It was years ago, when Congressman John Yarmuth was just Editor John Yarmuth. And a laissez-faire one at that.
I mean John was so easy going, I talked the political/ history junkie into naming Elvis Presley as the weekly’s Man of the 20th Century. He was not one to stand on ceremony. If something had some literary merit, he’d print it, whether he agreed with the point of view or not.
Except the one time, I wrote a column, extolling the virtues of white college hoopsters. It was written in a manner obviously tongue in cheek. But the point of view was how dominant African Americans were in the sport, and that a couple of Caucasians then playing had caught my eye, as much for their skin pigmentation as their prowess on the court, so I tried to point out the anomaly.
“You sure you want us to print this,” John asked? In a mild mannered tone, but one that told me to answer, “Uh, no, you’re probably right. It is somewhat indelicate.”
I knew and he knew I was trying to be funny, but it simply didn’t seem to work. It was not Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.”
Last night, it was a solemn Rick Pitino that met the press for his usual post game Q & A. After wins, the coach is normally engaging, open to questions, if not always ebullient. After the somewhat embarrassing thrashing of severely over matched Savannah State, he just kind of wanted to get the press conference over, and to move on to the next game.
He did toss in a couple of zingers, in his deadpan manner. One meant to be humorous, and bring levity to the situation, has caused somewhat of a stir.
Trying to express that there really was little happiness in bashing such an overmatched foe, he said, “I tried everything. I mean we played four white guys and an Egyptian. We tried everything.”
When I heard it, I thought several things. 1) How he was trying to be cute, and 2) That incident I had with my former editor, and 3) Pitino’s going to catch some grief for it.
It’s a funny line. It was meant to be humorous and did not cross any demarcation line between acceptable and not acceptable.
Seems to me the only person who might justifiably be upset is Anas Mahmoud. You know, the Egyptian.
Otherwise, the critics got nothing here.
In world where cities are burning right now, this is but an awkward, perhaps failed, attempt to add perspective with a joke.
— Seedy K