Fool’s Gold vs. Setback U: Take Your Pick

By Steve Springer

“Biggest win of the Kragthorpe era,” “The ship has been righted,” “Congrats Coach K and the Cards,” and so forth. These were some of the proclamations after a win over South Florida. The next game’s results are greeted by “Coach K must go,” and “What will you do to show your disgust at the Cincinnati game?”


The roller coaster ride that is Steve Kragthorpe Cardinal football flew off the tracks again Saturday. The Syracuse loss was obviously the worse loss since, well, the other Syracuse loss. Gulp. I never would have dreamed of typing “the other Syracuse loss.” Sorry. Seriously, though, this had to be the biggest disappointment since the loss to UConn. The other UConn loss, you know. I didn’t think that the season opening loss to Kentucky could be topped. You guessed it, the other UK loss.


Sorry to sound somewhat confusing, but these “other” losses are really starting to pile up and become overwhelming. Kragthorpe’s Cardinals are now a Cooperesque 0-6 against the Orange, Huskies, and Wildcats. I’ll admit it. I had naively started to believe after the upset of the Bulls a couple of weeks ago.


Now I realize that I have the same feeling in my gut that I did as a child on summer vacation. My parents took me out west for our annual family vacation in which we headed out west to Yellowstone and stopped in one of those tourist trap old-timey western towns with faux saloons and general stores. We shopped at one of the local flavor cowboy stores and in one of the bins at eye level with my small eyes, I reached in and pulled out a handful of golden nuggets.

I just knew that I was the family savior and had just found the secret stash to make our family richer than our wildest dreams. My excitement was tempered when I learned the meaning of the words “iron pyrite.” The man behind the counter might have been named Greg Robinson. He exposed my treasure for what it was, just as he exposed our newfound Cardinal booty for what it was.

Same old fundamental mistakes. Same old overly abundant penalty yardage. Same old defensive lapses. Same old come-from-behind to catch the rear-end-of-college-football. These losses have stolen any hope that UofL Football has any hope of ever returning to even, (another gulp) mediocrity.

Athletic Director Tom Jurich is The Man. Some fans also believe he is  the man that is going to let this coach run this huge revenue sport out of The Ville back to Cooperville or beyond. Unacceptable losses are setbacks to a school that rose from the shadows of a minor league baseball stadium to having its toothed beak in the nest of big time college football elite status. They affect success, which affects fan support, which affects attendance, which affects stadium expansion credibility, which affects recruiting, which affects lack of success and any potential for future success.


Setback U, Fool’s Gold. Whatever you wanna call it, the boosters, the fans, the players, the potential future players want to be able to call it their football team, not a time-killer until basketball season.

Louisville Football Chips

Finally, there’s something to look forward to on the football front. Among them:

— The results of Steve Kragthorpe’s first recruiting class will be unveiled Wednesday, February 6 at 4 p.m. during the annual football signing party at the Brown & Williamson Club.

They call it a party but it’s really just a bunch of guys and a few women standing around looking at videos. The pep band and cheerleaders are there but don’t expect any food like at a real party. The bar is open but I don’t recall ever seeing any food, ever (hint to Tom Jurich).

— Governor Steve Beshear asked the General Assembly to approve the privately funded bonding plan for the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium during his budget address on Tuesday.

It won’t cost the state anything so there should be no reason for any legislator to oppose it. Let’s just hope that David Williams, leader of the Senate and a U of L alumnus, is on board. He made it possible for ex-Governor Ernie Fletcher’s $75 million grant for the downtown arena to become a reality.

But if the current Governor is for something, Williams is usually opposed to it. Beshear has already stripped Williams of a couple of pet projects. One can only hope that Williams doesn’t choose the stadium expansion issue to get back at Beshear.