So in case you haven’t scoured our site searching desperately for but a tidbit of the glamorous lives of B.B. and myself (never fear, look no further), you may be unaware that we hail from Kentucky in some form or fashion (B.B., born and raised, and I call it a 2nd home). And in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock since April 1st (or in true Southern fashion, you follow only football), you may be unaware that UK recently snagged Coach John Calipari from Memphis to become the Wildcats’ newest head basketball coach.
Now of course we are absolutely delighted for Coach Cal to grace the Commonwealth, after having run off he that shall not be named, following two painfully long seasons. But our excitement is not and should not be experienced only by UK fans. On the contrary, all SEC fans out there have reason to celebrate the awesomeness that is Coach Cal. So keep reading for our Southern Fried spin on Coach Cal and just why SEC fans (aka the only real sport is football fans) should be glad he’s on our side…
#1. Because we need a hobby after January.
Here me out SEC football fans. I too was like you in my day. Heck, I didn’t even know UK had a decent basketball team, much less a dynasty, until I actually started going to college there. But it only took one visit to Rupp Arena for me to fall in love with the game. Trust me, New Year’s is much less depressing knowing that the BCS Bowl Series is not the end-all-be-all of college sports until the following August. Consequently, I’m hoping that the presence of Coach Cal at UK will spark a renewed spirit for the game across the SEC, prompting those ‘football friendly’ universities to step up their investment on the court so that the SEC can become a consistently competitive conference, both amongst themselves, as well as across the nation.
#2. Because we’re the SEC, and we don’t suck. It’s what we do.
Um, did you notice our presence during March Madness? Allow me to run the numbers…
65: the number of teams in the NCAA tournament.
3: the number of SEC teams in the tournament.
1990: the last time we had such a pitiful turnout.
> 1: The number of sports the SEC should dominate in.
For any SEC fan this is unacceptable, even if your only sport is football. We need not make a habit of posting a larger turnout at the little league playoffs, oh um, I mean the NIT, than the Big Dance itself. In the words of Emeril, it’s high time we kick it up a notch, and Coach Cal is just the guy to help make it happen.
#3. Because any mixture of Alabama and Kentucky is a recipe for success.
Ok, so this last one may be just for me. Too bad, you have to read it anyways.
Alabama has received a number of good will tokens from the Commonwealth of Kentucky over the years (Bear Bryant, Shawn Alexander and John Pelfrey are a few who come to mind). Now the Heart of Dixie is returning the favor with the announcement that Mobile (woohoo!!!!) native DeMarcus Cousins has committed to follow Coach Cal to the Bluegrass. Thank God this hoops phenomenon did not succumb to the likes of those other conferences like the ACC and Conference USA (boo! hiss!).
Of course, I say all this while knocking on a helluva large chunk of wood, as I’m well aware that Coach Cal could take a cue from his predecessor and F’ it up royally. But much like Bama’s Nick Saban, Calipari has the personality, ego and drive to take on the legend that is UK Basketball. And if UK resumes its path to greatness once again, the SEC will be all but forced to step it up and compete, making basketball a much more lively sport to watch in the South. So take heart football fans, for next year you too will have the opportunity to extend the excitement and madness of SEC sports past the month of January. You can thank me later.