Hump Day Hustle: Tilling Fallow Soil

OK, yes, there are more onerous ways to spend one’s dotage than covering one’s favorite teams of his alma mammy, his favorite school since adolescence.

Especially when, as it is with Card Chronicle, it’s on Glorious Editor’s dime.

So, I normally fail to get any sympathy whatsoever in those few moments — such as, you know, right now, today — when I get whiny.

But, truth is, it’s that time of year when there’s not much to write about on the college sports scene.

Woe is we who live and die with this stuff, right?

Besides, people are out recreatin’, capeche?

 * * * * *

Which brings me to this diversion, in a pitch to meet my weekly word requirement.

Went to Indy on Tuesday to hear my favorite band, and one man’s opinion, Best Band Extant: Tedeschi Trucks Band.

They played that spankin’ new downtown amphitheater in White River State Park. Gorgeous. Great sound system. Comfortable seating. And, you can lunch at Shapiro’s, then stay at a hotel across the street from the stage. Literally.

So, life could be worse. On a night so gorgeous it was like the birthday of the world, twas a great show. Los Lobos opened. Those dudes from East LA took no prisoners. Shredded it from the street, doing a bunch of their classics.

I won’t bore you by waxing on about TTB. At least, for too long, I actually have a couple of sports things to mention.

Susan Tedeschi’s voice, and those of the backup singers were in full throttle. Derek Trucks was Derek Trucks, the best rock guitar player around not named Jeff Beck. They did two from “Layla”: “Bell Bottom Blues” and “Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad” (with David Hidalgo joining the jam). “Angel from Montgomery” morphed into a few choruses of “Shake Shake Sugaree.” They did a bunch of new tunes, a couple with a real Gospel feel.

The last of which slipped into “I Want To Take You Higher,” at which moment the already orgasmic crowd went nuclear.

Plus, there’s this. When I’m in the middle of such a musical wonderland, there is nothing else. No worries. No health issues. No hearings. No E**** B****. Bliss.

Even a complete momentary stoppage driving home on 65S at Mile 31 didn’t dent the serenity.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

 * * * * *

As I mention too often, I rarely pay attention to football recruiting. Even for my beloved Cardinals.

But, this June, it’s hard not to take notice.

Louisville’s actually getting ink from the pundits who cover such matters. Where the schools you always always read about are always in the lede. I don’t need to say their names. Think of that Steely Dan tune and take it from there.

But, in light of Coach Satt and staff’s recent work, I perused the rankings.

One has U of L’s average composite ratings of commitments as 5th best in the land. The other 6th best. Talking average, not totals. These numbers are a few days old, and Texas, with the Arch Manning bump, has quickly risen up the totem pole of ranking.

Anyhow, I hope all this quells the Satt better win NEXT YEAR or ELSE clatter.

Patience, my little butterflies.

 * * * * *

Another football thingie.

The ACC named U of L’s annual football “rivals” for the new rejiggered divisionless conference slates.

Miami, UVa, Georgia Tech.

Well and good, I suppose, but meh. Truth is Cards have no real football rivals in the league.

* * * * *

My man at hoops practice checked in.

Seems the spirit force of Crawford Gym has indeed returned.

Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and another of KP’s former Cats, whom my source didn’t recognize, were there. After the practice, pick up games ensued, current players and those guests.

No quarter was given.

Sweat ensued.


— c d kaplan


2 thoughts on “Hump Day Hustle: Tilling Fallow Soil

  1. That “spirit force of Crawford Gym” should NEVER be underestimated! As a near-contemporary fellow grad of that august school, under the portico of which rest the ashes of judicial icon, Louie Brandeis, I know that you recall how classes always began earlier for us than those of the undergrads. As a result, the campus was largely deserted in them dog days…EXCEPT for Crawford Gym, where the pinnacle of serious pick up games were generally taking place, thus making it the place to be for roundball-starved fans desperately seeking respite from Torts, Contracts, etc.! I’ll never forget that day in August, ’74 when I was hanging out in Crawford taking in one such game, seeing this skinny, Male junior-to-be steal the ball from by-then Nugget Jimmy Price, dribble the length of the floor, plant his toes about a foot outside the foul line, perform a NASA-worthy launch, and come DOWN stuffing the ball over a defender at least 3″ taller, like the dude wasn’t even there. “Holy Sh*t!”, says I, “who is that supernatural phenom?” To which my much more recruiting-informed buddy replied “his name is Darrell and he’s a future Card for certain”. Then and there, in hot, sweaty Crawford Cathedral, I was convinced I’d died and gone to Cards hoops heaven, Civil Procedure be damned. So as far as I’m concerned, Kenny Payne’s restoration of that “Crawford Gym spirit force” and all that comes with it is already a pivotal hallmark of his “freshman season”. (P.S. I was also privileged to be in Crawford later to watch Denny practice his Pan Am Games squad, the star of which was a guy from Indiana State named “Bird”.)

  2. TTB are the real deal indeed, and nice review. Music is all that we have left in these times.

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