The Friday links, for your clicking pleasure.
May as well start with Kentucky hoops.
First saw this on the Big Lead, then spent the rest of my morning searching the Web for other info on Wildcats fans taking issue with longtime Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Jerry Tipton and his story on Billy Gillispie getting a verbal commitment from an 8th grader. Seriously, there was a lot of reading to do. A lot. (Off topic, I like A Sea of Blue's redesign. Sharp.)
I kicked around a few ideas, wrote a few grafs, but decided I couldn't settle on what I really wanted to say. Maybe I need more caffeine.
The gist: I like Tipton's work. He's a solid reporter (he and Gary Bedore at the Lawrence Journal-World may be the best all-hoops reporters covering teams with this kind of devout fan base) and covering a team like Kentucky isn't easy. The hours are brutal and the payoff isn't great, especially when a story angers the fan base.
But this is now just part of the game for reporters. Fans will say what fans want, whether it's through online comments, calling radio shows or writing letters to newspapers. Whenever something's written about the 'Cats, UK fans find it and let you know what they think. It's the good/bad part of his job. Every Kentucky fan reads his stuff, but they can be an instant critic.
For someone like Tipton, that can be a losing battle if the public perception is that he writes negative stories about Kentucky. How does one compete against that without losing all objectivity?
He can't. But he can be objective and fair. Though it seems like he's been that way all along.
Surfing during for Tipton links, I stumbled across this month-old story on sportswriting. Has it lost its edge? Seems like a crankypants story to me. "Back in my day!" Time always bolsters one's memory of things, including how "good" sportswriting used to be.
Bob Huggins is out of the hospital after a fall on Thursday.
Never would've expected Nate James to be the coaching type.
Finally, not sure how it took me so long to stumble across this, but I love it. (Says the rankings guy.) A breakdown of the top programs of the last 10 years, seeded out. Brilliant!