Questions & No Brainers

The ease with which the Memphis football team moved the ball against the University of Louisville defense on Friday brought back memories of Middle Tennessee State’s shocking performance last season.

The MTSU near disaster was a wake up call for Card fans. New coach, new offensive sets. Worst: a new and porous defense, giving 555 yards in total yards and an average of 10.1 yards per play. UofL was clinging to a slim 38-31 lead at half time and UofL fans were shaking their heads in disbelief at the ineptness.

Times had changed at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the extent to which people couldn’t fully appreciate until four games into the season and a shocking 38-35 loss to lowly Syracuse.

One of the key questions after last week was whether Memphis was that good or whether a UofL defense, which had shown remarkable progress in the first four games, has reverted back to its old ways. Were the Cards taking Memphis lightly or where they simply overmatched? Rarely has a win felt so undeserving.

Don’t look now, but Middle Tennessee returns to PJCS this week.

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No  Brainer – Who should Card fans cheer for as Bobby Petrino takes his Arkansas team to Lexington against Kentucky this Saturday. That’s the question Courier-Journal columnist Rick Bozich poses, suggesting it’s some sort of dilemma.

Not even close. You pull for Arkansas, just as you would for any other team that plays UK. This is, after all, the same university that has consistently used its clout to deny U of L valuable resources and exposure for decades.  Often to the extent of embarrassing itself with its own fans.

Then there are the UK fans themselves, some of the worst examples living right here amongst us in Louisville. Refusing to acknowledge UofL accomplishments, disrespecting the Big East. Talked to a couple of them the other day who actually believe SEC basketball is better than Big East basketball. They really do, no kidding.

Some argue that state pride should be a consideration. That’s laughable when the state in question is Kentucky. Come on. Maybe some day when Louisville gets a fair shake from the state. Don’t hold your breath but until that happens:  Go Razorbacks.

Who are you pulling for?

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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.

9 thoughts on “Questions & No Brainers

  • October 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm
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    Louisville, of course. Have no use for Kentucky.

  • October 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm
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    I’m going to play the defense (no pun intended) to Charlie’s pick of Arkansas over Kentucky when it comes to who to cheer for. I hope the Cats win this one and here are some reasons why. Although I am not a Big Blue fan, especially in women’s hoops, I believe I’ve got a little more animosity toward “St. Bobby” than I do Rich Brooks. Brooks’ boys may have beat us 2 years in a row now, but they didn’t dump us a week after we won one of the biggest bowl game in the history of the school. Bobby Petrino represents some of the things that are wrong with college football today, along with Rich Rod and Nick Saban. Loyalty and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee. These “me first..forget everyone else” coaches are a blight on the landscape…and it wouldn’t bother me if all three had losing seasons and horrible recruiting classes. They won’t…probably, but how these guys can look a kid in the eyes and say that they’ll be there for them all 4 years, and then jump in bed with the highest bidder is morally disappointing and gets me fuming. Although it burns my fingers to type this….C A T S…Cats, Cats, Cats. (Now..off to sacrament of reconciliation)

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • October 16, 2008 at 4:40 pm
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    Sonja makes a good point about the lack of candor and loyalty from football coaches. “Blight on the landscape,” indeed.

  • October 16, 2008 at 8:09 pm
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    I guess I am one strange Cardinal fan because I am STILL a huge Bobby Petrino fan. I hope he beats the snot out of yUK on Saturday. Call me stupid but I am grateful to Bobby for taking our program to the level he took it to; winning the Orange Bowl and beating yUK for 4 straight years. Do I like the way he leftU of L? Of course not but I still want him to win every game – go hogs…….SOOEY!!!!! ,o)

  • October 17, 2008 at 6:48 am
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    Sonja,

    Sorry, I’m with Linda on this one.

    There was never any “St. Bobby”, that’s for sure…but you’ve got to respect genius. And bottom -line results.

    Football (and BBall, etc.) coaches, and AD’s, are nothing but high-paid execs. And for a long time now, written contracts mean nothing–they are just things to “buy out” or renegotiate, when high-flying execs are being lured away.

    And frankly, you want a high-flyer if you want a top ten program…and like any top exec, he will constantly be “in demand.” It’s part of the landscape–and has been for well over a decade.

    Railing about coaches leaving a program at its peak to take a huge offer is, well, anti-capitalistic. : – )

    And you might as well be railing about taking the “pros” out of the Olympics.

    The genie’s long out of the box…

  • October 17, 2008 at 7:30 am
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    I grew up in Little Rock, so I have to pull for the Hogs.

    And to those who would defend BP on the grounds that “genius” is always in demand I would make two comments:

    First, I am not yet convinced that BP is such a genius. Until he wins games with players he recruited, I think the jury must stay out.

    And the criticism of Petrino is not that he took a better job offer–any of us would do that. But those of us with a sense of honor and a strong ethical foundation wouldn’t sneak around and lie about it.

    The man may or may not be a good football coach. But he is definitely a lying SOB.

  • October 17, 2008 at 8:27 am
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    Why of course he’s a lying SOB, Stanton ; – )

    Many, MANY top coaches (and top execs) are…they are hard -driving–and that’s what makes them successful…and often hated.

    Anyone who has followed football –and Petrino’s career– would have to agree the guy is at least brilliant in many ways.

    He’s won games–and an Orange Bowl– with guys “he has recruited”…so if you’re still in that jury, man, it’s time to adjourn… : – )

  • October 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm
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    Upon reflection, I suppose one would have to agree that BP won at Louisville with players he selected.

    So if he is such a genius, he should be able to build a successful career and increase his salary each year without lying to his boss.

    Besides, I would not conflate “hard-driving” and plain lying your way to the top. There is a crucial ethical difference, and I’ll take an honorable coach with 90% of the skill to the treacherous genius any day. The goal here, after all, is educating young people.

    And Mr. Petrino’s choice to bounce from one job to another in search of more money, combined with his well-earned reputation for lying, will eventually cost him. If I were a blue-chip prospect, I wouldn’t believe a word he says, especially about how long he plans to be my coach. And if I were that prospect’s parents, I would never let my kid play for the man.

    Some will, to be sure. But they’ll be harder to find now, and not as good.

    Bobby Petrino may know a lot about football, and he has won some games. But he is no genius. He can’t even manage his own life.

  • October 17, 2008 at 1:08 pm
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    Definitely a no-brainer! Short and sweet…GO ARKANSAS!!

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