The Johnny Unitas statue has returned to its rightful home following a 10-month hiatus from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, moving from the north end zone to a perch on the party deck atop the south end zone.
A temporary base is currently in place for the statue, displaying the original four base plaques. A new granite base for the statue is still in production and will be added later. The new base will contain the fan names and inscriptions that were engraved on the brick pavers that surrounded the statue in its former position.
“We asked our fans for input into options on where we would relocate this wonderful representation of one of the greatest football players in history,” said Tom Jurich, UofL vice president and director of athletics. “This placement overlooking the field will continue to celebrate Johnny Unitas’ legacy and will also grant our fans better viewing options.”
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will undergo expansion in the near future. No doubt about that with the growing demand for University of Louisville football tickets. The ticket office is getting ready to announce still another all-time record for season ticket sales.
Tom Jurich reportedly has three sets of stadium schematics and probably has his development staff already at work on filling the suites to be added at the north end of the stadium.
If one can assume anything about the expansion, it is that the football team will have a real tunnel this time around. No more of those rubberized entry ways for an football program with national title aspirations.
So what happens with the Johnny Unitas statue when that part of the stadium has to be reconfigured? It’s a serious question, given Johnny U’s. Many players traditionally tap the statue for luck their way to the playing field.
Why not place the Johnny U at the main entrance to PJCS, at the edge of the Green Lot. The placement there would greatly enhance the entrance to the stadium while honoring an all-time UofL great and saluting his contributions to the game of football. While an impressive piece of work, the statue is dwarfed by all of the other distractions inside the stadium, not to mention being partially obscured by the tunnel during games.
Let’s face it. The exterior of the stadium, including the entrance, is pretty bland at present. The placement there would give Johnny U a whole new dimension, recognizing UofL’s growing football tradition. Fans, along with the football players, would be able to touch the statue for luck, upon entering the stadium after Card March every game.
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Former Cardinal Shoni Schimmel has cooled off significantly since scoring 29 points and winning Most Valuable Player honors in the WNBA All-Star game in mid-July.
Since that game Shoni has scored 31 points in six games for the Atlanta Dream, failing to score in games against Chicago and Connecticut, three against Tulsa, and four against Washington. Her high of 17 points came against Asia Taylor’s Minnesota team, the next game after the all-star event.
“The rigorous schedule often catches up with rookies about this time of season,” said Brad Gust, media relations manager. “She’s okay and will be fine when she gets her second wind.”
Shoni is averaging 6.7 points in 27 games. The Dream, with a 17-10 recored, is leading the East Division by 4 1/2 games.
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So how has Adam DuVall, former UofL baseball player, been doing since he hit that home run in his very first game with the San Francisco Giants back on June 26?
He’s seen action in 12 games with 40 at-bats, currently batting .200, with eight hits, including two home runs and a triple.
He collected his second four-bagger on July 22, driving in two runs that put the Giants ahead of Philadelphia in a 7-4 win.
The Johnny Unitas statue stands guard at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium as the summer doldrums set in in Louisville, the beginning of college football season 80 days away, the BCS playoff issues and the resolution conference realignment questions without an end in sight.