Can’t say I’ve ever been a huge follower of track and field.
Like most, I’m a once every four year follower, when those Olympic Games are all that.
But, I gotta have some U of L sports to root for. It’s an addiction.
So, with all the equipment from the other spring sports stored away — including yet again, the balls and bats of the Cardinal nine — the NCAA Track & Field Championships have grabbed my attention.
Several Cardinal athletes shall be competing. Both on the track. And in the field.
Synclair Savage will be striving for the Long Jump crown. (I am old enough to remember when it was called the Broad Jump.)
Aliyah Welter will be going for the Pole Vault crown.
ACC champ x3 High Jumper Trey Allen is making his third straight trip to attempt to leap for the whole enchilada.
Bryan Hudson is going to be putting the shot. Continue reading Tracking the Cardinals →
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.
Great news, he advises, he’d scored some tickets to the Cards hoops encounter that Saturday afternoon at Cincy. In their old gym. Continue reading Let’s Have Some Fun, Card Fans! →
Disinclined to attend such affairs — they often become tedious — I went anyway.
So glad I did.
Out of respect for my favorite coach ever.
Out of thanks to the human being who was the catalyst for more joy in my life than any other than my bride.
The evening was sweet.
The evening was touching.
Beyond reiteration that he stands among the best college basketball coaches ever, it cannot be shared enough what a decent, giving, important man he was. To the players he coached. To the fans he touched. To the community of Louisville. To the world of college basketball. Continue reading The Denny Celebration →
Every Cardinal diehard who was there in the moments of those halcyon days has stories.
From 1971 to 1986, it was a magic carpet ride.
Mine begin in my funky $60/ month attic apartment in the Triangle with my pal, fellow fanatic Ben. Listening on the radio to Denny Crum’s first game as Cardinal coach from Gainesville.
Cards 69, Florida 70.
Stoned I am sure and stunned, we looked at each, deflated.
It had been a strange few years for Cardinal hoops, leading up the new era.
Legendary Peck Hickman unexpectedly resigned after the ’66-’67 campaign with his Wes Unseld-led best ever squad returning. Long time assistant John Dromo took the reins.
A couple solid but unspectacular seasons followed. Then Dromo had health issues, and had to step down. Assistant Howard Stacy moved over a chair. U of L lost 6 of its last 8.
Enough for the powers that be to understand it was time to look elsewhere. A faculty committee led by Econ prof Carl Abner did the heavy lifting. John Wooden’s right hand man was the choice.
Hope ensued. Continue reading Denny! →
As I hear tell, the University of Louisville is now a Football School.
Given how wobbly the other major men’s sport has have been lately, it could be, it might be true.
Unless, of course, it’s a Volleyball school.
Or, with good reason, arguably a Swimming school.
But, for our purposes here, I’ll buy in. Despite my deep seated belief that hoops, once the ship is righted, will be top o’ the pyramid regardless.
We all expected an uptick when legacy Jeff Brohm returned to where he once belonged. The fanbase has been apoplectic.
So too, local scribes with a propensity toward pigskin.
Like Card Chronicle’s ConorShea, who has applied his seriously complex, perhaps telling and most difficult to understand CUCFWTT. (Conor’s Ultimate Cardinal Football Win Trend Tracker.) According to which unwieldy analytical logistics the Cards are trending upward winwise. Like, if they were a stock, they would be dubbed a buy.
Truth be told, it’s not just locals who are high on the Cards. Continue reading U of L is a . . . What Kind o’ School? →
Self inflicted as it may have been, it was somewhat of a comeuppance anyway.
From a mainstream movie anyway. I’m talking about “Air” and how it felt to get the lesson yet again that, as much as I do know or think I know about hoops, there are always nuances that only the true experts (not me) catch.*
*Don’t worry, I’ll get to the recruiting stuff in a minute, and this anecdote is actually germane to the topic.
In the movie which lays out how Nike snared Michael Jordan after the ’84 draft away from adidas and Converse, there’s a fascinating scene with Phil Knight’s (Ben Affleck) recruiter in chief, Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon).
He’s trying to figure out whom to try to get as a client by watching videos of the highest draft picks that year. And he’s put a tape of Jordan highlights, and watches the final sequence of the ’82 title game. You know the one, when Dean Smith goes to MJ, who drills the game winner.
I was at the game. Have watched the clip tens of times. Never caught what Vaccaro saw and Smith knew when tapping the freshman to take the shot instead of James Worthy.
Which is Jordan’s incredible confidence in the moment. Worthy’s a decoy, pulling a defender toward the lane. As MJ without a hint of nervousness or stress or panic awaits the pass, and without hesitation at the biggest moment of his hoops career until then fires it deftly through the net.
We all saw the shot. Vaccaro and Smith and the Bulls saw the transcendence. Continue reading Recruiting Stuff: Hoopaholic’s Gazette →
Louisville 83, Iowa 97.
There are times when there is simply nothing you can do.
When a team runs into a foe led by a transcendent star who is executing a not-to-be-denied dominant performance.
Ask peacock Kim Mulkey and Britney Griner about Shoni.
We’ve heard oh so much about Caitlin Clark.
Too much? Actually, frankly, no not really.
She was described before the game as a cross between Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.
Who am I to disagree?
On the season, she’s hitting 58% from 25 feet and beyond from the hoop.
Sunday night, Clark historically went for 41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists.
She was not going to lose this game. Continue reading Seedy K’s Takeaways: Iowa →
“Hotty Totty! Gosh A Mighty! Who in the hell are we? Rim! Ram! Flim! Flam! Ole Miss, by Damn!”
Well, as you Rebs head back to Oxford Town, Hotty Totty This . . .
. . . Louisville 72, Mississippi 62.
Thus, with this disparate crew that took time to jell, Jeff Walz in his 16th season has the Louisville Cardinals headed to the Elite Eight for the fifth straight time and eighth time in school history.
Hawkeyes ahead. By damn.
* * * * *
Hailey Van Lith got the full World Wide Leader superstar treatment on the TV pregame.
Then she scored the Cardinals’ first five points, and led the squad with 21. Also 5 boards, 4 assists.
And, when Ole Miss cut the lead to five in the 4th at 58-53, Van Lith shut the door, when she tallied in the paint for a 7 point advantage.
But, let’s be clear, there is only one choice for Player of Game. In this corner anyway.
Mykasa Robinson, come on down. Continue reading Seedy K’s GameCap: Ole Miss →
Hook that on your home court, ye Horns.
Inside Austin City Limits, the final tally in the Round of 32 read: Louisville 73, Texas 51.
It wasn’t that close.
Top Ten early on, Jeff Walz’s Cards dropped out of the Top 25 early in the campaign.
Now, they stand among the Sweet Sixteen. Familiar territory.
Ole Miss, upset victor over Stanford, awaits surging U of L in the Seattle Regional.
* * * * *
As is often the case during Walz’s reign, Louisville rushed out to a 7-0 advantage from the tip.
The Longhorns steadied. 16-16 after the 1st.
Then the hammer came down. The game turned. Continue reading Seedy K’s Game Cap: Texas →
Your everlasting summer and you can see it fading fast/ So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last/ Well, you wouldn’t even know a diamond if you held it in your hand/ The things you think are precious I can’t understand/ Are you reelin’ in the years?/ Stowin’ away the time
So we have arrived at Championship Week 2023, Championship Day, Part Uno.
New batteries in the remote.
Plenty of Vernor’s on ice.
21 games of interest, more or less, for those of us hoopaholics.
Before getting started, I thought it would be interesting to check how my Louisville Cardinals have fared on this date, starting with the beginning of the Denny Crum Era.
5-2, thank you very much. Including two memorable tilts, one a Top 5 of All Time, the other, one of the, uh, most disheartening.
Oh what a night it was such a night at Vandy’s Memorial Gymnasium on 3/11/72. Continue reading Time Machine: Cards on 3/11 →