Top U of L football fan delivers

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It’s not every day that a Louisville football fan is recognized as the chief architect of the deal preventing the United States from going into default on its national debt. Give credit where credit is due to Senator Mitch McConnell for crafting the deal.

One close escape.
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Mitch McConnell, diehard U of L football fan

One person you can count on being at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium any time the University of Louisville football team lines up is U. S. Senator Mitch McConnell. The five-term Republican leader is a diehard Cardinal football fan and rarely misses a game, at home or away.

Mitch McConnell

National debt crisis or not. He has ideas, people willing to embrace them are often the issue.

McConnell, a U of L grad, is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky’s history, now serving his fifth term. He’s also the Senate Republican Leader in the 111th Congress. Elected to that position unanimously by his colleagues in 2008.

“One of my favorite activities is watching U of L football,” he told us. “I have been a Cardinal fan since I was in school at the University of Louisville. I can’t remember the last time I missed a home game.”

The former County Judge said he also loves tailgating and taking part in the camaraderie that comes with being a member of the U of L family. “I have enjoyed watching the athletic program grow over the years, going from the Metro Conference to Conference USA to the Big East and rising through the ranks to winning the school’s first Bowl Championship Series game.”

Pitino On Siena (scary team)

Mixed feelings watching the Ohio State-Siena matchup in the first round. Ohio State huge and plodding. Siena quick as lightning, slippery, quick hands, great shooters, rebounders. Siena spotted the Buckeyes 11 points, then went to work, the  win for Siena all but inevitable, even though two overtimes were required. Based on their treatment of Ohio State, Siena commands a great deal of respect. Rick Pitino is fully aware, having scouted the Saints.

Per the Schnectady N. Y. Daily Gazette:

Pitino and his staff have scouted Siena this week because they might see them in the second round on Sunday. He said he’s been impressed with the way the Saints program has evolved since Fran McCaffery became the head coach four years ago.

“I think Siena is sort of like Gonzaga, Xavier. They’re trying to go from a mid-major perception to someone, every year, who goes to the NCAA and not only belongs, but can win. And Siena certainly has the talent to do that, and they’ve done a fabulous job there. They have something that Xavier and Gonzaga have, a tremendous following at home, great facilities, terrific campus, so they have everything to stay at the level and not take a step back.

“I don’t think Siena’s a mid-major, I don’t think Xavier’s a mid-major or Gonzaga, they have major college talent, talent that could play at Louisville, an SEC school, Big East schools. I think they’ve arrived at that point. Same thing with Xavier. Half of their [Xavier’s] roster, we recruited. Siena’s up to that task right now, and you have to give them a lot of credit for doing it at a consistent basis.”

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Political Favorite — Senator Mitch McConnell, the University of Louisville’s No. 1 fan in Washington, D.C. is keeping close tabs on the Cards during the NCAA Tournament.  A former Card Game Fan of the Week, the Senator talks about his love for U of L in a feature over on USNews.com.

The current Senate Minority Leader and the former Jefferson County Judge Executive, attends U of L basketball games as often as his schedule permits. He rarely misses a home football game.

Bailout or Game Saver?

Do University of Louisville fans have a stake in the financial rescue legislation being considered by Congress? This observer doesn’t claim to be a financial analyst, but the answer is a resounding yes – for us as individuals and family members and, collectively, as a fan base. Wall Street is us.

Do University of Louisville fans have a stake in the financial rescue legislation being considered by Congress? This observer doesn’t claim to be a financial analyst, but the answer is a resounding yes – for us as individuals and family members and, collectively, as a fan base.

Elaborate marble facade of NYSE as seen from the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets
Wall Street is us.

Wall Street is us.

You, me, our kids, our kin, our friends, our employers, our co-workers, our customers, and our university.

The companies that make up the Dow Jones and Nasdaq indexes are the source of our salaries and pensions, not some disconnected hypothetical entities. Their success or failure directly impacts our paychecks, our savings, our investments and our U of L donations and ticket purchases.

Last time the observer checked, the price tags for the basketball arena construction and football stadium expansion were in the neighborhoods of $238 million and $73 million, respectively. No one connected with the projects has said anything but you can bet there are some furrowed brows at U of L as Washington debates this issue.

Yes, the money for those projects is in a bank somewhere. But there’s a huge demand for those funds. No bank has that much money just sitting around, and the FDIC only insures bank balances up to $100,000. The strain on bond-insurer, Assured Guaranty, would be enormous if everything else is failing.

Unless those funds are paid directly to the construction managers and their subcontractors, the construction companies must find somewhere to borrow the cash. Good luck finding that money for employees, equipment, seats and scoreboards if the economy is allowed to fail. Good luck finding fans to buy seats if their choice is between season tickets and putting food on the table.

All of the elements between Wall Street, Main Street and the street we live on are interconnected. Remove any of them from the equation and you get economic chaos.

The observer believes in limited government and is active in combating overreaching government on a daily basis. In this situation, however, there is no workable alternative. Socialism? Yeah, maybe, but only if your ox isn’t getting gored.

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U of L Role in DC: Two U of L graduates –- Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) — played key roles in helping assure a bi-partisan effort that led to passage of the financial rescue package in the Senate Wednesday evening.

Senator McConnell is the Minority Leader and Senator Dodd is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. But it’s only half done and far from done. Now it’s up to the House of Representatives where anything goes and the fate is unpredictable.

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