With everything great that has happened with the University of Louisville athletics in the past two weeks, especially in football, something is missing. Significant milestones, bringing the university and community closer together.
- U of L received and accepted an invitation to the Atlantic Coast Conference, a milestone in the school’s history, rescuing fans from the faltering Big East, opening up vast new opportunities in athletics and academia.
- With a hobbled Teddy Bridgewater leading the way, Charlie Strong’s football team miraculously got past Rutgers, earning the school’s second BCS trip ever, heading to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, the most prestigious bowl in the school’s history.
- Against significant odds, UofL held on to Charlie Strong as its head football coach, turning down a job offer from the University of Tennessee, one of the old guard football schools offering him $3.7 million a year. A football coach who said he loved the school, his boss, the community and his players, and actually made good on his word.
Life in the fast lane, zip, zip, one after the other. Each event deserving of a major celebration, occurring within such a short period of time. The fan base, surprised, shocked, exuberant, possibly overwhelmed by the enormity.
Occurring as they did, at the beginning of the holiday season, maybe city and university leaders believe the seasonal calendar is already jammed. No denying the demands of the season, with fans squeezing in all the gift-buying, family activities and holiday parties.
One would argue, however, that a community-wide celebration is in order, a place where UofL fans can gather to celebrate, to honor what the university administration, athletic department and football team have done for this town. Mayor Greg Fischer, if he’s a typical politician, will want to claim partial credit. He needs to get the planners busy.
No doubt many UofL fans, including this one, will have reason to be jubilant in New Orleans, the ultimate party town, around the New Year’s Day holidays.
Louisville has some major milestones to celebrate. Here and now, the sooner the better.