Friday, April 3, 2009

Year of the Tiger Fan...

After becoming friends with The Door on Facebook, I was returned to my home page to see John Calipari's daughter dropping some tidbits on the whole fiasco.

I blacked out everyone's name except Cal's daughter, not because this came from a private forum, but because it makes me look like an investigator of some sort and makes my work look awesome. Mind you, this WHOLE EXCHANGE showed up on the PUBLIC U. of Memphis network, for all to see. Stay away from me, Corey B Trotz. You are, for once, not the way to go.

First of all, the initial status update about John Calipari taking the money is dumb. Everyone knows by now he wanted to coach at Kentucky. The issue most Tiger fans have is that he has, self-admittedly, wanted to coach at Kentucky since 1992. This isn't bad in and of itself. However, in light of all the things he has said over the years about Memphis, Calipari appears to have simply used the Tigers as fertile soil from which he can reap a vast harvest... at the University of Kentucky. Geez. Another farming analogy. I don't know what my deal is lately. I swear we're not all hicks in the South, people. We're gangsters.

Anyway, the move obviously wasn't about money. As his daughter quickly follows up, Cal would've gotten more money if he had stayed. This is probably where Fred Smith and the other big boosters come into play. Rumor has it they stopped by the Calipari residence Monday night and offered him the change leftover in their pockets, and by change I mean the kind of money that makes our pick-pocketing new president salivate. Obama was so happy about the money Calipari was going to receive that he went and splurged on a new iPod to give to the Queen of England. Isn't that super rad and hip of our president?

So after the obligatory suck-up comments from the "follow your dream" crowd, we get a somewhat disconcerting message from Little Miss Cal... "and memphis treats him like this? obviously it was the right decision." Eck. As mad as I am about the Rape and Pillage of the Memphis Tigers, her message made me feel strange.

On the one hand, thousands and thousands of Tiger fans could respond similarly with, "and cal treats us like this? obviously it was bushleague." They would be correct. The upcoming year has been heralded as the Tiger's prize after so many years of coming up short. Four years of making it to at least the Sweet 16... The supposed new schedule with some combination of Kansas, Duke, UNC, Louisville... Oh, yes, and the number one recruiting class in history. These are the stories that kept many fans devout through the first couple rough months of this past season. Even the loss to Missouri was seen as merely the last speed bump until the Year of the Tiger, when everything in Memphis falls into place.

Then two days after John Calipari lands in Memphis, he becomes the highest paid coach in NCAA basketball... at Kentucky. Sweet 16s? Probably done. Formidable out of conference match-ups? Definitely done. Number one recruiting class in history? Either heading to Kentucky or breaking up and moving in different directions. After all the years of Calipari tickling the ears of Tiger fans, this is what the Year of the Tiger has become. Disaster.

On the other hand, Megan Calipari may have a point. Where was Memphis before John Calipari? Not quite circling the drain, but looking up at plenty of teams (most of whom managed to escape the CUSA by 2005). While it took several years to build, Calipari had Memphis believing. The belief was validated by success in the NIT and then great success in the NCAA tournament.

So do Tiger fans have the right to hate on Calipari? Hate is such a strong word for someone who gave Memphis so many good memories. There is definitely room for bitterness and anger, as he's leaving the program barely better than he found it. Yet, something unique happened during Calipari's career here. The city rallied behind the team. The people supported the team. Local businesses and business people fought to keep the team happy and successful. In this sense, Calipari is leaving the program in better shape than he found it. He's leaving it in the hands of so many people who so passionately want to rally behind the team. While the anger and grumbling may last for a short time, the hope for the success of the Memphis Tigers is alive and well. We will respond. While this may not quite be the Year of the Tiger, it may become the Year of the Tiger Fan.

-JB


20 comments:

B-Will said...

:)

B-Will said...

Without Calipari's success over the past 9 years, RC Johnson would not be interviewing Bobby Knight or Bruce Pearl. He would be talking to Bret Campbell. Bret Freaking Campbell.....everyone needs to put what Calipari has done into perspective and thank him for staying as long as he did.

JB said...

B-Will, always nice to have you in the Tomb. That's what she said.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for Megan Calipari, how would you like it if your dad came home one day and told you he found a prettier, smarter, and better daughter like he always dreamed about and he's sorry but he can't pass up this chance to be with that new daughter???? That's what he's done to Memphis.....

Anonymous said...

hahahahah i so want to say that to her face! I can't believe she is running around FACEBOOK starting shit.

Anonymous said...

My impression of Megan Calipari was formed after a run in with her at a frat party... But did she represent herself as a lady? The face of the University and her Sorority? The daughter of Memphis' Golden Boy? Spokeswoman for Manage Innovations and Cal's Steakhouse? OR drunk off her ass playing flippy cup? Yep, you guessed it... it was flippy cup. She's a spoiled little girl living off daddy's millions. And to her I say: don't come to class the rest of the semester, because if I, or any other reasonable Memphis fan sees you I decree that you be tarred and feathered and trapped in a cage on top of the fountain for all to see.

JB said...

Ah, man. Nothing like a good tarring and feathering to liven up the Tomb. Nice.

B-Will said...

Anonymous..."for Megan Calipari, how would you like it if your dad came home one day and told you he found a prettier, smarter, and better daughter like he always dreamed about and he's sorry but he can't pass up this chance to be with that new daughter???? That's what he's done to Memphis....."

One of the worst comparitive examples I've ever read. Comparing a child to a job?? Dumb. You are bitter b/c you got dumped. Get over it.

"Yep, you guessed it... it was flippy cup. She's a spoiled little girl living off daddy's millions."

Looks like you were at the same high class party....but you probably don't have any fancy titles so you get a free pass on the criticism right? Don't take your frustration with Cal out on his Daughter. If you didn't love Cal so much you wouldn't be so bitter right now!

DG said...

Disclaimer: The TOD is not responsible for any comments posted on this blog by nonparticipating TOD bloggers (reference "flippy cup"). Hilarious.

Grant said...

funny.

The R said...

A better analogy would be how would you like it if your dad came home one day and told you he found a prettier, smarter, and better wife like he always dreamed about. And he's sorry but he can't pass up this chance to be with the woman of his dreams. That's what he did to the University of Memphis and all us fans are the children of this marriage that could do nothing as the "father" (Calipari) walked out the door to go to his new wife (UK).

Anonymous said...

Stay classy, San Diego.

Let's be honest for a second...

Cal is the same coach that choked away the NC
Cal is the same coach that didn't win until C-USA fell apart.

The list goes on. Sure, that's not to take away from the success, but Cal didn't bring Memphis to any new levels.

I think that the fan base has two basic problems with Cal leaving:

Memphis had a mediocre season in a down year for college basketball and next year was seen as a chance to improve upon that and hopefully redeem the horrible end to the NC game.

Cal blatantly lied about weighing the decision while using that time to try and steal away every recruit and current player that may be of use to him at KY. That's unethical, classless behavior. So let's not be so shocked that his daughter isn't adverse to engaging in the same behavior.

Samuel J. Harris said...

Megan, your old man wasn't exactly lighting up the world when he came to Memphis. It was mutual; both had great potential.

We gave Calipari love; he said he loved us back. When others said Memphis was second rate he defended us by saying to the world that we were not second rate. Then he when he leaves, he doesn't do it for the money (which would have been a practical reason). No Calipari wipes out all the esteem the City, the Team, and he had built by saying Kentucky is better than us. He's wrong; that ship sailed a long time ago. Nonetheless in one cold move he wiped out what the Memphis Tigers worked for every year: RESPECT.

JHob said...

This is purely based on assumption, but as the Anonymous Anchorman said: "Let's not be shocked the Megan Calipari would act the same way as her dad."

I mean look at the temper Cal has on the court, and the language. After a brief talk with Spoon this past semester he told me that Cal has used curse words in practice that he'd never even heard of before. You can't tell me that didn't translate back home. I for one wouldn't want to be Cal's son after he didn't unload the dishwasher. As great of a coach as Cal is, he's more of a Bobby Knight than a Coach K... Memphis needs a Coach K.

I for one am more upset about the recruiting class that Cal took from us, regardless if they go to UK, that group together would have done amazing things. No it's all gone.

Grant said...

I for one am ready to move on. I think we all are but we have nothing to move onto yet. I was hoping R.C. would have moved quicker not only for the program but for us as well. At this point we need Denzel Washington more than T.C. Williams High School ever did. (I know this was a football movie but Coach Carter sucked)

Anonymous said...

JHob, that's my whole point. If you look at Cal's actions on and off the court, is it really news that Megan Calipari is on Facebook starting shit when her best course of action would be to just lay low and keep her mouth shut? Of course not. Anyone who paid attention could tell you he was of questionable character.

Also like her Father, she doesn't know when to take a time out and the flippy cup was so she wouldn't commit a party foul. Let's face it, her Dad is adverse to the intentional foul as well.

Stay classy, Megan Calipari.

DG said...

Grant, Are you saying that we need a black guy as our next coach to cross some sort of racial divide?

Samuel J. Harris said...

Calipari did not leave us better off than when he got here. We were already a potentially great Basketball school. We still are. He did set us back just as we were about to peak.

Calipari is now cursed. He betrayed us in the worst way. He told the world we were second class and certainly not a final destination though we treated him like a king. Calipari will soon find out that Kentucky is just another SEC team, while recruits will still be attracted to a wild establishment-defying renegade like Memphis.

WE WILL BE BACK AND IT WILL BE SO GOOD HAVING BEEN KICKED DOWN LIKE THIS.

F@ck John Vincent Calipari.

JB said...

Another factor of "The Tiger Fan" that has become prominent in the past few years is the gusto of the boosters. It's something I'll try to write about soon, but these guys have stepped up to the plate time and time again to try to keep Cal here and maintain respectability for our team. Exhibit A: Megan Calipari's first post. While a booster can feed a family and a coach (quite well) they can't feed an ego like Calipari's. Kudos to those guys for trying so much.

Grant said...

yes, DG. you cracked the code.

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