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Reds announcer rips Calipari boo birds

Apr 28, 2012, 9:28 PM EDT

John Calipari, Dusty Baker, AP

John Calipari throwing out a first pitch at a ballgame might seem like pretty tame stuff, but somehow, everything the newly-titled coach does creates some kind of controversy.

When Coach Cal hurled a ceremonial ball before the April 24th Cincinnati Reds game, the city’s fractured alliances were on full display. In other words, Calipari got booed, vociferously. This ticked off Reds announcer Marty Brennaman, and he let fans know it right then and there.

Since then, Brennaman has kept talking (it’s sort of his job, after all), and he’s leveled his ire at just about everyone who was at the game, and even several thousand who weren’t. We’ll pick up the story as told by the Lexington Herald-Leader:

“We’re a regional franchise,” Brennaman said later in a telephone conversation later in the week, “and Kentucky is a very important part of that region. I said, ‘You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves.’ “

As Brennaman recalled, the Reds have recognized teams in the region at least as far back as 1999, when John Cooper and Jim O’Brien, Ohio State’s football and basketball coaches, respectively, took bows.

Of course, the Reds invited Calipari to throw out the first pitch because Kentucky won this year’s NCAA Tournament.

For whatever reason, the invitation was unpopular with some people.

“That’s just stupid,” Brennaman said. “For people to get upset over it, it’s the most ludicrous thing that I’ve ever heard of.”

Seldom shy about speaking his mind, Brennaman also criticized Kentucky fans, presumably those living in Northern Kentucky, in particular, for not attending the Reds-Giants game Tuesday in greater numbers.

“All I hear about is Big Blue Nation, and Big Blue this and Big Blue that,” he said in recalling his on-air comments. “I said, I’m frankly surprised and disappointed at the number of Kentucky fans who showed up at the ballpark tonight knowing (Calipari) and his staff and the trophy were all going to be here.

“I guess you’re Big Blue fans as long as you don’t have to go into your pocket and buy a ticket.”

As William F. Buckley might say: Oh, snap! You got told.

In defense of Big Blue Nation, a quick look at the photo above would seem to indicate that ennui about the Reds is a regional epidemic, and not reserved for residents of the Bluegrass State. At least Calipari provoked some kind of reaction.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

  1. kingghidora - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    What! Cincinnati fans don’t like UK! I’m shocked. Am I the only one old enough to remember all the cry baby crap that came from Cincy radio types (Marty not included) about how UK wouldn’t play them and how they were better and had a better tradition yadda yadda yadda. When UK finally agreed to play UC the whiney Cincy fans finally got their shot. And what did they do? They stalled the ball the entire game because they knew they had no chance to win any other way. Ever wonder why there’s a shot clock in college basketball? It wasn’t Deano Smith and the 4 corners snooze fest. It was UC and the example they set for a year of UK basketball. The Cats were as good then as they are now and every team figured their only chance was to hold the ball the whole game and hope to get lucky the last minute. And UC started that ball rolling…errr… holding. The halftime score was 11-7 in favor of UK. The final score was 24-11. UK had to play about 10 games like that because they had Sam Bowie, Mel Turpin and Kenny Walker. UC didn’t have anyone any good. They had 3 players that scored.

    UC fans have always hated UK. Someone should have warned Calipari. Marty should have known. UK refused to play Cincy again for about 15 years after playing out the games they contracted for. They actually didn’t even finish those contracted games. Who could blame them? UK boosters swore they would never raise another nickel for the team if they scheduled UC again. And they have only scheduled them once since then and that was Tubby Smith’s stupidity.

    UC fans have always been crybabies when it comes to UK basketball. Lexington people have always supported the Reds and the Bengals. I think it’s time they stopped myself. Let’s see how far the Cincy pro teams last without KY fans on their side.

  2. kingghidora - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    What! Cincinnati fans don’t like UK! I’m shocked. Am I the only one old enough to remember all the cry baby crap that came from Cincy radio types (Marty not included) about how UK wouldn’t play them and how they were better and had a better tradition yadda yadda yadda. When UK finally agreed to play UC the whiney Cincy fans finally got their shot. And what did they do? They stalled the ball the entire game because they knew they had no chance to win any other way. Ever wonder why there’s a shot clock in college basketball? It wasn’t Deano Smith and the 4 corners snooze fest. It was UC and the example they set for a year of UK basketball. The Cats were as good then as they are now and every team figured their only chance was to hold the ball the whole game and hope to get lucky the last minute. And UC started that ball rolling…errr… holding. The halftime score was 11-7 in favor of UK. The final score was 24-11. UK had to play about 10 games like that because they had Sam Bowie, Mel Turpin and Kenny Walker. UC didn’t have anyone any good. They had 3 players that scored.

    UC fans have always hated UK. Someone should have warned Calipari. Marty should have known. UK refused to play Cincy again for about 15 years after playing out the games they contracted for. They actually didn’t even finish those contracted games. Who could blame them? UK boosters swore they would never raise another nickel for the team if they scheduled UC again. And they have only scheduled them once since then and that was Tubby Smith’s stupidity.

    UC fans have always been crybabies when it comes to UK basketball. Lexington people have always supported the Reds and the Bengals. I think it’s time they stopped myself. Let’s see how long the Cincy pro teams last without KY fans on their side.

  3. jthammerstix - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    You are drunk posting

  4. hoosiercolts - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Apparently he didn’t get the message that you can’t criticize UK or UK fans w/o them crying. Please UK fans, stop being such babies.

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