Todd Blue misses the point about investing in the University of Louisville

Todd Blue, the brother of UofL trustee Jonathan Blue, recently left Louisville complaining of too much government investment in University of Louisville facilities. Also griping about billboards picturing University President James Ramsey around town.

For several years, the brothers were co-owners of Cobalt Ventures, but went separate ways in 2005, Todd remaining with Cobalt, Jonathan forming Blue Equity. Jonathan is a strong UofL fan, Todd not so much.

A graduate of George Washington University in D.C.., Todd believes too many government resources have been allocated to UofL in the recent past, giving the University an unfair edge in competition with private entrepreneurs. He might have a point if UofL had not been deprived of adequate resources by the city and state governments for so many decades. Had local corporations and government not finally stepped up to the plate over the past two decades, the University would not be joining the ACC.

Membership in the ACC will provide great advantages for not only the University but the community, along with national respect and recognition for the Louisville Metro that money could not buy. That membership also will be a boon to the community in new financial resources for research and raising the University’s academic profile. That can only be a good thing for the overall community.

Without James Ramsey’s total support, Tom Jurich could have never made that happen. Nor would the vast improvements in and around the campus, revitalizing a long stagnant part of the community, ever happened. Ramsey is a hometown hero in every sense of the description.

As for Todd Blue’s statement that “UofL is not Louisville, and Louisville is not UofL,” there are some people in the community who might agree with him, those with University of Kentucky basketball leanings in particular. But Louisville wouldn’t be nearly the best place to work and live without the University of Louisville.

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One has to wonder why the celebration of the University of Louisville joining the Atlantic Coast Conference will be held at Fourth Street Live rather than the KFC Yum! Center.

KFCYumThe KFC Yum! Center would be much more appropriate, being the home of the UofL basketball team and among the best such facilities in the world, a magnificent representation of the city’s recognition of and commitment to the University as one of the community’s most valuable assets. The plaza in front of the arena is attractive and spacious, allowing participants to view the ceremonies in relative comfort.

Fourth Street Live is far too small to accommodate such a milestone, with hundreds of people wedged inside under the atrium. Hundreds of others usually stuck outside, often unable to actively participate in the ceremonies inside the structure.  Much too crowded in a confined space to realize the full potential of such a momentous occasion.

If the idea is support downtown merchants, why not accommodate those who invested in businesses along Main Street primarily because of the UofL basketball program?

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Hokie Mark, a Virginia Tech fan who lives in Charlotte, N.C. and runs ACC Football Rx, has a countdown going to celebrate UofL’s entry into the ACC. As of 7:35 p.m. on Friday, there were 17 days 6 hrs 23 mins 54 secsWe added our own countdown clock to stay current:
[ujicountdown id=”ACC Countdown” expire=”2014/06/30 23:59″ hide = “true”]

How UofL fans can cope after Kentucky wins another NCAA

The University of Kentucky is going to win its ninth NCAA basketball tournament title. It’s inevitable.

Pains me to say that, or to see it happen. I don’t plan to watch the game, knowing how easy it was for the University of Louisville to dispose of UConn in three games this past season. The last thing I want to see is UK claiming another title.

Surprising that Billy Donovan, one of Rick Pitino’s closest friends, didn’t learn the lessons after seeing how dominant UofL was in those games. Donovan still has a few lessons to learn from his mentor. Or is it possible that UConn is on one of the same kind of tournament runs as Kentucky is enjoying? Not likely.

UK’s run shouldn’t be all that surprising, not when a team consisting of first round NBA draft picks finally began to gel after 35 games. They’re in the national spotlight, their egos are being stroked, they’re highly motivated, and they’re playing with high levels of adrenaline. When Monday night’s game is over, they will have played together in 40 games.

So how do we deal with UK associates after they claim still another championship?

The same way we always have, recognize how maniacal they are about UK. They’re going to wave their flags, wear their caps and T-shirts. and talk about basketball year round. It enables them to forget about their irrelevance in football, gives them a claim to fame.

If it’s possible for you, congratulate them and change the subject as soon as possible. They’re defensive about their UK allegiance, love to argue about it, and put down other schools. They will never recognize or respect your team, it’s not in their nature.

Meanwhile, pull for the University of Louisville to win a fourth national championship in the near future. UK fans are still reeling from UofL’s success last season. They want to “keep it in the state” but that doesn’t include Louisville. Another UofL championship is their worst fear.

Misplaced Kentucky Fans In Louisville

One sure bet is that all the blue jackets and caps with the oversized K’s around town will disappear faster than they came out of mothballs if the University of Louisville basketball team beats Kentucky.

The observer has difficulty understanding why a native-born Louisvillian would be a UK fan, adopting something so foreign to the local culture. One can almost tolerate the transplants, people moving here for family reasons, but not long. It’s not natural to live in Louisville and favor Kentucky.

'A good percentage of them are the offspring of people who moved here from elsewhere, never able to fully adjust to city life ...'

When the observer was growing up in Central Kentucky, people in that area really didn’t know much about the city. That was probably Louisville’s fault because the leadership never any effort to educate the state in those days. As a result, the city has for decades had to fight ignorance, scrapping for every dollar its gets from Frankfort, despite providing a disproportionate amount of the state’s revenue.

The out-in-the-state love for Kentucky basketball stems from in part from a lack of other distractions. The mostly rural state is dotted by small towns whose only claim to anything significant is the university. They engulf themselves in anything and everything Kentucky, without a clue about how they are perceived outside the state’s borders or in Metro Louisville

So how to explain the Louisville-born UK fans. The most plausible explanation is that a good percentage of them are the offspring of people who moved here from elsewhere, never able to fully adjust to city life. They never questioned their parents or realized there were other options.

Many wanted to leave home for college and UK was the affordable option. You’ll find a lot of them in St. Matthews, for example. Many are bandwagon people who got caught up in the Lexington school’s national basketball championships and will never get over them (equating the late Cawood Ledford with the voice of God).

Others are so enmeshed that they actually embrace a myth that UK fans outnumber U of L fans in their community, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Their minds are closed, don’t confuse them with facts.

Regardless of how it occurred, there are too many of them in Louisville. Why there is so much animosity, even hate, between the two groups of fans is another story for another day. But it will be impossible to deny which university owns Louisville when the $237 million basketball palace opens in all its splendor and magnificence on the riverfront, just a few months from now.

Sabbatical For Rick Pitino?

Yes, And Fans Will Like ‘Willie Ball’

By Tom Stosberg

It’s not that I don’t believe Tom Jurich when he says he’s one million percent behind his coach …it’s that you can never be that sure about anything. It’s like the kiss of death.

Okay, take a deep breath, Now let it out slowly. Good. Let’s talk.

It is my personal opinion that University of Louisville fans really are going to like “Willie Ball.” It is a very well-planned offense that focuses a great deal on guard play. It is designed to utilize a lot of outside shooting combined with very quick back door cuts. You will have to adjust to primarily a half court defense.

So now that we have cleared that up, here’s one more thing you will be glad to know: there won’t be any players standing around waiting for someone to do something. It’s fast motion. And the big men will all be going to the boards at the same time on every shot. It’s an extremely disciplined game along the lines of Duke and North Carolina.

Oh …uh …Willie Ball is Ralph Willard’s style of play and this season I honestly and truly think you’re going to enjoy it. Cue the Fight Song.

Never. Out Of The Question

By Charlie Springer

A sabbatical is the furthest thing from Rick Pitino’s mind.

Yes, it could get ugly when Louisville plays basketball on foreign courts over the next few seasons, especially in Lexington. There the big question will be whether UK fans despise Pitino more than they embrace John Calipari. You have to know Kentucky fans.

Like Bobby Knight, Pitino thrives on being the center of attention, preferably for winning basketball games over sex scandals. He’s back in the nation’s consciousness, collecting more ink than when he won a national championship. He’s embarrassed and humiliated, but the drama, oh the drama, and he’s playing the leading role.

Pitino wants to win a national championship at Louisville. He’s getting older. Any time away is wasted, harms him with recruits, and delays what he considers inevitable.

And finally, he will never allow the likes of Karen Sypher, an alledged extortioner driven by dollar signs and apparent contempt for the male species, to get the better of him. A victory over her in the judiciary arena and her allegations in the court of public opinion are now just as important as any win on a basketball court.

Jim Host Shows Off Louisville Basketball Arena

Cool under fire Jim Host, the man you want in your fox hole, the individual with the vision, the muscle, the finesse, the man responsible for making the new University of Louisville basketball arena possible. 

Jim Host
Jim Host

He says the arena will be the ultimate, the most comprehensive, the finest NCAA basketball facility in the nation, the state of the art, better than most NBA facilities.

The man acquired the financing on the eve of a national economic crisis, made light work of the political process (even getting the enthusiastic support of Kentucky Senate Chairman David Williams, the legislative behemoth who gained power opposing everything in sight), and continues to shepherd this incredible project through every imaginable hurdle.

In his own inimitable style, Host conveys the scope and splendor of the new facility, which will open in November 2010:

Courier-Journal Video

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Never one to shy away from elephants in the room, Jim Host told WHAS-11 that the University of Kentucky would be much better off playing its annual December games in Louisville at Freedom Hall.

Host said, “(University of Kentucky basketball) in my judgment would be far better off to play in Freedom Hall because there they won’t have any conflicts with UofL dates. The problem the University of Louisville and UofK have always had, is UofL doesn’t get their dates until the very end, having to do with the Big East Conference (scheduling).  University of Kentucky basketball is trying to schedule December dates for playing Indiana and other teams like that.  So I think what you’ll see and I don’t know this to be the case . . . I think you’ll see (Kentucky basketball) staying at Freedom Hall which would make sense to me.”

That, of course, raises the very real possibility of both programs playing other teams at different Louisville venues on the same day. That would be incredible “Game Day” programming for ESPN, broadcasting from the basketball capital of the world.