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We happened to notice the below tweet from University of Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball coach Rich Pitino earlier this week and we wanted to figure out what exactly had him so excited. Was it a hearty Gopher plug or more a casual comment from Barack Obama.
Great watching President Obama hold the Louisville jersey, but nothing beats mentioning the Gophers in his speech! pic.twitter.com/reoKaC7BDn
— Richard Pitino (@MNCoachPitino) July 23, 2013
Well, let’s set it up first. As we are sure you recall, papa coach Rick Pitino led Louisville to the national title this year back in April. Per the norm these days, the team was thus being recognized by the POTUS at the White House on Tuesday and proud son Rich obviously tagged along. The President gave a solid 6-ish minute speech and sure enough in the middle of it, a mention of the Gophers came up, sort of … Take a look at what BO said via YouTube below —
Yeah, that was it … For transcript purposes – and those too lazy to click play on the video – the exact words from Barack went like this —
Coach Pitino’s second title came in the same week that he–not only found out that his son had been hired as coach at Minnesota–but he had been named to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Barely an aside, more of a “Oh and before I forget!” and yet Rich appears to be stoked about it.
Now maybe we are reading into the tone of a tweet when we shouldn’t be – it has gotten us into trouble with texts before – but then again, when Rich only tweets every couple days, you gotta assume when he does tweet, there is some emotion behind them.
But here’s our two cents – keeping in mind we can theorize all we want, but until the season plays out we really don’t know anything – this is a really good thing! To have a coach that aroused about that little, shows some enthusiasm we never saw with Tubby Smith. Our humble opinion is that enthusiasm, fervor if you will is underrated in sports, but it is very much needed.
Take back in our heyday for example, not one Brainerd High School track coach tried to get us excited and jazzed before we would run hurdles. As a result, our full potential – a state champion medal maybe? – was never realized … Then again, it was track & field, a joke in the first place, but it makes our point nonetheless.
When we think of some of the more successful coaches in NCAA hoops right now, they all seem to have that vigor; John Calipari, Thad Matta and of course the elder Pitino. After all, the game is freakin’ exciting, and the one leading it should express that ardor.
So maybe it is our inner Goldy Gopher, but little nuances like this are adding up from the new coach and are getting us pretty amped up for the forthcoming season. Only a few-ish months away …
Category - Sports Culture