Family obligations over the weekend sending the observer and spouse to Western Kentucky to celebrate daughter-in-law Casey’s commencement ceremony in Murray.
Relieved the University of Louisville basketball game is available on the four-hour trip back to Louisville Saturday afternoon. The UofL radio network is supposed to include 15 stations out in the state and a couple in Indiana and Ohio. No sweat, all bases covered.
Before leaving Murray, picking up the Louisville-Memphis basketball game on WCCK-FM in Calvert City, listening to Paul Rogers and Bob Valvano until their voices are drowned out by static about half way home. The game and reception slipping away,UofL trailing 50-41 with 13 minutes remaining.
A hectic few minutes follow, trying to get stations in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Cincinnati, Frankfort and Manchester without success. Country music, static or talk shows. The cell phone app for radio stations doesn’t include the Cincinnati station. XM satellite radio is not helpful, and the Big East cell phone app is stuck on the half time score.
Finally, near E-town the feint signal of WKRD. Did Paul Rogers actually say Louisville is leading 57-54? Another long minute, the signal improving, getting confirmation. UofL has indeed taken the lead, thanks to a couple of three-pointers by Luke Hancock, a three-pointer by Chane Behanan, and free throws from Kevin Ware, Montrezl Harrell and Behanan.
Russ Smith has miraculously recovered from a severe ankle sprain, doing his thing again, hitting all eight of his free throw attempts, along with a three-pointer. His final stats will include 12-of-12 free throws, four assists and 19 points in a 87-78 win.
Reception will go in and out during Rick Pitino’s post game show, “Russ Smith this …” and “Peyton Siva that…” The coach laughing at his own jokes again. Bzzz.
The struggles and memories of listening to Louisville games on the radio aren’t relegated to the good old days just yet.