LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari tweeted Sunday morning that he was headed to church and then jetting up to Pittsburgh to watch his beloved Steelers in the NFL playoffs before zipping back down to Lexington for a nighttime practice with his Kentucky basketball team. He concluded the message to his 1.6 million followers with a pop-culture reference: YOLO!
So does the 57-year-old Kentucky basketball coach actually know what the expression means? He looked puzzled when a reporter asked Monday.
“What’s that? What did you say?” Calipari wondered until sports information director Eric Lindsey stepped in to explain that he’d sent the tweet for the coach, and that it was shorthand. “I said, ‘You only live once.’ (Lindsey) did the YOLO. Like, what are you talking about?”
But Calipari’s point was: Even the day after a late game against Arkansas and two days before another league showdown at Vanderbilt, he wasn’t missing the chance to take his father Vince to see the Steelers in the playoffs.
“I was watching tape on the plane,” he said. “Got to see some friends, got to see (Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin). Was back for the evening practice. I was here. Look, when I grew up, I could not get into Steeler games. Took my dad to a game and we walked out at midfield with Marvin (Lewis) and Mike, and my dad as we’re walking off said, ‘We couldn’t get a ticket to these games. We’re at midfield now.’ So I had an opportunity to go to the game and see my Steelers.”
Calipari is a native of Moon Township, Pa., and his father is a former fueler at the Pittsburgh aiport. They were not disappointed Sunday, as the Steelers throttled the Miami Dolphins 30-12, led in part by former UK star Bud Dupree. He had six tackles, one for loss, half a sack, and two other hits on the quarterback.
One of them was so violent that it started a fight between the teams and video of the hit went viral on the Internet, which Calipari would know if he could use the Internet by himself.
“Boy, did they play good,” he said. “Whew. And Bud Dupree, whew. Let me say this: They had to drag him off the field like four different times. He was fighting everybody – officials, the other guys, the linemen. I mean, he was ridiculous.”
And for the record, Calipari does not plan to attend the Steelers’ next playoff game in Kansas City, although he was invited.
“It’s too much,” he said. “This was an easy thing for me.”