The header of my blog says that I love sports. I do. ESPN is regularly on my TV even if Big Blue Daddy isn't home. I grew up in a house that "bleeds blue" and can't remember NOT watching college basketball. As I've grown up, I've started to follow more sports. First came college football. That was a natural transition as I was in college at the time and tailgating and football are what you do on football Saturdays in the Bluegrass (if you aren't going to Keeneland, that is). UK has never had the best football team, but games are fun to watch and I began to actually understand the rules behind football. I also watched college hockey as the UK hockey team played at midnights. I would watch and eat chocolate covered coffee beans to stay awake. Big Blue Daddy introduced me to the NFL and through him I became a New Orleans Saints fan. Logan was the one that opened my eyes to hockey. One day last year he came downstairs after nap and asked to turn the TV on. It was on a hockey game and he sat down and asked if he could watch it. I told him he could and he fell in love. He's a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and now, so am I.
But that's not the point of this post. I'm proud of the Pens winning the Stanley Cup. I'm proud of UK's football team going to four bowl games in a row. I'm proud of the Saints making it to the NFC Championship game this Sunday. I'm proud of UK's men's basketball team being undefeated so far this season.
But I'm most proud of things happening off the court (or field as the case may be).
Heath Evans (Full Back for the NO Saints) is holding a raffle for 4 tickets to this Sunday's NFC Championship game. All proceeds benefit The Heath Evans Foundation, a foundation dedicated to helping victims and their families of childhood sexual abuse. Tickets start at $2.00 each and the more you buy the price goes down. Click here for more info or to purchase tickets.
Drew Brees is selling "Finish Strong" t-shirt to benefit his foundation. The team is asking people to purchase these in an effort to blackout the dome for this week's game.
Both of these are great causes but something happened this past Sunday here in the Bluegrass that isn't getting the attention it deserves.
On Sunday, Coach John Calipari and the UK men's basketball team held a telethon called "Hoops for Haiti". Coach Cal acted as a host and the team answered the phones and took donations for the first televised segment. It lasted 5 hours. In that 5 hours, over $525,000 dollars was donated. In addition, Coach Cal had a group of people willing to match whatever amount was raised. So all told, over $1 million was raised in a few short hours. That's not including t-shirt sales and wine sales from a local vineyard. Or the online auction that ended Tuesday. Former UK Coach Tubby Smith called in and made a donation. So did Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Texas coach Rick Barnes, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and ESPN's own Dickie V.
And no one is talking about it.
Now I know this wasn't done to get publicity. It was done to help out a nation dealing with a horrible tragedy. But I can't help but feel that if this had been done by a couple of coaches in North Carolina, it would be all over the news. Sports radio host Dan Patrick even said so on his show this morning. It's not fair that the media picks and chooses who to spotlight based on whether they like them or not. It's no secret that people have very strong opinions about Coach Cal. However you may feel about him, you can't deny what happened in a Lexington TV studio Sunday afternoon.
As a proud member of Big Blue Nation, I am proud of what the team and its fans did for the people of Haiti. Good job guys!