An Attempt To Decipher Pitino-ese

Tomorrow night during the Oscars, a bunch of celebrities will amble down the aisle, click-clack onto the stage, and, for a minute or so, blather and babble on, thanking everyone from their catering company to their great-aunt’s college roommate.  If we’re lucky, they may climb on their–(insert any arbitrarily random quasi-political issue here)–soapbox.

As they leave the stage, they will hold their Oscar slightly above their head–either as a final nod of respect, or a visually underhanded “eff-you” to their peers.

In reality, they will say nothing of substance. But the audience will clap, politely.

This is exactly how I feel when I watch press conferences.  Essentially, they’re nothing but curt, polite responses to a myriad of superficial questions.  (A few funny exceptions that never get old: here here, and here.)  Pre-game interviews are even worse because the coaches and players don’t have anything to be pissed/excited about yet. I realize this approach makes sense: why would a coach say anything of substance, giving the opponent an upper-hand? But that doesn’t make them any more exciting.

With that being said, let’s attempt to translate a few quotes from Coach Pitino’s press conference before the Cards host #6 Pittsburgh tomorrow.

“Pittsburgh is the most fundamentally perfect rebounding team in the Big East.”

Translation: I hope Terrence Jennings doesn’t cover his hands in Quikrete before the game. He’s played great lately, but if he does, it’s all up to Gorgui Dieng who, while fluent in five languages–Spanish, French, Italian, English, and, of course, his native Wolof–has yet to master Pitinoese. If they both fold like Murphy beds, we’re screwed.

“Our number one strength this year is our attitude, our willingness to pay the price to get a victory.”

Translation: I’d like to thank Samardo Samuels for declaring for the NBA Draft two years early, despite the fact that he had the toughness of that translator guy every one hated from Saving Private Ryan and the coordination of Edward Scissorhands.

“There’s no MVP of the season, just MVPs of every game.”

Translation: Sure, everyone U of L fan has a favorite player, but not one could make an unequivocally black-and-white case for our best player. This is a good thing. But, if I were handcuffed to choose an MVP it would be Karen Sypher–for becoming excessively crazy and outlandish, so much so that she will now spend nearly a decade in jail, thus easing my previously irritable sensibilities and allowing me to resurrect my coaching prowess.

“We don’t bring a lot of fans to the Big East tournament. It just hasn’t caught on yet.”

Translation: The rich, old people that can actually afford a week in New York City are too scared of New York City to come.  Also, they would probably ask the upstanding patrons sitting in front of them to sit down so that they could see. This would not end well. Trust me.

“I haven’t gotten around to (picking out) a wardrobe yet, that’s a bit further down the list…It is a whiteout, so if you’re not wearing white, you’re anti-Louisville.”

Translation: Yes, I’m wearing it again–sans black briefs. Sorry, ladies.

About the upcoming 25-year anniversary of taking Providence to the Final Four: “Making a Final Four creates a bond with your team for life. You can’t talk about it until you do it.”

Translation: I already did it for one unlikely team, why not now?

At the beginning of the season, I would have shirked such musings, without a second thought.  But now, my response is decidedly different.


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