More Than A Game

By Charlie Springer

People being much too reserved in their predictions and comments. Are fans looking forward to Sunday’s matchup or are they dreading it?

Kentucky has fattened up a 13-3 won-lost record with schools few people knew even existed before this season started. How about Ouachita Baptist, Mississippi Valley State, and  Longwood? They have basketball teams, too? What do you learn about yourself playing teams like Virginia Military Institute, Florida Atlantic and Delaware State? A freshman-dominated Indiana University team?

Not much.

Louisville limps in with an 8-3 record, having learned quickly that it doesn’t faintly resemble the third ranked team in the nation. Surprising losses to Western Kentucky, Minnesota and Nevada-Las Vegas. Cockiness has been replaced by uncertainty, the future clouded by doubt, and an ugly offensive attack plagued by poor field goal and free throw shooting.

Are the Cards as bad as they looked against UNLV?  Probably not.

All of which adds to the unknown and drama of Sunday’s showdown. No time for reflection. It’s much more than a game, and everybody knows it. You had better come to play. Win or lose, everybody has to live with the outcome for quite a while.

Make all the ugly K baseball caps, the UK car flags, the fat Wildcat shirts go away. Make them disappear.

Who Gives Up Tickets To UK Fans

Why kind of Louisville fan gives up tickets to UK fans for UofL-UK basketball and football games in Louisville? Despicable types, that’s for sure.

By Charlie Springer

What kind of person buys season tickets to University of Louisville basketball games and hands them over to Kentucky fans for UofL-UK games? The question is relevant because Freedom Hall will have more than a few blue-clad partisans on Sunday. It’s inevitable.

  • The self-serving boss who wants to reward customers out in the state with the ultimate gimme, tickets to the biggest game in the state. They make most of their money in Louisville but take advantage of a rare opportunity to kiss Big Blue butts.
  • Transplanted brown nosing employees from out in the state who lay claim to the company tickets three months in advance.
  • The Benedict Arnold types, the neuter-genders who say they like both UofL and UK but pull for Kentucky when the teams face each other.
  • The spineless wimp who marries a UK fan and gives in to pleas to let the brother’s family in Burgin or Paintsville use the tickets.
  • Fans who lost bets to UK fans during the last UofL-UK football game.
  • The shameless hucksters who sell their tickets to the highest bidders.
  • Victims of clueless people born and raised in Shively, St. Matthews and parts in between who call in favors from UofL fans who owe them big time. Their parents were UK fans so it was bred into them.

You don’t have to go out of your way to be nice to UK fans in Freedom Hall. That may be asking too much. Just make up your mind that you will be courteous and civil with them. Their brains are wired a little differently that ours, and they can be a little looney.

Save your ire for the people who gave them the tickets.

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Backsliding: UNLV 56, Louisville 55

By Charlie Springer

What was that about being a basketball school? The basketball season is not providing the emotional lift that University of Louisville fans had hoped would help them get over football. Sorry, folks, this is not the eighties. With the strength of the Big East this year, this could turn out to be another one of those rebuilding phases.

— Someone once said at least ten thousand times that if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. The Cards seem to be stuck in reverse gear at present. Still going through the motions, despite the Western Kentucky and Minnesota drubbings.

— Samardo Samuels is still on the first chapter in the instruction manual on playing college center, despite all the preaching and tormenting during those torturous practices. Don’t expect any kind of meaningful help from George Goode or Terrence Jennings anytime soon.

— How long will it be before fans start speculating against about a possible return of Derrick Caracter? It’s been a while now.

— Jared Swopshire goes from a starter one game to playing one minute in the next game. That promising performance in the UAB encounter must have been some of that “Fool’s Gold” that Rick Pitino keeps warning us about. Or is really just saving Swopshire for Big East play?

— I know this is getting redundant, but this team is never going anywhere until Earl Clark considers it cool to get excited about playing aggressive basketball. By that we mean using his superior height and strength to overpower people in his way. We’ve seen brief glimpses of it, but it usually disappears as quickly as it appeared.

— Does anyone want Terrance Williams to get rid of that ridiculous shooting cast on his arm? His best shot will always be the in-your-face, thunderous dunk. If he hits half of his layup and free throw attempts, UofL wins. Forget about the layups, T-will, dunk the blasted basketball.

The Peyton Siva Show

University of Louisville verbal Peyton Siva scored 29 points as Franklin’s boys basketball team beat Jeffersontown 72-55 on Tuesday in the championship game of the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic. He was the hands-down pick as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

The Quakers, from Seattle, Wash., became only the sixth out-of-state team to win the tournament and the first since Berkshire of Homestead, Fla., in 1999. Franklin (7-0) won all four of its games in the 16-team event, three against Louisville opponents.

Monday night, he had 32 points, 10 assists and no turnovers in a 91-88 semifinal victory over Coral Reef of Miami. In the title game, he shot 9 of 14 from the field and 11 of 13 at the free-throw line, with three rebounds, three steals and two assists. Siva made 28 of 31 free throws in the final two games.

Although he’s only 5-foot-11, Siva does it all: Check out some file footage:

Between Tearing Packages Open

Between family and friends’ Christmas gatherings today, there was a basketball game. It was one of those typical pre-conference early season games where things should have been coming together but didn’t come close. University of Louisville basketball fans have been there before and they will be back there again, hopefully not this season. No danger of peaking too early.

What will be remembered about this day is all the fun with the kids, grandchildren and friends, all the hugs, the laughter and good times. The holiday season is in high gear.