There wasn't much to smile about in the Commonwealth on Thursday night. Not only did Kentucky fall victim to then sub .500 Georgia, but that happened knowing we'd have to battle with the SEC's best team in a mere 48-hours. While you'd be safe in assuming that Wildcat fans everywhere were frowning (heck, even John Calipari was), one man suggests Kentucky fans have reason to smile. Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated thinks that Wildcat fans have reason to look forward, even now.
In his article released yesterday, Glockner suggested that Calipari knew exactly what he was doing in his post-game comments when he stated, "I've done a crap job."
He knew exactly what he was doing by telling the assembled media that he has “done a crap job” with his team this season. The quote immediately took the focus off a bad road performance and the bigger picture, and also off the players who have, at least in media and public perception, underachieved this season.
It's now well known, but while Calipari blamed himself, some of the players had theories on who the blame really fell on. Archie Goodwin was quoted as follows.
I don’t blame them. If we haven’t changed over the duration of the season, I don’t know what to say. It doesn’t look like anything’s going to change. We can still change, because we’ve showed games where we have played though throughout the whole game. Like, when we played Missouri, we played tough throughout the whole game and we got away with a win. But if we don’t do that, then I don’t blame those fans who may be down on us. We’re not giving them a reason to believe in us.
Knowing Kentucky's players were blaming themselves and that John Calipari was blaming himself, Glockner hypothesized this was an outstanding move from all parties involved.
So at the end of the evening, everyone had taken blame for everyone else, everyone had agreed the fans deserved better, and no one ended up taking a hit for what was a poor performance in a big spot. Brilliant.
So, anyway, I think both Calipari and his players knew exactly what they were doing last night. #LaFamilia isn’t just for when times are good. Cal and his players took bullets for each other last night and the message was unmistakable: This isn’t acceptable, but we all have each others’ backs. That may not allow them to salvage this season, but it’s a very good marketing message for next year and beyond, when SEC foes once again won’t be finding anything “crappy” about Kentucky.
If you're interested in reading the article in its entirety, it can be found here.