Update: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expansion

Not much new in the way of construction at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Friday afternoon, at least inside the stadium.

The earth moving equipment seemed to be about the same place as it was when we last visited about four weeks ago. The only sign of actual construction appeared to be on the beginnings of what appears to be a concrete bunker in the southwest corner.

For now, University of Louisville football fans will have to be happy with a 2017 football recruiting class that has been ranked as high as 20th by some analysts. National signing day is Wednesday, February 1.

University of Louisville is in good hands under David Grissom

Junior Bridgeman (left) turned the reins of the UofL Board of Trustees to David Grissom on Saturday.

University of Louisville supporters can be confident that the future of the school is in good hands with David Grissom having been named Chairman of the UofL Board of Trustees. He will not abide mediocrity.

Grissom was selected by the board Saturday, winning the post over Junior Bridgeman, a highly successful businessman and former Louisville basketball player. Bridgeman was a good choice last year when UofL needed a likable leader to bridge the gap between the old and new boards. Grissom is the better choice now, an aggressive, no-nonsense leader to deal with some of the immense challenges facing the University.

David Grissom does not abide mediocrity.

Grissom, who obtained his law degree from UofL, has a long history of successful management in Louisville, including serving as Executive Vice President of Human during its early days in the late Sixties. He went on to become Chairman and Chief Executive at Citizens Fidelity Corporation, and Vice Chairman of the PNC Corporation that succeeded Citizens Fidelity.

He also was the founder of Mayfair Capital, which provides financial guidance to many of the community’s wealthiest citizens. Name a leading business or community organization and he has probably served as a board member during his career.

It was obvious Saturday that Grissom has already devoted a lot of time to the University’s challenges, extracting a commitment from the UofL Foundation not to initiate any new investments in real estate until completion of the forensic audit. Grissom said he plans to deal directly with the firm conducting the audit.

He also wants the UofL Trustees to meet monthly because of the enormity of some the problems, including the audit, the accreditation issues, and the NCAA investigation of the basketball program. This has to occur before UofL can attract superior candidates for the Presidency, which Grissom said could up to 18 months.

“We’ve got to score some wins first,” he said.

The University of Louisville is fortunate to have an individual like Grissom getting personally involved at this crucial time in the University’s development. He will face the problems head on, get the right people involved, people who want the best for the school, and set some incredibly high goals and objectives for UofL. 

Have no doubt David Grissom will get it done.

Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expansion update

The end of the 2017 football season may have been a downer for University of Louisville football. However, the future continues to look bright with the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Lots of work going on on Wednesday, with crews hard at work at the Floyd Street complex. A 10-foot chain link fence has installed just outside the north end zone, where the foundation of the 10,000-seat addition will be visible during the 2017 season.

Work also continues on the front of the football complex, across from the Trager indoor practice facility, where utility lines are being installed.

Painful to watch, Louisville football unable to handle adversity or prosperity

Sorry, but this observer had no choice but to turn the TV channel to another station during the third quarter. The football game was a disaster.

LSU’s dominance of the University of Louisville during the Citrus Bowl confirmed what many had suspected: This UofL football team had fallen from being a national title contender in October to one with zero confidence or aspirations in December.

Lots of symptoms, problems affecting the team’s psyche, with no logical reasons for what appeared to be a near total collapse.

— Probably the weakest offensive line in all of college football, unable to provide any blocking or protection for the quarterback or running backs.

— A team with the largest number of sacks and fumbles in college football. A team that couldn’t didn’t value possessions, unable to hang onto footballs. Turning sure things into unpredictable mishaps.

— A quarterback,  winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy, unable to call an audible, read a defense or escape a pass rush. Hurrying his passes even when not challenged, unable to hit open receivers, not knowing when to throw the ball away, even while standing in his own end zone.

Something about the composition of this team that couldn't handle adversity or prosperity.

— A coach labeled as an offensive genius unable to make offensive adjustments, forcing his quarterback to keep going long, resulting in a steady diet of hits, sacks and negative yardage. A three-game losing streak to end the most promising season in the school’s history

— A defensive backfield riddled with injuries, providing easy pickings for quarterbacks from Houston, Kentucky and LSU. Need points? Just go to the air against Louisville. Even Jaire Alexander, a second team all-ACC cornerback, resorting to pass interference, still unable to prevent receptions.

This observer has seen a lot of football over six decades, including numerous seasons when many games were over for UofL at the end of the first half. Not many expectations for teams during the first five-and-a-half decades but always optimism that things would get better.

And they did get better, with UofL winning a BCS Orange Bowl in 2007 and a BCS Sugar Bowl in 2013. This year was set to be extra special, with Louisville in the top 10 for much of the season, third for a week or so, fifth and sixth over a couple of weeks. A matter of taking care of business and UofL would have been in contention for the playoffs, possibly a national title.

Something about the composition of this team that couldn’t handle adversity or prosperity. Games against inferior competition became harder, more difficult to win, some decided in the last quarter, one on the final play. Finally, down the stretch they were unable to stop anybody but themselves.

What a letdown, so disappointing. Difficult to fault the fan base for not traveling to Orlando for the Citrus Bowl. Or to blame those watching the final football game on TV for wanting to change the channel. Just too painful to watch, the final chapter in what was once a very promising season.

Happy holidays to the Harry’s Hangout tailgating crew

Slowly emerging from the total Yuletide immersion, slowly, not wanting to admit that Christmas is over. The gifts will be removed from beneath the tree soon, the tree and lights packed away for another year. 

Among the best memories of 2016 were game days at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, spent celebrating University of Louisville football with all the friendly people in the Harry’s Hangout crew in Section A of the Green Lot.

To our fellow tailgaters, thanks for the great times, the good food, the companionship and for sharing the ups and downs that only UofL football can provide. Hope the holidays are going well and wish the best for you in 2017.