32 Louisville Players On NFL Rosters

By Paul Sykes

Some great names among the 32 former University of Louisville football players competing for jobs in the National Football League. Twenty-one franchises list at least one player on the hopeful list. Revel in the memories as you check out the list of Cards.

The Atlanta Falcons represent with Harry Douglas, Antoine Harris and Chris Redman. The Jacksonville Jaguars have Brock Bolen, Lamar Myles and Montavious Stanley. The New York Jets have Richard Owens, Kerry Rhodes and Mario Urrutia. The Green Bay Packers have Brian Brohm, Breno Giacomini and Jason Spitz.

Teams with two Cards include the Carolina Panthers with Gary Barnidge and Hunter Cantwell and the Oakland Raiders with Michael Bush and Chris Johnson. Others:

Philadelphia — David Akers; Seattle — Deion Branch; New England — George Bussey; Tampa Bay– Patrick Carter; Denver — Elvis Dumervil.

St. Louis — Renardo Foster; Pittsburgh — William Gay; Indianapolis — Adrian Grad y; New Orleans — Earl Heyman; Cincinnati — Brandon Johnson; Houston –Amobi Okoye.

Cleveland — Kurt Quarterman; Kansas City — Kolby Smith; Chicago — Woody Turenne; Detroit — Dewayne White; Buffalo – Eric Wood.

That’s one kicker, three quarterbacks, three running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends, five offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, five linebackers and five defensive backs.

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Sixteen Kentucky Wildcats also hope to make rosters. We could use them as a practice squad. Who will we have coach this team? Certainly not Bobby Petrino. Sherman Lewis and Howard Schnellenberger might be good choices. Lawrenceburg native Buddy Ryan would be in charge of the defense.

What will we call this franchise? How about the Louisville Thoroughbreds? Something that ties in speed and quickness with local heritage. Good luck guys, stay injury free! See you on Sundays.

Fan Loyalty Runs Deep In Louisville

Louisvillians are often subjected to the idea that the fan allegiance of local residents is equally divided between the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, even among those who should know better. Rick Pitino, for example, has even advanced the notion.

Not true.

Not even close, according to the most recent Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll, which was conducted in 2005. The poll should have settled the issue once and for all. But UK fans and some media types, who missed front page story, tend to be research-challenged , or just count on the forgetfulness of the general public, persist in advancing the misconception.

That’s why the observer keeps a copy of the results, hopeful that the facts will make their way to the misinformed or blissfully ignorant. The poll indicated:

  • Fans of Louisville Cardinals basketball outnumbered Kentucky Wildcat fans by 53.7% to 33.3% in the Louisville area.
  • Fans of Louisville football weighed in at 61.3%, as compared to 20.8% for Kentucky football.

Courier-Journal columnist Eric Crawford, who was deeply involved in the poll and wrote the CJ story about the results, told Card Game:

“The project used one of the largest samples of any of the Bluegrass State polls, owing to the diversity of the population that follows sports. It was far larger a sample, for instance, than a gubernatorial or presidential poll we would have taken in the state. It also came at an opportune time: Both UK and U of L were doing exceptionally well in basketball. U of L was on its way to a Final Four, while UK was within an eyelash of getting there, too.”

The results reinforced a  Yankelovich study the Courier-Journal conducted a decade or so ago, showing Louisville with a similar lead in both sports.

Neither of polls took into consideration the bandwagon factor, people who switch favorites depending on how well one or the other is doing. Some will apparently jump from a loser to a winner in a heartbeat. Also, football teams going in different directions might affect the numbers slightly. And, as we’ve seen, a new hire in basketball will definitely raise the decibel levels.

But for the most part, fan loyalties tend to be deeply entrenched. Doubtful that the ratios have changed much. Or that the mistaken pronouncements about the fan ratios, intentional or unintentional, will fade away any time soon.