Dec 22, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the game against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Marshall 82-54. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari and Rick Pitino Inspire New Years Resolutions

As we say goodbye to 2012, many of us are looking for improvements to make in 2013. Maybe it’s a resolution for weight loss, or a resolution to get a new job. Maybe the resolution is to be a better parent or a better spouse. Any of these examples would be excellent choices.

John Calipari and Rick Pitino may have already started their New Year’s resolutions early. We are used to the two coaches/rivals taking veiled (and sometimes not so veiled) shots at each other, their programs and their fan bases. But we did not see that this weekend from either coach. What we saw was actually quite the opposite. Rick Pitino couldn’t stop singing the praises of John Calipari’s ability to get the best out of young players every season. Coach Cal said if there is a better team in the country other than Louisville, that he’d have to see the tape.

Pitino also said that he respects Kentucky and never disparages the program and that pnly about five percent of the fan base from both sides do that.

Back to Cal. He said that the atmosphere at the Yum! Center was terrific. Over a year ago he omitted the Cardinals from the Commonwealth of Kentucky while naming the state’s best teams.

What gives?

Whatever the problem was between the two coaches seems to be in the past. Maybe the experience of last year’s Final Four allowed the two to come together and let bygones be bygones.

And honestly, the fan bases need to take note. There’s been way to much anger and vitriol on both sides of the aisle. It’s about as bad as Republicans vs. Democrats; hell, the colors even match. But the success of both programs is good for everyone in Kentucky.

And, look, I know it’s difficult to not respond when a rival fan is talking trash or being extremely obnoxious. But it can be done. The high road is a path easily not taken, but it appears to be the path taken by the coaches.

I resolve to be a better fan. I resolve to try and not cheer against Louisville unless they play Kentucky. What do I gain if Louisville loses? Nothing but the right to be a smarmy jerk. And the last thing I want to be remembered as is a smarmy jerk.

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