One More Test Of Louisville Football Loyalty

Before anyone else gets the urge to call, the observer doesn’t want or need any more tickets to the Louisville-West Virginia football game. Season ticket holder here for 40 years. Two tickets are all we need, but thanks.

People giving up tickets is not good. Twice today, individuals have offered them. Gonna be too cold, they say, adding something to the effect that the Cards will get creamed. The encouraging part is they said they want the tickets to be used and will offer them to someone else. That would be a positive thing.

The Louisville football team could very well “get creamed” on Saturday. But even more embarrassing would be an excess of empty seats belonging to people claiming to be ardent UofL fans. The ultimate test of loyalty is a game in which the Cards are sure underdogs, with a coach under fire, with a losing season looming for the first time in over a decade, and with temperatures in the low forties.

People who will show up for game under these conditions are the diehards. Their affinity for the university extends beyond personalities, temporary setbacks, and controversy. A game actually provides relief from the arguments about who did what, for whom, why, who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s smart, who’s dumb and what will happen during the off season. They are more than diehards, they are the foundation, the people you know you can count on whatever the future holds for Louisville football.

They are well aware that this team has nothing to lose. Nothing to lose, unless you count the 22 seniors who will be playing in their final Louisville football game at home. The Cards have compiled a 32-15 record during their time here, including an Orange Bowl win and a Gator Bowl appearance. And, yes, they know the young men will be playing their hearts out for them.

Plus, it’s the last college football game in Louisville for another 10 months. Basketball can help fill the sports vacuum but it’s not football. Plenty of reasons to put those football tickets to good use.

Victor Anderson: Ready Or Not?

Injuries to key personnel on the University of Louisville football team’s defensive side of the line have been well documented. Unless we missed it, however, there has not been convincing assurance from the coaching staff that Victor Anderson will be ready to go full speed against West Virginia.

The seemingly indestructible Anderson went down with a shoulder injury late in the Cincinnati game and never returned. Normally, no news would be good news. But over the past two seasons, UofL fans have been conditioned to expect the worst. Without Anderson around, the offense will struggle more than it has up to this point.

Anderson is Louisville’s most reliable offensive threat. Lately he had even been returning kickoffs, replacing Trent Guy, whose playing time has been reduced to a handful of plays.

One would hope that no news is good news. Just once would be encouraging.

Where is Walter Peacock when we need him?

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Clueless Blackout – Still mystified as to why Saturday’s game has been designated as a “Black Out” game, as are at least two other Card fanatics Frankpos at Hell In The Hall and Mike Rutherford over at Card Chronicle.

As Frankpos puts it:

“I’d like to know the PR genius who came up with this gem. Calling for a Black-Out game against West Virginia is so wrong in so many ways. But the worst is that it vividly draws a comparison between one of the greatest moments in Louisville football history…and where we stand now.

“Asking/ordering pissed off fans to do this is one of the most asinine things I have seen during the Kragthorpe era…and lord knows, there have been some mighty PR blunders during his two-year reign.”

Rutherford is a little kinder, but not much:

“I have no idea when this decision was made, but I’m assuming it was at some point within the last seven days. That’s not nearly enough time for this to have any chance of looking respectable … The vast majority of the fan base is already all sorts of pissed off and far more likely to be annoyed by this type of request than in seasons’ past.”

The big question in this observer’s mind is who handles public relations for the football team. Does anyone? There’s a huge difference between a sports information director and a public relations person. Don’t see PR listed anywhere on the organization chart.

Don’t look now but it’s snowing. Mother Nature apparently doesn’t agree either.

Gloom, Despair and Pittsburgh 41-7

An embarrassing afternoon of football for the University of Louisville, reminiscent of the bad old days when Card fans harbored no illusions about ever becoming a nationally respected football program. This one is felt most by the pre-bandwagon jumpers who saw a program rise from the junk heap of the old Fairgrounds Stadium to the top 10 at Papa John’s. Was that even real?

You really have to feel sorry for all the fans who made the trip for the game, the most optimistic and faithful of all Card fans. They didn’t deserve what they got, undeniable confirmation that Louisville football has reached bottom, all over agan.

— Coach Steve Kragthorpe’s expression after Hunter Cantwell’s Christmas-gift lateral to Pittsburgh was one of total despair. Sorry, nowhere to hide, Coach. Life has bitch-slapped you in the face, and your ears are ringing. That dull roar you hear is the sound of the told-you-so’s warming up, ready to lambaste you and anyone who says anything positive about UofL football.

— Special teams play went south of the Equator: Automatic 10-yard penalties for UofL on every kickoff reception for those blocks in the back.  Cliffhangers on every punt reception. Fair catch? How about just catching the ball. Who coaches those special teams anyway?

— As for Hunter Cantwell, he should be history. The stats indicate that he had only one pass intercepted but at least six others were in serious jeopardy. Hunter is one of those guys who would never lose an intramural game, making you wonder why he never did well in college. He showed why today. If there’s a bad decision to be made, he makes it. Even when he does throw a good pass, the would-be receiver drops it half the time. Wasn’t meant to be. Time to move over, Hunter, hand the ball (don’t lateral it, please) to Matt Sims.

Sorry to disrupt the flow here but have to end on a positive note about Ron English‘s unit, which had perhaps one of the most impressive displays by a UofL defense in years. Holding LeSean McCoy, a back averaging 126 yards per game, to only 39 yards rushing was an impressive feat. That was one good thing to build on for the future, whatever that holds.

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