Okay all you athletes out there, how many of you have a favorite coach from your playing days? A coach who was so inspiring, so dedicated, so gung-ho that he or she made every game feel like it was the most important game of your life? Yeah well prepare to be less impressed, because Rick Pitino just one upped everyone.
In February of 2013, when his Louisville Cardinals Basketball Team (NCAA Division 1) sat at a less than impressive 7-4 in the Big East Division, and on the heels of a five overtime loss to Notre Dame, Pitino decided to make the kind of promise that’s usually reserved for movies starring Gene Hackman or Paul Newman. Pitino told his team that if they battled back into the mix and somehow won themselves a National Championship he would get a tattoo. This wouldn’t mean a thing if he looked like us, but considering the fact that he’s almost a senior citizen and doesn’t appear to have any other ink, it’s a pretty big claim. Well it worked, because his team took home the biggest prize in college basketball a couple of months later, and like a man of his word, Pitino hit the tattoo parlor. Here’s where the two-time national champion and former coach of the NBA’s New York Knicks really impressed us even more. Most people wouldn’t have gone through with the promise, they would’ve said that it was done for motivation and that since it worked, it could end there. However, Pitino not only got the ink in a timely manner, but he got a big ole’ honker of a first tat! He didn’t wuss out and get something tiny, no, he got a “L, 2013 National Champions, 35-5″ piece that covers most of his left shoulder blade; he even got color! So color us impressed Rick.
Now some of the more annoying people in the media have already said that Pitino is setting a poor precedent for coaching behavior, and that his actions will lead to a ton of coaches making big crazy promises to inspire their teams. Well…ummmmmm…who cares? He made a big claim and backed it up, and in the process showed a bunch of kids that not everything adults tell them is a lie or an empty promise, and if this leads to coaches doing crazy things to inspire their teams then great. Sports in America have become often jaded and devoid of true excitement, so if things happen to get a little more interesting because of this, then we’re even more impressed with Rick Pitino’s actions. Tat on Rick!