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Blog Entry

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Posted on: April 4, 2011 1:11 pm
 
HOUSTON -- For all of you who weren't actually there, I wasn't baiting John Calipari. I wasn't trying to upset him. I was trying to get an anecdote and/or quote for my story.


It worked. I filed the story, and moved on. Obviously, some of you haven’t.


To make things perfectly clear, there is an interview session with each head coach and selected players on the Friday before the Final Four. Anything is in play, well, basically there's free speech and we're the folks who exercise it every day. Anything is in play, especially for the coaches who have so many obligations that if you have a question to ask, you better do it then. So I did. Near the end of Calipari's on-podium interview session I prefaced a question to him by saying, "I'm being facetious ..."


We made eye contact -- him on the podium, me out in the great media beyond. 


How does it feel to coach in your first Final Four?


Funny. Clever. No harm, no shady ACT score. At that point, I'm pretty sure Cal "got" what I was going for. It wasn't one of those "do you still beat your wife?" questions where you're guilty either way. 


Let's just say that the question was a lot better than the answer.


"I don’t deal with that," Calipari said. "We’ve been here three times. Those players played those games and did what they were supposed to. I’m so proud of what they’ve all accomplished. It’s been fun. It’s been a good experience. This is going to be a good experience."


Fair enough. End of discussion. So I thought. It started with various friends and colleagues coming up to me in the media work room asking, "Was that you who asked the question?" Well, yes. "Great job." 


Again, I wasn't looking for attention. It was probably a question that needed to asked over the weekend in some form. I chose the path of, what I thought, was least resistance. But when word got to cyberspace, it seemed like half of you congratulated me for asking the Kentucky coach "The Question", the other half of you reside in no-maintenance condos in Big Blue Nation.


I understand that your views are clouded by adoration of a man who makes $3 million a year at the state university for coaching basketball. What you don't get is that's the reason that question had to be asked. Calipari is a public figure, maybe the highest paid state employee in the state. If the governor had stains on his record, wouldn't legitimate questions be worth it? 


I also understand that the BBN reaction to "The Question" is the same reason some Bucknuts are tired of the Jim Tressel criticism. Both guys win. That, to me, has always been the thinnest argument. You are who you have beaten. If Cal won half his games or Tressel was on the other end of those Michigan scores, they would suddenly become a lot dumber.


That's why BBN -- and its kin in college athletics -- need us: The objective, the even-handed, the informed. Yes, even the opinionated. The basic duty of the media is to be a watchdog over the rich and powerful. That's why the Fiesta Bowl was taken down. That's why there is a cloud of scandal hanging over college football and basketball. That's why NCAA president Mark Emmert squirmed last week when he was asked is salary on PBS' Frontline. Sooner or later, we'll know it. We deserve to know it. 


You may not care but that's why we do what we do. Sometimes we give you stuff you need to read, as opposed to want you want to read.


I speak for my colleagues when I say the only thing we'll root for tonight is a goody storylines, a quick game and a media shuttle that is prompt. Whether I or anyone else ask Jim Calhoun a tough question matters. We have a narrow window to ask it, public officials are accountable and whether you admit it or not, you want to know.


Someone now please help me down off my soap box. 


Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:59 pm
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Dodd, no apologies necessary. As a resident of this great commonwealth I have been witness to the undying loyalty the Big Blue Nation has for the states flagship program and it's coach (as long as he beats 'Billy the kid' and goes to the FF every other season, just ask the head man at Minnesota about that) to no end. Now, there is nothing wrong with being loyal or protective even of your school, team, or coach. But, "the question" was valid because the things that took place at his previous stops when Final Four appearances were made. Nice job Dodd.

Wow, they even have trolls on here that pretend to be UK fans



Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:57 pm
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Wow, they even have trolls on here that pretend to be UK fans




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:47 pm
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Its easy for you goof-balls to fire off IEDs, then set back and call those who disagree hayseeds and hicks.  But we know right from wrong, and we recognize sensationalism when we see it.
Clearly, you don't.



Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:42 pm
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"


As the all-important "objective, the even-handed, the informed. Yes, even the opinionated" determiners and labelers of all that is good and evil, let me thank you, Mr. Dodd for the service you provide to us sports fans.  Thankfully, you are willing to bear the cross of scouring all public figures and teaching us lowly masses who is deemed ok, likable, (quotable, 'media-friendly'....and therefore likable?) and worthy of our fandom.  For without your wise guidance we sports fans would be doomed to our own ignorance, unable to observe and determine for ourselves who is worthy of our adoration. 

What is sad is that you don't even understand what you don't understand.  It is dogma to you that most people are ignorant and need you to shine the light and help the ignorant, uneducated to know what is right and good.  Have you not considered that fans can be informed and make determinations about people and character without your assistance (or assistance of your colleagues)? 

"Again, I wasn't looking for attention. It was probably a question that needed to asked over the weekend in some form"

That's garbage.  You most definitely were looking for attention.  You wanted to be the one to ask the pithy, smart-mouthed question that all the media were dying to confront Coach Calipari with.  Face it, you wanted to be the show.  You wanted to be the talk of press row on Friday and of the journalists around Houston bars on Friday night.  You succeeded.  Your media bretheren (hopefully) showered you with the adoration you so richly deserved for putting evil John Calipari in his place.

Just remember, at the end of the day, despite how important you are in illuminating the evils of this world to us, the lowly masses, you are still (as the great Teddy Roosevelt put it) just the "critic", and as he so eloquently put it:  "you don't count".

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."




Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 11:31 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

I had to ask why you asked the question, and what kind of answer did you expect?  Then I read where you asked it in hopes of getting a story.  Then I read where you concluded that Calipari and Calhoun were both "touchy" about their past still.  Do you also have a psychology degree?  This is 2011 and both Calipari and Calhoun were absorbed in final four frenzy, when suddenly they were thrown back in time to corruption allegations. I should think it takes the brain a few seconds to process that shift.  I also think Calipari gave a good answer to your question and also to Calhoun's "My Three Sons"  allusion.  I absolutely love the idea that Life is forgiving.  I love it when people make mistakes and are able to keep going and climb the ladder to success.  That's why I watch basketball and all other sporting events.  I love to watch how people overcome adversity.  As far as your journalism, you weren't being a watchdog, you were just desperate for a story, and used Calipari for the moment.  I have concluded that journalists live in their own little world and care very little that they are out of touch with Life.




Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 11:08 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

I was wondering why you asked the question, or better yet, what kind of answer did you expect to get.  Then I read that you were seeking something a little extra to give you a story.  Then I read where you said that Calhoun and Calipari both are touchy about their past.  Are you also a psychology major?  You took their responses and concluded that they were "touchy"?  What did you expect them to say?  Maybe they were touchy that irrelevant questions were being hurled at them.  This is 2011, and they were absorbed in current final four frenzy, and suddenly, they get thrown back in time. Did it ever occur to you that the "touchiness" might be coming from something other than past corrupt allegations???  I think it is absolutely wonderful that Life is forgiving, that people can actually make mistakes and overcome the ramifications of those mistakes.  That is, in fact, why I watch sporting events....why I am a sports "junkie".  I love to see people overcome adversity.  I conclude that journalists live in their own little world, and care little that they are out of touch with Life.




Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:57 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Mr. Dodds, first of all, I am an educated professional, capable of understanding the value of the first amendment, and appreciating solid investigative journalism.  However, for you to wrap yourself in the constitution after asking a baiting, unnecessary question that was only meant to bring attention to yourself is PATHETIC.

You represent what is wrong with journalism today:  The desire to take the shortcut, the snipe that gets hits on your blog, intead of actually doing your homework, and providing a thoughtful, fact-based piece of journalism that tells me something I didn't already know.

Its easy for you goof-balls to fire off IEDs, then set back and call those who disagree hayseeds and hicks.  But we know right from wrong, and we recognize sensationalism when we see it.



Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:53 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Well done sir.



Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 9:09 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Dennis,

First of all, technically, you are covered by freedom of the press - not freedom of speech.  Also, all that means is that the government can't silence you for asking stupid questions; not that you can't be bashed by the general public for asking them.  It's annoying when people who are being lambasted by the public for saying dumb things claim that the criticism is inappropriate because of the 1st Amendment.  Especially people who are presumed to be at least marginally educated about such matters.

Also, the highest paid state employee would, by default, be the highest paid employee in the state.  Let's not be redundant.

Finally, the governor is elected by the people.  The state university's basketball coach is not.  On that note, how did your question to Rick Pitino about his sex on the restaurant table go?  He's a public figure.  He's one of the highest paid state employees in the state.  (Of course, he wasn't in the Final Four, so you can have a pass). 

Let's be clear and step down off the high horse.  You asked an a$$hole question for the purpose of getting more 'hits' on your article.  It wasn't some great public service.  You can show your bosses all of the hits you generated, and you will likely be rewarded for your efforts. More money, that's your goal - you know it; we know it. 

Nor was the question one that "needed to be asked."  The world has enough information about Calipari's past to know that both of his previous final fours were vacated.  You accomplished nothing.  It was a douchebag question, and you, in turn, are a douchebag.

And, no thanks. I don't need any help off of MY soapbox.  Thank you.



Since: Jan 27, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 8:43 am
 

A lecture for Big Blue Nation re: "The Question"

Of course you were trying to bait Coach Cal.  Of course you were trying to upset him.   You wanted something good for an article and were disappointed that he gave a no-nonsense, professional answer.
Of your friends and colleagues who told you "Great job", we can only say that they are sportswriters too, and as such, their mental prowess is certainly subject to question.
Of course you were looking for attention.  Of course there were a million other questions that sports fans would have preferred that you ask.    There's no point in even pretending otherwise.
Our views of the coach are clouded?   And your views as a sportswriter are impartial?   BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!   It's a much better joke that the one you were trying to get away with against Calipari.
You are many things, but not objective, even-handed, or informed.   And you know you are not or you wouldn't protest so loudly.
The only thing you could give us which we need to read would be a story about your resignation, your giving up on sports writing, and possibly a notice of your impending suicide.   These would make great reading indeed.
You don't need help off your soapbox, you need help getting off your cross.


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