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Cards fall 3-1 in CWS Opener

The College World Series draw can be a cruel mistress.

Win the opener and the possibilities for success multiply. Drop the first one, and matters get dire.

In an opener, which is the only one to feature two national seeds, between college baseball’s winningest squads this decade, Vandy the higher-seeded favorite, in this game and to win the title, prevailed. 3-1.

Louisville will face the Auburn/ Mississippi loser Tuesday afternoon. Defeated departs. Winner gets life, but will still have to win three more in a row to advance to the title 2 of 3.

While falling to the Commodores doesn’t feel good, it’s no disgrace. U of L’s very familiar regional rival was ranked either #1 or #2 in all the pre-season polls. Vanderbilt finished #2 in all the polls, behind UCLA, which was swept in its Supers by the surging Michigan Wolverines.

Vandy’s ascendency into the sport’s upper echelon pretty much parallels U of L’s. But the Nashvillians have fared significantly better in their four CWS appearances than U of L’s now 2-9 record in five. They won it all in ’14, winning the opener against U of L, and were runners up the following season. Vandy’s harvested the highest rated recruiting class four of the last five seasons. Continue reading Cards fall 3-1 in CWS Opener

Cards Roll Pirates in Supers’ Opener, 14-1

Not a lot of schools have ventured into The Jim this season with a hurler more heralded than the ACC’s best, Cardinal Reid Detmers (11-4, 2.96), he who now holds Louisville’s  all time season strikeout record, 156 and counting before Friday noon’s first pitch.

But, in addition to holding a hard to conceptualize 10 game winning streak against U of L, that’s exactly the East Carolina held in its hands.

Jake Agnos (11-2, 2.02) was dubbed First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

And he had the rabid and raucous Pirate faithful pumped to the max, when he struck out the side in the bottom of the 1st, and proceeded to mow down the first ten Cardinals he faced.

Meanwhile, Detmers was a bit off his feed, which seemed a bad omen against the hard hitting ECU lineup, featuring six .300+ batters and a couple of guys with homer totals well into the teens. Despite struggling a might, he was able to get out of the 1st, stranding two visitors. The Pirates were three up three down in the 2d, but threatened hugely in the the 3d. (Yeah, I used the word “hugely,” deal with it.) Continue reading Cards Roll Pirates in Supers’ Opener, 14-1

It’s March, and I’m Just Mad about Madness

The bracket, thank you for your annual beneficence Naismithius, has arrived.

As usual, it is a veritable menagerie of creatures, strange and not so.

Bruins, Bison, Bulls, Bulldogs, Buckeyes, Bears, and Bearcats.

Once again, our memories short, we are compelled to inquire: What exactly is a Billiken?

Cavaliers and Monarchs.

Cyclones and Flames.

Anteaters and Ducks.

Sooners and Volunteers.

Gaels, Gators and Grizzlies.

Tigers and Wildcats and more Wildcats.

Since we know that Orangoutangs, none of which sadly shall be participating in the Dance, are skeptical of changes in their cages, there is another query soon to be answered.

With Carl Spackler on their side, will Louisville’s Cardinals eradicate those varmint Golden Gophers?

And, while we’re at it, will Rick the Elder escape from exile in Greece to watch Rick the Younger coach against their former school? I mean, it’s the kind of thing this father is prone to do. Continue reading It’s March, and I’m Just Mad about Madness

Louisville CardFile: Kent State

The 2018-19 University of Louisville Cardinals continue to amaze.

Not that a 13 point mid December homecourt victory over #147 Kent State in and of itself is an earth shattering result.

It was the manner of the win.

It was the apparent visual and empirical evidence of game by game by game improvement that was yet again manifest.

There are reasons aplenty for the faithful’s burgeoning exuberance about this plucky band of Cards.

And the mack daddy of them all is . . . all together now . . . Chris Mack.

(Yes, kids, I can go literary and verbose, and I can go hip hop. At least as street as a septuagenarian with a bum wheel can go.)

So, before we get to the game itself, some props for that new guy on the bench. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Kent State

Louisville CardFile: Clemson

It doesn’t really matter.

No comparisons are necessary or germane.

But, for the record, U of L’s deplorable and disgusting nonperformance against Clemson Saturday noon was not the worst defeat in program history.

If my research is correct, that would be a 0-105 home loss to Murray State during the 0-9  reign of C.V. “Red” Money in 1932.

Money was one and done coaching the Cards. After that ofer campaign he was gone.

So too should be Bobby Petrino, along with his egregiously ineffectual family affair of assistants.

And while there was little if any coaching observable in Death Valley, this squad of Cardinals should also be ashamed. They displayed zero pride.

I have watched U of L teams perform poorly in the past, but I cannot remember one during which the team played as if they could give a shit.

Cardinal fans, bury the rag deep in your face, now is the time for your tears.

Bottom line: It is inconceivable that Vince Tyra, financial difficulties notwithstanding, can do anything but advise Petrino that he shall be gone after the UK game. For Tyra to say something like, “We’ll assess the situation after the season,” would be a skewed interpretation of the precarious state of the program.

Your move, Mr. Athletics Director. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Clemson

Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week X

So, class, what did we learn from last week’s predictions?

Kentucky is legit. Probably.

Louisville is not. Definitely.

Northwestern and Iowa State are feisty. Mos Def.

Dan Mullen’s still got some work to do at Florida to get to where Kirby Smart has his Georgia Bulldogs. Ask Professor Finebaum, that’s his bailiwick.

And, keeping one’s knee totally straight, even with an expensive draconian immobilizer velcrowed tightly in place, remains a chore. Even when sitting one’s butt day and night watching college football.

Oh so damn true. But, hey, enough about me.

My winning percentage streak continues. 3-2 for the weekend raises me to 25-20 for the season.

This campaign’s rounding the far turn, beginning to head home. Thus the games get ever more interesting as the upper echelon fights for Condoleezza Rice’s attention, and the also rans pursue the lofty but not very exclusive status known as “bowl eligible.”

This week’s winners: Continue reading Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications: Week X

Red & Black Rants & Raves: 10/02

I know we’re probably really tired of talking about THAT PLAY last Saturday, which Seminole interception with a couple minutes on the clock set in motion Florida State’s improbable come from behind victory pilfer.

But, hey, just one more anecdote.

A.J. Westbrook is the name of the Seminole playing safety who intercepted Puma Pass’s throw on a play that should never — never ever — been called.

He says he knew before the snap that the Cardinals might try to pass instead of running out the clock as the situation called for. He noted that TE Mickey Crum made an unusual hand signal to Pass while the Cards were lining up.

So, Westbrook was ready to stay with the route. Here’s how he described it:

“I just sat there, and I jumped it, and he threw it. I was like, ‘Wow, he really threw it.’ I don’t know why he threw it, but oh, well.” Continue reading Red & Black Rants & Raves: 10/02

Cardinal Love in the Crescent City

I’m in New Orleans for JazzFest.

So, after my workout this morning, during which I wore one of those shirts the Cardinal soccer team donned when Lynn Stadium opened, I walked down to the corner to a coffee bistro to caffeinate.

A brother behind me in line asks if I really follow the Cards?

To which I replay, oh yeah, I’m a big, long time fan.

So then he asks, what years was it that Milt Wagner played?

That was early 80s. He was on the team that lost to Georgetown in the semis. And, he had to sit out a year because of a foot injury, but came back to play on the ’86 championship team.

The guy’s nodding, then asks me something about Pervis?

And, oh yeah, I interject, that loss to the Hoyas was right here in the Superdome.

Then he asks me another question about that era.

To which I reply, you tryin’ to test me, to see if I’m really a Card fan? If so, bring it, I’ve been following them since before you were born.

So he laughs, we chat, he’s from New Orleans, but shares how those early 80s Cardinal teams were his favorites.

After a few minute chat about U of L hoops, we bump fists and he exits.

About thirty seconds later, he walks back in the shop, points at me and says, “The McCray brothers. I love the McCray brothers. They were the best.”

— Seedy K

Louisville CardFile: Clemson

Ever the contrarian, I must disagree with Rick Pitino, who was with one exception generous in his praise for the Cardinals after they broke Clemson just before halftime and continued the slaughter the final twenty, prevailing 92-60.

“The guys did a great job tonight in every phase of the game.”

“They were great on offense tonight. This is a very good defensive team. We shot 63 percent in the first half, 51 percent in the second. It was a great performance by our guys.”

When talking of Jaylen Johnson (12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, one of which was U of L’s best skip pass of the year to Deng Adel in the weakside corner for a three), RP called the Cards huskiest big “relentless in his work ethic.”

But, then, referring to the double technical that sent JJ to the showers along with his Tiger adversary Elijah Thomas, Pitino offered that the Kid from Ypsilanti “sort of spoiled a really good night by stooping to a different level.”

And that’s where I must disagree with the Cardinal coach, while acknowledging as I must that he has two national crowns and hundreds and hundreds more Ws than I. I shall not allow that resumé disparity get in the way of offering a contrary take.  Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Clemson

Hump Day Sports Huzzahs & Harangues: Ledecky, Barkley, Messi, Phelps, Tubby & Much More

cupindexCupping. Who knew?

Tebow Weary. No American athlete, save for recent HOF inductee Bret Favre, has taken longer to accept that the end of the line as a top level athlete is nigh than Tim Tebow.

The former QB is, by all accounts, a man of abiding, legit faith. Which we know because the former Florida Gator Heisman winner wears it like a Thursday throwback jersey from his predecessor Steve Spurrier.

Here’s what defines Tebow’s character: Hubris. No need to look it up, I’ll define it for you.

Excessive pride or self confidence.

After his short run as a mediocre NFL QB had run its course, Tebow, who coulda kept playing in the League, had he been willing to switch positions, said No.

To which, all the teams in the league replied, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

Now Tebow’s people have announced Mr. Timmy is gearing up for a major league baseball career. Even though the last time he played the game was in high school. In 2005. Continue reading Hump Day Sports Huzzahs & Harangues: Ledecky, Barkley, Messi, Phelps, Tubby & Much More