As anyone who lives in the Lexington area can surely attest, the paltry, emaciated, painfully biased, syrupy collection of fluff that goes by the name of the Lexington Herald-Leader
is as functional as Stephen Hawking’s larynx (with apologies to Clay and Story, for they don’t have much to work with, and Chip Cosby will forever be the man). If the criterion for a community newspaper is to successfully interpret the thoughts of, you guessed it–the community, then the HL fails in just about every category. Today, the paper apparently decided that their gross incompetence wasn’t evident enough. The locally transcending news of Tubby Smith’s departure offered the paper a shot a redemption, so the HL did what any peerless publication would do: give a book critic a front-page forum to recklessly lambaste the very readers of that there newspaper.
For, in times like this, who better to discuss the intricacies of Kentucky basketball than a book critic named Cheryl Truman?
In the book critic’s column entitled “Get a grip: we’re more than college basketball”,
the book critic, who I believe used to moonlight as a food critic, enlightens the masses with her sharp criticisms of Kentucky fans. After all, she’s a professional critic, it’s what she does, and the similarities between Harry Potter, the Merrick Inn and college basketball are just too obvious to ignore.
Allow me to dissect Ms. Truman's column:
“Congratulate yourself, Kentucky: We are now officially a national joke.”
Really? A national joke? I’m sure coffee houses in Seattle are all abuzz with Tubby talk.
“If we brought as much passion to improving education as we brought to Tubby-bashing, we'd be Silicon Valley. In fact, Kentuckians no more need to dominate college basketball than we need to pretend that we all love the Kentucky Derby.”
She makes a good point. It’s sad how many times education reformation bills have been squashed in Frankfort so the Representatives could talk Tubby. And guess what sweetheart? Your leg razor allergic, fart sniffing, Prius driving, civil union friends may not like the Derby (probably because it’s cruel to animals, right?) but most Kentuckians do. Thanks for speaking for all of us anyway.
“We are deservedly scorned by those more educated, affluent states that don't need pharmaceutical intervention every time the basketball team from their state's flagship university doesn't make the Final Four.”
Yes, calling your readers dumb, poor, and drug addicted will certainly curtail those sagging subscription numbers. And by the way, this “basketball team” generates a lot more money for this “flagship university” than any silent quilt raffle/ vegan potluck you might have spearheaded.
“For me, NCAA trophies are not what Kentucky is about. We should be about labor with dignity, preserving our land, educating our citizens. Obsessing over college basketball doesn't achieve those goals; it diverts our attention from them, urges us to incivility and sets a poor social example for our children...But we don't get that. As Kentuckians, measured reflection has never been our strong suit.”
So out of 50 states, and I’ll even throw Puerto Rico in there, Kentucky is the only one with a faithful following of sports enthusiasts? Maybe you should’ve asked your girl Hillary how meaningless team allegiance is after she sported a Yankees cap on her NY Senate campaign trail. And does calling your fellow Kentuckians dumb, poor, and drug addicted set a good example for your kids?
“There's a line I've often used when working with teenagers that I think would also work well with UK's rabid Tubby bashers. It's about unspoken thoughts: Have some. If you have a beef with UK's next coach, assume it's OK -- indeed, a sign of character -- to keep it to yourself.”
Exactly right. Screw the First Amendment. The very Amendment that spawned the Fourth Estate and is the only reason a book/food critic like yourself is allowed to write such trash for a composted newspaper.
“Give up the college basketball obsession -- or at least dial it back a few thousand notches. Grow a garden. Read a book. Do something constructive…But stop assuming that Kentucky's only reason to be is to collect NCAA championships and run off coaches who don't deliver them. Because when you indulge in that kind of trash talk, you're insulting my state. And I don't take it kindly.”
Ditto. We should do something constructive; perhaps Tom Clancy’s new novel needs critiquing, and Martha Stewart Living needs a live blog. What if we grow a garden but talk about Kentucky basketball as we’re doing it? Your stern warning and proclamation that we’re all living on your real estate is very constructive, and in no way constitutes trash talk.
So there it is folks. A woman who probably lives with 100 cats and zero toilet paper says the coach who’s been here for 10 years was hastily run off by Firetubbysmith.com. Thank you Cheryl for your titillating take on this dumb, poor, drug addicted state, and thank you Herald-Leader for lending us the voice of a book critic who is as in-tune with athletics as I am daylilies. I look forward to tomorrow’s paper where Ernie Fletcher will wax us poetically on human resource ethics.