Good morning and happy Friday, ladies and gentlemen of BBN. Prince Rogers Nelson passed away yesterday at the age of 57. He sold over 100 million albums in his career making him one of the best-selling artists of all-time. Music critics said his sound blended funk, R&B, acid rock, and pop. He was also known, like David Bowie, for his androgynous gender-bending persona. He also did more for the color purple than any other human in existence with the possible exception of Alice Walker.
The public outpouring of emotion has been interesting. It's become ritual for people to dramatically (melodramatically?) talk about how much they loved a celebrity immediately following their death. Already this year we've gone through that cycle with at least Gary Shandling, Merle Haggard, and Bowie. The cynic in me wonders why I didn't hear more about the collective fondness for these titans prior to their death. Social media lends itself to disingenuous mourning as a lot of people want to feel a part of something, perhaps? Maybe fables are crafted to help make sense of the senseless?
I won't pretend to be a big Prince fan. I know his biggest hits, and "Erotic City" is my jam, but most of his oeuvre is a blind spot in my music consumption. Still, there's a lot of smart people I respect who say Prince's catalog of work is worthy of all this postmortem praise - fake or not - and so I'll do a deep dive this weekend while doing chores, and probably become a fan like everyone else.
Prince Tweets of the Morning
Empire State Building lit up in purple tonight pic.twitter.com/Y5H6PSZZil— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) April 22, 2016
That Prince repeatedly and emphatically opined that the entire Internet was stupid was just another reason to love him.— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) April 21, 2016
David Bowie. Maurice White. Phife Dawg. Merle Haggard. Prince.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 21, 2016
I'll say this: If we're witnessing the Rapture, it has *outstanding* taste.
- UK secured a commitment from a four star safety out of Ohio last night ICYMI.
- Mark Story identifies four games that will define the season. I was prepared to see him cite Southern Miss, but was pleasantly surprised to see Story went with the four teams I would have gone with as well. UK needs to win three games against these peer programs this season for a bowl. If UK wins all four of these games the team wins seven games, and a team good enough to win seven games can usually pull off an upset to get to eight wins.
- Cal is already making inroads with his 2017 class.
- Brett Dawson talks to John Clay about covering Anthony Davis full-time.
- Former UK player Dale Brown just got a new coaching gig.
- SB Nation analyzed Marques Bolden and whether he'll sign with Duke or UK. The comment section is a fun one.
Other Kentucky sports
- The men's tennis team defeated Tennessee yesterday.
- The baseball team's opening game against Arkansas was postponed due to weather.
- The softball team faces No.4 Alabama this weekend. Saturday's game will be on the SEC Network.
- Mike Rutherford writes why Lamar Jackson's performance in UofL's spring game matters.
- An NFL Draft breakdown on this year's running backs.
- Can Jared Goff be one of the few Air Raid quarterbacks to find success in the NFL?
- Missouri basketball doesn't have a single player on its roster from the 2013 or 2014 signing classes. Yeesh.
- The Danny Almonte of college hoops.
- Can you guess the third most successful college basketball recruiting program?
Other sports news
- The Rockets held off the Warriors last night.
- There was also a no-hitter pitched last night too.
- This ESPN Magazine article about Tiger Woods' life in the wake of his father's death is exceptional and sad.
- Arguably the UFC's biggest star just pulled out of this summer's major pay-per-view. Fighters have long complained about not being compensated for doing all the promotional work required for main and co-main events. There is no collective bargaining agreement for fighters in the UFC.
- Dan Wetzel writes convincingly on how college athletics has become a boondoggle for everyone but the students.
- Jon Jones fights this weekend, and his mastery of range is a big reason he's been so successful. This is a great technical breakdown from a writer who started off in the comments section of SB Nation's Bloody Elbow, became a writer at BE, then moved on to Sherdog.com, and now is writing about MMA for one of the country's biggest newspapers. There's hope for all of you fine commenters. Chase those dreams!
- Here's an interesting take on how visiting museums is a pain. I will say, people were taking pictures of famous paintings long before cell phones also had cameras built into them.
- I believe Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is released in the fall, but a Louisville Kroger is about to sell ten bottles of the 12-year in the lead-up to the Derby. If you live near Middleton you might as well put your name in the hat.
- Bomani Jones writes for Playboy why there will never be another Prince (SFW).