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Tidbits from Al Gore's Folly

Weird Thursday.  That's what I'm gonna call today, because there is more weird stuff going on out there today than any day I can remember.

First the Herald-Leader has not one but two stories about Dirk Minnefield's drug problems, what they meant to his life, and what he is doing about it.

Now, I am all about redemption -- God knows we all make mistakes, and some are bigger than others.  Dirk has evidently found a way to turn his negative life experiences into a livelihood as a drug counselor.  Good for him.

But there is another angle to this story.  In the second of the two articles, Dirk essentially claims that his pot smoking is what cost us the first Dream Game against Louisville.  So I suppose we can now say that, but for a stoned Minnefield, we would have won that game.  

So if you see a bunch of Louisville fans with their eyes stuck in the rolled-up position today, you'll know why.

This story is yesterday's news, but it is worth a comment or two.  As we all know, Mitch Barnhart lobbied for and received agreement to change the date of the Louisville/Kentucky football game to September 15th, and to date nobody has picked this game up, although according to the above article in the Courier-Journal, Barnhart is trying to get this rectified.  It seems, however, that Barad Dûr is unwilling to change it's schedule to accommodate the new game day, in spite of having several lesser games scheduled.

Mike over at the Cardinal Chronicles blames Mitch Barnhart and (somewhat less understandably) Dr. Lee Todd for the conundrum, but as you can see if you read the comments, I have respectfully disagreed with him on this point, and had exchanges with several other Cardinal fans.  Mike has been very forthright with his reasoning and respectful of my comments.

Like most fans, I did not want to see the game date changed, but I understand Barnhart's reasoning, and in my view, it is perfectly sound.  To me, it looks like just one more example of ESPN attempting to inflict its will on college teams, and impact not only the reporting of events, but more and more, the events themselves.

I hope this gets worked out to everyone's satisfaction, but quite honestly, it is in the best interest of both Louisville and Kentucky that this series remain as competitive as possible.  Barnhart's actions, while inconvenient for both the fans and ESPN, are intended to try to keep the game interesting.  When rivalries become very one-sided, they tend to die.  I don't think any reasoning fan would want the Louisville/Kentucky football game to suffer the same fate as seems destined for the Kentucky/Indiana high school all-star basketball game.  Update [2007-6-21 10:27:50 by Truzenzuzex]:  Here is one guy who thinks UK aught to drop U of L from the football schedule, and that right soon.

Go Big Blue Cats blog has a bunch of interesting stuff this morning.  You need to go there and read it, but I will address a couple of the things I found there.

One is this whole "Hot Blogger" contest being run by Ladies... , which is a run-off between sports bloggers including such worthies as Matt Jones of KSR, Kyle King and Peter Bean of SB Nations's Dawg Sports and Burnt Orange Nation respectively.

It seems that in a showdown between Matt Jones and some blogger named Joe Speaker, it became a contest between computer guys supporting each blogger as to who could rig the voting best.

I don't have to tell you how incredibly juvenile this kind of thing is, and it irks me that people on either side of the issue would actually go to the trouble to cheat like this.  Some would say it is all in good fun, but apparently the ISP of the person running the contest didn't think so, and required them to shut it down.  

Anyone who knows anything about blogging and Internet publishing knows that bandwidth isn't free -- somebody has to pay for it.  The acts of both groups not only spoiled good fun, but made both bloggers look stupid by association.  All in all, it's a sorry state of affairs, made even more so by guys like Pete Holiday taking shots at UK fans while ignoring the other side.  No doubt, the UK fans involved deserved derision, but where is the balance, Pete?  How about a little equal-opportunity rebuking?

Oh, and by the way, I don't think Pete really appreciates how big the UK on-line community really is:

Maybe the most ridiculous comments, though, were from various and sundry UK fans assuring us that this was the first round in which Jones' followers engaged in ballot stuff. This is, of course, ridiculous. MJ was getting roughly 3,000 votes a round. If we believe that no vote stuffing was involved, that means 3,000ish individuals clicked through from the KSR site, selected Jones, and voted.

Pete, we get over 2000 unique visits per day (please excuse the chest-thumping) here at ASoB.  I'll bet Matt gets at least 4 times that amount.  So yeah, that's what it means.  Hello!  UK fans!  

Pete should try going to The Cats Pause some day around 3:00 in the afternoon on a workday like when Patterson committed, note the 15K fans logged on, and he may develop some tiny modicum of comprehension of the size of the community he is talking about.  And UK isn't alone -- just visit our brothers over at Bruins Nation and note their daily visit totals, keeping in mind that they aren't the largest UCLA site, either.

Kentucky fans are incredibly active, and anyone in the sports community who doesn't recognize this is living under a cyber-rock.  Wake up and smell the coffee, Pete.

The second is this article by Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports that tosses out Glynn Cyprien as a replacement for Reggie Theus at New Mexico State.

That would be one hell of a note.