It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair . . .
. . . it is the Tale of Two Men.
The tale of two empires really, one inside the other, conjoined, intertwined, two conquerors of all that could be seen and beyond.
Two “brands,” to use a term these men in full so often invoked, who reached further, higher than than their constituents would have ever hoped.
Two empires, two men, whose reigns have collapsed under the weight of their own hubris and neglect. Two stars, their light extinguished, their constituencies swallowed into a black hole.
Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino were the greatest show in town from the get go. Continue reading Tom & The Rick: Greek Tragedy x 2
If you haven’t heard, sports fans, the administration of University of Louisville Athletics, or some higher school power — James Ramsey and/or Tom Jurich and/or a Secret Committee and/or Outside Legal Counsel with/without the acquiescence and/or approval of Rick Pitino — has/have seen enough evidence that he/they deemed it wise to declare the men’s basketball team out of post season competition.
It was a preemptive strike, obviously meant to circumvent any such future penalties the NCAA might impose in response to the Herricane Katina allegations, and to display some institutional contrition with the purpose to lessen any other prohibitions the governing body might declare.
The immediate effect has been to punish the current squad, none of whose members are reported to have been recruited illegally, nor feted with strip shows or paid sexual favors in Minardi Hall.
That the current young and inexperienced Cardinals have overachieved has exacerbated the emotional commotion of the fan faithful in response to the declaration. The team is led by two grad student transfers from mid-major schools, neither of whom has previously participated in the NCAA tournament, each of whom came to U of L with the firm prospect of doing so, and neither of which shall have another chance to compete in the Dance.
(Perspective: How do you think the Cleveland State and Drexel fans felt, when their seasons were skewed, eliminating any chance to fill out a dance card, because Trey Lewis and Damion Lee decided to forego their final seasons at those schools, and bring their talents to Louisville?)
So Louisville fans, for the most part, are up in arms.
There have not been torch and pitchfork parades heading to the President’s official residence on Longest Avenue . . . yet . . . but . . . stay tuned. The dialog is getting more Trumpian by the hour. Continue reading Post Season Pandemonium: One More Look at U of L’s Self Penalization
The hits just keep on coming for the State University of New Jersey.
The regime of Athletics AD Julie Hermann, formerly of U of L, can’t seem to move beyond beleaguered.
The latest imbroglio concerns football coach Kyle Flood.
It is reported that Flood sent an email from a personal account to the professor of one of his players, whose academic standing might have been, shall we say, precarious.
You know, it’s not like this doesn’t happen all the time. But the sly schools, the ones with a sense of how to take care of such matters, don’t leave a digital trail.
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Speaking of coaches who want to run with the big boys, I gotta reiterate this question people are asking.
What did Baylor’s Art Briles know about the sordid past and present of Boise State transfer Sam Ukwuacho? And when did he know it? Continue reading Thursday Throwdown: Football, Fútbol & Eye Candy
Okay, for what it’s worth, I’m back on the beat. Spent a long weekend in Boston/ Maine, with some old pals, swapping tales and hurling insults. During which interlude, I did my best to deplete the crustacean population during what I’m told is a bumper season for lobsters.
Lobster Roll at Fenway. (Where I witnessed arguably the most fundamentally unsound major league baseball game ever contested. Matched in college by U of L’s lapses against Fullerton.) Lobster Omelet at Inn By The Sea. Lobster Pizza at Saltwater Grill. Lobster Chowder at Union Oyster House. And, thus obsessed, felt compelled to purchase not one, but two, lobster adorned baseball caps to commemorate the indulgence. One of which, the “Mother of All Lobster Caps,” I am wearing in the photo.
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University of Louisville baseball fans feel they “wuz robbed,” after losing last night’s extra inning affair. Cal State Fullerton, feisty, unrelenting, advanced to the CWS on a controversial 11th inning homer by David Olmedo-Barrera.
Robbed? Maybe so. Maybe not. Continue reading Tuesday Catch Up: Cards Crash, Cavs Conquer, FIFA Flailing & Other Effluvia
Absent some egregious miscalculation on Tom Jurich’s part, some chink in his armor worn as Supreme Commander Cardinal Nation, some rejection of his aura of absolute authority, U of L’s Athletic Council, or whatever that lay board is called, shall later this morning rubber stamp the selection of Bobby Petrino to return as Cardinal football coach.
Press conference to follow. During which there shall be a display of contrition like none other. Much shall be made of the vetting process. Homage shall be paid to Petrino’s pater, to whom Louisville’s AD has previously displayed fealty.
Fan reception to follow. For a meet and greet with the new coach, whose handshake and smile shall resonate like that of Alex in “A Clockwork Orange.” After the resocialization process, of course.
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Hey, ye Nagging Nabobs of Negativitude, deal with it.
Bobby’s back. Continue reading Bobby’s Back: Petrino, Part Deux
If you’ve been paying attention here, you know that I love college football.
Which is different than considering myself an astute observer of the technicalities of the game. Way different. I watch as a fan, not a guy who claims to know the Xs & Os.
Which was reinforced last night, as I watched most of Florida State’s exciting W on ESPN News. Which is where Matt Millen, Chris Spielman, Kevin Sumlin, Paul Chryst and Steve Addazio broke down the action and strategy in exacting detail in the Film Room.
It was as illuminating as it was fascinating. The latter three are still coaching, at Texas A & M, Pitt and Boston College respectively. Millen, who talked less than the others and was kind of a moderator, and Spielman, who was the most loquacious, do color for The World Wide Leader.
What became patently obvious was how much more these fellows see during the game than Seedy K does in the stands, press box or recliner. Immediately they’ll observe which lineman missed a block, or made a good one. Or, which LB missed an assignment, or looped through untouched on a stunt. Or, which receiver cut off a route too soon. Continue reading Sayonara BCS: College Pigskin Season Finally Over
There are times when the internet does know things before the rest of us.
Charlie Strong’s hometown is Batesville, Arkansas, a blink by the side of the road in the northeastern part of the state, just short of a hundred miles from Little Rock. In hopes of gaining some previously undiscovered perspective on Strong, whose job change has been the flashpoint for emotions in this town this weekend, I checked out Batesville’s Wikipedia page last evening.
Strong is listed among the town’s favorite sons, one of its “Notable People.”
Others include NASCAR’s Mark Martin, former major leaguer Rick Monday, former Razorback QB Ryan Mallett, the state’s 13th governor Elisha Baxter, and Mutha’s Day Out, a “1990s rock band, signed to Chrysalis records, (which) had 3 videos on MTV rotation and 2 world tours.”
Strong was already listed as head coach of the University of Texas football team.
Hmmmm. Continue reading Strong Reactions to Strong’s Defection
Teddy Bridgewater is gone.
For a moment, let’s be honest, folks, there really was never any doubt he was outtahere. All the hoo hah about him staying to bulk up, to hone his talents against better ACC competition, was just that, fantasy, delusion, choose your favorite descriptor. It was, you understand, like I said, to use the technical term, hoo hah.
Calvin Pryor is gone. Somehow I see the headhunter in Steelers’ black and gold, doing his best to rip off some available body part of any wideout who dares to venture across the middle, or otherwise deigns to trespass in Pryor’s territory.
Which brings us to Charlie Strong.
Another season, another onslaught of rumors. Charlie is interviewing with the AD of (name your college pigskin power). Continue reading Will Charlie Strong Make It 3 & Out?