August 13, 2009
Rick Pitino's story is already sensitive. The word "abortion" is more than enough to make any sports blogger's hair stand on the back of his or her neck. We don't like the heavy stuff! This is supposed to be fun! We like sports and we don't know who cares! And so on.
But this deserves at least a quick mention, and I sort of missed in the initial view of Pitino's press conference. In attempting to apologize and rally support for his cause yesterday, Pitino once again brought up the tragedy of 9/11 -- and invoked his brother-in-law and best friend Billy Minardi's death in the attack -- as a means of precedent for his situation. As Tommy Craggs at Deadspin noted, this is a bit of a ballsy move, given the self-created sleaze of Pitino's current situation. Anyway, the quote:
When 9/11 hit, you needed a community to get you over it. In New York City, it was easy because everybody knew the devastation of that and they got each other over it. In Louisville, the impact wasn't felt like New York City, but I needed this community to help me get over it.
I wish you guys could see me behind the keyboard here. (And not just in that lame mug shot over to the right.) Because if you could see my face, you would see that I am cringing. Hard. I can barely see the screen, I'm so cringe-y right now.
What's maybe worse is that this isn't even the first time Pitino's dropped this line. He also did so a few months ago, when the Sypher story first broke:
Times aren't easy, but if I can get through 9/11, I can get through anything in my life. And I got through 9/11 and there's nothing ever going to come close to that. We'll get through this in a positive way and move on.
Oh man. The cringing! It really makes typing quite difficult.
You probably don't need me to sum this up, but just in case: 9/11 was awfully bad, and God knows what it must have been like to have a family member involved. I don't have the imaginative power to get there. Many of us are still formed by that day, and the closest we got were live shots on CNN. But when weighing the personal burdens brought on by an horrifically fatal terrorist attack and a night of drunken adulterous coitus later leading to Pitino possibly paying for an abortion (or at least "health insurance") for a woman who would later marry his team trainer ... well, I think we can admit one doesn't belong in the same sentence with the other.
In the meantime, Pitino's scheduled appearance at Samford Law School has been canceled. And so the saga rolls on.
Elsewhere on the Yahoo! Sports Blogs:
• Hard Knocks: One episode down, and no Bengals have been arrested
• Angels' Trevor Bell proud to talk about clown grandfather
• Madden '10 review: A big winner with just a few small complaints