More Than A Game

By Charlie Springer

People being much too reserved in their predictions and comments. Are fans looking forward to Sunday’s matchup or are they dreading it?

Kentucky has fattened up a 13-3 won-lost record with schools few people knew even existed before this season started. How about Ouachita Baptist, Mississippi Valley State, and  Longwood? They have basketball teams, too? What do you learn about yourself playing teams like Virginia Military Institute, Florida Atlantic and Delaware State? A freshman-dominated Indiana University team?

Not much.

Louisville limps in with an 8-3 record, having learned quickly that it doesn’t faintly resemble the third ranked team in the nation. Surprising losses to Western Kentucky, Minnesota and Nevada-Las Vegas. Cockiness has been replaced by uncertainty, the future clouded by doubt, and an ugly offensive attack plagued by poor field goal and free throw shooting.

Are the Cards as bad as they looked against UNLV?  Probably not.

All of which adds to the unknown and drama of Sunday’s showdown. No time for reflection. It’s much more than a game, and everybody knows it. You had better come to play. Win or lose, everybody has to live with the outcome for quite a while.

Make all the ugly K baseball caps, the UK car flags, the fat Wildcat shirts go away. Make them disappear.

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Charlie Springer

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

6 thoughts on “More Than A Game

  • January 3, 2009 at 10:03 am

    While watching Paul bowl last night, and watching the Liberty Bowl…the conversation turned to the Sunday Showdown. There are more than a few Cards fans that are ready to push the panic button on Rick’s crew and a growing, boastful confidence among the UK fans I talked with.
    I can’t tell you what’s going thru the minds of the players that will step on Denny Crum Court Sunday afternoon, but I hope that the fans there will demonstrate to the UofL players just how much we want them to play well and win this thing. Please, no sitting on your hands or reading the New York Times during the early going. And, if you’re going to be there, and you happen to be sitting near one of the “big blue invaders” you need to be louder, prouder and focused.

    It’s only a game, granted…but it’s also a rivalry that provides bragging rights, an air of superiority and national recognition.
    Whether you’re in the Hall screaming at the court, or in your living room yelling for the queso dip…stay positive, remain faithful and keep good vibes. From Hazard to Hollywood, fans of both schools will be tuned in, and turned on.

  • January 3, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Those “K” flags they put on their cars are what my daughters and I call “Kroger Flags!” Sooo ready for this game! CARDS – 72 kittens- 64! GO CARDS!!

  • January 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Let’s hope the Cards are, too, Joey. Take your blood pressure medicine early.

  • January 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

    YUP, those ugly blue hats with the white K also look like “Kroger” hats and that’s what we call them. We’re not a very well coached/good team right now but I am hoping and praying that talent will win out today and we will win the game. We have enough talent on our team (not just 2 players like yUK) that we should be a force and I think we will be at the end of the year when it really counts but for now we are so beatable. yUK thinks they are Duke and swaggers like theyy are UNC when in reality NO BODY is talking about their wins because of the caliber of teams they have been playing. As is the case almost every year, if they beat U of L, THEN they will get some respect and mention outside of Lexington and the small towns in KY. Whether we win or lose today, we WILL be there come tourney time IF we stay healthy. Go CARDS!!!!!

  • January 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks to ESPN, the Duke lovers and the UK people who like to stick their feet in their collective mouth, Lexington is no longer considered a center of college basketball. Most wins, yes, but that was largely under Rupp and Pitino.

  • January 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Roll up the score now
    And give a fight so we can give a yell
    We will fight, give it all you’ve got
    For we are with you UofL.

    Bring on the main event.

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