Louisville in Kentucky, but Louisville not Kentucky

Mayor Greg Fischer has thus far avoided any temptation to declare Saturday a “Wear Blue Day” in Louisville Metro in honor of the University of Kentucky basketball team making it the NCAA Final Four.

That’s good. Let’s hope he doesn’t bow to political pressure to do otherwise.

Adam Himmelsbach, a Courier-Journal sportswriter from New York, has taken it on himself to publicize the efforts of Jim Denny, a Louisvillian and UK fan, who initiated a petition drive for a support UK day. “Now that the Cardinals are out, why not acknowledge the large swaths of blue that permeate our city?” he asked in a Friday column.

The best reason not to provide the recognition is that the vast majority of UK fans have never acknowledged the University of Louisville’s success. I can count on one hand the number of UK fans who have congratulated me for UofL’s national championship last year … and all but one of them had to be coaxed into it.  For the most part, they rarely support anything that benefits the local university.

The Mayor could possibly gain a few political points if he relented, but not many. In fact, it’s quite possible that he would lose much more than he gained, infuriating many UofL fans if he were to declare a UK day in Louisville Metro.

Not surprising that a Courier-Journal sportswriter would support an effort in support of UK.  For decades, the C-J, under former managing editor David Hawpe went way overboard in covering the Lexington school on its news, sports and editorial pages. Hawpe was recently appointed to the UK board of trustees and is a member of the UK Journalism Hall of Fame. Anyone surprised?

The Mayor should be congratulated, not goaded, for standing firm in his support of the University of Louisville.

Louisville Mayor makes UK fans see red

Greg Fischer

Mayor Greg Fischer had the right answer for a media member Monday when asked about a hypothetical backlash from local University of Kentucky fans about this Friday being proclaimed Cardinal Red Day in Louisville Metro.

A straight-forward, unvarnished answer that won instant admiration and respect for the mayor from University of Louisville fans for his gutsy response. A rare show of fearlessness for an elected official.

“They say they’re never going to vote for me again. I’m willing to take that risk. I remind them I’m the mayor of Louisville and not the mayor of Lexington,” said Fischer.

A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll in 2005 indicated that 53.7% of local residents are Cardinal fans as compared to 33.% for Kentucky partisans in the Louisville area, with the remainder following other teams.

Fischer encouraged people to wear red, businesses to display red in their windows and doors and residents to show red at their homes and in their neighborhoods. UofL and UK will meet in an NCAA Sweet 16 game at 9:50 p.m. Friday.

“I want to paint the town red – literally,” Fischer said. “Everyone knows that UK fans will be seeing red when the Cards win on Friday.”

The city’s future is obviously in good hands.

U of L ‘very interested’ in silo site

The future of the silo site sd it relates to the University of Louisville’s was the issue as I was interviewed by Brent Haeberle of WDRB-TV news Wednesday. Got in a few shots at Mayor Greg Fischer for his efforts to attract an NBA franchise but, not surprisingly, those comments never made the final cut. The 40-minute interview was culled to two minutes and 20 seconds:

Cardinal Crunch

The University of Louisville football team will be in the familiar red and white for the Kentucky game Sunday, red jerseys, white pants and white helmets.

Missing from the wardrobe this year is the combination of black jerseys and pants with the white helmets, a look very popular with fans, bringing back memories of the classic “Black Out” game against West Virginia in 2006.

We especially liked that look, coach, but you’re the decider.

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Mayor Greg Fischer has launched a community discussion of what Louisville will look like in 25 years and is looking for ideas.

How about a continued expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium up to 80,000 seats in in 2037, with a statue of Charlie Strong just outside Gate 1. All utilities along the thoroughfare leading to the stadium will be underground, and the junk yard with the rickety metal fence and beat up cars will be a distant memory. The street will have been renamed Tom Jurich Boulevard, with tailgating on lush green lawns on the tree-lined road extending all the way to Crittenden Drive.

Enrollment will have surpassed the 33,000 mark and campus expansion will have continued unabated, replacing much of the industrial area to the west with student housing. The silos on the east side of the campus will have been replaced by an academic research park. The centerpiece will be faculty housing with a white-columned presidential mansion aside a 20-acre lake where the junkyard and other eyesores once resided, transformed into the most romantic spot for couples on campus.

And, last but not least, city government’s official colors will have been changed from blue and white to red and black.

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The Louisville Mayor also has made his guess on the outcome of the game, predicting UofL to cruise past Kentucky 35-7. The last time he went out on a limb was last March, picking UofL basketball to win the Final Four showdown between the teams.