1) The 11 year-old me thanks you, Hugh Hefner. If you are my age (I'll be 40 in a few days), and if you're a guy (or maybe, even if you're not), the word "Playboy" and the name "Hugh Hefner" evokes nostalgia.
You remember when you saw your first Playboy.
And you remember things like where you were, who you were with, how you felt about possibly getting caught, and how you got it to this day.
I was at my dad's house. I was 11 years-old. I was with some kid named Ronald whose dad was buddies with mine. We stumbled upon my old man's Playboys while watching WWF wrestling in his bedroom while he and Ronald's dad were trying to fix an air conditioner. I was terrified that we would get caught. I was curious if he had more. This was the cover....
This is a thrill that today's young men are deprived of, mainly because our technology is better, but for other reasons that aren't important enough to get into on this forum. I don't know how today's pre-teen boys feel the first time they see a naked woman on the internet, and when they do there's endless possibilities for what their eyes are treated to next.
Back then, though, there was something exhilarating about seeing your first Playboy mag, but also something a little reassuring that the material - while forbidden - really wasn't that bad. And as much as the thought of a son stumbling onto his dad's favorite porn sites makes me feel like I need a bath, there was something about finding the old guy's nudie mags that felt like a rite of passage and even made him seem a little more normal.
If you're of a certain age, you know of the thrill I'm talking about. And finding out that Hugh Hefner died last night briefly made me think of that thrill.
2) Pitino gets fired. Fans get whacked. The fallout from this week's college basketball scandal continues, with a lingering feeling of inevitability that more schools could be connected.
At the University of Louisville, Rick Pitino has been um, effectively fired, an ending that seemed inescapable from the moment "University 6" was mentioned in the FBI's report.
Pitino's legacy will take an irreparable hit, and deservedly so. Louisville's basketball program will face the scrutiny of the fed, and ultimately the hammer of the NCAA.
And fans of the Cardinals will be the biggest losers.
Louisville fans deserve better than Rick Pitino. As much as those of us who root for other programs might be having fun at the expense of Cardinals basketball and its supporters, the fact is that UofL basketball has always enjoyed rabid, passionate support.
Those fans who love Cardinals basketball now have to deal with their program becoming a punchline at best, and maybe not having a team to cheer for at all for a while at worst.
The same applies to other places where the coaches cheat, and you're going to have to work hard to convince me that the head coaches of the programs implicated by the FBI had no knowledge of what was happening as assistants directly funneled money to recruits. Schools change coaches, players deal with the collateral damage, but its fans who are often left unrewarded for their loyalty while sorting through the rubble of whatever's left of the program they love and support.
3) Are you sure your program is clean? That to me is the lingering question as college basketball's biggest scandal in decades plays out. A lot of us either point or laughed or shook our heads at what happened at Louisville and the other implicated schools. Then in our next breath, most of us silently muttered that we hoped that our favorite programs weren't mentioned next.
There's more shoes to drop (no pun intended) and the feeling among many is that by the time the dust settles there will be dozens of programs at least tangentially connected to this scandal. I'm neither jaded or unfair enough to ever point the finger at an individual program and claim that they're cheating, and for what it's worth, I'd need some real convincing that any area program is doing the things that Louisville, Arizona, Auburn, etc. are being accused of doing.
That said, if Rick Pitino felt like he needed to cheat, what must some of these other coaches be doing?
Pitino had everything a coach possibly sell to recruits - national championship cred, a long list of players that made it to - and starred - in the NBA, a fantastic facility, a rabid fan base, membership in prestigious conferences, one of the highest program profiles in the sport - and he still felt like those things weren't enough to help him get top players?
What about the coaches that don't have those things?
Radio Show: Lots to get to today, including a look ahead to the Bengals and Browns, a few college basketball thoughts, fantasy football advice, and gambling help. Plus, Tyler Boyd, Hot Take James Hottest Takes of the Week, and a reward if you help us find something. The fun starts at 3:05 on ESPN1530.
Recommended Link Of The Day: The Legacy of Basketball’s Most Notorious Pariah