Archive for the Joe Ely Category

Me & Billy the Kid

Posted in Joe Ely on March 27, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Remember how excited I was about Kentucky basketball back in January? Jodie Meeks had just dropped 54 points on Tennessee here in Knoxville, and the Wildcats seemed poised to storm through the rest of the SEC with ease.

Well… things changed a bit since then.

The team hit the skids down the stretch and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 18 years, and ended up playing in the NIT. Add to that a couple of ugly halftime interviews with Janine Edwards on ESPN, a famous stubborn streak, and rumoured behind the scenes clashes with University administrators… and Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie may be on his way out after just two seasons at UK. An announcement is expected sometime today in Lexington.

As for me, I seem to be the rare Kentucky fan who is actually on the fence on the issue. Our fanbase is a rabid and vocal one that tends to pick one side of an argument and back it to the extreme. Lots of people want Billy gone… others think he needs more time. Parts of me agree with both arguments.

Given the situation he inherited when he signed on two years ago, it’s hard to expect his team to be competing for Final Fours just two years later. He has a solid recruiting class coming next year with Daniel Orton and Jon Hood. If Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks decide to stay in school instead of testing the NBA, that’s a pretty good nucleus for year three. Firing him may be premature.

On the other hand… Billy has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way this season. His recent statement that he was just a coach and not an ambassador for the University may have been the last straw for UK President Lee Todd. He lost some fans along the way as well with his erratic substitution patterns, refusal to adjust his gameplans, and endless mind games with his players.

All of those things would probably be fine if the team was winning. But it wasn’t. It didn’t.

I’m not sure where we go from here. If this is the end of the Billy Clyde Gillispie era in Lexington, we’ll probably know today. The news will likely be everywhere once it breaks, but I suggest keeping your eyes on the Kentucky Sports Radio blog throughout the day for a slightly less reverent take on the proceedings.

Anyway… on to the music (I really didn’t mean for this post to go on this long).

It seems that an appropriate song for today is “Me and Billy the Kid” by Joe Ely. If Billy does get fired today, then it will be even more so… “Me and Billy the Kid/We never got along…”

Joe Ely: Me & Billy the Kid (Buy Album)

On a brighter note… My wife and I are scheduled to close on our new house today. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Please wish us luck.