Dear Ms. Judd, Welcome to Houston

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Dear Ashley, welcome to Houston. I'll be in the press section, come find me.
Dear Ms. Ashley Judd:

I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to my hometown of Houston, Texas. Now I know you've visited our fine place before, especially several years ago when you were here with your race-car driving husband and he was promoting some car race and participating in batting practice with the Astros -- speaking of which, how is your husband with a baseball bat, because the Astros are sorely in need of a middle infielder who can hit.

So I'm happy that you and your fellow Kentucky Wildcat fans are in town -- or on your way -- and I'm not going to bother with talking up the various aspects of our city because, Ms. Judd, I'm pretty damn sure that you've seen NASA and the Galleria. You might enjoy that little choo-choo train that takes you from downtown to Reliant Stadium, and back again, but I have a feeling that you'll have your own transportation, and frankly, it's probably best to avoid the train since it likes to run into things.

And seeing as how you're a Kentucky basketball fan, I'm pretty sure that you only care about one thing: the basketball game. Now I've spent most of the past two seasons watching the teams in Conference USA, so you probably know more about actual basketball than I do, and you've definitely seen more actual legitimate basketball games than I have. But in case you didn't know, your coach, John Calipari, is an escapee of C-USA, escaping the clutches of the NCAA compliance cops right before they snapped down on Memphis, a C-USA school Calipari had taken to the championship game.

(By the way, Coach Cal, how's it feel to officially make the Final Four? Yeah, I know you've coached two other teams that supposedly played in the Final Four, UMass in 1996 and Memphis in 2008, but according to the official NCAA record books, those teams and their visits to the NCAA Final Four don't exist.)

(Oh, and you Connecticut fans, don't go making fun of Calipari and his ethical problems, seeing as how Huskies coach Jim Calhoun doesn't run the straightest of programs. After all, what happened to UConn's 1996 tourney run? And personally I wouldn't want to work for Coach Calhoun seeing as how he's one of those guys who want the credit for the wins but don't want the credit for the cheating that goes with the winning.)

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Shaka Smart and VCU, again proving Dick Vitale to be an idiot
Personally, Ms. Judd, I'm kind of hoping to see Kentucky win because I want to see how the NCAA deals with wiping away a whole major championship from its books because the winner committed a ton of violations. But you should get some relief in knowing that by the time this happens, Coach Cal will either be back in the NBA or coaching another program. Just think Tim Floyd, but with a bit less baggage and more accolades.

And unlike the ticket brokers who were hoping to make tons of dough off the rich brats that follow the likes of Duke basketball, I'm happy to see schools like Butler and VCU playing this weekend. For once, the presence of VCU again proves the likes of Dick Vitale are idiots who do nothing but shill for their buddies in the big time programs. And who can't cheer for a program like VCU with a coach named Shaka Smart, who is barely older than some of the kids he's coaching?

But for all that VCU has done to just get to this point, and for all of the sanctions that UConn and Calhoun were barely able to sidestep this season, I'm saying that it's going to Butler versus Kentucky next Monday. And this year, it will be Butler coach Brad Stevens, who looks like he should still be in junior high school, who is cutting down the nets after having won the championship he and his squad just missed out on last year.

Now I hope that doesn't ruin your enjoyment of Houston or the tournament, Ms. Judd. After all, the basketball should be halfway decent.

P.S.: Ms. Judd, if you get the chance, come hunt me down. I'm supposed to be in the press contingent somewhere, but I'm not sure of where I'll be sitting -- probably the rafters. But just ask for the tall, bald guy with glasses and hopefully they'll send you my way.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.