Dig deep for Year of the Cardinal

Year-of-the-CardinalTake a good look at the graphic of the new Marker’s Mark Year of the Cardinal bottle because it may be the only one you get.

Only five hundred of the bottles will be available starting this Thursday by calling the Cardinal Athletic Fund at 852-8460, starting at 9 a.m. with your credit card in hand.

The cost — actually it’s a major investment — is $2,000, with all the proceeds going to benefit the UofL Academic Center for Excellence. UofL and Maker’s Mark are teaming up for raise $1 million. The estimated cost of the project is $14 million.

The bottles celebrate the Year of the Cardinal with an unprecedented four-part feat in college athletics: winning the Sugar Bowl, participating in the College World Series, advancing to the national championship game in women’s basketball, and winning the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Documentary in the works on Angel McCoughtry

Coming soon a TV movie/documentary featuring Angel McCoughtry.

That’s the word from Stephen Philms, a Atlanta-based creative director, who was in McCoughtry’s entourage during her Louisville homecoming this week. Philms said the production will trace her life from a youngster in Baltimore, through her career with the University of Louisville women’s basketball team and on to the Atlanta Dream.

Then, of course, there’s her basketball in Turkey during the off season and the upcoming Olympics. Expect the production to also include some of McCoughtry’s music. She writes and sings as well, you know.

“We’re in the early stages and there’s lot of work ahead,” he said. “She’s had a fascinating life, overcoming many challenges with exceptional commitment and talents.”

Also in McCoughtry’s entourage was Ilene Hauser, a marketing representative from NIKE, who was assisting with media relations during Angel’s induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Angel is one of three players on the Atlanta Dream with a NIKE contract,” said Hauser. “We take an active interest in her career.”

And, yes, they are acquainted with World Wide Wes.

Cardinal crunch

The University of Louisville’s front line just got much stronger.

Montrezl Harrell, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward, is a Cardinal today, over the weekend committing to play his college basketball at U of L. He’s a freshman, eligible to play immediately.

Harrell confirms his commitment on Instagram

Rick Pitino is still looking at other talent. He has no choice, not with the academic uncertainty of Terry Rozier and the recurring injuries to Rakeem Buckles and Stephan Van Treese that never seem to get any better.

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The U of L baseball team was thrashed by Arizona (16-3) for a second night in a row, ending Louisville’s fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament in the past five years.

Jeff Thompson, with nine wins during UofL’s 41-21 season, was still struggling to find the strike zone as the season concluded.  The bases-loaded home run in the third inning was inevitable.

Louisville had given up only one double-digit loss in 60 games prior to the 15 and 16 runs Arizona collected in two games.

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The big wigs of the Big 12 Conference had to be pleased with U of L’s 11-3 win over Missouri in the first game Sunday. That was Missouri’s final Big 12 outing before moving over to the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Maybe worth a couple of brownie points when it comes to conference realignment?

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The Major League Baseball draft begins Monday evening. Louisville has three players among the top 300 picks, according to Baseball America.  They are reliever Matt Koch projected as the 61st pick, Derek Self as 279th and Justin Amlung at 288th.  Interestingly, Arizona has only two — pitcher Kurt Heyer as 294th and outfielder Robert Refsnyer at 369th.

For the record, U of L owns Louisville

Every now and then one feels compelled to keep the record straight, especially when mistaken or ill-informed opinions appear in The Courier-Journal, with its circulation of 175,000-plus imprints daily. Here’s a letter to the editor from the observer, sent the other day. It appeared in Wednesday’s newspaper:

To the Editor:

One of the myths many University of Kentucky fans living in Louisville and elsewhere like to perpetuate is that this community is split 50-50 between UK and the University of Louisville.

M. Trinkle in his recent letter to the editor repeated the assertion. Sorry to disappoint the Wildcat partisans, but the University of Louisville has a wide lead in fan loyalty locally.

The most comprehensive research on the subject, The Courier-Journal’s Bluegrass Poll, which was conducted in February 2005, indicated that overall 56.7% of Louisvillians were U of L fans, as compared to 33.3% claiming to be UK fans.

When asked about football, 61.3% favored Louisville while Kentucky had 20.8%. As for basketball, 56.7% favored U of L while 33.3% supported UK. The remainder of fans in both sports were largely split between Notre Dame, Michigan, Western Kentucky and other schools.

Not surprising that it is difficult for UK fans to remember, acknowledge or accept the results of the study, especially with U of L winning by such a wide margin.

Charles Springer

It’s a struggle but we must endeavor to keep them honest.