Pretty nice outside as of this writing but as we all know, the bad stuff will be upon us for the 8 p.m. kickoff for the University of Louisville vs. Cincinnati game. A constant downpour will bring back memories of 2004 when Eric Shelton dashed 80-plus yards to score on the first play from scrimmage en route to a 70-7 route for the Cards.

No doubt most fans are hopeful that the law of what goes around comes around doesn’t come around too quickly. To the opposite extreme are noisy malcontents who would unashamedly use a drubbing as further reason to send Steve Kragthorpe packing.

Tom Heiser, on his Courier-Journal blog, goes to great lengths to explain what must happen to keep another embarrassment from occurring. The one thing he fails to mention is the home field venue, which is always important for a young team — and was underscored by the dismal performances at Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

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On their radio show this morning, hosts John L. Smith and Drew Diener were encouraging the fans to think positive. A recurring theme among callers was the dramatic improvement on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive backfield quartet of Johnny Patrick, Bobby Buchanan, Latarrius Thomas, and Woodney Turenne has played especially well at home. Not very good anywhere else. What’s certain about this game is that they will have one opportunity after another to redeem themselves in what should be a more friendly environment.

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If Hunter Cantwell is to have the slightest chance at a sniff in the NFL, he has to demonstrate more than a strong arm in this encounter. He has to come ready to play smart and unconfused on the first down, not taking most of the first half to get comfortable. Cantwell no longer lacks experience. He has shown momentary signs of what he could become but has fumbled more and tossed more interceptions than any UofL quarterback in longtime memory. That doesn’t come naturally for a gifted athlete. Sometimes you just have to be yourself. Whoever that is will become abundantly clear in this game.

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A final word to fans considering staying home in silent protest over the coaching issue: Don’t. Whoever told you this was going to be easy was lying to you. Football, like life, is full of inevitable obstacles.  Overcoming them part of the journey. Get knocked down, get back up. Giving up is worse than losing.

Charlie Springer

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

3 thoughts on “Step Up Time For Embattled Cards And Fans

  • November 14, 2008 at 1:10 pm
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    Eric Shelton. 70-7. Boy, that brings back a memory of happier times. As I type this, I know that my hubby has gotten home by now, and is packing for the game. I’ll join him there in a few hours, and the van will be packed and loaded awaiting for me to arrive so we can go. After the disappointments of Syracuse and Pitt, it’s time for something good and special to happen for this program and I hope it’s tonight. Rain gear, change of socks and change of luck are on the agenda tonight. Let’s hope I can cross all three off as accomplished later this evening. Go CARDS. KEEP THE KEG!

  • November 15, 2008 at 11:01 am
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    Charlie, do you know anything about the condition of Victor Anderson?
    We had the game and it’s too bad we couldn’t close. Anyone who reads my pitiful blogs knows that I bleed Cardinal red – am I still devastated about our season?? Not really – I just found out that the baby daughter of friends of ours died and three more friends of ours found out they have cancer this week – losing a college football game? That’s nothing. U of L football will rise from the ashes and there is a chance (don’t shoot me) that Koach could win next year and win big. Someone in a prior post mentioned Krag getting fired up on the sidelines during the game; I saw that and couldn’t believe it. He DOES have some fire in his belly after all. Did anyone notice that Kelly didn’t have the class to shake the losing coach’s hand? I know that they had words about UC gathering around our Cardinal on the field but come on – he should be bigger than that and for the sake of his university he should have found Koach and shook his hand. I’m just sayin’ Always and ever – Go CARDS! P.S. anybody know how Victor Anderson is doing? Or as Paul Rodgers called him Michael Vick? Sheesh.

  • November 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm
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    Linda: As you know injury information is top secret stuff under this management group. We may not know the answer to that for another month.

    As for Paul, I am not surprised. Paul apparently does very well with horses’ names but we can’t be sure of that since few of us recognize the horses on or off the track. Sonja probably does and she would be the one to correct Paul when he makes a goof calling a horse race.

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