Tag Archives: Louisville Cardinals

Critical Year for U of L Cards, Part I: How We Got Here

Warning: Some content contained herein may be painful for diehard Louisville Cardinal football fans. 

November 9. 2006.

It was the moment Cardinal Faithful had believed would arrive since The Schnell had proclaimed it inevitable years before.

The Cardinals were not only on the cusp of a seemingly implausible dream come true, they had breached the perimeter.

Yes, Schnellenberger, not as wise about the future of college football as he thought, had jumped ship in a pique. He didn’t like that the school prexy had joined a conference. So The Pipe left for a one and done campaign as Supreme Commander Sooner Nation.

Yet his promise remained in the hearts of the loyal, though the vision faded somewhat in the campaigns right after he abdicated. There was the immediate and precipitous decline under Ron Cooper. A revival of belief under John L. Smith. But he too didn’t buy in entirely, going AWOL in Mobile during a bowl game after some success.

Enter the savant. Bobby Petrino 1.0. Continue reading Critical Year for U of L Cards, Part I: How We Got Here

U of L Football Media Day Takeaways

To a greater or lesser degree, most guys on the sidelines, be they in charge or just assisting, develop a facility for coachspeak.

It allows them to meet and greet the media, appear as if they’re passing along info with some gravity, while not revealing much anything of value.

If abysmally hapless when it came to coaching, former Cardinal mentor Steve HisLastNameShallNotBeUttered was a true master when it came to prattling on in an imperious manner that sounded like football genius while saying absolutely nothing of consequence.

(For the record, while he can prevaricate, Cardinal head man Bobby Petrino, is less a coachspeaker than most in the profession. His responses are generally less cliché-filled.)

One way the lingo phenomenon manifests itself is through the use of vaguely descriptive code words. Take Tight Ends Coach Chris Klenakis for example. Not a Q & A can pass without him extolling how his charges are “grinding.” Which, one must assume, is to say they are working hard but still have a way to go to be where they need to be.

New Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder, with a resumé as vast and glossy as any coach ever to don a Cardinal crested Climalite polo — SEC, Big 12, South Bend and my dad’s alma mater Wayne State — has developed his ability accordingly.

“Ascending” is the word he kept invoking, when what it seems like he was really saying is his defense is still in the early stages of learning his system. Which is better to hear, one supposes than the antonym, but not as heartening as, oh, “I’m really pleased, they’re really getting it.” Continue reading U of L Football Media Day Takeaways

Just Cardinal Hoops Talk . . . Really

Oy. it’s enough to give a guy heartburn. (Though that might be thanks to the gourmanderizing I perpetrated on myself last night right before bedtime.)

Lawsuits. Now x 2. Fans suing the NCAA. Players suing the NCAA.

Then there’s that litigation of former employees suing the school after being fired.

Now there’s that pizza splatter all over the football program and the university since that Papa J has swan-dived off the side of the mountain onto the rocks below, fashioning his own professional demise, leaving lots of pissed off folks in the U of L community.

So . . . for a breath of fresh air . . . can we talk about some actual Cardinal hoops for a bit? I mean Coach Mack and Jordan Nwora did a meet and greet day before yesterday?

Yes, but one other item first.

Signage. Continue reading Just Cardinal Hoops Talk . . . Really

Five but Not All ’13 Cards Sue NCAA

I am he/ As you are he/ As you are me/ And we are all together

Those would be the lyrics of the Beatles iconic tune that Russ Smith and Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear and Montrezl Harrell are likely not singing this day, if they’ve digested the gist of the lawsuit filed by their 2013 teammates against the NCAA.

Those plaintiffs are Luke Hancock and Gorgui Dieng and Tim Henderson and Michael Marra and Stephann Van Treese, who have in essence demanded that ruling body of college sports clear their names but not those of their teammates, declare the claimants again champions and winners of the victories taken away.

Maybe it’s just me, but the whole deal smells like those involved in the suit are throwing their teammates under the bus. Where’s the one for all, all for one team spirit?

And who’s the Walrus? Continue reading Five but Not All ’13 Cards Sue NCAA

Mitchell, Rozier & the Dean/Jordan Meme

So, if you happen to be a Louisville Cardinal fan and happened to be out and about last night and couldn’t watch in real time so you taped the Jazz/Rockets game to view later before bed or today, hoping that our main man in the Beehive State was able to lead his underdogs to another W in the Western semis . . .

. . . well . . . (Spoiler Alert!) fuhgettabout any prolongation of the series.

Buuuuuuuut, if you haven’t watched yet, just fast forward to the 3d Q, during which interlude, one Donovan Mitchell, former matriculator on the Belknap Campus, went . . .

. . . en fuego. (Or if you prefer the first translation Google spit out, en llamas.)

Donovan was, it ain’t hyperbole, Jordanesque. It was a fashion show of twists and swirls and crossovers and Eurosteps and reverses and banks and follows and deuces and treys. He tallied double deuces. Which, to put in proper context, was a greater sum for the period than the entirety of the home team, which just so happened to win more games this season than any other.

Plus he was dishing out no look dimes that were, dare I say it, Magical. Continue reading Mitchell, Rozier & the Dean/Jordan Meme

Cardinal Hoops: A Look Back & Stepping Ahead

There’s something in the air.

And the aroma — despite one last springtime cold front — is as sweet as honeysuckle.

But it came from out of the blue. Xavier blue.

When the in the realm of all matters insignificant memory passed through my mind before Chris Mack’s boffo intro, it should have been obvious then and there how anxious I was, we all were for a reinstitution of hope.

We were, frankly, predisposed to be pumped. Continue reading Cardinal Hoops: A Look Back & Stepping Ahead

Cardinal Hoops is Back to Where It Once Belonged

U of L basketball has turned the page, is starting a new chapter.

The windows have been thrown open, fresh air is circulating the premises.

And, while I’m tossing about worn clichés, it would be easy to fall into the trap of offering this: There’s a new sheriff in town.

Except that this new fella come down from upriver doesn’t seem like the guy who would fling open the swinging doors and swagger into Louie’s Saloon with an air of high authority, making sure all the boys at the bar saw his badge’s gleam in the gaslight. He’s more the dude who shows up late after a long day toiling at the livery stable, has a shot maybe two of sarsaparilla but rarely if ever too many then heads home to buss his bride on the cheek and tumble about with the kids.

So, then I arrive here: to say that a new era in Cardinal hoops has dawned. That the new guy in town, Chris Mack, looked out at the assembled to the phalanx of former hoopsters who thrilled us in the red & black, and proclaimed, “This is your program. I want each of you to know there are no different eras.

“This is Louisville basketball.”  Continue reading Cardinal Hoops is Back to Where It Once Belonged

Padgett, Pitino & the Cardinal Coaching Carousel Coulda Woulda

At the top, before I get to opinionizing, conjecturing, rumor mongering, innuendo disseminating and other stuff my phalanx of attorneys have advised me against, let me add my words of praise for David Padgett.

The fellow was dropped into a situation that was extremely difficult at best, and exasperatingly impossible at worst.

At every twist and turn, he comported himself with poise, class and humility.

David Padgett, dare I say it, is a mensch.

University of Louisville fans owe him a debt of gratitude for the stalwart way he handled an untoward situation.

I hold him in nothing short of the highest regard.

He has all the peripherals for a long and successful coaching career. I don’t know a Cardinal fan who doesn’t wish for his success. Continue reading Padgett, Pitino & the Cardinal Coaching Carousel Coulda Woulda

U of L Men’s Basketball Season Now Rests in Peace

It was more than poetic that on the first day of spring, snow fell.

And so did the Cardinals for the final time this year.

To lay to rest a dissatisfying season that shall be hard to forget though the oh so many adoring fans who showered their appreciation at the Yum! in the last week will wish they could.

The denouement was appropriate.

The moment was allegorical.  Continue reading U of L Men’s Basketball Season Now Rests in Peace

Louisville CardFile: Middle Tennessee (And a Nod to Walz’s Women)

It was the kind of day that Cardinal fans feel inclined to get poetic, a sunny early spring interlude, a pleasant valley Sunday on the banks of the Ohio.

And, out of respect for our burg’s favorite Derbytime Doublemint twins Cyb and Trish, it was a double your pleasure, double your fun kind of L1C4, #BeTheCardinals kind of day.

At High Noon in the NC2A, U of L’s one-seed distaff hoopsters eviscerated Marquette by 18.

Asia Durr hit her first five shots. Sam Fuehring hit her first five shots. Myisha Hines-Allen hit her first five shots. Jeff Walz’s charges were up 18 at the end of the 1st, and +25 at intermission.

You know what the Professor says?

That’s right, class, you look good when you make your shots.

So, when the guys tipped in the N1IT at 6:30 in front of yet another raucous old days feel of a throng — they actually did the friggin’ WAVE for throwback’s sake, upper deck included — it was as if the boys said, the ladies were so nice, let’s do it twice. Continue reading Louisville CardFile: Middle Tennessee (And a Nod to Walz’s Women)