On today's Pardon My Take... JIM CALHOUN! Grit Week 2021 begins with a man who personifies that aforementioned word from many different angles. The Hall of Fame basketball coach and three-time NCAA Tournament Champion joined Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter today in what was an in-person interview that took place in West Hartford, Connecticut. There were plenty of subjects the guys touched on, including his UConn teams that won it all, how he defines grit, some fo the most impressive players he has coached during his career, and much more. Another thing that people love about Coach Calhoun are his memorable quotes during postgame press conferences:
"Not a dime back!" - Feb. 21, 2009
"I fucked up." - Jan. 24, 2004
Those are just some of the viral sound bites that Coach Calhoun said during his coaching career at Connecticut. Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter asked the former man at the helm for UConn about his battles with the media below:
Mr. Cat: Alright, so one of my favorite things is Jim Calhoun versus the media. I alluded to it earlier with the Ryan Gomes, it's one of my favorite clips. There's two that are my favorite, but the "I fucked up, if you want to write it, write it five times..."
Jim Calhoun: And I did, I took Caron Butler, what a son of a bitch I was. How stupid can I be?! And you fucking asked me about that, man? I mean, just say, "You're stupid." We both go out and have a beer, okay?
Mr. Cat: The thing that I love about you versus the media is that you had sometimes an adversarial relationship. But I always thought that, like you always were there to answer the questions.
Jim Calhoun: If you call me, I was fighting with Jeff Jacobs here at the Hartford Courant. "OK, Jeff, what the fuck do you want? Here you go..." I'll answer the question, just don't ask me stupid questions. Don't ask me if I'm going to give money back, and I keep saying that, "Not a thin dime." We make five million dollars at this university, more than anybody else...
Mr. Commenter: You make a lot more than that.
Mr. Cat: Yeah, that's my favorite. "I make a lot more than that." And the other line in that one that's the best is, "Do me a favor? Why don't you shut up."
Jim Calhoun: And the last one was, my grandkids tell me this, "Hey, Papa, get some facts."
Mr. Cat: "... And come back and see me. Get some facts, and come back and see me."
What a legend, both on the podium and on the sidelines. Even if you are not a UConn fan, even if you are not a basketball fan, and heck, even if you are not a sports fan, this interview with Jim Calhoun is a *must listen.* It's a healthy mix of motivational speaking and basketball talk. Plenty more to come on #GritWeek21.