A great day for a game, a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, temperatures in the low seventies, a kettle of shrimp boil on the burner, tailgaters all in, stuffing themselves, taking turns downing shots, celebrating football, friendships and the beginning of the fall season.
Harry Douglas, former University of Louisville star and Atlanta Falcon great, showing up for the tailgate, having such a good time, deciding to hang out for quite a while. Clearly enjoying the adulation of UofL fans, entertaining them with his exuberance and outgoing personality.
What could go wrong?
The Louisville football team on the verge of defeating Florida State for an unprecedented third straight time in three seasons. Having discovered an offense, with an actual ground game, quarterback Puma Pass his throwing eye, passing for more than 300 yards. UofL leading by 10 points going into the fourth quarter.
Late fourth quarter, marching the ball down the field, the clock winding down to 1:56, the Cardinals with a first down on the Seminoles’ 21 yard line. Easy does it, keep the ball inbounds, grind it out on the ground, run the clock out, protect that fragile three-point lead. Just run out the clock.
Whoops, can one believe what one just saw, Coach Bobby Petrino going gonzo, gambling with the ball, putting it in the air. Puma Pass throwing his first interception of the game, giving the ball to Florida State.
Five plays later, a disbelieving crowd of 52,798 people at Cardinal Stadium groans as FSU quarterback Deondre Francois connects on a 58-yard pass play with Nyqwan Murray. Touchdown. Giving Florida State a 28-24 lead.
Not quite over, a minute, 13 seconds remaining on the clock. Still a chance. No how, no way, the misery was back. Puma Pass with no choice but to go to the air again, Hail Mary time for sure. Like there was a chance for Hollywood ending.
Puma Pass throwing the deep but no Louisville uniform anywhere in the neighborhood, nowhere to be seen actually. A jubilant Florida State pulling in another interception, celebrating what it probably considers the first step on the way back to college football’s elite. Dream on, guys, still a long way to go.
Bobby Petrino after the game admitting again he had made an error in judgement. Probably wanting to reclaim his offensive genius stature, not wanting to play any safe, going for the kill. Another questionable decision backfiring on him, this one a blatant miscalculation, raising serious questions about his decision making. A perfect day taking a bad turn, making one a little leery for the immediate future of Louisville football.
“I look back at it, obviously, and I guess I should have just ran the ball,” he said at the post-game press conference.
Even Bobby second-guessing Bobby.