Category Archives: Fandom

Fan Moments VI: Harry Bockman & The Schnell

Every campus has a guy.

You know, a character somewhat peripheral to school life, but who’s always around, insinuating, often annoying.

The guy who becomes a running joke of sorts.

In this day and age, he’d become a meme. In my student days, he was an annual mention in the Louisville Cardinal’s April Fools issue.

I’m talking about Harry Bockman, that guy in the Registrar’s Office. Everybody at U of L had an issue with him sooner or later.

I’ll get to his dislike for iconic football coach Howard Schnellenberger in due time, but first, the rest of his story. Continue reading Fan Moments VI: Harry Bockman & The Schnell

Cardinal Fan Moments III: Unknown Musician

Here are excerpts from a winter 2005 piece I wrote after interviewing a fabled character from the greatest decade of Cardinal hoops, ’75-’86, a decade so abundant, the Cards cranked it to 11. Like, 10 years +1, get it?

(So I guess you could say I’m sorta plagiarizing myself.)

Intro:

This would be the not so incredible but smile-inducing, true tale from those days of yesteryear when fandom was less scripted, more fun and wackoids ruled Freedom Hall. Fostered by the hard fact that Louisville’s Cardinals were the mack daddies of the college hoops universe.

So thank the bleak February heavens for Charlie Gabriel, with whom I had arranged an appointment for coffee. The married, fortysomething father, computer network consultant/job hunter living in Clifton, the brother of a broadcaster on the — egads! — UK radio network, was sunshine on a cloudy day.

In that magical season 25 years ago – a season when the Cards ruled with a thumbless power forward whose prosthesis was once retrieved from the garbage; during a campaign when U of L freaked out foes by setting up plays in pig Latin; when the Cards were champs so fresh that only a new gimme-some-skin five up high would do, Charlie Gabriel was also a pivotal player.

Ready or not, here comes the gory details of the origins, not only of the Unknown Musician, but of the C-A-R-D-S cheer and the roles of Earl Cox, “Wild” Bill Hagy and the pep band from Cincy. Continue reading Cardinal Fan Moments III: Unknown Musician

Covering the Cards from the Diaspora

Sometime in the late 60s or early 70s, I was driving home through Cincy on a Sunday when the Bengals were playing the NY Jets. The game was at UC’s Nippert Stadium, which then hadn’t been expanded or surrounded by buildings.

My pal and I stopped, and, along with a bunch of others, watched the game from a hill overlooking the stadium.

We could sense the action from that distance, but it was hard to observe any details from such a viewing spot. We got a sense of the action, but none of the subtleties.

That’s kind of how I feel at this juncture covering U of L football and the upcoming hoops season.

I blew out my knee in a fall 10 days ago. Surgery to reattach tendons. Rehab. Long long long recovery period ahead due to the nature of the injury and lengthy time necessary for proper healing.

So I missed most of the BC game over the telly because I was just out of it that day after the injury and a fitful sleepless night in the hospital. Continue reading Covering the Cards from the Diaspora

U of L CardFile: Mack keeps Promise, Schedule Conflict +++

Chris Mack, bless his heart, is a man of his word.

At his introductory press conference, he immediately endeared himself to the crowd. Though not as much as his toddler who won over everyone while scampering about hither and yon.

Mack reached out to the former Cardinals that fans have loved through the decades, welcoming them back from exile to again become integral parts of the program.

Which sounded great, but was it just lip service?

Thankfully, the answer to that is a resounding NO. He means it.

I had dinner the other night with some pals from our days matriculating at Belknap Campus. Including Mike Grosso.

I asked the former Cardinal big man if Mack had followed up on his promise.

Indeed he has, I’m pleased to report.  Continue reading U of L CardFile: Mack keeps Promise, Schedule Conflict +++

Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

There’s a singular question/ complaint I’ve heard way more than any other this week.

And I suppose, bless her heart, it’s all Asia Durr’s fault. Interest in the women’s team has rocketed skyward, after her school record scoring blast last Sunday.

“How come there’s no story in The Courier-Journal about the U of L women’s game?” (I’m hangin’ on the “The” and hyphen, though I don’t know why.)

“The paper didn’t even run the box score of Louisville’s win at Ohio State.”

Etc, etc, etc.

While the once great newspaper has some reporters that are good, are professional and care about getting the stories and reporting them, both in the sports department and on the news side, the C J sucks.

It is full of typos. What news there is, for the most part, is sparse. It is as if Gannett doesn’t want you to buy and read the paper edition. I haven’t subscribed for years. It is seriously sad.

It’s become bird cage liner.

The paper covers the men and football and UK pretty well, Louisville FC, but that’s about it for sports. The web site administrators seem hell bent on cornering the market on pop up ads.

As for women’s sports, others too, if you’re a Cardinal fan, head to gocards.com, the school’s site. There will always be some stories, and the box scores. And, I’ll always be around here at seedyksports.com for pithy commentary, and at Mike Rutherford’s cardchronicle.com, which covers the U of L scene with a gangsta lean.

 * * * * *

Interesting doings down Arkansas way that could possibly affect U of L. Continue reading Thursday’s U of L Cardinal Conversation

Whither U of L Football 2017?

So I pulled out my Detroit Lions ballcap yesterday.

Stay with me here, this isn’t some LSD flashback, an indecipherable rambling rumination about nothing much, I shall get to the Louisville Cardinals and the upcoming campaign in a sec. Just want to provide some context.

I was born in Motown, and even though my family moved to Louisville when I was but a mere babe, I follow and root for Detroit’s pro teams. Including the perennially hapless Lions of the NFL.

As you all too well know, it’s the time of year when hope springs you know what– that’s right, eternal — for every franchise at every level of pigskin.

It’s true in Motor City.

It is true in Derbytown, USA.

And it’s welling up inside Cardinal fans either because of or despite the pall that hangs over U of L football no thanks to that the three game nosedive that ended last campaign. The Red & Black Faithful are ready and raring to go.

The L1C4 Nation is dreaming the Cards can be a contender, return to the upper echelon, where they were perched in ’06 before spitting out the bit at Rutgers, and where they were poised last autumn before braying about disrespect, then laying down at Houston, against the Cats and in the Citrus Bowl.

Here’s why there is reason for bullish expectations, in no particular order of importance. Continue reading Whither U of L Football 2017?

Sunday’s Sports Musings: Lots of U of L & More

reporterHoops that matters is back in the form of NBA playoffs.

It’s a good thing.

It’s also early, since the opening slate of first round games isn’t even complete as I write this, early Sunday evening.

I do have one observation.

I took note to check out Brad Stevens. He who is formerly of the Butler Hinkles, currently with the Boston Celtics, and forever topping the wish list of every college basketball fan, whose favorite team is ready for its next coach, the one that will surely lead them to One Shining Moment.

My observation. Stevens looks awfully comfy in front of the Celtics bench.

He does not appear to be a guy ready to jump back to college, so he can try to rah rah sis boom bah for some fat cats’ alma mammy.

* * * * *

Also in the category of Coaches Every Fan Wants Roaming His School’s Sideline, is, or actually, was, Shaka Smart. Continue reading Sunday’s Sports Musings: Lots of U of L & More

Monday Morning Sports Shots

allsportsNo. I do not have any reports from spring practice.

I don’t do spring practice.

In fact, I don’t do practice at all. I haven’t enough expertise to discern who is playing better, and who worse?

Allow me to remind you, I’m the guy who did go to practice when Teddy Bridgewater was a rookie. I watched him tossing the ball in drills, and thought the other QBs, guys whose names are long since forgotten, had stronger arms and were more accurate.

Which is why, allow me to reiterate, I don’t do spring practice.

In fact, I don’t do practice at all.

I leave it to the good ol’ boys, the wannabe JV assistants, in their double knit shorts. Continue reading Monday Morning Sports Shots

Cardinal Football Practice Begins; Louisville Coach Petrino Speaks

cardfootballIn a hallowed tradition that harkens back to the Days of Yesteryore, at least to the beginning of the cable TV sports era, football coaches meet the media on the eve of fall two-a-days to provide sound bites to whet fans’ appetites.

Bobby Petrino, U of L’s once and once again coach, honored the tradition yesterday.

During which, as is all pigskin mentors’ want, save for Spurrier and Schnellenberger, he essentially said, well, little of substance. (Truth be told, Coach Visor and Coach Pipe don’t provide much real info either, but each in his own way stands above the crowd in his particular entertaining manner.)

It was an interesting interlude anyway, if only to observe if Bobby P was any more relaxed in front of the cameras than his first pass through town as head coach? Continue reading Cardinal Football Practice Begins; Louisville Coach Petrino Speaks