives us this:

What's interesting with these Wildcats wackos is that, in their world, Gillispie gets the credit for recruiting Patterson, even though he had made a verbal commitment to Kentucky and started to vacillate only after Smith found a new home in Minneapolis.

Smith also had a verbal commitment from Jai Lucas, who reneged after Tubby's departure and is now a freshman starter at point guard for Florida.  [Emphasis mine]

Just think, my Big Blue brothers and sisters, all this time we have labored under the apparent misconception that Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas waited until the last minute to give their commitments, and neither of them gave verbals.  Mr. Reusse has just broken some serious news here, because every other sportswriter in the entire universe (or at least, on this planet) who followed the situation was unaware of these "verbal commitment[s]" from Lucas and Patterson.  

But apparently, a sportswriter from a little-known publication in cold reaches of Minnesota who probably never knew Kentucky had a basketball program until Tubby Smith signed on the dotted line now tells us that Tubby had commitments from both Patterson and Lucas.  Further, he assures us that both worthies only reneged, or in the case of Patterson, "vacillate[d]" on their "commitment" after Smith, Moses-like, was consigned to his fate in the frozen wastes of the North by the Pharaohs of Kentucky.  

Paging Billy Donovan -- Tubby Smith on line 1.

There is more, of course, to mock in this "story."  It is almost as outrageous and over-the-top as he imputes to the guy on Wildcat Nation, which he doesn't even bother to link.

Ah, the sportswriters.  The Scarecrow's song from The Wizard of Oz was surely written with them in mind, even before the Information Age.

Update [2007-12-20 18:40:23 by Truzenzuzex]: PJS sent me an email noting that Patrick Reusse actually writes for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and links our blog with a couple of comments of his own.