The University of Louisville football tickets are on the mail trucks.
Well, actually, the observer’s have already arrived. Tickets for seven football games, seven Green Lot parking tickets spread out on the desk. An inexplicable sense of accomplishment for an individual who started out listening to UofL games on the radio at the orphanage.
Fall football practice is well under way, Media Day is over, the Kickoff Luncheon has sold out again. Only Fan Day and an intersquad scrimmage to go between us and the opening of the 2013 football season. The only distraction being the announcement of the 2013-14 basketball schedule, which always seems to be announced two days before the opening kickoff for some reason.
Louisville football has come a long way over several decades. The days of getting coupons for free tickets at the local Convenient store are long gone, as is having one’s choice of seats, the ability to move around the stadium during games. All those people raking leaves, hunting deer, wasting their Saturday afternoons, not knowing what they had at Fairgrounds Stadium.
There were other advantages for the UofL faithful during the day. Going to the concession stand or the restroom took only a couple of minutes. These days the same activities take several minutes with all the long lines. Getting something from a disinterested concessionaire takes almost the entire half time break, making missing the second half kickoff a continuing risk.
On the other hand, watching a new football stadium becoming a reality, seeing the crowds swell to 55,000 at times, witnessing the growth of new fans, the youngsters, the women, the college students the vast variety of Cardinal gear, nobody wearing the same shirt or hat, the fans becoming more knowledgeable about the game, all of them growing in their fervor for UofL football has been most satisfying.
Those who paved the way, yes that includes the observer, feeling like they, in their own way, helped make Louisville football what it is today. He, along with people like Howard Schnellenberger, Bill Olson, Malcolm Chancey, Tom Jurich, Bobby Petrino and Charlie Strong, of course.
Those tickets are a reminder of just how far we have come.