Kim Kardashian. Cobie Smulders. Elisabeth Hasselbeck. What do these three people have in common?
To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t tell you. And I’m not sure that I even care. You see, these three names happen to be the top searches over at Yahoo Buzz at the time that I am writing this. I do not have a clue who any of these people are, except for perhaps a vague recollection of perhaps having heard the name Elisabeth Hasselbeck somewhere along the line. And such is the relevance that Georgia basketball has for me right now. (If by now you may have suspected that my inclusion of the names of Kim Kardashian, Cobie Smulders, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck in this post is nothing more than a cheap ploy to generate more pageviews at this site, then you would be right. If you have a problem with that, then I will be more than happy to register your complaint at 1-800-I-DONT-CARE.)
At any rate…
Those of you who have been tracking with me for the last few years of this blog’s existence will note that I have had very little, if anything, to say about Georgia basketball. There is a very simple reason for this: Georgia basketball isn’t even on my radar. As far as I am concerned, the words “Georgia” and “basketball” should not be placed next to each other; when they do appear next to each other it is an oxymoron, of the same order as “jumbo shrimp”, “military intelligence”, or “safe Atlanta driver”.
This is sad. Because it wasn’t always this way.
When I was in college (the first time around) I played in the band at Georgia. This included a couple of years in the basketball band, during which time I attended all of the home basketball games and went to a couple of SEC tournaments. Those times were great fun, and I look back on them with great fondness even now, some fifteen years after the fact.
So what happened in the meantime?
Well, the year after I left, Hugh Durham was fired for going 18-10 with a team that should have done a whole lot better. On came Tubby Smith, and what followed was a whirlwind ride of two consecutive 20-plus win seasons, one Sweet Sixteen appearance, and one should-have-been Sweet Sixteen appearance that was snatched away at the last minute in most heartbreaking fashion. By all indications, Georgia was on the road to great things and Tubby Smith was poised to take Georgia to much greater heights than they had ever known under Hugh Durham.
And then Kentucky called. Rick Pitino had just defected to the NBA and they were down a basketball coach, and they wanted to know if Tubby Smith would come.
And just like that, Tubby Smith was gone.
And just like that, Georgia was firmly established on the road to basketball irrelevance. Continue reading “Of Kim Kardashian, Cobie Smulders, and Georgia Basketball”