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Kentucky Basketball: Seattle Sludge

Comes now Steve Kelly, a columnist at the Seattle Times, to curse Kentucky coach John Calipari's name.

Normally, an article like this would be worthy of another yawn from the Big Blue faithful, and even from myself -- we have heard it all before.  Also, it isn't like the Seattle Times is a newspaper that I hold a grudge against.  Percy Allen, the Seattle Times sports writer who has been closely covering the Terrence Jones situation thoughtfully linked A Sea of Blue the other day, which we greatly appreciate, and has been nothing but reasonable and rational in this entire affair.

But can you imagine a newspaper where all the writers would take the time to engage their brains, do their homework, and actually think about the situation?  It would be unprecedented.  Unsurprisingly,the Seattle Times isn't about to make history in that regard, either.

Steve Kelly put more effort into carefully couching this vitriol in seemingly mild phrases rather than actually educating himself about the situation.  Unquestionably, he did that to cloak his invective (doubtlessly designed to stir up Washington Huskies fans into dislike of Calipari and Kentucky) in the sheep's clothing of rational thought.

So I thought I'd engage in a bit of reading between the lines so that the casual reader can better understand what Kelly really means.

The piece starts off reasonably enough:

Every coach preaches the notion of never giving up. Every coach wants his players to believe that no deficit is too deep, no comeback too impossible.

This is intended to mirror his colleague Percy Allen's reasonable statement, which you can find quoted in my earlier article on the situation.  Kelly goes on to say that there is a time when coaches should just give up, and implies that Jones' recruitment was one of those times -- something I essentially agreed with in my earlier comments, if we read it fairly narrowly.

Okay, now that the preliminaries are over, cue Tubular Bells:


Take Friday, for instance, when Terrence Jones and his best friend Terrence Ross announced at a joint news conference, held at their Portland high school, they were going to play basketball for Washington.

It was a day for celebration. It was their day, nobody else's.

Translation I know this was a news event and not a celebration, and that Terrence Jones was there to break news.  But I want to set everyone up for my point that John Calipari is THE DEVIL by dissimulating a bit and confusing my mostly indifferent readers.

Then after their announcements, according to reports, Jones showed enough class to call Kentucky coach John Calipari to tell Calipari he was going to Washington.

Calipari reacted like a coach who hadn't heard the final buzzer. Jones still hadn't signed his letter of intent. To Calipari, that meant the game was still on, and there's no quit in Coach Cal.

TranslationI have no idea what Coach Cal said to Jones, but since we know he is THE DEVIL I'm sure he was trying to take a classy act by the young man and turn it into an opportunity to break NCAA rules.  He was probably talking to Jones while sacrificing a live chicken to Jobu and swilling cheap Jamaican rum. 

Temporarily, at least, Jones postponed his decision to go to UW. Instead of allowing Friday's news conference to be celebratory, Calipari cloaked it in confusion.

TranslationDid I mention that John Calipari is THE DEVIL?

Maybe he merely was lauding the idea of an education in the Bluegrass State. Certainly he has plenty to sell. There are few programs with the history of Kentucky basketball and few states as consumed by the sport.

TranslationKentucky fans are THE DEVIL!

I remember when Mark Pope was transferring from Washington and considering either Utah or Kentucky. I was talking with Utah coach Rick Majerus the day Pope visited Kentucky.


"We have no chance," Majerus said. "Once a kid visits Kentucky, it's over for us."

TranslationThe University of Kentucky is THE DEVIL!

Already he is 1 for 1 against the Huskies this recruiting season, signing Turkish big man Enes Kanter, who earlier was assumed to be going to Washington.

TranslationOnly THE DEVIL could be as successful in recruiting as Calipari.  He got Kanter to sign away his soul, and now he's trying for another one of our recruits.  I can see Calipari's dark bat-wings spreading in my mind's eye, ready to feast on Jones' soul like he did on Kanter's!

When it comes to recruiting, Calipari plays his own game and writes his own rules. And if by chance he runs afoul of the NCAA and gets his university in trouble, Coach Cal quits and leaves the cleanup to the schools.

Translation I know that Calipari has never been implicated in violating NCAA rules, either in recruiting or in any other area of collegiate sports, but he is THE DEVIL, and an equivocation here or there is perfectly okay as long as we are talking about THE DEVIL!

It happened at Massachusetts. It happened at Memphis. Some day it probably will happen at Kentucky.

TranslationReaders of my column are too stupid to figure out that Calipari was the one who turned in Marcus Camby to the NCAA while he was at UMass, and even if Rose was hundreds of miles away from Calipari when his alleged cheating on the entrance exam occurred, we all know that THE DEVIL has DEMONS and MINIONS to do his bidding everywhere!

"We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking, and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching," former Indiana coach Bob Knight said last winter at a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

TranslationBob Knight may have been a chair-throwing, media-cursing, player-beating ogre, but he agrees with me that Calipari is THE DEVIL, so I'll quote him here as if he were the archetype for good coaching behavior.  My readers surely won't notice the dissonance.

Coach Cal is like the soap-opera villain who runs roughshod over some fictitious TV town. He's the guy who terrorizes the citizenry; the guy who, despite heaps of evidence, the local law enforcers aren't able to arrest.

Translation See, I told you that Calipari is THE DEVIL!

He's a hoops Houdini.

Translation He's THE DEVIL, I tell you!!!  YEEAAARRRGGHHH!

Maybe Calipari's talk with Jones wasn't against NCAA rules, but it was sleazy.

Translation I don't know what Calipari said, but we all know he is THE DEVIL, so it had to be bad.  Rules, schmules -- we don't need no steeenking rules -- except for THE DEVIL!

Probably Jones, a 6-foot-9, do-everything player, will come to Washington and automatically make the Huskies a player in the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Translation If Jones goes to Kentucky, he is THE DEVIL!

But why did Calipari have to slime a day meant for celebration?

Translation I cant resist compounding my earlier mischaracterization, because Calipari is THE DEVIL and a falsehood in the service of the greater good is not evil.  As you can see, I am really, really into situational ethics when it comes to THE DEVIL.

::Sigh::  They say fear and loathing are signs of respect.  Sometimes, it's just hard to tell. 

Apologies to Adam Sandler for the blatant ripoff of The Waterboy, and to Howard Dean for the equally egregious theft of his trademark war-cry.