Revving Up Expectations At Kickoff Luncheon

The focus was back where it belonged — on football — among University of Louisville fans during the annual Kickoff Luncheon. More than 1,100 partisans packing the Crystal Room at the convention center.

Everybody was there except Vice President of Athletics Tom Jurich, who becauCrowdse of undergoing a procedure on his eyes, is under doctor’s orders to take a few days off. Standing in for Jurich was Senior Associate Julie Herman with some did she really say that comments:

“It’s just phenomenal to be a Cardinal fan right now,” said Hermann. “There are 25 Big East titles up for grabs, and we’re excited about our opportunities to capture a few of them this year, and possibly compete for some national championships. We’re going to compete for titles.”

Not stopping there, she described Steve Kragthorpe as “one of the finest football coaches in America and the right person to rebuild build this football program. He’s doing it the right way and I know Louisville fans are going to be proud.”

Hermann also indicated that 93% all seats had been sold for the opener against Indiana State and she was expecting a sellout.

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The football players were interspersed with fans. Ted High, a 6-foot-2, 310-pound junior college transfer from El Camino Junior College in Compton, Calif., was seated at our table. The big defensive tackle consumed only two steaks and plenty of mashed potatoes while laying off the bread.

Ted High with fan Barbara Koenig.
Ted High with fan Barbara Koenig.

Ted said he loves the program and the facilities and greatly respects the coaching staff. “The weight room is out of this world and the stadium is beautiful,” he said. “We’ve been working our tails off, and I think Louisville fans are going to like this team”

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Memorable quotes from Steve Kragthorpe during the luncheon:

  • “Everybody loves football, if you have a brain that is.”
  • “We’ve got a very competitive bunch of players who not only have great heart, but have a great character and will do things the right way. You’re going to like the way they challenge people.”
The "L" sign from cornerback Kaldell Dunning and fan Bill Musselman.
The "L" sign from cornerback Kaldell Dunning and fan Bill Musselman.
  • “We have our team’s name on the front of our jerseys because we play for Louisville, and our player’s names on the back because we play for our families.”
  • “Our motto will be: Attack, attack. attack.”

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Players were introduced by teammates with the nicknames. Among the ones the observer was quick enough to jot down:

  • Josh “6-foot-12” Chichester, sophomore wide receiver.
  • Alan “Fidel” Castro, freshman quarterback.
  • Lincoln “Town Car” Carr, freshman wide receiver.
  • Zach “Rifleman” Stoudt, freshman quarterback

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Joe-TronzoSuperman fullback Joe Tronzo discusses the upcoming season, yeah you bet, with Kim Callen and Katie Kiper.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Revving Up Expectations At Kickoff Luncheon

  • August 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm
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    If only our whole team were as big as Joe “MEAT” Tronzo. GO CARDS!

  • August 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm
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    Gotta like what we’re hearing. Live up to it, guys.

  • August 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm
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    “Rebuild the football program”?????????????? It didn’t need rebuilding until Kragthorpe got here. Gator Bowl and a top 20 ranking followed by an Orange Bowl and a top 10 ranking and the UofL party line says we have to rebuild from that? Pravda wasn’t that absurd.

    • August 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm
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      Give it a break, cbcard. It’s not like the program is your personal playroom. You’re getting to be like some of the teenyboppers over on ITV talking out of their asses anytime someone says something halfway positive. You may as well be a UK fan for all the hate you spew.

  • August 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm
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    What I can’t stand is the hypocrisy and the laying of blame elsewhere. Loses can sometimes be beyond control. Consistantly blaming other people is a different matter.

  • August 14, 2009 at 6:44 am
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    The yearly dog and pony show has taken place once again for the Louisville football program. The glittering generalities and non-sequiters about Louisville football all lobbed out to $35 batters to be smashed over the fence. Jurich, blinded by the light, figuratively, turns the mic over to Julie Herrmann. Anyone count how many swooping headbobs she did during the event? The over/under was 5, I believe. Get a haircut, girl!

    Your fair city has been ravaged by windstorms, icestorms, floods and Sypher/Pitino storms. Yesterday, you got a sh!tstorm from the UofL athletic department.

    Get ready for a Big East beatdown and 1-11 season, Cardinal fans. Your boys couldn’t beat a good Texas high school football squad. And, I will absolutely love the way Wanny and the Panthers will roll into your pizza oven and toast you again this year.

    • August 14, 2009 at 7:03 am
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      …Not stopping there, she described Steve Kragthorpe as “one of the finest football coaches in America and the right person to rebuild this football program. He’s doing it the right way and I know Louisville fans are going to be proud.”

      Wish I could have been there to see the look on people’s faces.

  • August 14, 2009 at 10:33 pm
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    Damn Charlie…

    I see ‘they’ are invading here too….. ‘They’ being the negative pundits, who claim to be fans as long as everything suits them correctly…….

    I don’t know what it is, but they have not invaded CD yet, and they just stay away. I even have the forums going, and there are threads with up to 23 comments on them, and everyone is being optimistic and supportive.

    Plenty of people on, talking in the live chat, commenting on the blog, and no one is negative or bashing.

    I guess most of us all know each other personally, so it kills all the nonsense.

    Anyways, good luck fighting those folks.

    BTW, I read here as much as I can, and I love this report. Great piece, and optimistic. #97 is Tim High out of El Camino via Compton, CA, not Ted High. Just wanted to let you know about the correction.

  • August 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm
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    BTW, it was great taking in the Thursday Open Practice with you. I had a great time scouting the team with you for the time we sat together, and got stalked by that one guy……

    He followed us all the way to the parking lot.

    I got on 65, and I look up, and this guy is hanging off my luggage rack……

    Just kidding about the luggage rack, but the guy was persistant.

  • August 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm
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    Also, great read, and I am going to link this article up on CD for people to read.

    Again, great read, and screw the bashers.

    • August 17, 2009 at 8:22 am
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      Just so we are all clear, who exactly “bashed” in the posts above? Was there anything said that wasn’t true? I’m ignoring the Pitt garbage, of course…

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