Yesterday I was daydreaming, wondering about how far fans will go when they are in love with a team or a school?
So, I thought it would be cool to see if any of the Red & Black Faithful who are the vast majority of my readers have stories have any stories?
Which I hope all will share in the Comment Section below.
I’ve got some. Mine involve Cardinal hoops, but the sport does not matter, it’s what was done in the name of loyalty.
Three here underscore how strong my love is.
To start. It would be disingenuous not to admit my entire professional career path was altered by a U of L basketball game.
Truth is I never in my callow youth contemplated adulthood. Marriage. Family. Career. Never gave ’em much thought.
So, my senior year at U of L arrives in ’66-’67. Vietnam is the black cloud over all of us military age. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do after graduation. I had a humanities prof whom I really liked. So, what the hell, I signed up to take the Graduate Records, and apply for a Masters or beyond in Humanities.
Like I said, not much aforethought.
But the week of the Saturday I’m going to take them, a pal walks into the Cardinal Inn with this.
Readers who don’t understand a lot of the things they read here — and they are aplenty — have asked whether when sleepwalking at night, I type out my lede and predictions and hit Send without copyreading?
Others have wondered if there’s a warehouse somewhere with thousands of monkeys at keyboards banging away? And that I mindlessly cut and paste their senseless output and hit Send without copyreading.
Well, no. And no.
But there are times when I dazzle even myself with the senseless drivel I write.
Like this week, when I totally discarded my original opening shtick. It literally made no sense. Then I came up with the erudition above.
Anywho . . . last week . . .
. . . Minnesota and Okie State lost. My bad.
Auburn, Georgia and the now CFP #25 University of Louisville Cardinals prevailed.
To help move on from some unhealthy habits decades ago, among other things, I took to accepting the benefits of what I’d previously and derisively referred to as “fix me books.”
To great benefit.
Among my favorites remains Richard Carlson’s “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff . . . and it’s all small stuff.”
Short chapters. Quick reads. Sage wisdom to cope with the exigencies of daily life.
Given my days short of seven decade love affair with U of L hoops, for better or worse, through richer or poorer, it has been difficult in the recent troubled years for the program to find Carlson’s sense of perspective to it all.
The not fun, admittedly discouraging start of the Kenny Payne Era hasn’t helped.
I am as dismayed as any.
Those healthier than I am can deal with it more calmly.
In these knee jerk times when many, frustrated, live in ten minute cycles, there are fans mired in fury.
Three P5 programs had loooooooong flights home from their distant Week 0 encounters.
One was the Program of the Future (Ref: Coach Clark Lea) Vanderbilt, which contrary to the thinking of the Nation’s Premier Preditctioneer, did not let frolicking along Waikiki Beach get in the way of game performance.
Vandy 63, Hawai’i 10.
Since the somewhat iconic Aloha Stadium has been condemned, the game was played at the Clarence TC Ching Athletics Complex “Stadium.” Capacity 9,000.
Maybe Rainbow Warriors coach Timmy Chang could harvest some pigskinners to matriculate from nearby vaunted St. Louis HS. Can any of those Little Leaguers who dominated the LLWS, outscoring foes 60-5 in 6 games play QB?
The other schools taking a red eye were Pat Fitzgerald’s ever feisty Northwestern Wildcats, and . . .
. . . the Program of the Distant Past, Nebraska. Where are you Bob Devaney when the Cornhusker State really needs you? Really really really needs you.
Nebraska 28, Northwestern 31.
Yet again, and it’s almost inexplicable, former favorite son Scott Frost’s charges were Hüsker Dön’t. Seven single digit Ls in a row. So many more during what what was supposed to be his triumphant return to Lincoln.
You know how you get invited to a dinner soiree, where, forget the company, you know the spread is going to be magnifico?
Like, fresh shrimp as big as your fist. Crab cakey bites that are made from the real thing, not surimi. Pizza noshes the hosts have flown in from Lou Malnati’s in Chitown. Then your choice of fresh Dover Sole, or beef so tender you cut it with the side of your fork and Henry Baines sauce. Some Chocolate Bomb thing for dessert that’s so rich you feel guilty from the second bite on, but forge to completion anyway.
That kind of dinner party.
Well, football fans, that’s next weekend, Week I. West Virginia/ Pittsburgh. Utah/ Florida. Notre Dame/ THE Ohio State, your favorite team finally in action on the telly somewhere, if you’re not actually in the stadium.
The usually spot on Elvis Costello missed his mark with this one, whatever the song really means.
At least this week, when he sang “Everything means less than zero.”
Because it is a time when college football junkies have come to cherish.
In the subsequent increments to come, as the numerology increases, when it shall be wall to wall football, and our faves and the big boys will be competing on the gridiron, such matchups as Wyoming vs. Illinois, UConn vs Utah State and Western Kentucky vs Austin Peay* will hardly be must see TV. But this first week, they are.
You know, like, almost.
*Know how on PTI, Tony Kornheiser never passes up a chance to make a joke about Uranus? Similarly, whenever I mention that Clarksville, Tennessee institution of higher learning, it is an excuse to invoke the potty humor that is the greatest cheer in the history of sports, “Fly’s open, Let’s Go Peay.”
The addicted amongst us shall be fully heplocked up at high noon Saturday to mainline that first kickoff of the campaign from Bowling Green, Ky.
Before we get started with another rasher of foolishness, some Coming Attractions.
Later this week — like in a day or two — yours truly’s anxiously anticipated, nationally heralded predictioneering about the upcoming college football campaign shall be revealed.
Seedy K’s Peerless Preseason Pigskin Prognostications are but hours away. So too, hopefully, arrival of my brickbat resistant armor from that Bezos fella. Then, because that’s really nothing more than an appetite whetter, next week come my ever prescient Week 0 game predictions.
Wyoming vs. Illinois. Vanderbilt vs. Hawai’i. Nebraska vs. Northwestern, from that hotbed of American football, Dublin, Ireland. And more, perhaps.
And don’t tell me you won’t be watching. I know better, ready to pounce, should I in the unlikely event prove incorrect.
* * * * *
Speaking of football across the pond, do you want to hear about yesterday’s West London Derby at Stamford Bridge between my faves, Tottenham Hotspur, and their hated arch-rival Chelsea?
Obviously not in a rush, the muckety mucks at the University of Louisville finally hired a search firm to help choose a new Athletic Director.
I understand there are other administrative priorities.
Like, ya know, a university president.
But still, it’s been like five months since that Tyra guy decided to take his talents to Florida State, or somewhere which was somewhere else besides his office at U of L.
That the school wants to be thorough makes sense. But still.
Given familiarity, Josh Heird’s name is the most resonant.
He’s intelligent. He’s competent. He obviously wants the job.
But, as I’ve previously opined, the quiet nature of his personality is different from most fellows who fill such positions. Which are filled with men and a few women, who are Intelligent and competent, as well as being able to work the room.
So by now, anybody within the sound of my voice is aware that former Cardinal ace Reid Detmers hurled a no-hitter for the Angels the other night, in a blowout W against Tampa Bay. 12-0.
Yet another exclamation point to the incredible job Dan McDonnell has done turning U of L baseball into a national power.
Lots of interesting sidenotes to the 108 pitch performance. Some of which, I gleaned on my own. Like how it was old old school. Only two Ks along the way. Only one other guy has pitched a no-hitter with so few strikeouts since 1980. Francisco Liriano.
But much of which info I pass along I hereby acknowledge came from my favorite baseball writer Joe Posnanski at his JoeBlogs, to which I subscribe. Like the second half of the above paragraph. Credit and acknowledgement to Joe.
Turns out this was the first nine inning complete game Detmers has ever pitched.
At any level. Pros. (Never tossed more than six.) College. HS. (One perfecto. 7 innings.) As in ever.