The weather was never going to cooperate with University of Louisville football program for the home opener of the 2018 season. The local forecasters finally getting one right, with the last breath of Hurricane Gordon dumping its massive leftovers on Cardinal Stadium.
The day getting off to a decent start, with the rain waiting until UofL fans were finding their parking spots. But the clouds would begin to leak as fans were setting up their tailgating canopies, soaking the fans and their food, determined to make life miserable for the Cardinal faithful. The rain would continue well into the night and long after the football game had finally ended.
The inclement weather interruptions long ago having ceased to be fun or novel for Louisville fans. This day among the most irritable ever, interrupting the football game four different times, sending fans to the concourses and the players back to the dressing room.
No cooperation, admiration or respect from Mother Nature for what should have been a glorious unveiling of the North end zone expansion.
No cooperation, admiration or respect from Mother Nature for what should have been a glorious unveiling of the North end zone expansion. The game would start at 7 p.m. and end five hours and 35 minutes later.
As for the football, what could one expect from a game that had been interrupted so often, with delays lasting from 30 to 45-minute increments. Halftime finally arriving a couple of hours later, the team mired in a 7-7 tie. Some welcome signs of life for the UofL offense with the entrance of backup quarterback Malik Cunningham late in their third quarter.
Cunningham would quickly unveil some amazing speed with a 19-yard run on his first play from scrimmage. The first real sign of a running game this season. Making it look relatively easy, with his team chewing up 85 yards in 11 plays and Cunningham making the go-ahead touchdown.
Mekhi Beckton providing another welcome highlight a few minutes later as the 350-pound offensive tackle lept over and through the offensive line for a one-yard touchdown. Wide receiver Jaylen Smith would make the final score 31-7 on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Cunningham.
By then, however, most of the people in the crowd of 44,420 had given up on seeing any highlights, weary of the seemingly unnecessary interruptions, wanting to get dry, wanting to get out of there. Their introduction to the 2018 football season the equivalent of serving as a volunteer in the dunking booth.
An extra treat was in store for drivers as they exited onto Floyd Street, where all the the ditches beside the road were overflowing and water pooling at least 10 inches deep in spots. Once drivers had committed to Floyd Street, they were own their own, desperately hoping they could make it to the distant intersection. Not much help from the cops or the blinding blue lights, the occupants of the police cars seemingly only concerned about staying dry.