Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympians celebrities, not heroes


You watch the endless interviews with Winter Olympics personalities and are apprised about their dedication, courage, injury problems and the enormous amount of hard work it took to get them to Vancouver. Then there’s always the reference to the great pressure under which they find themselves, particularly if they are from a developed country that demands that they succeed.

Pressure? Sure it’s there, but they asked for it. It’s hard to align too deeply with athletes and their fear and loathing of failure when I think of the American men and women who this very minute are walking a tightrope in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan — without any choice. These people are the heroes; Olympians are celebrities who often are overindulged, overpaid and frequently over-glorified. What claim does some retread like skier Bode Miller have to hype and glory when he’s been such a flop for so long, much of it because of his own doing? While making a lot of money, too.

It’s said that Madonna and Lady Gaga epitomize fame; Helen Keller and Mother Teresa represent success.

Our people in the war zones usually can’t take a step, 24-7, without courting death or injury. Pressure? Consider the pittances they are paid for performing so gallantly on our behalf. All hail the rich Olympians and their superficial accomplishments of a specialized nature, like those salamanders on luge sleds. But they’re celebrities.

Armed forces people are the Kellers and Teresas, among the real heroes and heroines.

• Little wonder coach Bill Self is so greatly appreciated by his Kansas basketball players. Time and again he’s in a position to rip somebody for a bad game or an off-court blunder yet he’s always avoiding barbs and bullying. Consider, for example, how he let the rascally J.R. Giddens get out of here with a semblance of dignity when Bill could have ripped him to shreds.

Right now, Self has three flat wheels in Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor and Xavier Henry. Collins and Taylor continue to excel in turnovers, maybe for reasons of ego, and if you wonder if Henry is NBA-ready, watch Kentucky’s John Wall a bit and think “another year” for Ex.

Said Self in a discussion about Collins’ recent funk: “I don’t believe in showing guys you don’t have faith in them when things are not going well when they’ve delivered over and over for you. . . . “

Bill takes care of his guys in countless ways so it’s no surprise they want to reward such loyalty and support.

• I knew last week’s column about the scandal-riddled Kentucky basketball program would draw rain from Wildcat zealots but the reaction developed into a hilarious face-off between Jayhawk and Kentucky faithful.

Oh, it all started with “you cur, sir!” responses, some pretty ugly, from UK-lovers, and “well-done” comments by KU devotees. But about halfway through the Mayer-bad and Bill-good missives, the tide swung to an all-out exchange of zingers between the fans of the schools.

It was delightful to watch the two camps hollering at each other. First time in 60-plus years I’ve ever seen anything like that. Some of the jibes were so harsh and tacky that a network referee refused to let them run.

But hell, it’s only a game! Like the Olympics, maybe?


jphog 12 years, 5 months ago

"Pressure? Sure it’s there, but they asked for it. It’s hard to align too deeply with athletes and their fear and loathing of failure when I think of the American men and women who this very minute are walking a tightrope in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan — without any choice"

When did they reinstate the draft?

Michael Auchard 12 years, 5 months ago

Anybody else thing it's incredibly strange to read about Lady Gaga in a Bill Mayer article?

100 12 years, 5 months ago

Nice points, it might also be noted that Kentucky fans misquoted about everything in their "attacks".

  1. Kentucky does not have 16 National Championships if you count Helms. They have seven.

  2. Kentucky should not have seven national championships. The 1948, '49 & '51 trophies should all be taken away. There's no excuse for fixing NCAA games.

  3. The NCAA tournament was started in reaction to Kentucky's gambling problems in the once prestigious NIT tournament. Kentucky in New York's betting rings was absolute trouble & Naismith & Phog wanted KU as far away from Kentucky's troubles with the NIT betting circles as possible. The NCAA tourney was created in 1939, pushed for several years by Phog Allen & Dr. James Naismith, of course Naismith just missing seeing the Jayhawks play in the championship the 2nd year due to dying. How amazing that would have been for him to be part of that considering Naismith discovered Phog playing basketball in a Kansas City.

  4. Kentucky fans are crazy to not give us credit for 1922 & 1923 championships. Yes they were voted & not played. Kind of like Oklahoma playing in the bowl game last year. It's the BCS baby! (and Rupp played on both of those teams, be proud of it or you take away from Naismith having any connection to Rupp, which by the way, when Rupp showed up to campus, who was the first professor he had to meet? That's right, Naismith. So Kentucky, we are proud of you guys to a certain extent, butto come full circle you must be proud of Springfield & Dr. Naismith. We're not asking you to be proud of Lawrence where he spent 41 years of his life & Rupp spent 4 of his 22 Kansas years. Just be proud that you guys are one step removed from Naismith, the inventor of the game, the game you guys love so much & without him Michael Jordan wouldve been a great Minor League baseball player with Bo Jackson....

And for God's sake, carry yourself with some esteem!!! No one fears you guys. It's hard to respect you guys when you go from NIT & gone for 10 years to saying "best ever!"

that's flat out a joke. It's like Syracuse or Georgetown or Duke saying it -- no one believes it & it makes you look stupid. Just be glad to be considered in the top 5 & carry yourself with dignity for crying out loud!!!

  1. According to a Mississippi St site, Lebron James is courting John Wall to play on his team next year. That would mean Lebron would have to be traded. To New Jersey. But Jersey doesn't have a Coach & Pitino already said no. Let's see... Who gets along really well with Wall & Lebron, coaches an NBA style offense, & pays NBA quality players money to play for him....


  1. Oh almost forgot -- Kentucky fans say they're the best ever. Doesn't UCLA have 11 championships? And wasn't North Carolina about to catch you on all time wins until you went to the NIT last year to "pick up a few more Ws?"

we love you, Kentucky, you are part of our family...

And it's time to grow up.

Be good, UK children.

JayhawkRock 12 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Helen Keller was successful in being one of the founders of American Socialism...She was in fact a radical socialist...Is that how we measure success in this country? Guess so...(hint hint Obama hint hint).

I think to some extent Olympians are heros but not all of them. I really enjoy the people that face incredible odds and come out on top. I really like watching Apollo Ohno race around the ice oval and Lindsay Vonn down the side of a mountain. But some do make mistakes like a Bode Miller, who by the way came back to win a medal already this year. But I do agree that the real heros are our men and women in out armed forces.

James Miller 12 years, 5 months ago

I am an Army Infantryman. I fought in Desert Storm and OIF, and I am telling you Soldiers are not heroes. First off, we only do what any young, healthy American male is suppose to do. I don't think you are a hero for doing what you are suppose to do. It just means others are not pulling their weight. Next, if you knew everything that was involved with being someone who is at the "tip of the spear" fighting a definitely would not consider all actions "heroic."
Sorry for the seriousness....RCJH!!!!!

KUFan90 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure what triggered the first part of this article anyway. I haven't seen anyone make the claim anywhere that olympic athletes are more heroic than our armed forces, so why write an article defending it?

Bigbluecat 12 years, 5 months ago

100, You are correct about one thing, the other bs I really don't have time or feel the need to comment on your childish statements. You are correct UK has seven national championships of the NCAA variety. I'm sure you've heard of this one, where they actually have a tourney. If you want to start talking about Helms and NCAA championships UK has a total of nine. I think that still keeps us four in front of KU. We could talk about NCAA championships and say UK - seven and KU - three. Here's you a link so you can look and count those/your Helms championships.

klineisanazi 12 years, 5 months ago

How did we get from the Olympics to JR Giddens? This is getting to be quite an embarrassment, even by Journal-World standards. Retire already.

jayhawkox 12 years, 5 months ago

O. M. G.

Somebody please stop the madness, this is just a ridiculous waste of resources.

nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago

"It’s said that Madonna and Lady Gaga epitomize fame; Helen Keller and Mother Teresa represent success"

By whom is it said, precisely? I've never heard such a saying. I googled it, and the only appearence of the phrase was attributed to you. It wouldn't surprise me that a hack such as yourself would make up an aphorism and try to pass it off as a common saying, to make a ridiculous point about an argument no one's having. Let me try one:

It's said that you can't polish a turd, so Bill Mayer is never going to have any luster.

That was easy. Let's try it again:

There are only 3 things in life that are certain: Death, Taxes, and Bill Mayer being an imbecile.

Also, not to pick nits, but, as heroic as our young men and women in the service are in performing their duties, they are NOT there "without any choice". Ours is an all-volunteer military, moron. EVERY ONE of our soldiers and sailors made a concious decision to join their particular branch of the service, and for you to say otherwise cheapens the sacrifices they make everyday to serve our country.

You, sir, are a pathetic excuse for a journalist. Surprised you don't write for the Lexington paper. Please don't hesitate to get stuffed. Go Big Blue!!!

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

Atacking Olympians. Sucking up to soldiers. Criticising stars on a top ranked 25-1 team. Calling UK corrupt.

Keegs must have told Bill he had to get his clicks up, or he was gone.

slowplay 12 years, 5 months ago


What you do may not seem heroic to you, but it is to others. I know being in the trenches gives you a different perspective, but the American public perceives your willingness to put yourself in harms way for our protection as heroic indeed.

slowplay 12 years, 5 months ago


"You, sir, are a pathetic excuse for a journalist."..

What's even more pathetic is taking the time to read an article by someone you despise and then take the time to post about it. Get a life.

Brandon Koch 12 years, 5 months ago

First of all, don't Kentucky fans have better things to do than come on Jayhawks websites? Get a life.

Second, how can this article talk about Collins excelling in turnovers. Look at the numbers 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. He a bad game on Monday as far as turnovers go, but don't judge his whole season on that.

Ryan Mullen 12 years, 5 months ago

100, I really enjoy your posts but, were you scared to say how you felt on Bill's real article about Kentucky. Just seems like a copout to do it on this article.

Jayhawk2001 12 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone really read this crap? This isn't a new thought, that athletes are not heroes compared to our men in uniform. Then the zinger of calling another a retread. Nice Bill, since you basically wrote a column with no original thoughts I'd say you are the retread. Retire. You are old and senile.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Bill Mayer Is Going Around the Bend:"

Recently started typing stories with a claw hammer.

Keeps trying to use his cell phone as a rectal thermometer.

Refers to the '57 championship game even during bowel movements.

Keeps using Preparation H as lip balm.

Keeps claiming peeing on his own leg prevents dry skin.

Swears urge incontinence is a rock song by Fergie.

Strips to a waist synch in Tom's office and asks for a raise.

Believes Chuck Woodling and Dugan A. Man want a menage a tois with him.

Insists a high fiber diet delivers one form evil.

Swears he can write as well as he ever did.


100 12 years, 5 months ago

Big Blue,

I'll give you eight, you're right you do have a Helms.

But are seriously counting an NIT championship posted several years after the NCAA was created?


You guys need to come back down to Earth -- You guys must be in love with the NIT!!!

Listen if you guys want to bet that badly, go down & bet on some cart racing...

Keep college basketball & especially college basketball's players out of it!!!!

No more rigging NCAA games & no more being delusional please....

We expect much more out of you than that...

And for your math where 7 + 1 = 9....

It's really 4+1 = 5


You guys for all intents and purposes have five.


Because point shaving championships shouldn't be counted -- we are proud of Kentucky Basketball (& that four of your Coaches were Kansas guys compared to only one Kentucky guy). In short the '48, 49 & '51 trophies should all be taken back by the NCAA.

Of course you don't want to talk about that!

Rock Chalk, Kentucky brother -- we're all proud of you guys, even though Carolina would have passed you in alltime victories last year had you not gone NIT.

All we ask is a little dignity & self respect from the top 5 fans!!!!

UNC has dignity...

UCLA has dignity...

Duke has dignity (at least realize they are not "best)....

KU has dignity....

Heck even John Calipari, an ex KU guy, has enough dignity to know the truth...

But we really wonder about UK's fanbase....

For goodness sake have some self respect!!!!!

We'd like you guys to become dignified, because you guys sound absolutely idiotic to even "pretend" to be the best ever when no one has even heard a peep out of Kentucky for a full 12 years...

Especially when you have 5 national championships with no point shavings & UCLA has 11...

Rock Chalk, UK fans...

Rock Chalk

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


Contucky won't reach the Finals.

If UC were to reach the Finals, KU would whip UC.

No matter how many games UC wins this year, they are all going to be forfeitted.

Calipari is going to Jersey.

Next year, UC will be even more pathetic than before.

And you blow.


nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago


Nice of you to single me out for your derision. Apparently the other posters who are equally disappointed with Mayer's BS escaped your notice.

Where did I say that I "despise" that joker? I have no respect for him, true, and I think his lack of research and preparation is reprehensible, but despise is a little strong...I prefer "loathe".

FYI, I can read whatever I want, I don't need explicit or tacit approval from you or anyone. Furthermore, I have the option to comment if I choose.

Finally, I notice that you had no issue with any points I made other than my opinion of Mr. Mayer's talents, or lack thereof. Do you disagree with the broader points of my comments, or are you in agreement that Mayer attributed as common a saying that doesn't exist, and that he insulted our Servicemen and women by saying their sacrifices were "without any choice"?
If you DO agree with those points, then what would YOU call someone who does those things in print? I would call them a "hack" and a "pathetic excuse for a journalist". I await what will undoubtedly be a knee-jerk and thoughtless response.

Go Big Blue!!!!!

CRIMSONnBLUE 12 years, 5 months ago

This is absolutely ridiculous and has no business being posted on a website devoted to Kansas sports. I don't think there is a single person that would disagree that men and women in the service are more heroes than Olympians. You're smoking rocks if you think different. Also the merge between thoughts in the article is counter productive. You start out bashing Olympians and then you turn around and praise Bill Self for being a wonderful coach that doesn't chew out his players. Yes, he is a great coach. But as much as I and the rest of the Kansas faithful like him... he is not a player anymore. He is not an Olympian and he's not in the service. To me this whole article sounds like a personal vendetta against the Olympics because of some misguided ideas and jealousy resulting from knowing someone who died overseas or returned home with little applause. Or even that you yourself are a veteran. As controversial as these issues are this is not the appropriate place to post them. Showing a very slight association between the support Bill self shows for his players and the support that America as a whole should show for our troops is not convincing enough to excuse the writing of such a personal vendetta on a sports website. I suggest that you go back to writing about Kansas basketball.

DCHawk63 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow, “All hail the rich Olympians and their superficial accomplishments of a specialized nature.” I didn’t know that becoming the best in the world at something was superficial. In fact, becoming the best in the world at something is pretty amazing. I think that at some point in every child’s life they aspire to be the best in the world at something and without someone to aspire to be, what goals would they set for themselves, how would they know what to achieve? Although an Olympian was never one of my heroes no one has any right to say who and who cannot be someone’s hero.

100 12 years, 5 months ago


Actually I was travelling seeing family the last few days.

I got back home & received some messages on my machine that Kentucky people had assaulted our websites claiming 16 National Championships & claiming to be the best ever even though they used the NIT last year to barely stay ahead of UNC.

In short, I looked back at some of the comments in that article & Kentucky fans got away with murder, quoting all kinds of things to sound factual & without fail claiming to "be the best" with 16 National championships, etc.

From what I read KU fans weren't awake that day -- we took a lot of crap that wasn't true because it "sounded smart"...

And UK fans propped themselves higher than a bleeding kitty cat todem pole...

Again I have always had reasonable respect (minus point shaving scandals in '48, '49 & '51 & their essential death penalty in '53).

When KU wasn't playing I used to root for them just like I'd root for UNC or UCLA to a certain extent.

But these fans from UK have shown their true colors -- I can't hate them because anyone who says "we're the best ever, no one else belongs, it's our rightful place", truly disrespects Naismith's game, which is ironic as Rupp was in Naismith's classes for 4 years & looked up to him as a father figure.

In short they suffer from a quite obvious inferiority complex that I can't quite figure out -- we don't claim to be "the best ever". UNC fans don't. UCLA fans don't. Heck even Duke fans know that without ShaShevSkeee coming a three decades ago Duke was a relatively average program, in terms of wins. These schools get it, the game is bigger than all of us. It's the game that is amazing.

The 1923 Championship photo tells me everything I need to know -- Kentucky fans need to respect their roots & see whose in the middle of that picture...

That's right, it's Dr. Naismith, a row in front of Adolph Rupp.

Take the Kansas off everyone's shirts & realize what this game means to people, worldwide...

Naismith changed everything...

If he could hear Kentucky's fans he would be crying because sportsmanship is everything, lying & bragging & more lying is the equivalent of going back to the jungle & fending for ourselves...

Kentucky fans don't get it, but I hope someday they will because this game is so much bigger than worrying about playing the NIT so that your fans can brag another year that "we have more wins than Carolina."

oh and last point -- if the NCAA had followed through in a timely manner (instead of a delayed response in '53), Kentucky would have a lot less victories.

Not only would their trophies be taken from '48, '49 & '51 but also their victories...

Which would leave them sitting in....

Third place -- not a bad place to be.

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

I like how Kensucky fans are so confident that they are going to be the 2010 National Champions, makes it all the better when they get knocked out in the sweet 16. I guess such a long drought has given them all blue balls.

Kensucky will continue to bring in a new crop of AAU freshmen to compete with real college basketball programs that actually build their team the proper way (with some type of leadership on the court and on the sidelines). In a few years when every players best friend coach Cal either gets in trouble or gets bored and moves on, the little blue nation will continue the coaching search as their fair weather fans go back into the hills to make babies with their brothers and sisters. Meanwhile KU basketball will remain a powerhouse.

I didn't realize that internet was available in Kensucky, now they just need to create some chat boards for their fans to post on.

2000 wins is superficial, you play the game to win Championships, something Kensucky has not done for awhile or even caught a sniff of a Final Four, better to have gone and lost then to have not shown up at all. Kensucky has a better chance of winning the NIT in a few years than they do of winning a NC this year.

TommySmithElbow 12 years, 5 months ago

OK, while there are times where Bill Mayer's musings seem a little misguided, or quite simply, something that a person just might not agree with, many times he gets attacked for just having experienced a lot more than some of the posters.

Case in point: "nocutesynickname" commenting on Bill's 'Madonna/Lady Gaga/Helen Keller/Mother Teresa' quote.

If "nocutesynickname" had an education blessed with a wide variety of experience (and some trivia), he/she would have immediately recognized that Bill was paraphrasing a legitimate, and famous quote. But no, "nocutesynickname" blasts it because you couldn't find it when you do the ultimate lazy search for building intellect, i.e. googling something.

The problem with many Google searches: it's "garbage in, garbage out". You have to have a foundation to initiate a legitimate quest.

Bill is obviously paraphrasing the following quote: "Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other." (Erma Bombeck)

I have heard others add Mother Teresa to the quote too, as an extension of the spirit of the quote. Adding Lady Gaga was probably someone (possibly Bill) trying to further update the spirit of the quote. Regardless, it doesn't mean that that the basic quote doesn't exist.

You know, sometimes the breadth of experience trumps Search Engine failures.

thmdmph 12 years, 5 months ago

This article is a doodling job. Kinda pointless populist arguments. Olympians are not heros? They absolutely are hero's for the fact that they are able to accomplish things that all of us sitting here reading these blogs will never come close to accomplishing even if we spend our entire lives trying. Mr Mayer, what have you accomplish that comes close to these Olympians. They represent the absolute best of human athleticism and they represent what everybody who are involved in sports strive to achieve. They represent the entire country and provide focus and hope for that country's specific sports association (whether it's hockey, figure skating or whatever). That's why they are heros. No, they don't kill or save lives, but that's not all that heros do.

thmdmph 12 years, 5 months ago

Bill, think about it. out of the 6 or so billions of people on this planet, they are the best at what they do. WOW.

jayhawkjoe98 12 years, 5 months ago

Back in the 19th century, when I was 30...

Wheatgerm 12 years, 5 months ago

jphog and KUFan90 are right on the mark. Soldiers do have a choice. If the author is sour on the coverage of the Olympics, he should make his case directly. His ill-considered comparison between Olympians and soldiers in harm's way, or Mother Teresa for god's sake, only distracts from the point he was trying to make.

As for the KU-UK stuff, you gotta wonder about people like 100 who devote so much energy to it. It's not worth the effort. Or shouldn't be, in anyone's life. Yes, UK has had its scandals, but what's the point? Why focus on something that happended 60 years ago or 25 years ago? What's the relevance today? UK is clean and, because of its past, has the strongest compliance department in the country. Perhaps - I'm just guessing - it's because KU is about to overtake UNC for second place in all-time wins. (This UK fan is rooting for the Jayhawks to do it this year!) And looking ahead, trying to make the case that they are the greatest program of all time? That's legit. Or - and this is the cynic in me - the author is simply doing what so many sportswriters have already done: profiting from conflict. More attention, more hits for the online advertisers. And what better way for a sportswriter to stir conflict than by pissing off another school's rabid fan base? It's a cheap device. Well worn. And reliable.

Ryan Mullen 12 years, 5 months ago

100, I think Barbasol actually sponsered Kentucky the years they were point shaving. I believe the catch line was " Close shave Kentucky, Close shave Barbasol

nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago

100: Let's do the math together, shall we? UK Basketball Helms Championships - 7 (33, 48, 49, 51, 54, 58, 78) source: UK Basketball NCAA Championships - 7 (48. 49, 51, 58, 78, 96, 98) UK Basketball Relevant NIT Championships - 1 (1946) For many years the NIT was considered to be the premier CBB tournament. In fact, up until the 70's when the NCAA began forcing the better teams to participate in their tourney, the NIT's often attracted high caliber teams. There's a thing called history, learn about it before you expose your ignorance for all to see.

KU Basketball - Helms Championships - 3 (22, 23, 52) KU Basketball - NCAA Championships - 3 (52, 88, 2008)

7 + 7 + 1 = 15

3 + 3 = 6

15 > 6

Please keep in mind that UK is happy with just the 7 NCAA championships. That we don't count, or hang banners for Helms or NITs, and the only reason we are even having this conversation is because KU and UNC insisted on counting them back when they didn't have the true championship pedegree of UK, and if they stopped counting them now, it would expose their duplicity.

But you poor, championship deprived Jayhawks just go on ahead and keep counting the Helms, you should be really proud of them...why, your three puts you in a tie with basketball powerhouses Columbia and Chicago (BTW, Columbia won two Helms WITHOUT A COACH). But if it's all the same to you, UK won't waste it's time counting championships that no one that hasn't won one has ever heard of.

I should end there, but I can't help noting that YOUR current coach was an assistant under Leonard Hamilton, who was an assistant under Joe B. Hall, so your championship winning coach has a Kentucky pedigree. Don't hear you talking much about that, though.

You KU fans think the world of basketball begins and ends with you because Dr. Naismith spent some time there, where he compiled a 55-60 record and two winning seasons out of nine. No wonder your pride oeverflows so. For the record, Naismith invented basketball in Massachusetts, NOT Kansas; and was born in Canada, so KU's only real claim to fame is the nine seasons he spent there, failing to win 50 percent of the matchups in a GAME HE INVENTED. How pathetic must KU basketball be if the inventor of the game can't acheive a .500 record. History doesn't disclose how Naismith came to leave the coaching position, but he was probably fired.

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

How pathetic must you be to have to post on our board. Loser.

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

nocute, someday broadband will make its way to Kensucky so you can finally quit using that dial up modem.

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

Look at the pic, cause you will never see one of those again.

brcook99 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow, another old guy talking about how soldiers and not athletes should be role models and heroes. My entire family has been in the military and they are heroes, but please stop trying to push this 'where are your priorities' crap from the old generation down our throats. Yes athletes are heroes these days, live with it.

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

Kensucky fans like to talk about how great their team was way back when their great, great grandpappy/uncle/brother was a fan of the lil blue. How about we talk about Final Four appearances from this century, how about we talk about National Championships from this millennium? I'll patiently wait for you dial up modems to get going in order for you to respond.

nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago

TommySmithElbow :

Thank you for pointing out the correct attribution of the quote. I will take umbrage with your assumption that a person isn't well rounded or experienced until he or she has an extensive knowledge of Erma Bombeck, not to take anything away fiom her, God knows; I have spent whole minutes reading "The Grass is Greener Over the Septic Tank". I guess I missed that particular issue of Readers Digest while I was busy reading Homer, Johnson, Sartre and others who wouldn't meet your standard of experience.

Nevertheless, while the original quote may be well known to others besides myself, It certainly doesn't make it true as a whole or applicable in this instance; again no disrespect to the late Ms. Bombeck intended, but Mother Teresa AND Helen Keller were both extremely famous, and while I'm no fan of Lady GaGa, or Madonna, I would attest that it is up to them to decide whether they are ultimately successful.

Now, before you get huffy, yes, I know that Mayer was trying to draw a parallel between that quote and his larger, equally idiotic point. However, his argument was moronic on it's surface, and served only to illustrate his sad attempt to stir a nonexistent pot on a subject on which there is no debate.

Go Big Blue!!!!

James Hubin 12 years, 5 months ago

Exactly, there is nothing to speak of about Kensucky basketball from this millenium, except that the lil blue ball nation ran out their only recent good coach, because he happened to be black.

Bigbluecat 12 years, 5 months ago


This petty piece was linked to a website I frequent. I agree with you the Helms championships mean nothing to us here at UK. As I said before if you combine the Helms...I'll make it easy for you UK Helms championships 1933, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1954, 1958, and 1978. NCAA beyond the helms 1996 and 1998. YOU count them 7+2 = 9. As I said before UK has 7 NCAA championships and KU has 3 NCAA championships.

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 5 months ago

nocute - Thank you for your mis-guided history lecture of futility. You and your bullschit KenSUCKY fans would slap a downs syndrome kid just to get a win. Arrogant, deluisonal, mis-informed and pathetic. Every time you post, we hear out-of-tune banjo music in the background. We don't need to bag on KY jelly, you make yourself look silly and uneducated all by yourself. Keep up the good work. And Go Big Blow yourself.

nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 5 months ago

nocutesynickname - Keep up the good work, you have now lost the respect of any KU fans that bother to read your KY dribble. I didn't bother. Just seing your avatar name makes me scroll down. Go back to you self-indulgent little world of KY posting. Whats the matter, no one wants to talk to you there? I wonder why?

100 12 years, 5 months ago

7-3 + 1 = 5

UK fans are seriously trying to count NIT championships & NCAA point shaving scandal championships!!!!


Man we love you guys, just quit bragging & quit being ridiculous (cleanest compliance office ever, your president hired a guy who was having a full season taking away from the books & his program was being investigated & your president and AD knew about and had to keep it secret from you to get him hired without your fans having a heart attack!)


UK fans, be proud of your team & be done with it for crying out loud!!!

You guys have the best recruiting class in the nation!!! Be proud of it & quit embarrassing yourselves!!!!

Have some self esteem for crying out loud!!!

Rock Chalk UK fans, we love you guys, it's just time to wake up & root for THIS years team!!!!!

For crying out loud it's like talking to Ghandi whose on ecstacy, it's not a good MIX!!!!!!

Grow up & the entire nation will respect your fanbase again:

  1. Quit bragging
  2. Quit lying
  3. Go to math class (7-3+1= 5). that's five. Not fourteen. Not sixteen. Five.... Five!!!
  4. NIT championships don't count!!!!
  5. Respect the game.
  6. Respect the inventor (without him your team would not exist)
  7. Respect yourselves. "Best ever, where we belong, no one compares to us, we are better than most NBA teams" makes you sound like a nine year old who has a tough time getting a shot over your big brother's hand.
  8. Respect UCLA (I have a deep feeling this might be where your inferiority complex comes from. They have 11 real ones. You guys have 7-3+1. Five.
  9. Respect UNC. They had you guys on the alltime wins had you not gone NIT.
  10. Respect Naismith. Do you guys have any idea how special it is that Rupp jump started your program in 1930!!!!??

You guys rock, it's like a free soap opera!!!!

ABeesus 12 years, 5 months ago

"...salamanders on luge sleds." That's a pretty funny image!

It's a volunteer army, but once in, the word "volunteer" vanishes from a soldier's lexicon. That's what Mr. Mayer meant.

Mr. Mayer gets paid to write. I'm glad of it; I enjoy his writing.

Do any of his critics here have a paid professional column?

100 12 years, 5 months ago


this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You guys of you open your eyes have an absolute connection to the inventor of the game & all that is basketball.

But when you say, "History doesn't tell of how Naismith left the coaching profession but he was probably fired," you make my point perfectly clear.

Plenty of KU people are still around who remember him. He died in 1939 & was here for 41 years. He hated inequality. He hated the story of slavery.

The man great in a much deeper way than basketball & you guys can credit your entire (that's right entire) tradition to him in 2 ways.

By the way he wasn't fired, but keep in mind the times -- he would take his Ku teams on trains & then referee the games while occassionally shouting at our guys to pass the ball. The full court pass by the way can be credited to Naismith. He had his guys rolling it like a bowling ball but it still worked in those days.

So he had discovered Phog in KC & persuaded him to come to KU. Phog was fantastic although got hurt (back). Phog ended up coaching a couple of local teams & at some point he brought one of his teams into a new gymnasium Naismith had commissioned & blueprinted to look like Springfield's building, where he invented the game.

Well after Naismith was beaten by Phog's team with 1000 people crammed into Robinson (the most beautiful building we've ever had which was unfortunately ripped down in the 60's), Naismith essentially smiled shook hands and passed the coaching reigns to Phog.

You must keep in mind Naismith was the Athletic Director at that point in time. He couldve coached as long as he wanted. He loved his creation of basketball, & his love grew over the years as he & Phog became best friends (and great arguers about the finer points of everything). But he knew in the end Phog was the man for the head job so he appointed Phog to take over the team & Naismith himself went to the KU games for the next 34 years of his life essentially as a statistition, falling in love with his sport more & more as the years passed to the point where in 1936 all colleges including UK threw pennies on the court to get Naismith a plane ticket to go to Germany to inaugurate his game for the world to see.

Phog was the man to coach Rupp. Naismith was at many practices up until 1939, working on tough skill sets while Phog worked on fundamentals.

In the end Naismith was there for every home game until 1939. A professor on campus who fell in love with his game as the seasons rolled on.

Without Naismith you guys don't exist.

100 12 years, 5 months ago


Listen, if you guys want to play numbers, fine -- UK had nothing from 1900 (I mean nothing until 1930, Rupp's first year). Nothing. And you guys had nothing (nothing) the last 12 years. I'll keep it simple and only add in 1990 & 1953, one death penalty year & the other an oops Eddie Sutton put UK on bad probation year.

30 + 12 + 1 = 43 years.

You guys have a lot to be proud of, but 43 of those years you guys weren't even on the basketball "all time great" map!!!!

(43 + 3 = 46 years if you subtract the three point shaving championship years of '48, '49 & '51)

46/100 = 46%!!!

So only 54% of it's history has UK even been relavent, if we're talking about "bragging" about being "the best ever" or even "an average team"!!!!

Start being respectful & we will respect you.

Go Big Blue!!!

swkhawk24 12 years, 5 months ago

How about we talk about the headline of this story. Olympians are not heroes? Why? Mayer your sauce is so weak. Olympians ARE heroes. They work so hard for something that comes around once every 4 years, trying to make their country proud.

John Randall 12 years, 5 months ago

I understand being sick of Kentucky fans to the point of disallowing the NIT win after NCAA started and asserting others tainted by gambling should be rescinded.

"""Especially when you have 5 national championships with no point shavings & UCLA has 11..."""

What I don't understand, or like, is all the John Wooden worship . . . Sam Gilbert deserves at least half the credit for assembling, coddling, financing the teams that Wooden coached between sessions with his head in the sand as if his star players weren't gathered around the pool at 'Papa Sam's', enjoying all the finer things in life -- cars, women, money, etc.

Now that biggest cheaters have the biggest cheat coaching for them, I do think it would be fitting to name one of the Big Blue supporters the "Sam Gilbert Booster" each year. This year it should go to the guy paying the biggest share of World Wide Wes' expenses for SAT consultation and manipulation.

kugrad93 12 years, 5 months ago

Mayer is a vet, so his take isn't surprising. However, saying Olympians aren't heroes could just as easily be applied to all athletes.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


Your posts to nocute in this thread rise far above dispute with a UK fan. Together, they constitute the single greatest commentary about James Naismith and his relationship to basketball and to KU that I have ever read.

Thank you.

jphog 12 years, 5 months ago

Can your father be a hero if he did not join the armed forces? Can your mother? Apparently the only people that can be heroes are one's that fight wars. Not every soldier is the same. Some motives are different than others. Being a hero is not some exclusive club that one has sign up for service to join. It's about character and being recognized for it.

Olympians put in years of work hard to represent their country on a world stage. Is that not a virtue worth admiring?

100 12 years, 5 months ago


He'll no I wasn't scared.

Bring 'em back. It makes me sick I couldn't stand up & protect the fort a few days ago when this initial Bill Mayer article came out.

I've got only half of my suitcase emptied....

I'd love to see those guys come back to the site, because I've got another carry on & another half suitcase to unload if they still feel like misquoting, twisting facts, confusing sports & in general flat out lying.... although honestly i'd like to see them grow up even more.

But yes, sorry I wasn't there that day when we were being attacked....

John Randall 12 years, 5 months ago

a HERO is a person who does what needs doing, disregarding danger, cost, or personal gain.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

jaybate news service (jns):

Dateline: Osawatomie, KS:

Slug: John Brown Basketball Society rumored soon to launch watch dog web site tracking UK basketball program.

jns stringers in Osawatomie, Kansas, report rumors that an organization calling itself the John Brown Basketball Society may soon launch a web site that tracks what an anonymous representative of the organization characterizes as "a potentially rogue UK basketball program." Early reports indicate the rumored web site may be called:

Rumors are that the web site may have the following sections:

Point Shaving Convictions Death Penalties Near Death Penalties Miscellaneous NCAA Penalties Forfeitted Seasons Seasons that Perhaps Should Have Been Forfeitted Seasons Some Expect to Be Forfeitted ADs Apparently Forced Out of College Basketball for Improprieties Player Payments in Time Indexed Dollars Head Coach's Forfeitted Wins Before Coming to UK: Head Coach's Forfeitted Wins While at UK Whistleblowers


(Note: The above is entirely fictional. No malice is intended. It is simply an attempt at an amusing satire of the goofyness of the mindset of UK fans that created a watchdog web site regarding KU basketball, a program with apparently fewer severe violations, and without a coach that just left a program heavily investigated and penalized by the NCAA soon after his departure.)

nocutesynickname 12 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

100 12 years, 5 months ago

Excellent news wire Jaybate -- glad I can keep track of this developing shhhhtuff!!!!

UK coaches from State of Kansas or the University of Kansas or both:

  1. Alpha Brumage
  2. Adolph Rupp
  3. Eddie Sutton
  4. John Calipari

UK coaches from Kentucky or the Universiry of Kentucky or both:

  1. Joe B Hall (a great guy but can you say PROBATION!!!!!)
  2. That's it.

1/5 = 20%, which lends a new slogan inspired by Great Kentucky fans attacking our website a few days ago:

"UK basketball, 20% KittyCat, 80% Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go Big Blue!!!"

100 12 years, 5 months ago


isn't this the first time in 12 years UK has been on ESPN, contractually speaking?

That's what I thought.

100 12 years, 5 months ago

Hacked Jaybate newswire:

-Reported sources say ex Kansas assistant & current Memphis, I mean Kentucky head coach John Calipari has been offered an NBA job with the~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ----------- {crap the transmission is~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~

"More on this exciting development as the week continues."

----- hey Jaybate could we get some help, we're missing like five minutes of this story could you let us know what it said?


100 12 years, 5 months ago


UK fans please don't attack our website again with lies & twisted truths unless you come in peace, as Naismith's children should....

I will be posting all night while I finish my work, I look forward to hearing from you...

You are us, stop fighting the good side of the force...

We've always liked you -- why did it take an NIT & Calipari to make you think differently?

Honestly the entire nation is concerned about you guys & we simply want to talk you down from the edge of the cliff...

A hint:

yelling "best ever" does nothing to your leg muscles, in fact you might sway your body mass a bit closer to the edge...

Go Big Blue!!!

HawkitToEm 12 years, 5 months ago


haha, why you just come on down to lawrence, and we can finish this debate in person.

Ryan Mullen 12 years, 5 months ago

nocutegirlsinkentucky, Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, cause next year it will all come crashing down. Calipari will probably not go next year, but the next he is gone. Your team will not make it to the NCAA tourney next year. Your one and done players means a one and done year. So please leave, go back to your trailor, you hillbilly clown. Please though enjoy this year I know it is the only happiness in your sad pathetic life.

actorman 12 years, 5 months ago

Too many comments to read them all, but I got the gist of it. 100, while I agree with a lot of your points re KU and Kentucky, I do have to disagree with you about counting our championships from '22 and '23 as legitimate. I wouldn't even consider it legitimate if the titles had been voted for in those years, but considering that these were voted on RETROACTIVELY in 1936, it's pretty ridiculous to count anything from that time. We're talking about 13 years later! Add to that the fact that there wasn't any television then, so when you combine the distance and the time, I would bet that the overwhelming majority of people who voted had never even seen those KU teams play! Of course that also means that anything UK had from that time period would not be legitimate.

Another point to make about Kentucky is that their first four titles came when they refused to play teams that had African-American players. Their won-loss record probably would have been affected and perhaps they wouldn't have even gotten into the playoffs some of those years if they had had tougher competition. I'll gladly take a slightly worse overall record than Kentucky with the knowledge that KU started having black players in the '50s, not the late '60s, and KU chose to do it without being forced into it.

Of course it's always pretty hard to compare records from different eras. But when you combine the records, championships, connections to the beginning of the game, and influence on the NCAA, coaching trees, etc., there is simply no comparison. NO ONE compares to KU's tradition and history.

SoCalTrojanFan 12 years, 5 months ago

Golly Mr. Mayer, 60 years on the job and you are still such a scamp! I mean, wow, the way you got those hillbilly UK fans and manure-shoveling KU fans calling each other so many nasty names and skiving and jiving around. What a sense of humor! Very impressive for a guy your age. I'll bet you've won hundreds of awards during your 60 years on the job for that sense of humor of yours. Forget those people who try dismiss you as a vindictive, jealous and mean-spirited old man. I don't buy that for a second. I'll bet you've had the same personality all your life. What a way to resurrect a winding-down career though, right? Keep up the good work. Keep calling people names and trashing universities. Nothing like it to boost the ratings. Are you sure you're not a politician writing under an assumed name?

JWebb Los Angeles GO TROJANS (no, no, Mr. Mayer . . . I'm referring to the SoCal team, not condoms)

Dan Harris 12 years, 5 months ago

100- great posts, it's a shame K-suck fans have to come on our site to spew their BS but what else are you going to do if your a "big blue fan" I guess they have nobody that will listen to their twisted logic on their own board. nocute,keep living in your fantasy world because it's about to come crashing down on you and your big blue brothers and then you can all crawl back into the big black hole where your accustomed to for another 10 years. Oh and one more thing, you can SUCKIT!!

CoachKplusDuke 12 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Mayer!!

How are you doing? I heard there are Hooplas involved here!!

Becoming a famous guy.. aren't you. Heard your story all the way in the east coast.

Here at Duke we don't worry about UK fans. Its like having a "Ignore" or "mute" button on a TV remote. We know they are unrealistic fans and already talking like they won 2010 Championship.

Just ignore them and they will go away <-- Thanks to our Duke research skills.

Now to KU nation. Can you please win 2000 before UNC does.

Love Dukie.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


nocutesynickname = SoCalTrojanFan = CoachKplusDuke = lurker trying to stir up bad blood between KU and other school's online communities. In political campaigns this would be called rudimentary psy-ops dirty tricks. Naughty, naughty. In assessing source, cui bono? Who benefits?

CaramelMacchMan 12 years, 5 months ago

Duke guy did say win 2000 before UNC.

At least he is pulling for KU.

didjabuti 12 years, 5 months ago

Here is a good story about Olympics and Soldiers. Mr. Mayer, is this Olympian worthy of being your Hero?

JayhawkBigXII 12 years, 5 months ago

The only reason people watch Kentucky is because it's a train wreck. People tune in to controversy. Cal, Lebron, Wall, new shoes, WWW, NJ Nets, one & done, violations in the making, etc., etc. All of it is a disgraceful representation of the worst in college basketball. Cal is turning KY into a mini NBA training camp, while the NCAA looks the other way as usual.

Meanwhile, Kansas just keeps on keepin on. Which makes me double proud to be a Jayhawker.

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