This new Twitter phenomenon seems to be taking the world by storm, including my own BlackBerry Storm. Not only can you receive weather, crime, traffic and news updates via Tweets, but also it seems that this has even caught on with many big name celebrities and athletes across the globe. From the ladies on The View to Coach John Calipari to President Barack Obama, the masses are sending tweets on the regular. In fact, Calipari posts many inspirational and motivational tweets including one I received on my BlackBerry this morning around 5:15 a.m., PT. “In order to be a complete person u must think of others and then find ways to give yourself to them. And giving can take on many forms.” It almost sounds like Calipari is some sort of prophet or Buddha, dare I say “zen” like master.
After taking up residence in the barbeque & blues capital for about 13 months in ’07-’08, I’ve gained a very fond appreciation for “Coach Cal” as he is affectionately and aptly bestowed. I’ve never seen somebody be able to complete engage a city quite like Cal did to Memphis during his tenure. Memphis is a Tigers Basketball Town! Make no mistake about it; the Grizzlies are nothing more than a mere after thought, with the Tigers outdrawing them by an average of nearly 5,000+ this past season. And forget about football, their been un-interesting since the day D’Angelo Williams was drafted. In fact, the day after the Tigers gave the championship away to Chalmers and the Jayhawks, Tuesday April 8, 2008, the Phoenix Suns were in town to take on the Grizzlies. The announced “inflated” attendance was 13,987. I’ll bet there weren’t half that many actually in the stands that night. You could literally feel the air of the entire city taken away , just from the atmosphere alone. I realize this is the Grizzlies, and they don’t have anything to offer, but this evening your REALLY noticed. Granted, the only reason I was even there was to catch Two-Time, STAT and the Big Cactus. The Suns are the only team that I have complete and ultimate devotion to. That and the fact that my big homey A.J. and I scalped $4 seats and sat in the front row, you have to love the Grizzlies! (Brief side note: this is why I am so excited to be living in Southern California. I just may become a Clippers season ticket holder before it’s all said and done. That evening at FedEx Forum was the scene of the worst hangover for a city I’d ever witnessed. Probably worse than the one us Phoenicians had after the Super Bowl. You know, the anger of Holmes not having both feet in, or Clancy Pendergast decision to go same ol’ Cards PREVENT and play not to lose! But that is for another column.
That Tigers team lost a majority of its starting lineup after that game, and I was skeptical of how they would fare in the 2008-09 season. It was a slow start as expected, taking some time to incorporate newcomers with previous holdovers Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier, and Shawn Taggert, amongst others. However after incorporating the new crop of talent, notably moving Tyreke Evans to the point, the Tigers got back to their winning ways before ultimately falling to 102-91 to a tough Missouri squad, that also turned out to be Coach Cal’s final game as head coach of the Tigers.
After watching the Tigers season come to an end, in my own backyard ironically enough, I was quite shocked to see Cal mentioned in the Kentucky opening. With the recruiting class he had coming in, I never imagined him leaving Memphis for ANYTHING! I may have been in the minority of naïve fans who thought that those recruits might actually still honor their commitments to the Tigers. Awfully facetious I know. DeMarcus Cousins-University of Kentucky. John Wall-University of Kentucky. Eric Bledsoe, you guessed it…UK. Noticing a trend here? I’m not bitter for the simple fact that I was really only a Tigers fan because of Calipari. I’ll never forget the excitement, which I felt while playing at Galloway Golf Course right across the street from Cal’s former crib. My golf game is very subpar to say the least but you had better believe that I hit the shot of my life right there. I daydreamed that surely Cal was enjoying a morning jog and just happened to see the shot that I couldn’t reproduce in 100 attempts. His farewell speech he gave in front of that very house was very emotional, and as difficult for him to deliver as it was for the all of the Tiger Faithful to digest. Not as much for me though. Although I will still root for Coach Josh Pastner and the Tigers, that is not why I plan on purchasing the NCAA hoops package with DirecTV this year for the first time. I think you all know why. Hitch me to the wagon. I am now a Wildcats fan, GO BIG BLUE! Please don’t get it twisted, let me assure you of two things. I WILL NEVER BEAR DOWN, and it’s not because “It’s Kentucky!”
It’s funny as I’m typing this, they just had a story about Twitter leading into sports on the ABC 5 o’clock news. Apparently they are in talks to develop a Twitter television show with some sort of celebrity/average joe type of interactions….Apparently there is not yet a timetable for it going to production. With that, I am off to catch Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. These have been some of the best playoff games I’ve seen in quite a while. Should be a big win for the Nuggets tonight, ‘Melo will show out. We should be headed back to L.A. with the series tied up. Denver 113, L.A. 99.