Friday, August 14, 2009

What's an apology without a little groveling?

I'm a pretty big college basketball fan, specifically, a UK basketball fan. We're pretty obnixious, by any measurable standard of obnoxiousness. We're up there with Notre Dame and Alabama Football fans. We make full use of our constitutional rights to be uninformed homers and speak out as such. You can get a great deal of unanimity out of UK fans on quite a few topics: Duke sucks, Gillispie was a bad idea, Vitale loves Duke, Vitale loves Ashley Judd...but not enough to love UK more than Duke, and losing to Louisville is grounds for dismissal. One thing UK fans I know generally don't agree on is Rick Pitino.

There are two schools of thought that I see most often:

Thanks for the Final Fours, bringing us back from NCAA hell, and we'll always appreciate you.



For this UK fan, watching the disintegration of Rick Pitino's legacy is bittersweet. I always fell into the first camp of people who thoroughly enjoyed the Pitino era and could live just fine knowing he coached at Louisville. But I want him to lose. Every game. But it's not because he's coaching our rival, it's because he deserves it.

Pitino's acts of hubris don't just include banging a groupie in a restaurant. They include leaving UK for the Celtics. His arrogance and pride led him to believe his talent was so great as to overcome any obstacle that professional ballplayers might toss his way. They include years of rumors of being a philanderer yet telling people how to be winners in life. That type of arrogance deserves a fall from grace.

Which gets me to my title of the post. His public apology was yet another act of hubris. He spoke of 9/11 and HIS loss. He spoke of HIS most recent team's success. He had to remind us all just how great he is, because self-promotion and being a showman is ingrained in his DNA. Oh sure, he apologized. You don't earn points with me for doing the obvious right thing. A little groveling would have gone a long way. A little self-flagellation in the form of a break, leave of absence or resigning would have been a much more appropriate way to express true remorse.

The bittersweet part is that I didn't really want his fall from grace to be this extreme. Like I stated, I wanted him to lose games, lose stature as a coach and get an ego check from Calipari every year. I certainly don't wish this level of pain on a human being. He may deserve it, but my schadenfreude has limits, unlike Pitino's ego.

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