What To Expect vs. West Virginia

Few rivalries in collegiate sports have reached such a high level of intensity in such a short period of time as Louisville versus West Virginia. You know what they say about rivalries, toss the records out the window. It’s that kind of rivalry.

The Cards also have something else going for them this time around: Nobody expects them to win. Have fun, play loose, anything can happen. Stranger things have already happened this football season.

Too many U of L fans, however, seem to have an unhealthy sense of dread about this matchup or as blogster Tom Heiser phrased it, “much like the anticipation of an approaching hurricane just hours away at sea.” Calm down folks, this storm, too, shall pass. There may even be a pot of gold out there somewhere. Why else would there be a gold rush?

Some things to watch for:

— Mountaineers will run a trick play or two. The magic acts have been so effective against the Cards this season, it would be foolish not to go for the rabbit. How about backup quarterback Jarrett Brown coming in as running back and throwing a TD pass to Pat White? Nah, too easy.

— Bilal Powell to be seriously involved in the U of L offense. If the ground game is going to be effective, the Cards must utilize the quickness and escapability of Powell to offset the predictability of Brock Bolen and Anthony Allen.

— Harry Douglas will be back, for real this time. He’s just too good to allow himself to become just another wide receiver in U of L record books.

— Brian Brohm wants to win this game, badly. Running, passing, whatever it takes. You don’t become a legend without achieving the seemingly impossible.

Pin It

Bad Trip To Morgantown in 2005

Memories of the first Big East football game between Louisville and West Virginia two years ago:

— Minutes before getting into the car to drive to West Virginia, learning that the Holiday Inn in Clarksburg had been flooded. Knowing that it was a bad omen

–Catching a bus ride to the stadium with a group of U of L fans from a hotel in Fairmont. They hadn’t slept the night before because another bus had broken down.

— The disastrous onside kick off in the third quarter that went to West Virginia. Sinking feeling, knowing that momentum had unalterably turned.

— The sound of fire trucks, one after another and another, after the three-overtime loss.

— Arriving back at the the bus with beer-soaked shoes, courtesy of a couple of Mountaineer fans.

— Shock at learning the bus would go back to Louisville on a route that didn’t include our hotel 40 miles away. We were on our own.

Pin It

Churchill Downs Gets A Taste of its Own Medicine

Cheers for Judge Denise Clayton who overturned a provision in a Metro Louisville ordinance exempting Churchill Downs from the smoking ban. Serves Churchill Downs right for throwing the bar owners under the bus.

Churchill Downs management declined invitations to join the Metro Louisville Hospitality Coalition in fighting the ban, as if it were beneath them to work with the local hospitality industry. Big mistake. The locals repaid them with the lawsuit that removed the exemption.

This is the same Louisville business that has said it’s not that interested in hosting the Breeders Cup, an event that brings millions of dollars to the community.

Churchill Downs management knows a smoking ban will hurt its business. If they were smart, they would use their considerable clout to work with the bar owners and the Metro Council to revise the ordinance to allow smoking in age-restricted businesses where only patrons 21-years-old and over are allowed.

The clout deployed by Churchill Downs the first time must have been considerable to force Council members like Tom Owen, Tina Ward-Pugh and Ellen Call to argue that a smoking ban would cause economic damage to Churchill Downs but not other local businesses. Tom Owen was especially angry that the race track was threatened with a smoking ban.

Local bars and taverns are still reeling from the ban that took effect in July. Dan Heck, owner of the Siedenfieden Cafe, says he has lost 26% of his business since the ban took effect. John Dant, proprietor at The Back Door, says he didn’t take a paycheck in October, putting his money back in the business. Cres Bride, owner of R Place and Joe’s Older Than Dirt, very much fears the colder months when patrons can’t use his outdoor seating. They’re hurting bad, folks.

Pin It

Bad Trip To Morgantown in 2005

Memories of the first Big East football game between Louisville and West Virginia two years ago:

— Minutes before getting into the car to drive to West Virginia, learning that the Holiday Inn in Clarksburg had been flooded. Knowing that it was a bad omen

–Catching a bus ride to the stadium with a group of U of L fans from a hotel in Fairmont. They hadn’t slept the night before because another bus had broken down.

— The disastrous onside kick off in the third quarter that went to West Virginia. Sinking feeling, knowing that momentum had unalterably turned.

— The sound of fire trucks, one after another and another, after the three-overtime loss.

— Arriving back at the the bus with beer-soaked shoes, courtesy of a couple of Mountaineer fans.

— Shock at learning the bus would go back to Louisville on a route that didn’t include our hotel 40 miles away. We were on our own.

Pin It

Voters As Sheep?

Much manipulation went for naught as a proposed new library tax went down, leading some observers to conclude that they had outsmarted themselves. The margin of defeat exposed them as rank amateurs who believed the public could be steered like sheep to vote yes at the polls.

  • Anyone close to being a celebrity in Louisville was carted out for the campaign. TV spots from coaches and athletes. Letters to the Editor from business leaders and educators. You know, the kind of people you would never bump into at the local library branch. Maybe some actual library users would have been effective.
  • The three-part question on the actual ballot was obviously intended to delude individuals. The organizers clearly underestimated the intelligence of local voters.
  • For some strange reason, library supporters refused to appear on local talk shows to discuss the proposed funding. They didn’t want to appear giving the opponents any credibility? They lost some by refusing any debate.

Kept expecting the Courier-Journal to issue the results of a Bluegrass Poll with preliminary indications on how voters were leaning. The story never came, making one suspect that the editors and library supporters knew the proposal was in deep trouble from the beginning.

Pin It