Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UofL Extenz Pitino's Contract

There's a horrible country song that says rain somehow gets a guy laid. Basically rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, whiskey makes Boogiewoogie's momma feel a little frisky or something like that.

Well, the same theory applies to college basketball. Wins make fans, fans make schools money, money makes athletic departments put out (in this case money).

But what defines winning? If you're Niagara, making the NCAA tournament is a victory. If you're Kentucky, Final 4 is successful. If you're Louisville - it's more along the lines of Charlie Sheen style "Winning!". Having your coach get caught in a sex scandal, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and losing recruits left and right to an instate rival makes Tom Jurich shell out for your services.

Rick Pitino currently makes $3 million dollars a year. He received a hefty retention bonus last year that spread over installments pays Slick Rick $3.9 million a year. Tom Jurich says that in order to keep him at his current total salary, he'll be paid $3.9 million after the retention bonus is paid out in 2013. Thus, an increase to base salary of 30%... 30%!!!!

Working in compensation, I'll tell you no one gets a 30% increase except your top performers. Pay for performance. Performance = winning. My problem is that I'm not so sure that those accomplishments Pitino had this year (or the last two) warrant that 30% base salary.

But hey, in business it's not about what you do or what you know as much as who you know. I'm trying to figure out just what Pitino knows about Jurich.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sad News for Steve Kragthorpe

Steve Kragthorpe has resigned his post as LSU offensive coordinator due to being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. Kragthorpe was generating excitement at LSU and was being praised by fans, coaches and players alike.

Kragthorpe coached the Louisville Cardinals for three years before being fired for lackluster performance. Here's to hoping the Kragthorpe jokes stop. Thoughts and prayers go to him and his family.

A Night With Walter McCarty

I am so glad Walter became a traitor and is now known as a Cardinal vs a Wildcat... but if you Card fans want your tickets...

"Dunkin' Donuts and the Lexus Store of Lexington present A Night Out with Walter McCarty Sunday, August 28 at 6:00pm

The pre-sale starts Thursday, August 4 at 10:00am and ends Thursday, August 4 at 10:00pm. To purchase tickets click the link and then enter the password WILDCAT"

And if you want to know what you're getting into, you can go to WalterMcCarty.com and hear his music.

Get Yo Popcorn Ready: Calipari Starts Movie Casting Call

Sure, the Dominican Nationals vs The UK All-Stars game has become a spectical to all Kentuckians. It's a hotter ticket to come by than the UL vs UK football game 1 month later (I have two uppers available if anyone needs some). However, what the fans don't realize is the opportunity the DR team and Calipari have.

The DR team has never made the Olympics, they're known for their love of baseball and beaches, not basketball. Yet, later this month they have a chance in an Argentina qualifying tournament to change all that. After watching an immediate resurrection of an NIT UK, A-10 bottom dwelling UMass, and C-USA whipping boy Memphis, this feat wouldn't be anything new for Calipari.

But seriously, what's in it for him? Sure there's a little salary involved and some publicity - but I think Calipari has seen further. As the marketing genius he is, he should be seeing saw past the stars on the court and  picturing the big screen.

If Cal fails with this team, no one will think twice - oh well, they stunk anyways. If he succeeds though and the team makes it to the Olympics, he adds a resume line. If Cal beats a big name team, he adds a legacy. If he somehow happens to win an Olympic Gold Medal - well, start thinking Kurt Russel or Jack Candy or Will Ferrell... he takes this rag-tag team with mid level professionals and lots of sub plots into the world spotlight. He see's 10 years later a ... "Cool Runnings", "Miracle", "Semi-Pro"... movie in the making. The skys the limit and in this risk/reward opportunity, why the hell not.

Either way, it should be fun and I'll certainly be there when the call for extras in. My only question, what will the movie be called?

Denny Crum is a Boss: News and Notes

"Laugh now, but one of these days, I'm going to get you back you turtleneck wearing S.O.B."-Denny Crum And isn't this a lovely morning? I am sure you have all heard the news that Denny Crum will be on the baseline for the UK Legends game at the Yum! Center on August, 16. I've really never had a problem with Denny Crum in the past, I've always kind of liked him but had that twinge of hate because of the team he coached. I, as a fan, was never threatened by him. By the time I really started to watch sports religiously,which was about the mid 90's, the Cards really sucked.

I wasn't even born when Louisville won their first title in '81 and I was only four when they one their last one in '86, so Denny Crum and his version of the Dirty Birds didn't offend me much.

But now Denny has elevated himself in my book. I really, really like Denny. He accepted this position to be honored, but he knows full well that John Calipari is doing this game as a big "F You" to Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich and the Dirty Bird Nation. Cal is saying to them all, "I've got your arena and I have your iconic coach, and I am going to do what ever I want with them. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it."

All over talk radio yesterday the Cardinal whining was at a level never before seen. "How could you do this, Denny?" was the collective lament. Denny did this, supposedly, because he has no love lost for Rick Pitino or Tom Jurich. Speculation is that Crum was unhappy of how Jurich unceremoniasly shoved the Hall of Fame coach out of town only to bring in a guy that Denny can't stand, Rick Pitino.

John Calipari and Crum are friends, and everybody knows that Denny and Joe B. are dear friends. Denny did what was in his best interest and is now being honored by people that appreciate what a good coach he is and what he means to college basketball.

In the end, Pitino and Jurich must be seething. John Calipari has done it again.
To the news:
-Darius Miller made the World University team's final cut and will be playing against talent all over the world. This means that Darius will be an even bigger beast when the Cats get started next season. Darius is getting lost in the hype, but by the end of the season, he will be the hype.

-It is official that Brandon Knight, Jorts and DeAndre Liggins will be a part of the Legends game in Louisville. Now I want tickets to this game.

-You have to read Eamonn Brennan's ESPN.com article about Cal stepping all over Pitino's face.

-The University of Louisville has a Legends game of their own featuring T-Will, Samardo Samuels and a few more of their all time degenerates. The game will be played in the Bullitt East High School Gym. I am not making this up.

That's all for now. Stay classy you crazy kids.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pitino Mum on the Cats in YUM!

Watch live streaming video from cjcards at livestream.com

I rarely ever give Pitino props but I must give him some after watching his press conference today. The reporters at his press conference were dying to get Pitino to say something absurd or derogatory about Cal taking over Yum! Center, but he just didn't do it.

Pitino knew what they were doing, but refused to play. He said, at one point, "Not helping you, am I?" to a reporter trying to get him to same something news worthy. Pitino was very diplomatic, stated that the YUM! Center is city property, not UofL property, and said that this is a free country.

Pitino also slyly did not mention Calipari or the University of Kentucky. He just used "The Dominican Team" as his catch all to represent the afore mentioned.

Kudos to Pitino for keeping his cool. Lately it has been tough for the coach to do so and he sticks his foot in his mouth more often than not. Today, he seemed like he knew exactly what he was saying and the responses were well calculated as well as smart.

Jesco White's Birthday and the Cats Invade the YUM! Center: News and Notes

A lot of you probably don't know who Jesco White is but if you watch the above video then you will. Jesco is the Dancin' Outlaw from West Virginia and was made famous by the movie of the same title and another film entitled the "Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia". I have seen both movies and have become a "fan" of sorts. Not the type of fan that admires him, the type of fan that cannot look away from the train wreck that is his life.

Jesco was in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend at Headliners to celebrate his 55th birthday. I didn't find out about this until yesterday. I was very upset that I missed it. My wife also has the same type of weird curiosity about this fellow that I do and she was equally disappointed that we didn't get to see him go dance.

So here is to you Jesco. Happy birthday. I'm sure you don't have many left.

Onto the PACKED edition of News and Notes:

-There is a lot of news to get to, but the biggest is the rumor of a second UK Legends game that seems to more reality than it is rumor. A second Legends game is scheduled for the YUM! Center in Louisville on August 16, the day after the first one. The kicker is that Brandon Knight will be on the team and will be joined by none other than Jorts. Expect Jorts to have an epic night if he plays. History dictates that he gets a double-double every time he steps into the YUM! Center.

-Joe B. Hall has asked Coach Denny Crum to coach in the Legends game and Crum has expressed major interest. Not only will Kentucky be holding a UK Legends game in the YUM! Center but the Cats might be coached up by the Cardinals' most legendary coach. I can't stop the laughter.

-Rick Pitino is holding a press conference today. They will surely ask him about all the Big Blue traking over the YUM! Center and Denny Crum being part of the invasion. I will be watching like a hawk. Pitino is going to say some pretty stupid crap.

-Not only is it fun to watch UK have a Legends game, it is equally as fun to watch them do it in the Enemy's front yard. The Cats are going into Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino's Chicken Bucket to give the Millions, and Millions of Cats fans in Louisville a chance to enjoy their favorite team. The city of Louisville belongs to the Cats, make no mistake about it. Could the Cards pull this off in Lexington? Hell to the No. The Card fan reaction is going to be epic.

-Eloy Vargas is being given a chance to earn a spot on the Dominican National team. This is a great chance for him to show how much he has improved in the off season. John Calipari has issued a challenge to Eloy, he better step up and play like a pro if he wants to make this team.

-Bruce Pearl is coaching the NBADL Dallas team. Point and laugh.

-Joker Phillips one upped the "Greatest Recruiter and Coach in the History of the World" yesterday by pulling four recruits, one of them from the grasp of Chuck Strong. The Cats have 15 commitments for the 2012 class. I am getting excited about the direction of the program.

-The Big East press conference was held and nobody cared. Louisville was picked to finish 7th out of 8 teams. Of course, the fans are crying fowl (hahahahahahahahaha!). It still hasn't registered that they only went 6-6 last year, lost 25 seniors, lost their entire offensive line, and have a midget starting at quarterback.

-The Big East football title game might be held in Yankee Stadium in the future. It will be half full for the game.

All in all it was a great day to be a Cats fan. I told you there was a lot of news. I will be back later to fill you in on Pitino's press conference. I am hoping for some comedy.