Johnstone begins quest for Biggest Fan title

Tough assignment.

Tim Johnstone, selected to participate in Volvo’s Biggest Fan of the Big East contest this season, is off to New York City Wednesday for the Big East Conference’s basketball media day.

Navigating Times Square, checking out Madison Square Garden, making small talk with coaching legends at the buffet, brushing up against all-conference, All-America candidates. Pretty heady stuff.

No doubt Tim is up for it but he’s competing against fans from 15 other Big East cities. The odds against someone from the same university winning the competition two years in a row are probably pretty steep. Last season’s winner was U of L fan Steve Springer.

Then there’s the fact that the University of Louisville may be in line for an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference. How’s that going to go over? Doesn’t seem to affect Tim, gung-ho and all.

You can follow his progress through the season over at Cardinal Laws.

Louisville celebrates Biggest Fan of the Big East

Patti Swope joins Steve Springer in flashing the “L” sign during the presentation ceremonies at Volvo of Louisville in a gathering of University of Louisville supporters and friends.

New York had its celebration at center court of Madison Square Garden in March. Tuesday was Louisville’s turn. 

Steve Springer, the Biggest Fan of the Big East, was in town again Tuesday, traveling the 225 miles from Murray in his Volvo S60 to a celebration in his honor at Volvo of Louisville.

Patti Swope was there, as were her cousin Dick Swope, CEO of the Sam Swope Auto Group, University of Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz, and Ann Coffey of the U of L Advancement Office. There to honor Steve,  a fierce competitor who beat out contestants from 15 other Big East cities in the Volvo-sponsored contest that ran from October through March.

Steve has been driving the vehicle for a couple of months now, already accumulating about 3,800 miles believe it or not. Still pinching himself, trying to comprehend that he actually won the car of his fantasies.

Dick Swope, chief executive officer of the Swope Auto Group, prepares to present the ceremonial keys to Springer.


Accepting the check from the Volvo Corporation were Ann Coffey, of the U of L Advancement Office and Jeff Walz, U of L women’s basketball coach.  Steve Springer and Dick Swope make the presentation.

And of course the observer, Charlie Springer, wanted to be among those celebrating a once in a lifetime event involving his son.

All Cards fans here, no doubt about it. The Swopes assuring themselves of the observer’s continued business, his having purchased his last six vehicles from those folks.

The winner soaks it all in, preparing to drive off in his Volvo S60, still thankful for all the support from University of Louisville fans during the contest. 

Catching up with Eric Wood

Never know who one is going to bump into at Subway. Steve Springer, the Biggest Fan of the Big East, nearly collided with former University of Louisville football star Eric Wood Saturday at an establishment on Hurstbourne Lane. Eric is obviously getting back in shape just in case there happens to be a National Football League season this year.  Last season with the Buffalo Bills, Wood shifted over from his right-guard spot to start the final four games at center. He is now considered a contender for the starting center position.

Special delivery for Biggest Big East Fan

Steve Springer, winner of Volvo’s Biggest Fan of the Big East Contest, stands beside his brand new, 2012 Volvo S60 automobile after signing the papers at Volvo of Louisville Saturday afternoon. Steve was declared the winner in March after a six-month contest, competing with bloggers from 15 other Big East cities. He gave credit to all the University of Louisville fans who voted for him in the fan poll, followed him on Twitter and Facebook, and made comments to his posts on Card Game.
The Biggest Fan of the Big East accepts congratulations from his dad, the Observer (aka Charlie Springer), after allowing the old man to take a drive in the dream car. Perhaps the best news of all, beside the wonder of riding in such a vehicle, is that it comes with a five-year warranty that covers any and every possible repair from the motor to the windshield wipers, except for tires.

Thanks again, U of L fans, from Steve and the Observer. It would have never been possible without your tremendous support. What a country. What a fan base.