Meet the number one "miserable" Geoff Calkins


In case you were wondering, the large, constipated looking, angry man on ESPN’s “OTL” yesterday was none other than Memphis columnist Geoff Calkins.  He sure does not like John Calipari.  He went as far to say that Calipari runs a program full of scoundrels and he said it so angrily and fiercely you had to think, “Whoa, this is one serious journalist dude.  Bet he ran Calipari out of Memphis.  He must have had this Calipari guy pegged as a shady bloke from Day One.”    As Borat would say “Not so much”

The good thing about the internet is that it keeps a record of everything.  So I did a search to see what Mr. Calkins had to see about John.  Surely he was against the Calipari hire at Memphis from the beginning.  I mean that rat Calipari ran the program into the ground and left it ablaze, right?  Geoff did take the time to compile a list of 50 fun Calipari facts and while we learned that Cal likes shoes and donuts,  I scan the list for any mention of scoundrel and I am sure that Geoff will warn Memphis-ites about this horrible Cal.  

Ah ha!  There is it!!  A mention of Marcus Camby at number 44.

44. A year later, eight of Calipari’s players had a 3.0 average or above. Said Marcus Camby: “I got a 3.2. And you can quote me.”

Oh well.  Hrmmm.  Surely Geoff will mention scoundrels soon.  OK, more Camby on the list:

46. When Camby collapsed before a conference game against St. Bonaventure, Calipari rode with him to the hospital. He left the coaching to his assistant.

That bastard!  Surely Geoff had gotten wise to that rascal Cal.  But from Feburary of this year, I found these quotes attributed to our friend:

It’s what Geoff Calkins, The Commercial Appeal sports columnist, called “Memphis’ special gift.”  Speaking to Leadership Memphis about great cities, leadership, sports, and newspapers, he said:

Mr. Calkins summoned up University of Memphis men’s basketball coach John Calipari as the example of what one inspired person can accomplish.  “He set out a vision – to be national champions – and people laughed at him.  But he kept talking about his huge, great vision, and he inspired others to join in.”

But, more than vision is needed to change things, he said.  “He (Coach Calipari) has incredible attention to detail.  He looks at empty seats way up top, and most coaches would say, ‘That’s not my job,’ but he gets a television company to give away a big screen TV every game to the people upstairs.” 

Even during Cal’s final days at Memphis Calkins said it would “be devastating” if Memphis lost Cal and he made these comments as the Memphis Athletic Department and community leaders were scrambling to keep Cal:

He’s a fabulous basketball coach, and it would be great if he decided — against all odds — to reject Kentucky’s offer and stick around this city. But he’s never been the saint Memphis fans will think he is if he stays or the villain they’ll think he is if he goes.

Calipari did have his critics. You know how he countered them? With two words: “The Miserables.” What a brilliant phrase. It’s funny, for one thing. The Miserables. How can you say it and not smile? But what it did was effectively inoculate Calipari from criticism. Instead of addressing the criticism — instead of taking it seriously — Calipari could label the critics as The Miserables. He still uses it, too. He used it Monday at his radio show. “We have no more Miserables around the program,” he said, to laughter. “They’re in cracks now, waiting for us to lose games.”

“He coaches like crazy. And he gives back to the community in the way that suits him best. I mean, 18,454 people left FedEx Forum Saturday with smiles on their faces. What more do you want?” 

And this is the one thing I want  Geoff to address.  The Memphis Administration knew about these allegations in September.  And the letter was addressed in January.  So why was Memphis trying so hard to keep the scoundrel Cal from leaving?  The fact is that the Memphis AA rallied it’s boosters in a last hour attempt to keep Calipari in town.  Would they not say “Good riddance?” if they felt these charges were so horrible?  

Apparently not. 

I did take the opportunity to email Mr Calkins and we are in an email “discussion” that I will share with you later.  I have asked him three times so far that since Cal ran a program full of programs why he has not publicly rebuked new Memphis coach Josh Pastner for  actively recruiting Lance Stephenson?  He has dodged that so far, but I will share if he finally gives an answer.    

On another note, we come to my home town Orlando Sentinel finally joined the “Cali-versy” on Saturday morning.  The good thing about living in Florida is that if something is going bad with the UK basketball program, it sometimes goes unnoticed by the football worshipping Floridians.  

On page 2 of today’s sports page, there was a blaring “Trouble follows Calipari” headline.  Not really sure what trouble is following Cal since he and UK will not face sanctions because of this.  What followed was the standard, irresponsible form of conjecture that sports writers are passing off as journalism these days.  And with the Memphis story, it is basically a copy and paste process of previous stories.

“College Insider” Andrea Adelson was the guilty copy and paster for the Slantinel.  College Insider?  Wow, that’s an impressive title.  She must really have some inside information because not everyone can call themselves an insider without having inside information, eh?

“All you Gator fans” she began her article, “worried about John Calipari and what he is going to do at Kentucky should breathe easy today.  In a few years, Kentucky could face some sort of NCAA sanction.”


What kind of speculative, expolitative, irresponsible, slandering crap is this?  And then she paraphrased all the other articles by Tipton and Calkins that she had used to get her “insider” information.  Next line was “That’s the Calipari way”, so we see what kind of lazy “journalism” we are in for.  

Apparently her “insider” status gives her access to Cal’s motives as she continues on Cals motives on leaving Memphis.  She said that he “just ran away knowing full well what was going to happen”.  That’s it Andrea.  John Calipari just ran away from Memphis all with the Memphis Administration (knowing full well about the allegations) throwing handfuls of money at Cal to stay and gnashing their teeth at the prospect of him leaving.

Of course, being a true “Journalist” Andrea “the insider” tells us that Calipari was not named in the report against Memphis and there is “no concrete reason to punish him” and that he did not figure into the Camby situation either.  She even said that this make his case different from Kelvin Sampson yet makes more idiotic statements about Cal going for the money at UK (when Memphis offered him more”.

The rest of Andrea’s “insider” column was filled with days old news including name dropping Nick Calathes name but really getting no information from him, and a week old story about the coaches poll in football going anonymous for the last poll.  I guess this is “insider” information say you only relied on the Slantinel  for your news and never ventured online.  

And this is why newspapers are a dying breed.  There is no real journalism anymore and apparently all sportswriters should just be bloggers because they insist on interjecting their opinions and calling it news.  Everytime one national columnist have an opinion, all the local “writers” scurry to copy and paste his thoughts and attempt to make it sound local.

It’s sad actually.  But what else would you expect from the Orlando Slantinel.???

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