Our Business?

You know it’s 2011 when one of the leading stories on ESPN.com Wednesday is head coach of Kentucky’s mens basketball team, John Calipari (seen left), apologizes for ‘cursing out’ his freshman Terence Jones during a 68-66 loss to Alabama Tuesday.  Calipari said that although it’s not an excuse, he “got caught up in the emotion of the game.”  OK, where do I begin?  I’ll preface this commentary by mentioning coach ‘Cali’ is not my favorite.  For whatever reason (Scandel, lies) he doesn’t rub me the right way.  I don’t hate him, I’m just not in love.  That being said, I think it’s kind of sad that he has to give a double dose of public apology on his facebook and twitter for what he did.  The reality of the situation is that Terence Jones, who I’m sure is under the impression he is the next John Wall (Possibly because Calipari told him he would be, lol im mostly kidding), was thought by HIS COACH to be playing selfishly.  Apparently, Calipari called Jones a “selfish mother f*****.”  Jones also attempted the final shot of the game when, in fact, coach Calipari had drawn up/designed a last shot for fellow freshman Doron Lamb.  So what we have is the 12th ranked team in the nation in Kentucky, playing on the road at Alabama, in a one possession game as time is expiring.  You have a freshman who has been playing the game selfishly in the coach’s eyes (the only pair that matter), and he abandons the coach’s designed play to win the game by taking a potential game winner himself.  The head coach in a maximum pressure situation yells at him (not for missing the shot, but for not playing the ‘right way’ and going outside the game plan) and uses profanity.  Where’s the issue?  Isn’t that sports?  At least the sports that I know.  Ever seen coach K fired up?  Not pleasant.  How about Bob Knight (seen right)?  The best current example I can think of is Frank Martin (seen below left), the head coach at Kansas State.  This guy looks like he’s going to blow a vessel in his head and neck every time he lays into a kid.  And I’m no expert at reading lips, but I promise they keep the long boom microphone away from his huddles for a reason.  Since when did we as a culture get so soft?  The head coach of a team has to publicly apologize for cursing at a freshman when he undermined the coach’s game plan with his own agenda?  Granted, he shouldn’t have used the term “mother f*****”, but sometimes a shocking statement like that will shake a guy and his ego.  It’s flat-out humbling.  I can recall being cursed at by both my high school coach, and my college coach, both men I hold in the highest regard.  For god’s sake I literally remember my modified coach cursing up a storm under his breath.  I remember at certain times being offended at these situations, but I assure you whatever point was being made, got across.  I’m not condoning getting nose to nose with a 18-year old and calling his mother names.  But I am saying that emphasizing the urgency and importance of a highlighted subject with a curse, certainly a subject that Terence Jones didn’t understand, may warrant an apology to Jones, but not to the public.

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17 Responses to Our Business?

  1. JB says:

    It must take a real loser to get off on posting comments under someone else’s name. Talk about a lack of self identity.

  2. James says:

    Evan,

    I didn’t say that thing about you playing ball in Tunisia; it’s not my style and I’m a bit surprised you didnt at least suspect it could have been someone else using my name.

    The US has, by far, its highest level of productivity ever, so i’ve gotta call you out on that. It’s also, by a wide margin, the most productive country in the world, both per hour and per year.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20572828/ns/business-world_business/

    Anyways, I may have misinterpreted peoples views on the subject. I guess I just dont think coach Cal apologizing is a big deal. I don’t the public’s reaction to this story (if their is one, I havent heard much about it outside of this site) as a big deal. I dont see participation trophies or a decrease in red ink as big deals either. I dont think its a sign of some big trend. And I don’t think the shift from a ag economy to a service one is anything other than a natural, desirable progression.

    Finally, Tunisia, that’s cool. I heard they had 3 different people assume control of the country during a 24 hour period, a little while ago. Gotta be an interesting time to be in the country.

    • Evan Lane says:

      Thats all fine with me. I reacted quickly when i read that response and it didn’t occur to me until after that it may have been someone using your name. That’s one of the things that i don’t like it that you can’t change something once you wrote it. Once i thought about it i started to think you may have not written it. My bad. It’s defiantly a good debate though with no absolute answers. I mean in terms of the ramifications some of these things have on our society as opposed to just sports. I’m sorry that the debates get fucked up when people use other people’s names. peace

  3. James says:

    This post doesnt do much for me. Seems like a typical post in the 24/7 news cycle – full of platitudes and over-reactions based on a non-story. The only news here, for me, is that Kentucky lost on a buzzer beater that didn’t fall for one of their best players. Outside of that, who are we to comment? Yeah, if you dont have a play drawn up for you and you take the last shot, you better make it. But if you dont? Well that’s a situation for you, your coach, and your team to deal with.

    The reactions to this “story” (notice the quotes) on this blog are silly. Who are we to say what coach Cal should do? We’ve never coached college basketball players, much less future pros. My guess is that he knows better than we do how his players will react to the things he does [and more than one person on this blog has admitted that different people react differently to certain coaching strategies. None of us, as far as I know, know T Jones – all I know of him is that he’s a lanky versatile player who is prob top 10 in his class). Who cares if Cal apologized? Maybe he feels the apology will benefit T Jones. Maybe the AD told him to. Maybe his wife did. Maybe his horoscope (with his new zodiac sign) told him to. Maybe he was wasted. Who cares! This isnt a story anyone will ever remember next week. It would be pointless to list John Calipari’s resume, and while I dont think his (or anyone’s) past successes make him/them infallible, I also wouldn’t be prepared to point to an isolated incident in a regular season game as evidence that a legend was wrong without fully understanding their position. Furthermore, I am just as incredulous that anyone could point to this as evidence that we are “a nation of wusses.” Did anyone hear T Jones demand an apology or see him cry or see him threaten to quit? As I said before, Cal could have apologized for any number of reasons; maybe one was his players feelings, but given the type of guy John C seems to be probably not. Canceling a football game FOR THE FANS SAFETY (very few people live in the stadium where the game was held) does not make us a nation of wusses. Anyone who thinks that traveling in the middle of a snow/ice storm doesnt lead to increased traffic/accidents/injuries/deaths and decreased attendance/parking revenues/merchandise revenues/food revenues should go back to school and finish the 6th grade. Nor does a coach apologizing for yelling/cursing at a player detract from the “manliness” of our country. By pretty much any measure I can think of (worker productivity, hours worked per day, voluntary enlistment in the armed forces during peacetime, investment in education) we are as far away from being “a nation of wusses” as we’ve ever been.

    Finally, just as BL said in his post, he has been cursed at by both his high school and college coaches. I’m sure if either of them thought, for whatever reason at all, that he would have performed better after he was publicly apologized to the coach would have done it.

    • Michael S says:

      For the post “not doing much for you”, you certainly have quite a lengthy reply. So maybe it didn’t do much “for you” but it certainly did something “to you”, because you’re clearly a little flustered. Incidentally, your last line of the first paragraph referring to Jones missing the shot “But if you dont? Well that’s a situation for you, your coach, and your team to deal with” is exactly the point that Byesline appeared to be making. At least that’s the message that I got. The post seemed more to me to be a reaction to the reaction, it did not seem to be just a response to Caliparri cursing out the player.
      Regarding the comment about a Nation of Wusses, I couldn’t disagree with you more. The NFL has been playing game in crazy snow conditions for decades, cancelling a game well before it even started snowing was straight puss. It was a nice gimmick for the Eagles/NFL to have a Tuesday night game and get more viewers, in my opinion.
      Further, look at the anonymous guy’s post. He didn’t say that Calipari’s apology was a symptom, he said the public reaction to Calipari’s cursing out of Jones was the symptom. The rest of his post is accurate. Dodgeball is being outlawed, red pens are being outlawed (this is not a joke, google it), place trophies are being taken away in many schools/sports and “participation trophies” are taking their place.
      Worker productivity and investment in education hardly constitute us being a nation NOT full of wusses. You can sit behind a desk for 12 hours a day with a Harvard degree on the wall behind you and still be a overly politically correct, soft ass little bitch who doesn’t even know how to change the tire on your car and who wants their obese 10 year old kid to get the same prize as the kid who actually WON the race.
      People file lawsuits for getting their feelings hurt and our kids get fat on video games and cell phones. There is no way in hell we are the furthest away from being wusses that we’ve ever been. Your statement is a joke.

      • Evan Lane says:

        James, your reply is ill thought out and i don’t think you read what people are actually saying. For myself, i took the example of Calipari and used it to branch into a discussion about coaches who scream at players. IN that reply i acknowledged that calipari is in way more of a position to know what is going on then i am. I didn’t criticize or ridicule him for what he did. However, the story, and it is a story, shed’s light on a larger issue that we are all talking about. I don’t know where you grew up or where you come from James. I myself grew up on a diary farm and i was milking cows and shoveling shit when i was 7 years old. I know what it is to be tough and i know what it is to be a “wuss”. For you to say “we are as far away from being ‘a nation of wusses’ as we’ve ever been.” Is bullshit. My guess is your probably some weak ass suburban kid with no calluses on his hands and doesn’t know the difference. You probably take the trash out and think you did a day’s work. What Michael S, Byesline, anynomous, and I are all trying to say is a valid point. Are you right that Calipari yelling at this kid isn’t a huge story… yeah. Is him yelling at this kid a perfect example of what we are talking about in terms of the mentality of toughness in this country becoming weaker.. probably not. But that does not diminish our argument in any way. Your examples are terrible. We do not work more now then we have in the past. That’s simply not true. Worker productivity is not only less then it has been in the past but the nature of what a worker produces on the grand scale has become softer. (from industrial/agricultural to service based economy). Investment in education? What are you talking about? What does that have to do at all with the point in hand? Generally you have good things to say on this blog but here you are way off man. The examples given about outlawing dodgeball, not using red pens, not having 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, are just the begging of endless examples of how we are undermining the spirit within us that drives some people to succeed above others and the lack of which allows other people to let themselves be beat. How can you dispute this?
        I’ll tell you what man, right now i am playing in Tunisia, a relatively poor arabic nation. These people don’t have much. They don’t have automatic washing machines, most people can’t afford their own car, college grads have to wait sometimes 5-10 years before finding a Job. And i will tell you these people are TOUGH. On the whole (there are exceptions) these teammates are ten times tougher mentally and physically them my teammates in NCAA and in the IBL. There is no doubt in my mind as things have become progressively easier for americans based on an industry that makes money off of making things easy for us, we have gotten weaker. I can’t help it man, your argument is bullshit

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you Evan–and who knows what “players” with power positions behind the scenes in coach Calipari’s life may have applied some pressure —

  5. George W. Bush says:

    Thats what happens when you vote democrat….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Evan I would agree with your overall concept of the subject and that being said I think that both you and Byesline are correct. There is a time and place for a good old fashioned chewing out. When your egotistical freshman basically says “screw your play call” and decides to play hero is a pretty good time to lay into him. When I was reading the initial story of the game, the cursing out of Jones didn’t even make me pause to think twice. The only thing I was feeling was anger at Jones for putting himself before everyone else. If we think that the cursing caught on camera was bad, I’m sure we wouldn’t want to be in that post game locker room.
    I think there are a couple of bottom lines to this subject – the first is the Nation of Wusses thesis put forth during the postponing of the NFL Philly/Minnesota game a few weeks ago. We are entering a time where schools are outlawing dodge ball, every one gets a ‘participation trophy’, red pens aren’t allowed to be used to correct papers because it’s too damaging to a child’s psyche and ridiculous Soccer Moms are trying to stop kids from getting 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies. People getting ‘outraged’ over this Calipari incident is just another symptom of this.
    The other bottom line is that if this wasn’t caught on camera, we’d never see an apology. So this is a classic case of “I’m not sorry I did it, I’m sorry you caught me”.

    • Evan Lane says:

      I definitely agree with everything you are saying about the movement away from hard discipline and from distinguishing kids from their peers. All you’re gonna end up with is all these soft ass little suburban kids who are insulated from the worlds realities and therefor unable to deal with them. Making Calipari apologize is indeed of a symptom of this. I mean shit they just published a new version of Huckleberry Finn that replaces the N word with slave. The reality is that thats the word which was used to speak to and refer to African Americans (some still do). Changing that book will handicap the reader’s sense of history and the overall point the book is trying to make. The trend you are talking about is terrible and is in all layers of society. It a very scary thing. It’s refreshing to hear other people point it out as well.

      • James says:

        While I read your comments about this “travesty” I found it ironic that because the full word (n*****) is so offensive and politically incorrect that YOU yourself chose to replace it with the phrase ‘N word’. So did the modern day publishers. Grow up. Not a big deal.

      • Evan Lane says:

        you are defiantly right i thought about it as soon as i entered my text. I thought about adding to my post with a reply to fix it but i didn’t. but there is no doubt you are right. I hope you see the point i was trying to make none the less

      • Anonymous says:

        so sad that anyone who isn’t “as smart as you” needs to grow up. You need to grow up and realize your just a little commentor like the rest of us, quit acting like the know-it-all that no one likes

      • Evan Lane says:

        James, although you are right about the irony of me pointing out the injustice of censoring the word and then not using it, i notice you didn’t write it either while criticizing me. Is that not at least just a little hypocritical?

      • James says:

        No I dont think it’s not hypocritical because I have no problem with replacing the full word with the phrase N-word, or with the publisher replacing the full word with the word ‘slave.’ Also, I’m not an IP expert but my guess is the book is in the public domain so anyone can publish it. If one publisihing company wants to make this change, I dont think its a big deal. It would make the book more suitable for young children, churches, and conservative schools. Finally, the word ‘slave’ might give people a BETTER sense of history and the oppression blacks faced during the time period than the N word, a phrase that seems to lack some of the vitriol it once had because, as you pointed out (or someone did), the phrase is frequently used in pop culture, even occasionally as a term of endearment!

      • James says:

        ***I Don’t think it’s hypocritical is what i meant to say

  7. Evan Lane says:

    I agree 100% that Calipari should not had to have publicly apologized for yelling at this kid. It is absurd. However the debate regarding the usefulness of screaming at players isn’t so cut and dry. There are a lot of different aspects to consider. I personally am the type of player when screamed at by a coach will work harder to appease him and make him content with my performance. I know that he is not attacking me as a person but challenging me to be my best. My college coach often said “its when i stop yelling at you that you have to worry.” I agree with that coaching approach. However there are a lot of players with more gentle personalities who will shut down mentally when screamed at like that. Also, i think an important factor is that the coach is balanced. If you are going to scream at a player for making a mistake you damn well better tell him when he does something right. A lot of coaches who scream at players fail to balance their comments with positiveness. Also, when a coach starts screaming and yelling during crunch time it appears like he is losing his composure. How can he expect his team to keep their composure in those important moments if he loses his? I personally think that screaming and yelling at a player is more effective in practice and that during a game it has less use. However I am not John Calipari who is an incredibly successful coach and clearly knows what he is doing. I am as guilty of letting my emotions getting the best of me as anyone i know. But coaches screaming and yelling at players has its time and place. When the game is over and there is nothing you can do about it and screaming at that kid at that point isn’t really going to make him better…. its tough. At that point its a battle between logic and emotion within Claipari and really has a lot less to do with the kid then one would think.

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