Louisville CardFile: Air Force

Life is in full Koyaanisqatsi mode.

If you haven’t noticed, and bless you and whatever you’re taking if you haven’t, life is out of balance.

There’s a meteor hurtling toward earth, and the president isn’t doing anything about it.

Oh yeah, right, sorry, that’s just a flick.

People gathered at the Texas Book Depository, waiting for JFK Jr. and his dad to return, and proclaim something or another about the last election or the next one.

Yes, that’s real life.

Wait, wasn’t that Marilyn Monroe in the back seat, cooing “Happy Biiiiirthday, Mr. President,” with that Schiklgruber fellow sitting next to her?

And, those just seem like the more “normal” things going down routinely these cockamamie days.

 * * * * *

As for football, a bowl game got canceled Tuesday just hours before kickoff.

Players and coaches, pro and college, entered protocols by the minute.

John Madden passed.

And Air Force’s QB, a fellow named Haaziq Daniels, completed 8/9 passing. For 239 yards. And two touchdowns.

This for a squad that had run the ball 94 straight plays until he completed a 40 yard strike on the first play of the Falcons’ 2d drive.

At halftime, when the victors led 28-14, Daniels’, 6/7 at the juncture, passer rating was 418.8.

Meanwhile, next season Heisman candidate (Reference: Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich) M Cunningham was 1/6 for three yards in the 1st Q. And an improved but still underwhelming 4/11 at intermission.

Which is to say, in a Mondo Bizzaro World, this was Sportscenter Top Ten Crazy.

 * * * * *

After a certain U of L replacement DB — I’ve decided out of courtesy not to name names — was beaten for a second long TD strike, I got a text from a fellow fan.

Who, out of courtesy, shall also remain unidentified.

“We need a new DC.”

At halftime, I called him.

“Dude, have you noticed who is playing and not playing in the secondary? Several starters are injured. One has taken his talents to Tallahassee.

“There are some no names playing.”

Literally. Well almost.

It took some work to track down Rance Connor. Not listed in the Media Guide. Finally, saw the rookie from Miami’s name pop up online.

No bio. No stats. (He wasn’t the only player whose name appeared that I hadn’t heard of previously this campaign.)

U of L had but 15 defenders with a stat line. Versus 23 for the victors.

Could Bryan Brown have down a better job yesterday? With the handful of Cards he was dealt?

You tell me.

Coming in, AF led the country in rushing yards per game. 342.

Louisville held them to 157. While gobbling up 232.

Plus, the Cards held the Falcons, noted for holding on to the ball, to five minutes less possession time than average.

 * * * * *

Not going to sugarcoat it.

The loss was a sour end to an already disappointing season.

But Air Force is a good team, a ten win outfit from the Mountain West, an under-appreciated pigskin league. With a full complement of players.

Credit to the Cards for playing much stronger in the second.

They did not pack it in. Even after their first foray after halftime — 14 plays, 78 yards, 6:49 — came up empty two yards short of the goal line.

In the 2d, Cunningham was 9/10 for 164 yards, including that long dime to Tyler Harrell for a score.

U of L kept Air Force out of the endzone in the 2d, outscoring the Falcons, 14-3.

 * * * * *

I didn’t read any chatter about the game online, either during or after.

I imagine a lot of fans mused whether they should get out the torches for the coaching staff.

Not me.

I’m disappointed. I’m sad.

I’m also grateful, that unlike the fans of some bowl schools, I got to watch my team play on Tuesday afternoon.

In a world where we might see frogs raining down from the clouds any day now, I cherish the blessings as bittersweet as they may be.

— c d kaplan



5 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Air Force

  1. This was a perceptive and entertaining column. It is so important to take the sweet that comes with the bitter . . . take the sweet. Best wishes to you for a sweet(er) 2022.

  2. Rance Conner, 5-10 178 lbs., is listed in my 2021 Press Guide and looks like he might be a good one – a 247Sports 3 star ranked #116 player in Florida, all-Dade County and led team to Class 4-A team state title. Chose us over Florida, Fla State, Kentucky, LSU, So. Carolina, USF and Syracuse. He should see a lot of action next season, but just wish he was in the 6′ range.

  3. I too am sad and disappointed. But I also have little hope for success over the next several seasons. Our players did not quit which is good news, but it seems to me that the talent closet is pretty bare. They need to load up on transfers to staunch the apathy.

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