Longing For a “Champ Stamp”

By CHRISTIE LEIGH MUELLER
Copy Editor

Five weeks into the season and our beloved die-hards are already talking in circles about an untested Louisville team and an almost-worth-watching Kentucky team.  So, it’s no surprise that in this week’s scrimmage, what started out as a professional and civil conversation about the two Commonwealth teams on the gridiron, took a spicy turn to the court with talks of “Champ Stamps,” best-sellers and of course, December 28.

TONY VANETTI: As a Louisville fan, I made the mistake of leading a UK football fan to believe that they could pull off the shocker on Saturday night. They made it interesting for a quarter but after that, Florida’s defense just shut down the air-raid and it was more like air-noise for the rest of the game for Kentucky’s offense coming up short against the Gators.

MATT JONES: Wow, you worked all weekend on that line, I would have assumed you would have come up with a better one.  You know, I thought Kentucky played fairly well. Ultimately, they lost because Florida had better players. And in football, more than any other sport, players will decide the sport.  I was fairly proud of Kentucky considering where they are as a team and as a program.

VANETTI: I’ll disagree — I think in college basketball you can get away with more talent, less coaching; in football, it’s all about coaching.  But again, you have to have talent, you have to have the guys on the field who can perform and Florida certainly has the higher ranked players. What you want Stoops to do, he’s done. They had a good game plan, except for the dual quarterback. You have to get a rhythm in an offense.  Bringing in a different quarterback, it ground them to a halt.  I thought that was the first sign of a losing game. Stoops echoed that today in his press conference.  It wasn’t a blow out, but Kentucky came to play. And the crowd, was what Matt? Pretty good?

JONES: The crowd was pretty good. It was great early, and then they kind of lost it. But the school continues to make stupid mistakes of bringing out the Biology Department at the end of the first quarter to give a big round of applause. I mean that’s really insane. If Louisville had academic people to salute, I’m sure they’d bring them out too, but Kentucky does it way too much.

For Kentucky, it’s a murderous schedule.  They are going to South Carolina next week and then host Alabama the following weekend.  They are going to get destroyed in both weeks. But if they can make these games competitive it helps people believe.  On the other side, you have Louisville. Who last week in their bye-week, played their 3rd hardest opponent on their schedule, nobody. And this week, they end up going to play Temple. I don’t even know how to judge them.  They are going to beat all of theses teams by so much.  They are a good team, but there is no way to actually have proof.

VANETTI: Can we judge at least a little — Florida came to Commonwealth for a Saturday game; Louisville came to Commonwealth for a Saturday game. They were similar scores.

JONES: Yes, but Florida is ranked 20th in the country. There is no doubt in my mind that Louisville is a Top 20 team and I think Louisville is right on the verge as a Top 10 team.  But really, there is no way to know… But I want to talk basketball real quick. Today in the mail, I received a gift that I think is a gift that keeps giving. I got a copy of Rick Pitino’s awful book—“The One Day Contract.” You know, he gives it out to all of the people who are special to him. It was great to read all of Pitino’s life’s affirmation and thoughts.

VANETTI: Refresh my memory, what was the name of Cal’s last book?

JONES: Cal’s book was called “In Depth Thinking,” it really was proven intellectual exercises…

VANETTI: [Uncontrollable laughter]

JONES: I’m not making this up.  I’ve read the notes—the notes say that one whole chapter is dedicated to Pitino saying that social media is bad and that the best thing we could do for society is to end social media because it takes away critical thinking.  My question is, why doesn’t Rick go ahead and also say, “let’s get rid of the internet” or “let’s get rid of cars?” Because he’s fighting the same battle. He’s essentially saying, ‘I think the world was better before there were ways to talk to each other, that way when I say something stupid, nobody can talk about it.

VANETTI: Rick Pitino is right on. Social media is just a cesspool of idiots sitting in their underwear in their basements pounding on their keyboards acting like they are Hemminway.

JONES: This is coming from someone who is always on their Twitter account.

VANETTI: Really? Really? That’s the chapter you pick out? You make your living on the internet and on Twitter, I get it. But most people aren’t trained, or as intellectual as you –compliment—but…

JONES: Here’s the thing, Rick should have learned a long time ago not to title books or anything with short limits of time after his wonderful 15 seconds years ago.

VANETTI: Stop it.

JONES: By the way, on the book, I think if it’s going to be the best-seller that I know it will be, he should have had a picture of his back tattoo.  Could we not have called Eric Crawford and gotten a picture of his back tattoo?

VANETTI: It’s called a “Champ Stamp” and it’s the 2013 National Champions who will be coming to Rupp Arena on December 28, when y’all will already have three losses.

JONES: Well, I’m going to order multiple copies of the book. I’m going to give it out to everybody because I want to be inspired.

VANETTI: I think that’s a smart move.