Here’s Johnny! - A Christmas heist
It is entirely possible that Santa Claus, after reviewing my behavior last year, reconsidered the day after Christmas and boosted the contents of my car trunk.
I think it far more likely that a person or persons who should definitely be on his naughty list for 2017 did the deed.
That’s right, Dear Readers - I was the victim of a Christmas heist, and like most such thefts, it was one that probably could have been avoided.
As best as I can remember, I brought an armful of presents up to my penthouse apartment off Yellow Jacket Drive the evening of Christmas Day with the intent of hauling the rest out the following day.
That was a mistake, as was apparently leaving the trunk slightly ajar, though it’s possible that someone slim-jimmed a window and opened the trunk from inside the car.
Inside the trunk were items like a 1970s-era electronic football game, T-shirts, a sweater, darned warm-looking pajamas and a DVD player I’d planned to deliver the following day. There was even a brand new laundry basket, which the thief or thieves must have found helpful when hauling away their stolen booty.
By the time I realized all (inside the trunk) was lost, it was days later, and it seemed pointless to file a police report.
So, the lessons are:
a) Make sure your trunk is locked.
b) Don’t leave semi-valuables inside your trunk longer than necessary even if it is locked.
c) Hope Santa was paying attention. This isn’t technically a lesson, but rather, a desire for justice.
d) Some column ideas are expensive.
Cats pigskin and hoops
My buddy Dave and I do this imitation of University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari. We don’t bother with trying to approximate his Pittsburgh-area accent or any of the markers that people who are paid to do impressions would use.
We just say, “We’ve got a young team this year,” to which the listener inevitably groans.
Of course, every year, Cal has a young team, which is primarily the result of his annual hauls of the top high school recruits across the nation. Most of these student-athletes have no intention of staying at UK for longer than it takes, typically less than one academic year, to become a high NBA draft pick.
I don’t blame them for this.
If I could have become a millionaire journalist after one year at college, I would have done so quicker than you can say “one and done.”
Cal didn’t create this system - the NBA did, by not allowing kids to turn pro until they are 19 years old. Of course, the decision has, in essence, turned UK and other college basketball factories into NBA minor league teams.
Cal’s a great coach who clearly cares about his players, and his UK crop is, collectively, making hundreds of millions of dollars playing a sport they love.
Still, at the risk of seeming to be a Debbie Downer, I sorta wish he’d find some high school seniors who could contribute for four years and perhaps even obtain a bachelor’s degree. Maybe there are even one or two kids from Kentucky who’d fit that bill. They do still play high school basketball here, right?
Anyway, Cal’s youngest UK team ever gave the Pitino-less Cards a 29-point spanking during an oddly timed 1 p.m. game Friday. I watched part of it at the new Versailles Brewing Company (see picture on p. 18).
Big Blue fans then got to watch the football Wildcats take on another group of football Wildcats at the Music City Bowl. Despite the questionable early ejection of star running back Benny Snell, Jr., Mark Stoops’ squad came back and made a game of it, even going for a two-point conversion rather than the extra point that would have sent the game to overtime.
Maybe Stoops had pity on Big Blue fans, who braved sub-freezing temperatures in Nashville to watch the game. I thought it was a gutsy call, and even though I watched the end of the game indoors, I wasn’t looking forward to an extended UK-Northwestern overtime.
So, UK’s flagship sports broke even last Friday.
I just hope that, during the games, Big Blue fans made sure their car trunks were locked.