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When others say what you’re thinking





ORB GETS THE ROSES — Jockey Joel Rosario (center) celebrates after guiding Orb to victory in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville on May 5. Goldencents, known as “Rick Pitino’s horse,” entered the race as one of the favorites but finished far back on the muddy track. (AP photo)

ORB GETS THE ROSES — Jockey Joel Rosario (center) celebrates after guiding Orb to victory in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville on May 5. Goldencents, known as “Rick Pitino’s horse,” entered the race as one of the favorites but finished far back on the muddy track. (AP photo)

Our theme for the week is based on a quote from former Ford and Chrysler president Lee Iacocca, who famously said, “Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they’ll say, ‘God, he said exactly what I was thinking.’ And when they begin to respect you, they’ll follow you to the death.”

• Jarrod Polson, Jon Hood and Twany Beckham received their undergraduate degrees at University of Kentucky last Sunday. A momentous achievement. Then an internet site hoisted a photo of Polson and Hood in their robes posing with John Calipari.

The image prompted one viewer to quip: “What a rare E-bay item that is, a picture of graduating basketball players with John Calipari in it.”

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

Next.

• Jason Collins “came out” last week. Using Sports Illustrated as a pulpit, the NBA free agent revealed to the world his sexual orientation. The announcement was almost enough to move Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room off a street corner in Boston and stop the war in Syria. The subsequent media rush to political correctness became a stampede the likes of which we had not seen since John Wayne’s movie Red River. Almost.

Bob Watkins

Bob Watkins

The righteous praised Collins and trumpeted his revelation as a “Jackie Robinson moment.” Many raged and steamrolled anyone who dared to say, “Uh, can we just wait a minute here?”

Among those fired from his job after being loose with the facts was The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz. However, Kurtz does get to keep his job at CNN, where he has been a long time and competent contributor.

Somewhere out in the wilderness a small voice with no job or political correctness at stake was heard to whisper, “Who is Jason Collins? What does his sexual orientation have to do with my life?”

NEXT STOP, BALTIMORE — Orb is headed to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Raceway in Maryland with a legitimate shot of being the first to win horseracing’s Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. (AP photo)

NEXT STOP, BALTIMORE — Orb is headed to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Raceway in Maryland with a legitimate shot of being the first to win horseracing’s Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. (AP photo)

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

To Jason Collins and all those who rushed to barnacle themselves to him, I wish you all the best.

Maybe now we can all take a deep breath and move on to whatever Anderson Cooper and Sports Center tell us is the next epic news thing. Not counting Jodi Arias, please.

Next.

• The University of Kentucky released the non-SEC portion of its next men’s basketball schedule last week with the usual crow about its competitive quality. One season ticket holder examined the games for which he will pay top dollar and wondered, “how come we have the biggest arena this side of Syracuse, New York and the really good games are gonna be played somewhere else?”

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

A December 28 date with defending national champion Louisville aside, a UK season ticket holder will find eight opponents coming to Rupp Arena with an aggregate 147-112 record. Subtract Belmont’s 26-8 and Robert Morris 24 last season and the home floor card is more turkeys and cream puffery.

Meanwhile, away from Rupp, the Wildcats play Michigan State in Chicago, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Providence in Brooklyn and Baylor at Cowboy Stadium.

Next.

• UK’s freshman basketball star Nerlens Noel spent seven months in Kentucky, then headed out to earn some pocket change from Kentucky fans before heading to New York and the NBA draft next month.

Noel hustled his autograph at a Louisville mall and at a Pikeville social gathering last month. He also showed up at an elementary and middle school in Whitesburg and around London in Laurel County. Noel asked the little kids for 20 bucks to sign a poster, $40 to sign a ball and $50 for both.

In a hey-wait-a-minute moment, one lone voice, a London newspaper columnist, questioned why an ex-UK player, even a halfseason rental one, would ask little kids to pay for his autograph?

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

And, I’m wondering why PR maestro Calipari didn’t advise Noel “this is not a good idea.”

On June 27 Noel will be a multimillionaire, $4.3 million guaranteed for his first NBA season, $4.5 for the second and $4.6 for a third.

I think Noel should return to Whitesburg and London in July and buy the counties an elementary school.

Next.

• Richie Farmer has been indicted by a federal grand jury and prosecuted on four felony counts. Some say Farmer’s disgrace is sad. Others are astonished that his decision-making was not so much hasty, but brazen, devious and done over a two-three year span. He’s getting precisely what he deserves.

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

Next.

• The NCAA rules committee made a change last week. College basketball programs may begin practice six weeks before first games.

If exhibition games count, then Kentucky’s game against Transylvania on November 1 makes it conceivable Calipari could introduce his basketball team at Rupp Arena the day after Louisville shells Kentucky’s football team in Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 14.

God, he said exactly what I was thinking.

• After the 139th Run for the Roses, a Kentucky fan posted on an internet site after the race, “Rick Pitino’s horse (Goldencents) finished right where his basketball team will finish behind Kentucky next season; 49-1/2 lengths back. Hopefully, Pitino’s streak of luck has finally run out, because I for one am tired of listening to all of this UofL Bleep!”

Not, exactly what I was thinking, but love the humor.

And so it goes.


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