Getting Personal: Pop Pulls Out Another One

The Observer steps aside briefly to allow the favorite son to pass along a few flashbacks of growing up in the family of a couple of University of Louisville diehards.

By Steve Springer

After sitting through one of the more hand-wringing encounters that I have witnessed as a University of Louisville fan, I knew that another of my great sports fantasies had come true. After a thrilling victory over No. 13 Notre Dame, I realized that the next UofL game I would attend would be against the No. 1 team in the land, the Pitt Panthers on the upcoming Saturday.

The chance to beat No. 1 does not come along very often. Combine this rare opportunity with the fact that one does not always get to attend such a spectacle with the engineer of one’s love. The win over top-ranked Pittsburgh will rank right up there with the best of many big moments as a Card fan. The Observer instilled a deep passion for Cardinal Nation in my soul and fueled it with ticket after ticket to big games.

Steve, Koby, Rick Pitino and the Observer
Steve, Koby, Rick Pitino and the Observer

I have attended Cardinal basketball and football games since before I could walk. The memories run together in a collage of college athletics. The clearest early memories that stand out are sitting so high in the Superdome to watch the Cards battle Patrick Ewing in the 1982 Final Four. The setting was so huge to my 6-year-old eyes that I preferred to watch the action on the big screen scoreboard instead of the tiny little players running around so far below. My first and only experience with the Big Easy and my beginning infatuation with shrimp and seafood tagged along for good measure.

Visions of hugging red-clad people I had never met when I was nine in Reunion Arena shortly after Jeff Hall intercepted a Duke pass at the end of the 1986 National Championship in Dallas stand out, as well.

A few days before my parents had upgraded their hero-status in my eyes as I secretly intercepted a phone call from the Observer’s wife and my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Osterman. Mom was campaigning for permission to allow me to accompany them to Dallas for championship weekend and I would have to miss a couple of days of school. Mrs. Osterman obliged; I guess the real life experience I was to receive would be worth way more than multiplication tables and spelling words.

Continued Continue reading “Getting Personal: Pop Pulls Out Another One”

John L Smith To Arkansas

A farm team providing football coaches to the Arkansas Razorbacks? Could be worse, not much, but worse.

Let’s not go there.

First, it was Bobby Petrino taking a circuitous route from Louisville through Atlanta and down to Fayetteville. The funny thing about it is that Petrino is still there a year after doing the whoo-pig-sooey cheer at a news conference.

Now, if WHAS-TV is right, John L. Smith, another former UofL coach, is headed to swine country to serve as an assistant to his old assistant. Going to be part of the defensive coaching staff.

Coach Bobby Petrino is scheduled to meet with media at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The press conference was scheduled 24 hours before reports of a coaching hire began circulating.

Petrino and Smith do have a history. In fact, Petrino was an assistant at Louisville for Smith, who had a 132-86 record in 18 seasons as a head coach. Smith was also head coach at Utah State and had Petrino as part of his staff there.

John L. has been co-hosting a daily radio show with Drew Deiner on WKRD in Louisville for several months, bouncing back after being shown the door at Michigan State.

One can only hope John L minds his manners and stifles any negative thoughts on his way out of town this time around.

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