Your Papa John’s Update

stadium_march_091Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expansion is moving along fine, thank you. Not a construction expert by any means but the ear-piercing  clanking sounds while the observer was there probably means that steel supports were being installed and that concrete will be coming soon.

Here’s your spring football practice schedule after today:


Saturday Football Returns

The 2009 University of Louisville football schedule has been released, a development sure to arouse the cynics while stimulating another round of bad-mouthing. Gonna be that way until the program gets back on a winning track.2009-schedule1

The good news is that football Saturdays are mostly back for Louisville fans. Only one week night game, that one against Pittsburgh, the second home opponent, on Friday, Oct. 2. The not-so-good news is that this is the only game scheduled for national television. That’s what happens when a program goes south for a while.

The season begins Labor Day weekend, on Sept. 5th with the Cards hosting Indiana State, giving the Cards a couple of weeks to prepare for Kentucky on Sept. 19th. Two games would have been better but Tom Jurich apparently had problems getting an opponent for the intervening Saturday. One can count on the annual obstructions surrounding the telecast of the Louisville-Kentucky game.

Good to see Southern Mississippi back on the schedule, renewing a good rivalry with a respected football program.

Spring practice begins Sunday at 4 p.m. at the football practice field north of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Deduct Six Points For Taunting?

The NCAA football rules committee is reportedly considering a rules change that would erase the six points after a touchdown if taunting is involved. Currently, the offending team incurs a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. If the rule is changed, the penalty yardage would be marked off from the spot of the foul.

I know, I know, someone is going to comment that won’t be a problem at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium next season. But that’s being a bit cynical, especially with Victor Anderson returning.

Changing the rule would be a bad idea. Taunting is not a major problem in college football so why even consider such a change? It just doesn’t occur that often, and the current penalty discourages the behavior.

So why would they even consider a change? One would have to suspect the dynamics of a committee are at work here. A group of coaches getting together during the off-season, expected to make some recommendations on improving the rules. They don’t have many ideas but they want to leave their mark. Suddenly one committee member goes off on a tangent, railing about taunting. Yeh, yeh, it’s bad, let’s do something about that.

Football is a rugged game, packed with emotional highs and lows. Taunting is not a good thing but expecting young men at their prime not to show any emotion is unrealistic. Some officials could interpret the act of excited players jumping up and down after a touchdown as excessive celebration. It has happened.

The punishment just doesn’t fit the crime.

If the rules committee wanted to make a difference, they could address the problem of the time-consuming and momentum-killing television timeouts. They would get a lot of support from fans, especially those in the stadium sitting through all of the commercials.

Link:   Taunting on scoring plays might wipe out TD’s

No Escape

Valentine’s Day. Forget about sports. A time to take the lady out to dinner. Like when the observer proposed to her a couple of decades or so ago on such a day.

Do it right, lobster, shrimp, crabs. Good chance to get terrible basketball games out of the system.  Is there a controversy surrounding the football staff. Nah, not for two or three hours any way.

Anyone you know?
Resemble anyone you know?

We take in a movie, “The International,” a recently released espionage story of intrigue and espionage involving an international bank gone bad. World leaders getting killed one after the other.

Hey, wait. That assassin looks familiar, someone very familiar. Who is that? Surely not. The mind is playing tricks on the observer. Mention the resemblance to my wife. Her eyes widen, she bends over laughing, despite my shushing, snickering the rest of the way.

The assassin is a dead ringer for Steve Kragthorpe, the University of Louisville football coach. The long forehead, the far away looks, the mannerisms, the voice, they’re all there in the character portrayed by Brian F. O’Byrne, who stars as The Consultant to his banker friends. He is involved in one of the bloodiest movie shootouts in recent memory

U of L football fans, especially the Kragthorpe haters, are hereby advised that the The Consultant will be a major distraction. What finally happens to him? Is there a happy ending? Just have to wait and see. Like Steve Kragthorpe, the movie will be around for a while.

Kragthorpe To Micro Manage Offense

By Paul Sykes

The obvious was confirmed today by Steve Kragthorpe:  Jeff Brohm is no longer the offensive coordinator or on the coaching staff at the University of Louisville. Kragthorpe has assumed for himself the role of offensive coordinator.

The third-year Louisville football coach has said several times recently that he will be the one to point the finger at when questions arise about the program. The first one is what changes will he make in the offensive play calling and schematics.

Way too early to predict that but I’ll do a little speculation. Unlike coach, I’ll not take any credit or criticism for how it turns out:

  1. Find a quarterback that fits his offensive strategy. He’ll have five to choose from. One would conjecture that the Cards will take advantage of a strong running game and the quarterback might be called on to run an option style offense. This would seem to suit Adam Froman and Justin Burke’s skills. The other guys, we’ll just have to wait and see on.
  2. Improve communications between the wide receivers and the quarterback. With a healthy Trent Guy, Scott Long and Doug Beaumont, the Cards are not lacking in go-to  wide outs. Which QB will achieve the most success with these talented receivers? Can a quality tight end surface to make those clutch short yardage gains? Kragthorpe’s offenses at Tulsa were very dependent on the tight end. With him calling the plays now, that position will be instrumental in picking up yardage. Yardage is good.
  3. Find a back that can “catch and go”.  A quick running back with good receiver skills can be a serious offensive threat. Not only does it give the offense another option, it also gives the opposing defense another thing to worry about. Victor Anderson is the obvious choice here but do Darius Ashley or Bilal Powell have those skills as well? Predictability was one of the downfalls of the Cardinal attack this last season. A good throw-to back would make us less obvious.

Spring and fall ball will give Kragthorpe plenty of time to test his new job and skills.  Let’s hope he deserves a promotion at the end of the season.