The ways of fandom are personal.
How and where we watch out team’s games. With whom? And where we sit and what we eat and what we wear.
So our personal situations dictate how we perceive a win or loss, how it affects us.
So, my apologies if this take on U of L’s fourth straight defeat, this time in Chestnut Hill to an injury plagued BC eleven, is less about the game, and more about how we deal with our favorite teams in times of trouble. How I had to deal with yesterday’s disappointment.
For both the Cardinals and me, it was deja vu all over again.
U of L came out flatter than a pancake at Twig & Leaf. Down 14 after six listless minutes, the Cards were gifted the ball at the BC five, showed a semblance of life and focus, couldn’t sustain it, and were defeated falling away.
Same ol’ same ol’.
For me there was eery coincidence.
In my weekly picks, I shared about my visit to watch the Cards against the Eagles in Beantown in ’91. How a leg injury from a year earlier reappeared, and required further surgeries. How my gang left that 33-3 L at the half and went shopping.
Friday night I slipped on a step coming out of a restaurant and blew out my knee. Spent the night in the ER. Was so tired, I could hardly keep my eyes open during the game. Tried to watch tape morning after, but could see there was no reason to and turned it off.
Surgeries will ensue for me. Hopefully, eventually, I’ll heal.
Wish I could say the same about the Cardinal footballers.
This team is toast. Perhaps U of L conjures some fortitude in the bye week, maybe conquers Wake Forest. Even though the Cats are significantly better than U of L this season, that’s a rivalry game. Thus the Cards only other conceivable W.
Truth: Wishful thinking.
Those of us who are diehards will still watch, eschew other plans. But it will be with heavy hearts, knowing this season is off the rails already, with minimal chance for realignment.
We love sports, we have favorite teams with which we figuratively live and die. Because they provide a respite from the exigencies of real life. Most of the time anyway.
At other moments, when our favorites are down, when our serenity is breached, we are forced to look within. Find our succor from family and friends. Find the faith to believe we will survive and find serenity despite the adversity.
So it is this gray Sunday morn.
— Seedy K
4 thoughts on “Reflections on Another U of L Loss”
Sorry about your injury. The Card’s play was painful – but you doubled down. Hope both you and the Cards get well SOON!
Sorry to hear about your injury. I wish you a speedy recovery. Fandom is personal, and I would like to share a personal story before I break down this team’s considerable issues.
October 5, 1977. I remember the date, because it was my 13th birthday. At dusk, my older brother excitedly ran into the house and told me that Johnny Unitas was signing autographs at the grand opening of his men’s clothing store at the Outer Loop Plaza Shopping Center. Though I was a U of L fan then (and now), I had no idea who the hell Johnny Unitas was, so I asked my brother. “Famous football player,” he said. “You better hurry. The store will be closing soon.” So I hopped on my Schwinn Stingray and pedaled through the dark along Fegenbush Lane. I arrived at the store mere moments before it closed. There was no one at the store except Johnny and a store employee. Johnny was quite grumpy. He seemed irritated that some kid who wasn’t old enough to remember his college or NFL playing days ( or old enough to buy a suit from him) was pestering him for an autograph right at closing time. He pulled out an 8 x 10 black and white picture of himself with the store’s name and logo on it, and signed it and sent me on my way. As I got back on my bike, I saw Johnny and the store employee turning out the lights and locking the door.
For 60 years, Johnny U was Louisville football’s signature icon, until he was supplanted by Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. It will be another 60 years before another player with LJ’s impact walks through the doors of the Schnellenberger complex, if it ever happens at all. Lamar masked many of this program’s short comings over the past few years. Now that he is gone, the program is exposed.
Aside from Bobby’s boneheaded play calling, the problem is that the recruiting has dropped off. For example, Devante Peete is no Devante Parker. I predict that U of L’s pro day next spring will have only a smattering of NFL scouts in attendance.
Despite Bobby’s staff’s signing of LJ a few years ago, the fertile Florida recruiting ground that U of L has mined since the Schell was coach has dried up. I don’t know if the talent level in the state has decreased, or if more programs are recruiting there and creating greater competition. Though Central Florida and South Florida are doing well, Florida and Florida State have dropped a notch.
Louisville’s last 5 bowl games have been against SEC schools. Charlie Strong crushed Florida in his last game as the U of L coach. Bobby has gone 1-3 in bowl games against SEC schools. He beat a bad Texas A&M team, and the 3 losses have not been competitive. This brings me to my next point. Charlie Strong is the most underappreciated U of L coach in history. So what if he (allegedly) had an affair with Jonathan Blue’s wife? Besides Jonathan Blue and Charlie’s wife, who cares? His biggest mistake was praising the mythical Big Blue Nation at a presser. Many fans never forgave him for that. But his teams played good defense, and the offense wasn’t bad, either. He brought the unforgettable Teddy Bridgewater to town.
I can’t help but wonder if perhaps Bobby wasn’t an offensive genius at all during his first stint at Louisville. Maybe the Cards were just beating teams 63-7 because those teams were really crappy C-USA and Big East teams.
Sorry to hear about your fall. Heal quickly.
Leg injury; you need a shot from the Doctor
and some type from Coach Wood and get on back in there. We need you with the way or team is playing or not playing.
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