Look to David Padgett

Watching David Padgett walk on the basketball court in his black suit to the sideline is a difficult scene. He walks slowly, as if trying to mask the pain. Yet he’s among the first off the bench during timeouts, encouraging, clapping, slapping backs. No crutches for him. His personal rehab regime doesn’t allow for them.

Padgett is used to pain, having undergone five operations on his knees in the last three years. Even more painful, he says, is watching the games from the sidelines, his teammates struggling in his absence.

He has made it known to Rick Pitino and the doctors that he wants to return to action. Padgett is coming back, he will be playing with pain, and he will be putting a possible pro basketball future at risk. He wants to complete his senior year at the University of Louisville whether he ever plays basketball again.

Don’t know how effective David Padgett will be as a player when he returns but his example should inspire his teammates. Despite the wobbly start for this basketball team, there remains a great deal of unrealized potential and talent. Up to now, the play has been methodical, almost mechanical, almost as if just going through the motions.

Padgett is willing to risk everything for this team. Look to David, guys, if you need motivation.

Not So Fast with the Smoke Screen

What’s the hurry with the Louisville Metro Council holding special sessions to pass a new smoking ban ordinance? This would have been the perfect opportunity for Council members to examine the impact of a ban on local businesses.

Business is way down at most bars and taverns, an alarming number of them in danger of closing their doors. The reprieve by the court in striking down the old ordinance was probably the only thing that saved some of them.

Yet Councilman Kelly Downard says the ban has not driven anybody out of business. That may be true, Kelly, but it’s only a matter of time. You don’t hear about it from The Courier-Journal because reporting business failures would contradict the editorial page. The TV stations are either lazy or short staffed. Council members wouldn’t want to admit a mistake.

Downard displayed the worst qualities of a politician during the three-year debate on indoor smoking. Playing palsy with the bar owners on one hand and selling the businesses out on the other.

Why not use this time to measure the actual effects of the ban on businesses? The city’s profits are falling far short of expectations. Granted, the tax revenue from bars and taverns is not the only factor but the smoking ban is THE reason tax proceeds have slowed at local nightspots. Which is more logical? Allowing smoking and risking a minimal health effect or banning smoking and putting customers and employees out on the street?

One thing for sure is that all the smoking ban advocates who promised to go to bars if they went smoke free have not made good on their promises. No surprise there since they were fabricating so many “facts” in their rush to a ban.

More Ahead, Stay Tuned

Morehead State was a yawner, from beginning to end. Couldn’t have gained much from the game. Warning signs remained plentiful.

— Not much passion at Freedom Hall these days, must be saving it for Big East games.

— Three-pointers are coming much too easily for the opposition, too difficult for the Cards.

— Derrick Caracter won’t last long in conference games. Need a couple of free throws against U of L? Take the ball inside.

— Juan Palacios playing his way back into shape; will be a while before he becomes a factor.

— Earl Clark playing tentatively, going through the motions much of the time.

— Edgar Sosa more concerned about his performance than the team’s.

— Will Scott is a poor-to-mediocre three-point shooter at present.

Gift Return Day

— Hope nobody got what they didn’t need from CompUSA; those folks are going out of business. The “All Sales Final” on the receipt means exactly that.

— If you’re returning an item to the Neutral Zone, good luck. Any quality U of L merchandise in that store is priced at least 30% higher than you would expect. I returned a $34.95 U of L football poster. Looked, searched and scrounged for a quality sweatshirt or jacket. You can get them at that price but you would not want to be seen in them. Sticker shock every time I found something likeable. Had to settle for a baseball cap and a coffee mug. The only good news was I got 3 dollars in change.

Impressions vs. Aggies

— Trying to be sensational before you get the basics down pat is generally impeding the Cards’ overall development. Instead of making the easy pass, opting for the wow factor, blowing easy plays, looking not very intelligent, and letting opponents stick around in games.

— “We’re going to have that solved before the Morehead game (day after Christmas),” promises Rick Pitino in the post-game radio show. Ever wonder what Christmas is like for one of Pitino’s teams?

— Just happy Martin Iti, the big 7-footer, wasn’t playing on a North Carolina Charlotte team in Freedom Hall today. One of those typical UNCC teams would have destroyed the Cards, as they did so often a few years ago.

— No lack of camaraderie between Edgar Sosa and Andre McGee today. Reports of strained relations exaggerated.

— Where did McGee find that three-point shot? Where did Will Scott lose his?

— Juan Palacios was much more mobile and agile than anticipated, also bringing with him a sense of calm in midst of unnecessary confusion at times. Nice to have a senior on the floor for a change.

— Wonder if the rations order will be lifted for Derrick Caracter at the team’s Christmas dinner?