The Good, The Bad and The Wally


As we end another week, we produce another The Good, The Bad and The Wally. Queue the music above and let’s get started.

The Good

ESPN’s Outside the Lines gets the nod this week for brining to light the bully who was the head coach of the Rutgers basketball team, Mike Rice. If you’ve not seen any of the video this maniac coach – a poor man’s Bobby Knight, perhaps – you should. A link to the full story with video is here.

The Bad

Earlier in the week comments made by Arkansas Razorbacks head football coach Bret Bielema became national news. reported the following:

The new head Hog, hired in December from Wisconsin, then addressed two-time defending national champion Alabama and Coach Nick Saban. “The reason the SEC is talked about all the time is one team, because of their dominance. But I didn’t come here to play Alabama. I came here to beat Alabama.

“You can take Saban’s record when he was at Michigan State and when he was a coach in the Big Ten and put it against mine, and he can’t compare.”

Problem with this reporting is nothing about the context of Bielema’s remarks are mentioned. The coach says his comments were a rebuttal to a question and meant to be funny. The story leads off by saying Bielema gave the audience “salty talk.” Jim Harris does a nice job addressing the whole matter here this week.

The Wally

We read Wally Hall so you don’t have to, and this week was a chore, indeed. Day after day things happened concerning Arkansas sports, and day after day Wally Hall, the sports editor for Arkansas’ only statewide daily newspaper, wrote previews of final four match ups involving teams that have not much to do with the state.

Well, that’s a little harsh.

The Arkansas Razorbacks played both Michigan and Syracuse this year. However, Wally wrote about Syracuse without a mention of that game earlier in the season at Bud Walton Arena – the place Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he found to be the toughest venue his team played in this year. We did learn from Wally in the column that day Boeheim’s press conferences must be endured because they are “uninformative, unfriendly and uninteresting.”


Anyway, we took special note of Wally Hall’s “Like It Is” column from Thursday, April 4. In it he featured “Sir Richard Pitino” (meaning Rick Pitino and not to be confused with Richard Pitino, Rick’s son and the new coach at Minnesota).

The column’s title, “Louisville leaves Big Blue green with envy” had us from the start. Anytime somebody gigs Big Blue Nation and head Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari a little bit, we consider ourselves on board.

Where things go wrong for Wally in the column are when it comes to the facts.

When Pitino went to Kentucky in 1989 the program faced all kinds of problems, including NCAA sanctions. Two years later, they were making the first of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, which included winning the 1995 national championship and a runner-up finish the next year.

WRONG. Funny to us that on THE day the Razorbacks were exactly 19 years removed from its 1994 national championship title, with all of the memories of that time in Arkansas basketball history, we would get this from Wally in his column.

If you recall, the Razorbacks won a national title in 1994, beating Duke. The very next year, 1995, the Razorbacks marched through March Madness and faced the UCLA Bruins in the national championship game. The Hogs lost.

Again, in 1995, the Hogs played UCLA in the national championship game in Seattle, Wash. Pitino took his Wildcats from Kentucky to the championship game in 1996, where he beat … Jim Boehiem and Syracuse.

For the record, in 1995, Rick Pitino’s team went as far as the Elite Eight, something Wally didn’t mention in his correction of the matter Friday morning.

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