Tag Archives: Louisville Cardinals

Hope’s Afoot & Other Media Day Takeaways

On the way out to Cardinal Stadium for the dog and pony show a/k/a Football Media Day, I noted the sky was Grantland Rice blue-gray. Appropriately enough, even though it was a bit muggier than the day which caused college pigskin’s flowery bard of yesteryear to wax poetic about a quartet of Notre Damers in the ’20s.

When I exited, the sun was out.

Which is a good enough way to metamorphize the spin that is always attendant at such annual inaugural rites.

On the elevator up to the press level, a fellow who’d been at as many of these as me and I were riffing on what we’d hear.

“Great to be back.

“Really looking forward go hitting the field.

“Guys have been doing some great work in the weight room, and are bigger and stronger.”

Etc, etc. Or yada, yada, yada if you happen to be a Seinfeld acolyte.

Truth is, of course, there’s not much to learn here. Actual practice hasn’t started. Everybody’s undefeated at the beginning of August.

But the event does herald that the arrival of opening kickoff is not long off. That alone makes it a joyous, if tedious occasion. Continue reading Hope’s Afoot & Other Media Day Takeaways

Last Friday before Football (Practice)

Before we get on to other matters, a moment of silence please for the dearly departed.

In a world that seems to be falling apart before our very eyes, now we have to deal with yet another significant loss.

Flags at half mast please in memoriam of the demise of the Choco Taco.

(Silence.)

Of course this frozen treat wasn’t Graeter’s, or a trip to Polly’s Freeze for a shake or Gelato Gilberto.

But at those times, like 10:30 at night and you need something cool and sweet and the freezer is empty, and those places mentioned above are either closed or too far to drive at that hour, and you don’t want to hassle with a full grocery, there’s always Convenient.

(Whatever those places are called these days, they’ll always be Convenient to me.)

The freezer case is by checkout with the array of drumsticks and Klondike Bars and Fudgesicles. I most always went for the Choco Taco.

Not that it really tasted any better than any of those other mundane choices. But, it was a legit mix of ice cream, chocolate, nuts and soggy taco wrap in appropriate proportions for each bite*. It could be consumed before it melted.

*Grew up with Drumsticks, but after you’ve eaten the top, there’s no nuts or chocolate left to counterbalance the ice cream and cone underneath, a functional flaw. Continue reading Last Friday before Football (Practice)

Hump Day Hoedown

Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

My throwback.

If you don’t know which former Cardinal it references, you be in the wrong place. Just sayin’.

If you do, eat your heart out.

I throw it up there, because all signs are pointing to the Cardinal men’s hoops returning to where it once belonged.

It’s going to take awhile. So, be patient.

 * * * * *

My man who is periodically at practice reported in last evening.

FYI, he shall henceforth be known as Gym Eyes. Here anyway. Not sure his bride will find it as cute as I do.

Unfortunately, I was sitting in my car outside the grocery when he rang me up. So I didn’t have paper and pencil in hand to take notes. My memory on the wane, I’ll only be able to talk in generalities.

The big takeaway is that everybody on every drill looked markedly if incrementally improved over GE’s last look see a couple of weeks ago.

The coaching staff is emphasizing conditioning. Drills will be blown dead if players are not going full speed. As happened at least once when Josh Jamieson blew a stop the proceedings of the guys he was working with. I’m advised the team was broken into two groups on Tuesday, the bigs and the perimeters. Continue reading Hump Day Hoedown

ACCess ACClimation ACCentuation

This is the time of year when I should be obsessing about M Cunningham’s durability (while wondering about those $900 kicks he wore the other day), whether Monty Montgomery will be fully back, and will the secondary stabilize?

And beyond those contemplations, how much will really tall Josie Williams add to Jeff Walz’s phalanx of bigs, can KP coach as well as he can win the room, and, of course, will that rising senior from Jersey play for his dad’s coach or his grandpappy’s  teammate? Or shake up the hoops universe and take his talents elsewhere?

But . . .. but . . . but instead of thinking Xs and Os and out of bounds plays, instead of focusing on the guys in pads and cleats and sneakers, about that three game obstacle course to open the gridiron campaign, I’m obsessed with the guys in suits, what they’re conjuring up with their cash flow charts and TV stats.

Oy!!!

 * * * * *

The other day the Professor and I were lamenting the pickle many/most wags seem to believe U of L and its league seem to be in, given the Cards middle of the road stature  and its positioning in regards to the accelerating shift in college sports.

At one point, I began reminiscing about how it was when we were in high school. Continue reading ACCess ACClimation ACCentuation

Can We Talk Some Pigskin?

Yes, it is the apex of summer. More or less.

The Temperature/ Humidity Index — that’s what we called it in the days of my yout as Cousin Vinnie would call them — is going to reach 106 this week. Not exactly outlined against the gray blue sky the Four Horsemen rode again weather.

Still I’m ready to talk about some college football . . .

. . . because I as is my custom annually wended my way out to my purveyor of choice to plunk down an Andy plus a bit of silver for Phil Steele’s ’22 College Football Preview.

It’s 352 pages of everything even the most diehard of diehard pigskin obsessives could possibly want to know about the upcoming campaign. And way too much more.

It is biblical. Even though King Phil updates his yearly, unlike King James I, f/k/a King James VI of Scotland, whose version of his treasured tome has remained relatively unaltered since some time in the mid 1700s. Which predates college pigskin’s first shrine, Franklin Field in Philly, by a century and a half, give or take a 365 or two.

We know for certain of the gridiron annual’s importance thanks to the imprimatur of “The Current Voice of College Football,” Kirk Herbstreit: “The season officially starts every year when I get my copy of Phil Steele’s magazine.”*

*Dispensation has been granted to the former QB at THE, even though, heretic as it may be, he’ll also be calling Thursday night NFL now for Jeff Bezos.

The reality is that Steele’s too much is truly too much. Way more analytics and numbers and breakdowns and team reports and abbreviations (there’s a glossary, also too voluminous) and history and predictions than I can or really wish to consume. Also there’s so much info contained therein, that the print is too small for my aging eyes to read more than a few minutes at a time, and I refuse to use a magnifier. Continue reading Can We Talk Some Pigskin?

Tuesday Tantrums: On the Court, In the Courthouse

Former future U of L superstar.

That’s the snarky phrase I’ve used time and time again through the years to denote some gotta-have-sure-to-get-but-didn’t recruit destined for Louisville but not as much as the fanbase hoped for recruit.

It may not be as cute terminology as once upon a time. But, hey, it’s tried and true.

Too late to stop now.

So, yes, that’s one of those guys, Fab Melo, you see at the top.

Which is my circuitous way of hinting that I’ll be addressing the whole D.J. Wagner tug o’ war saga in a bit.*

*No need to scroll down for some late breaking inside info. That ain’t happenin’. Just going to offer some perspective.

But, first, let’s head down to the courthouse to see what’s going on?

 * * * * *

Which is, imagine this, another lawsuit emanating from Louisville Cardinal athletics.

Will it never end? Continue reading Tuesday Tantrums: On the Court, In the Courthouse

Thursday Throwdown: Bam, B**** & Kenny Klein

Let’s start with my appreciation for and thanks to Kenny Klein, U of L’s retiring SID.

He is, as has been universally reported, a professional of the highest order. And a mensch.

My personal favorite Kenny Klein moment came near the end of the ’98-’99 hoops season, when U of L was slated to return to the NCAA after a 12-19 clunker the year before.

I had convinced John Yarmuth, my LEO editor, and Blanche Kitchen, my publisher, to actually send me on their dime to the Cards’ opening round games in Orlando. They weren’t sure whether there would be a spot on the U of L flight down.

I was still also prosecuting at the time in Juvenile Court. The County Attorney had an office behind the court room, with a phone, the number of which I didn’t even know. We essentially used it to call out and track down cops and prosecuting witnesses we needed for court.

Still unsure of whether I would make the journey or not that week before the Cards were to meet Creighton in Orlando, I’m advised I have a call.

“Hello?”

“c d, this is Kenny Klein. We’ve got a spot for you on the team plane and a hotel room.” Continue reading Thursday Throwdown: Bam, B**** & Kenny Klein

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. Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: Tilling Fallow Soil

Tuesday Throwdeeps: Pigskin Recruiting, Linkster +++

That the US Open was still underway, and I hadn’t had an opportunity to write about it yet, did not deter The Professor from scolding me.

“So when are you going to give a shout out to former Cardinal golfer Adam Hadwin?

“He’s leading the US Open for heaven’s sake.”

He had me. I suppose.

Transparency here. As much as I love U of L sports, the golf team has never been on my radar. I had seen somebody mention somewhere that Hadwin was a former Cardinal, and thought, “That”s cool.”

My next thought, and how I responded to Prof, “Well, isn’t there always some guy we’ve never heard of atop the leaderboard after the first day, only to fade into his own parade?”

Which to Hadwin’s credit and doggedness, he did not, finishing T7 at -1.

Under par for an entire US Open. World class. Continue reading Tuesday Throwdeeps: Pigskin Recruiting, Linkster +++

Hump Day Hum: Inner City Blues, The Letter +

So, I ran into Scotty Davenport the other day by the Water Company Reservoir, where he was taking a break from his jog.

When he noticed it was me who stopped and rolled down the car window, he smiled and waved.

Because it’s what I do, I shouted, “You need to get the Cardinals to come play you at Freedom Hall!”

Have you ever seen how Davenport reacts on the sideline when he doesn’t like a call, how his demeanor changes, how he goes after the ref, and doesn’t give up? Well, that’s what happened when he heard what I said.

His animus wasn’t directed my way, but in the direction of U of L.”

“Never gonna happen. Never.

“It’s just that volleyball . . .

“Who do Louisville fans hate the most?”

Before I could answer, he did so himself.

“Kentucky. Well, Louisville’s the same person.” Continue reading Hump Day Hum: Inner City Blues, The Letter +