Funny how the perceptions of some fans shape their views because of their disrespect for something or someone, particularly in the case of Steve Kragthorpe and University of Louisville football.

Attendance at the Southern Mississippi game, for example. The observer has seen estimates ranging from a half-empty stadium to one that was only three quarters full. The official attendance was 37,258.

One thinks that some must have made their minds made up before kickoff when those estimates would have been pretty accurate. Five minutes after the game started, it was a far different story, except for the upper reaches of the end zone.

From someone who has been watching Louisville football for decades, the turnout was impressive — considering the negative vibes around the program. The observer will go with the official estimate. For the record, there were some much smaller crowds at some games during the legendary Bobby Petrino era.

Oh, and here’s that photo again:


[No, the observer is not an apologist for Steve Kragthorpe, and makes no apologies for Louisville football.]

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

11 thoughts on “Mindset Shapes Perceptions At Papa John’s”
  1. Actually a spad is a small nail. They can also be used to drive one more nail into a coach’s coffin.

    OK, cheap shot but I just couldn’t resist.

  2. One of the reasons the stadium had fewer people than normal was because the game was over fall break. I personally know many people who had tickets who went home on Friday night. Louisville now attracts people from all over the nation because of the SPAD (Sports Administration) program. Because Louisville is no longer a strictly regional school scheduling games over breaks will always see lower attendance, unless we are playing the number one team in the nation of course.

  3. Our fan base is notorious for stumbling in halfway thru the first quarter, 20 minutes after kickoff. From out crunch zone seats, it looked pretty full and they definitely stayed until the end. We hang out after the game for an hour, hour and a half and havenever had any trouble gettting to the interstate.

    Traffic wise, that is.

  4. Good for you cbcard. Took us more than an hour to get home when normally takes 30 minutes. Like I say, much of it depends on your perspective. Positioning in the parking lot could be a factor, too.

  5. Wonder what the turnout will be like on Halloween? I wonder how many red witches and black ghouls will show up? Tricky timing for maybe a treat or two. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  6. Possibly the press box provides a better view but I liked what I saw from my seat. Not bad for a 1-3 team in Louisville from one has seen some thin crowds over the years. Homecoming games have notoriously been among the thinnest. Getting out of the parking lot after the game was the longest in 10 years at the new stadium. I’ll take Saturday’s crowd, even during a good season.

    1. My wife and I walked quickly when the clock hit 0:00. We left the green lot and were at the Eastern Parkway Tiled Palace in less than 12 minutes from the game’s end. Fastest I have ever left the Pizza Bowl.

      Of course it’s one of the few times the crowd actually stayed til the end.

  7. Charlie, I was there in the press box–I wasn’t the only one with eyes. And my eyes –and glasses–were not blurred by any negativity. I saw what i saw– even after opening kickoff, it was 3/4 full–which was NOT good for a HOMECOMING game on a perfect autumn evening. Wasn’t horrible but it was bad–I drove in literally without ANY traffic or stops to my green lot spot!!!

    By the end of the game, remaining fans had moved down to the field and it was quite evident then that the stadium was half full–maybe a tad better.

    Sorry–that was reality voiced not just by me , but byguys around me in the press rm.

  8. I am pretty sure that the announced attendance has always been the number of tickets sold. As for how many people were actually there I can only guess.

    Figuring 2,000 seats not being available due to construction, the scattered empty seats (a surprising number in section 230 at midfield), and the large number in the upper end zone I come up with a guess of 33,000 there. That’s strictly a guess but I think a fairly good one.

    And for Southern Miss and with the fire the coach atmosphere that’s not too shabby at all.

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