A Jerk’s Progress: Pop Goes Pitino!

It’s hard for me to feel sorry for New York City in general, or most New Yorkers I’ve met in particular. 9-11 made me feel that way and absolutely nothing has since. Any city that would elect John Lindsay Mayor and send Charlie Rangel to Congress deserves to wake up sore and disoriented the morning after.

But then something happened that made me realize that there are some indignities that a just and loving God should not even visit upon New Yorkers. This epiphany occurred when Rick Pitino piped up and announced. “I’m a proud New Yorker.”

I guess that’s not as bad as having your home town associated with Al Capone or Jeffrey Dahmer, but hasn’t New York City had to suffer enough with the recent recession? Nobody deserves to be associated with Rick Pitino. He ranks up there with every high-profile cad I can remember falling from grace. Pitino, like John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Elliot Spitzer has now fallen into a well-worn cursus honorem.

He has reached the apex stage of what I’ll refer to as The Jerk’s Progress. He did something well. He received way too much undeserved fame and adulation. He forgot that his actions could have consequence, and now he gets to suck on the fumes of his own moral dissipation. That’s The Jerk’s Progress and Rick Pitino has clearly demonstrated himself a prototypical jerk.

He rose to the apex of college basketball as Head Coach of The Louisville Cardinals. As the top man at one America’s most successful college athletic programs, Pitino lived every coach nerd’s dream. But regrettably, it went to his head and vastly overinflated his ego until that ego dominated his conscience.

His sense of indestructibility reached its apex. Pitino ate out at a restaurant with some friends and co-workers. Pitino became inebriated and had sex with Karen Sypher; the wife of his equipment manager, on the restaurant floor. At that point, the consequences commenced and Nemesis
had her turn at bat.

Sypher later told Pitino she was pregnant, planned to have an abortion but did not have medical insurance. He told police he gave her $3,000, money his attorney Steve Pence said was for insurance, not an abortion.

This put Karen Sypher in the driver’s seat. Pitino is married. Sypher’s husband works at Louisville’s athletic department. It took the obviously charming, yet amoral Mrs Sypher about two minutes to do what came natural – extort Coach Pitino like there was no tomorrow.

When extortion didn’t work out, and Karen Sypher began to have big-time legal troubles with the FBI, the predictable sexual assault card came out from the bottom of the deck. The he-said, she-said began to get public play, and Pitino began to look so dirty that cockroaches probably avoid the part of the restaurant where Coach Rick got all jiggy down on the floor.

Pitino then gave his cliché teary-eyed press conference. Some of the money quotes follow below.

“Everything that’s been printed, everything that’s been reported, everything that’s been breaking in the news on the day Ted Kennedy died is 100 percent a lie, a lie,” Pitino said. “All of this has been a lie, a total fabrication of the truth.”

The 56-year-old married father of five, who’s a Roman Catholic, said the scandal has taken a heavy toll on his wife and family. “It has been pure hell for her and my family,” he said. “I admitted to you I made a mistake, and believe me I will suffer for that mistake,” he added.

I guess we can’t have a good story about a public figure dorking on the restaurant floor without dragging poor Ted back from his final reward. I guess we can all either lose our luches or google up “waitress sandwich.” This was probably Pitino’s intent. He’ll handle this one all in the family.

If the whole Kennedy’s Death mawkishness left you still wondering what would come next, I accuse you of not being a sentient being. Not only is Rick Pitino an arrogant jerk, who bangs slores on the floor of public establishments, he also has a bigger tell than Teddy KGB from the movie Rounders. The predictable MoveOn.Org segment of the conference followed as well.

“Enough’s enough, everybody is tired of it,” Pitino said. “We need to get on with the important things in life like the economy and really some crucial things in life like basketball.”

This, by the way, is going like gangbusters.

“It has not hurt recruiting one bit. We will still bring in Top 10 players,” he said.

See, this totally isn’t a problem. People need to get over their hang-ups. The restaurant mopped up the floor six years ago.

Yet, that, to me is exactly the problem. It will be years before Pitino finally gets what he really deserves. He’ll be a role-model for student athletes and, as long as the wins vastly outnumber loses, the ideal of what the big boys do when they grow up. He’s Al Pacino in the Sweet Sixteen, Baby.

I guess what bothers me the most about this jerk is that I have a young boy myself. I don’t want him to think that the big boys can go get ass at the local Honky-tonk and then stroke a check for the abortionist to assassinate any inconvenient consequence. That’s not supposed to be a man’s reward for career success. It certainly isn’t what I want my boy doing when he grows up.

On a personal level, I could give a smelly crap less about Pitino, John Edwards, Mark Sanford or any of the rest. Jerks get what they deserve in the bitter end. It’s the people that watch the glamorous jerks and learn the wrong things that bother me. It’s this which makes me desire the stoppage of The Jerk’s Progress once and for all.