CRAWFORD: Calipari wants to overrun your city - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD: Calipari wants to overrun your city -- and be your fantasy

Posted: Updated: June 8, 2012 02:21 PM EDT

I knew it. Well, I suspected it. Shoot, I even wrote it. Regardless, it's true: John Calipari sits around at the University of Kentucky and just thinks up stuff to mess with people.

He said so Tuesday afternoon. You could tell he hadn't met with the media for awhile. It's like when comedian Dave Chapelle used to disappear for weeks then show up at some comedy club and do a three-hour set.

Calipari didn't talk for hours. But from the sound of it, he might have if sports information director Dewayne Peevy had let him.

"Whatever we do, DeWayne and I, we'll sit down and just say, 'How can we keep separating (from other programs)?'" Calipari said. "There's some things we're thinking about doing -- if I said them to you right now, some of you would be very angry. Because we're going to do some new things that are different and you're going to look at them and say, 'When did they have the time to think this stuff up?'"

What could he do to make people angry? Only one thing I can think of, and I'm not going to say it, because, well, if I said it to you right now, some of you would be very angry.

Still, this is a man dabbling in the fine art of hubris at the highest level.

Here's my rule. Whenever a coach uses the phrase, "Because we can," it trips the hubris meter. Calipari said it, or variants of it, three times Tuesday. One more and he'd qualify for a Homeric epic.

Hubris is, of course, such extreme self-confidence that it leads to missteps and mayhem. It makes people overreach. At least Calipari isn't doing that, right?

"I want to just . . . overrun a city," Calipari said. "I don't know what city it would be, but you would be overrun by people."

Oh come on. He wasn't really talking about overrunning a city. Probably. Actually, in that statement Calipari was talking about his idea of a tripleheader of men's and women's hoops and football in a domed football stadium, with thousands of UK fans traveling to the site to paint the town blue.

Don't think that I'm criticizing him. Sometimes you just have to sit back and watch someone at the height of his craft.

And right now, Calipari, after years of hearing that he wasn't a good bench coach and couldn't win the big one, is performing the rhetorical equivalent of hanging the NCAA championship trophy around his neck and daring anybody to say something.

His latest stunt? A UK basketball Fantasy Camp. Of course. Why hasn't anyone done it before? It'll sell out. Cost doesn't matter.

But I think he has missed the mark just a bit on this one.

I do realize Calipari has what you might call a "decided edge" on me in the marketing department. I've been gratified to have added several hundred Twitter followers in the 24 hours since changing jobs. Now, if I can just add that many every hour for about 2-1/2 weeks, I can catch Calipari.

But I do know a thing or two about adult male sports fans in Kentucky. And I'm going to tell you this. Most of them no longer fantasize about playing for Kentucky. They fantasize about coaching for Kentucky.

While they're going to fill up the John Calipari Experience no matter what the cost to experience life as a UK player, and even one option to experience life as an assistant coach, the real John Calipari experience is to walk in his footsteps as a coach.

Just think of these schedule possibilities:

6 a.m. -- Mass

7 a.m. -- Dunkin Donuts coffee

8 a.m. -- Ignore morning paper

9 a.m. -- Sit with sports information director Dewayne Peevy, devise new ways of messing with people.

10 a.m. -- Take national championship trophy to mall, sit next to it on a bench.

11 a.m. -- Call Andy Katz, float idea of a hoops game in the Grand Canyon.

12:00 p.m.. -- Lunch. Take championship trophy, have picture made with entire kitchen staff.

12:01 p.m. -- Tweet picture.

1:00 p.m. -- Text IU coach Tom Crean, "I'm starting to warm to the idea of playing on campus."

1:05 p.m. -- Text Crean, "LOL, j/k."

1:10 p.m. -- Orange Leaf

1:30 p.m. -- Coaching training stations (A. Arms extended sideline shuffle, while yelling "Whyyyyyyyyy?" B. Right arm curl with thumb extended, while shouting, "Get him out." C. Rupp tunnel exit bask with simulated crowd adoration.)

2 p.m. -- Mock press conference. (Each participant answers one question from a hologram of Lexington Herald-Leader UK beat writer Jerry Tipton.)

3 p.m. -- Tweet team grade-point average.

3:05 p.m. -- Tweet "Can I get a RT???"

You get the picture. Look, you can't help but have fun watching Calipari enjoy the spoils of winning a title. He gigged IU students on Tuesday, when asked about IU's response that playing in Indianapolis would be hard on its students. "They're only two hours away," he said. "Are they that poor? They couldn't get into that building?"

Right now, in the aftermath of the title, whenever he takes the stage or press conference podium, it's Calipari's room. And he's making the most of it. Even when he is just messing with people.

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