Big Blue Never Sleeps

Can John Calipari get his face plastered across a few more commercials, because I might have forgotten he was head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky.

For a few bucks it seems Coach Cal might hawk products for Betty Lou’s Big Blue Hair Emporium.

Whether on television or in print Calipari is everywhere.

I get that the University of Kentucky won its eighth NCAA basketball championship this year, and that Calipari was responsible for shepherding his young team to the title, but there is something unsettling about the plethora of crud he is advertising.

It only adds to his reputation of being a carnival barker – a huckster, ready to sell anything to anybody.

I appreciate striking while the iron is hot, but show a little discretion.

Calipari makes $4.8 million per season now, with $850,000 on the table yearly in bonus money.

His re-negotiated contract keeps him signed as the UK coach through 2019, with total compensation of $38.5 million, not including any potential bonus money.

Seems like it might be hard justifying to his players why they should remain content with only receiving a free ride from UK as compensation, when every time they flip on the television there is coach pitching banks, cars, pizzas, etc.

Calipari is not solely to blame here. UK basketball is an obsession.

A Sea of Blue, Wildcats Thunder Blog, True Blue Kentucky, CatsPause, Nation of Blue

These are a few of the publications dedicated to everything UK.

Coach Cal has had an amazing run.

Since arriving in 2010, he has taken UK to the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and won the 2012 national championship.

He sends a slew of players to the NBA annually, including the first and second overall picks this year – who were both freshman by the way.

No school has ever done that previously.

But that is what we get back to – UK is a school, not a sports franchise.

This is a game, played increasingly by 18-year olds, lately.

They are kids, barely young adults.

Where it gets crazy is when the adults jump in who could no more attend UK than fly to the moon.

They attach their personal self-worth to the success of UK’s basketball team.

This skews everything.

Considering all the “one and done” kids Calipari has rolling in and out of Lexington, it’s hard to keep them all straight.

But this revolving door of student athletes has Big Blue Nation not just scouting the high school seniors possibly coming to UK, but juniors on down.

Fans want to know the names of who might be the next great players to wear the UK blue and white.

This is a common topic of conversation around the Bluegrass.

Perhaps Calipari and Big Blue Nation are a match made in heaven.

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