@NotJerryTipton’s greatest hits

This may come as a surprise, but the Internet is full of meanies. Twitter, in particular, is a rich repository of social detritus. Its streamlined creative format lends itself well to pithy humor, instantaneous news and concise distillations of writing one might not otherwise dive into. It also gives voice to millions of people too lazy or unimaginative to articulate a thought in a space larger than a text message.

One tiresome phenomenon endemic to Twitter is the parody account. More often than not they’re formulaic, doltish and harmlessly attention-seeking enterprises. But it’s at the intersection of parody accounts and hateful assholes that one comes face to face with inexorable, profound ignorance. So it’s with some reluctance that I highlight one such example.

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For the uninitiated, the auteur behind @NotJerryTipton apparently set out to lampoon the stoical Lexington Herald-Leader beat writer, and actually boasts more than three times as many followers as the genuine article. With his finger on the pulse of the Lexington zeitgeist, Not Jerry quickly graduated to more thought-provoking intellectual discourse on topics ranging from Duke to Louisville fans to Rick Pitino to, well, that’s it. Included below are a few of my personal favorites, accompanied by a little play-by-play and divided by genre. Continue reading

Gorgui Dieng the key to what could be a historic defense

This entry appears on Rush The Court.

Dieng elevates Louisville's defense from very good to great (US Presswire)

The narrative of today’s defensive match up between #1 Louisville and #6 Syracuse has already been explored extensively. A collision of defensive juggernauts: the nation’s first and third most efficient defenses, respectively. The two lead the Big East and are top-five nationally, again, in creating steals. The Cards check in at #2 in the country in turnovers generated; the Orange: #8. Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams leads the conference with a staggering 3.18 steals per game and combines with Brandon Triche to produce 4.8 SPG; Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are top-five, producing a cumulative 4.6 pilfers.

On paper it’s a push, and a juicy storyline to hype. In reality, Syracuse fields an excellent defense, but Louisville’s has the potential to be historic, and it’s just now hitting its stride. Continue reading

Boeheim has a hankerin’ for a South Carolina Grand Slam

I first dropped this image in the 01.11.13 Edition of the Big East Morning 5 on RTC. It feels appropriate to repost here, with not only a top-10 showdown between #1 Louisville and #6 Syracuse looming tomorrow in The Bucket, but also years of tormenting the Orange in the ACC to look forward to. Rick Pitino’s Cards will follow his mentor down the ACC rabbit hole into Boeheim’s Southern dystopia of plebeian diner food, and there’s substantial comfort in that knowledge for UofL fans, win or lose.

The ever-affable Jim Boeheim is going out of his way to make new friends in the ACC. Speaking nostalgically of his final Big East road trip to Providence after his team beat the Friars on Wednesday night, Boeheim lamented that he’d have to negotiate the new physical environments in his next conference. “I know where all the good restaurants are now, and now I’ve got to go down to Clemson, South Carolina. I’m sure there’s a couple of Denny’s down there.” The millionaire coach either believes Denny’s is actually a “good restaurant” or he’s painting Clemson with the podunk brush. Knowing Jim’s flair for the cynical and alienating, it’s probably the latter. Bret Strelow and Stephen Schramm at the Fayetteville (NC) Observer provided Boeheim with a helpful map. The good news is that the nearest Denny’s is 14 miles from campus –– a veritable hop, skip and a jump by ACC scale. Closer examination on Google Street View reveals that Jim is one step ahead of all of us:

dennys boeheim wm

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Yahoo ranks Mario Benavides among best interior linemen

According to Mike Huguenin at Yahoo! Sports, Louisville’s heralded Center Mario Benavides is the #20 interior lineman in college football, and “should be the best lineman in the Big East” this season.

20. C Mario Benavides, Louisville

Particulars: 6-4/280, Sr.; Los Fresnos (Texas) High
Buzz: He will be a four-year starter for the Cardinals. In his first three seasons, Benavides has made it through just one (his redshirt freshman season in 2009) unscathed. He missed one game in 2010 and missed the first three games last season. He also missed spring drills, but is 100 percent and should be the best lineman in the Big East.

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UofL football returns to AP poll

After barely missing the cut with the preseason Coaches Poll earlier this month, today the Louisville football team received some symbolic validation with their first appearance in the AP Poll’s top 25 since 2007.

A month from now, a #25 ranking in a preseason poll will have served little purpose beyond message board fodder. Nonetheless, the recognition marks a watershed moment of redemption for Strong’s staff and team after nearly three years of tedious rebuilding. For the players and fans of a Louisville program shunned to the margins of the college football scene after the Kragthorpe fallout and conference realignment debate, reappearing in the national pigskin consciousness is a much-needed ego boost.

(More relevant thoughts and Duke hatering below the jump) Continue reading

Welcome to the cradle of Lebowski Fest, Chandler Bridges

Welcome to the cradle of Lebowski Fest, Chandler Bridges

Last week, Louisville’s football staff picked up their tenth verbal commitment in the class of 2013 from an intimidating Georgian named Chandler Bridges. The news is encouraging for two reasons:

  • Strong’s staff has assembled a very solid class of big, versatile kids. Although Kyle Bolin and Ryan White are the most glamorous commitments, Strong has shown a remarkable knack for closing with high-profile players near signing day. This year appears no different, as Louisville’s staff has positioned itself well with several elite-echelon players. The lineman-heavy foundation of ten 2013 verbals allows the coaches to focus on their most sought-after remaining targets.
  • Someone at UofL seems to have noticed The Big Russbowski, notified the proper parties, and arranged to have a passable Jeff Bridges stand-in recruited.

Continue reading

Big East road to redemption, Part I

Big East road to redemption, Part I

In light of underwhelming initial appraisals of Big East TV money and unrelenting shit-talking from media pundits, football fans and Mack Brown’s boss alike, it seems like an appropriate juncture to reevaluate the conference’s goals in the impending superconference era.

Put lightly, the Big East has an image problem. In the absurd, nightmarish retail strip mall of college athletics, it is the Dollar General to the SEC’s Walmart; the Big 12’s Cabela’s; the Big 10’s Menards and the ACC’s offensively-overpriced antique shop.

Its name alone is so toxic that ne’er-do-wells instantly become esteemed programs upon vacating (see: Pitt, Syracuse).


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All signs point to Elite 8 rematch in ’12-’13

On the heels of a Final Four run, there’s no room for complacency in Louisville’s daunting out-of-conference schedule for the upcoming season. Games away from home slated against Memphis, Western Kentucky, College of Charleston, and a field including Duke and Missouri at the Battle for Atlantis will presumably complement the UK game at home (that is, unless that series has grown too “traditional” to suit Coach Cal).

The only remaining uncertainty is Louisville’s pairing in the Big East-SEC Challenge. But logic and recent speculation indicate that a rematch with Billy Donovan’s Gators in Gainesville is a near certainty.

  • And last week, Harry Fodder at the official UF sports outlet Gatorzone.com wrote “don’t bet against Louisville” as Florida’s Big East opponent.

Of course these aren’t groundbreaking revelations. ESPN’s marketing stiffs surely see the narrative value of an Elite Eight rematch of conference heavyweights and coaching personalities promised by Florida-Louisville. The clichés story lines literally write themselves, and those dudes would probably love the opportunity to take off early and grab 18 holes in Cromwell or whatever. Beyond that, there just aren’t many evenly-matched alternatives for either team, with UK, Vandy and Syracuse off the table.

So you can probably pencil in Louisville at Florida to round out the Cardinals’ 2012-2013 out-of-conference schedule. The game will be one of several early tests against elite competition in loud road environments. What sets this game apart is Florida’s hunger for redemption after back-to-back Elite Eight collapses. The combination of motivation, talent and hostile environment would likely make this one of the most difficult games of the regular season for Pitino’s squad. Continue reading

The debut of Dark Slime

I should preface this post by apologizing for this blog’s descent into neglect. The world of part-time retail beckoned, and I abandoned unemployment to answer the call. Having just experienced my first (and last) Maine winter, I sense a return to productivity as the glaciers enshrouding my apartment recede and the roving mammoths’ blood lust subsides. Look forward to more unsubstantiated gossip and juvenile photoshops pertaining to your Louisville Cardinals as my metabolism returns to normal.

What better way to dust off birdswag than with a blog update from Rick Pitino––the Narcan of Louisville sports writing:

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Cards hang tight, fall short, bring home a Final Four

This Louisville team could have played in a national title game tonight, had they not drawn Anthony Davis in the Final Four.

I’ve been hesitant to read much coverage of this game, because I already know what some will say. “The outcome was never much in doubt.” “The game was never as close as the final score indicates.” Many writers explored the rivalry exhaustively during the proceeding week, aware of the millions of clicks any bullshit headline containing “Louisville” and “Kentucky” would effortlessly generate. But I question how many of those media commentators––especially the younger ones––perceive any measure of parity in the rivalry; and whether these clichéd refrains were scripted well in advance of Saturday’s tip-off.

To dismiss Louisville’s effort yesterday is a disservice to a team that acquitted itself well with a scrappy, defiant performance, which fell short in the face of missed dunks and overwhelming talent. The Cards were irreverent underdogs, bent on postponing UK’s media coronation and never losing sight of the pugnacious style that had gotten them to an unlikely Final Four. Continue reading