Monday Musings: Satt & Speed, Harrell & Helmets +

When Scott Satterfield was handed the reins to U of L football, I went and perused videos of App State games, when he was coaching there. Including the famous W in the Big House over mighty Michigan.

(Which, trivia note, happened to be the first game ever televised on the Big Ten Network.)

What struck me about those Mountaineer squads was how many really fast footballers played for them.

Which is why I knew immediately and intuitively that Tutu Atwell was going to be the focus of the offense. Every once in awhile, I get it right.

And is why I took notice of this recent proclamation by the Cardinal coach: “Tyler Harrell is the fastest player I’ve ever timed in my career.”

Which is why one must assume we’ll see the redshirt soph from Miami targeted early and often this season, starting in the Chicken Sandwich with a Pickle Kickoff opener, against the Johnny Rebs.

 * * * * *

Speaking of football, which by the by is only a bit more than a month away, here’s some minutiae. Which I can pass along, thanks to the obsessiveness of a college football fanatic named Blaise D’Sylva. Continue reading Monday Musings: Satt & Speed, Harrell & Helmets +

Hump Day Hustle: Nwora, Davis, Vax & Layla

How about my main man?

My most favoritist Louisville Cardinal hoopster . . . ever? Well, almost.

Anyway, add this to Jordan Nwora’s resumé: NBA Champion.

Good for him.

Go Dude!

 * * * * *

Speaking of former U of L Cards who hit the jackpot.

How about Henry Davis?

The #1 pick in the MLB Draft signed on to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a cool $6.5 million.

Brother, can you loan me a dime? Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: Nwora, Davis, Vax & Layla

Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This is the third installment  of a here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration featuring what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

Most always lost in the lament over the extremely disappointing final weeks and eventual meltdown of the ’78-’79 men’s hoops season is the intriguing encounter ahead, had the Cards not lost to Arkansas to end their season.

The Louisville Legend vs. Larry Legend.

Dr. Dunkenstein and mates against The Hick from French Lick and his fella Hoosiers.

The Cardinals would have battled Larry Bird and the undefeated Sycamores of Indiana State, in that school’s first Dance ever, for the opportunity to compete in their fourth Final Four, third of the Denny Crum Era.

But, history books chronicle how that campaign ended with the proverbial whimper, not a bang.

On the morning of February 9, Louisville stood 21-3 after besting Tulane in New Orleans for a 16th W in a row. The Cardinals were ranked #5 in the country by Associated Press. Continue reading Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Indiana State 3/17/79

Hump Day Hustle: The A B C Ds of U of Ldom

Yeah it’s Thursday, not Hump Day as we have  traditionally come to know it.

Hey, I just got my full rant on. So, deal with it. Blame it on the NIL if you like. Borrow somebody’s new iPhone and call someone who cares.

Now, getting to it.

 * * * * *

A is for Aspect.

As in mine. My point of view. My perspective.

Specifically to give context to my opinonating about the Butch Beard stuff. Which, obviously, comes next, under, you guessed it, the B section.

As with all matters that deal with racial issues — which this does, Beard’s denials to Bob Valvano notwithstanding — I need to explain my viewpoint.

I am an elderly Caucasian, with enough sense to understand, I cannot for a nanosecond pretend to know what it’s like to grow up with black skin. Or, know how that would affect my world view. Such is obviously alien to my life experience.

I can listen. I can attempt to understand, but I cannot truly empathize.

So, that’s where my soapbox is situated.

 * * * * *

B is for Butch Beard. Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: The A B C Ds of U of Ldom

Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Ohio State 1/08/07

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This is the second installment  of a here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration featuring what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

November 9, 2006. Piscataway, New Jersey

Chris and Herbie were in the house for a game that drew ESPN’s third largest viewing audience to that moment.

Undefeated #3 Louisville, fresh off a W over then third-ranked West Virginia, took the field against Greg Schiano’s resurgent and similarly undefeated Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Cardinals had been steamrolling through the season, despite the loss to injury of Heisman hopeful Michael Bush in the season opener against Kentucky. (After he scored three TDs, including a 48 yard bulldoze/ scamper on his first carry of the 59-28 romp.)

A 31-7 Card beatdown of the U in Week III grabbed the nation’s attention.

Among the Cardinal pigskin luminaries on that squad were, Brian Brohm (position coached by his older bro Jeff), Harry Douglas, William Gay, Eric Wood, Art Carmody, Gary Barnidge, Nate Harris, Malik Jackson and Amobi Okoye. Continue reading Games That Never Came: U of L vs. Ohio State 1/08/07

Name Game, Let’s Do NIL

NIL, NIL, bo-bil/ Banana-fana fo-fil/ / Fee-fi-mo-mil NIL!

So, why you might ask, have I gotten in touch with my inner Shirley Ellis? She, the rock & roll linguist, who fashioned “The Name Game’ in ’64.

Well, I’m fascinated with words and language, and being a might skewed in my thinking, have been spinning on the irony of the nomenclature NIL, when juxtaposed with the word “nil.”

NIL. Name. Image. Likeness. The new norm in what was formerly “amateur” collegiate athletics, a phenomenon which will have manifold ramifications, many even the most seasoned observer hasn’t yet thought of.

Nil. Zero. As in Tottenhem Hotspur beat Crystal Palace, 2 nil. Nonexistent. As legitimate income NCAA “student athletes” weren’t supposed to pocket. Until July 1, 2021.

Before that date: Johnny Scatback got room, board, books, laundry allowance. And, nuttin’ else. At least, legitimately. Continue reading Name Game, Let’s Do NIL

Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Fans, coaches, and athletes of every school, team, franchise, and sport have those “If Only” battles through the years, the ones that never came about. 

This here’s-what-never-happened series of indeterminate duration features what might have been but never was for various Louisville Cardinal contingents through the decades.

If you have any suggestions, put them in the Comments section below.

First up, the national championship tilt, Jeff Walz’s women’s basketball squad never played against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2018.

March 30, 2018. Columbus, Ohio.

The U of L Cards suffered a serious setback, down 2, with 2:42 to play in the national semi-final against Mississippi State.

Eye of the Tiger pivot Sam Fuerhing didn’t like a call. She slapped the floor in disgust and frustration. The T was her 5th. DQ.

The Bulldogs converted both charity tosses, for a four point advantage. Continue reading Games that Never Came: U of L vs. Notre Dame 4/01/18

Supremes Skunk NC2A

We don’t need Matt Damon to demonstrate how much Supreme Court Dude Brett Kavannaugh likes beer.

The future Justice only mentioned it about 173 times during his confirmation hearing.

During which dog and pony show we also learned that he and his pals — Squee, Moose, and PJ — also like college hoops. Kinda anyway.

He made a note on his calendar in March 1982 about the U of L/ Georgetown battle in the Final Four.

“Who won that game anyway?”

Yeah, beer and basketball. It’s a match for many.

Maybe his honor doesn’t remember much about that particular tilt, but it’s obvious from his concurring opinion in “NCAA vs. Alston,” that he’s been paying attention to the grift college sports’ ruling body has been running for a long while.

More about his take in a second. Continue reading Supremes Skunk NC2A

Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Going full PTI on you, let’s play, “What’s the Word?”

The first category from our producer?

“Fans of University of Louisville Men’s Athletics are _______?”

OK, then let’s not beat around the bush, and get immediately to the toughie.

“Unsettled?”

“Perturbed?”

“Frustrated?”

“Gnarly?” (OK, that was just one surfer wannabe I saw wandering through the park with a U of L shirt on.)

“Pissed?”

Let’s just settle on this. Anecdotally from conversations with many longtime faithful I’ve chatted up in the last little while, the word that comes to mind, in addition to all the above, is “Unhappy!”

 * * * * *

I’ve had a couple of very recent conversations in which I’ve heard not very flattering reflections about U of L’s sports administration. Continue reading Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?

Sports, TV & the Obsessive Guy

The deities sent a message.

I’m talking the triumvirate of Naismithius, Greek God of Hoops, Bronconagurskius, Greek God of Pigskin, and Ilovelucyia, the Greek Goddess of TV.

The message, as passively aggressively as it was presented:

You are watching too much sports on television. It’s time to get out of the house.

How do I know that’s what they are telling me?

Because . . . there’s an annoying glitch in the signal of the four ESPN stations on my telly. It does not exist on any other channel. An annoyance really.

But one that Ms. Roboanswer couldn’t fix with a reset ting-a-ling, or a power down power up.

Nor could Service Guy #1 remedy the situation on Visit #1. So the unresolved issue has been “escalated.” Or, maybe, it’s “elevated.” Whatever, Service Guy #2 on Visit #2 arrives tomorrow morning. Continue reading Sports, TV & the Obsessive Guy