LEFTOVERS: Cal caught up in web of rumors


College basketball fans would be amazed at the amount of gossip and rumors that fly around the Final Four city each year.

Every college coach, assistant coach, wannabe coach and hanger-on in America gathers around the host hotel chatting and networking. It’s a hub of activity for four solid days, and things are happening.

Heck, Saul Phillips went to Dallas having never talked to anyone at Ohio University and left as the school’s coach.

But the John Calipari rumor was kind of out of left field. Just hours before Monday’s championship game, former Kentucky player Rex Chapman tweeted that Calipari to the Lakers was a “done deal.”

Whether it was a distraction never will be known, but the Wildcats did lose. Then Calipari was asked about the rumor during his news conference.

“The Lakers have a basketball coach,” he replied. “Kentucky has a basketball coach. I got the best job in the country. I’m not going to even dignify that stuff.”

Good answer. No denial.

There really is no good way for a coach to answer these kind of questions without looking foolish down the road if they end up taking a job. But it is always fun to try to read into exactly what an answer means.

The only scary part for Calipari is maybe he waited too long. The Lakers might call Kevin Ollie instead.

■ THE STREAK IS DEAD — Whether it’s Cal Ripken or Joe DiMaggio, every great streak must eventually end.

While Ripken’s runs of consecutive games played and DiMaggio’s 56 straight games with a hit were incredible, there was perhaps no greater streak in sports than what The Undertaker accomplished in the past two decades.

Despite all the twists and turns, managers interfering, distracted referees and everything else that happens in the chaos of pro wrestling, The Undertaker had won 21 straight times at Wrestlemania.

Simply amazing. No matter what crazy things happened, he would always find a way to win.

So it was no surprise when he opened as a sizable favorite against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania on Sunday.

But bettors had a feeling, and apparently offshore sports book Bovada took about 1,000 bets — at low limits — at numbers ranging from 8-1 to 14-1 on the underdog.

That proved to be the right side, as Lesnar won the match and snapped the streak.

It was simply a stunning night in New Orleans.

You couldn’t write a script like that.

■ STICK THE LANDING — There is an old sports philosophy about athletes avoiding sex during competition to increase performance on the field. That rule will not be put in place by Brazil soccer coach Luis Felipe Scolari for the World Cup.

Scolari said he is fine with his players enjoying themselves during this summer’s competition in their home country and indulging in Brazilian beauties who no doubt will be doing what they can to support the home team.

But Scolari isn’t crazy. He knows there has to be limits.

“If it’s normal sex, OK. If this is normal, it is normal, it is not sending oneself in the air too high,” Scolari said.

Wait, what?

Don’t worry, he clarifies as he continues.

“Normally, normal sexual intercourses are made in a balanced way, but there are certain forms, certain ways and others who do acrobatics. And that, no.”

So, no sex with gymnasts or no gymnastics during sex?

Either way, Brazil sounds fun.

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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