Part of the observer’s duties for a decade was managing large meetings. When one is responsible for a special event, you plan, practice and rehearse, leaving nothing to chance. 

That’s why he  was embarrassed for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team Sunday when the team’s 2009 NCAA National Finalist banner was to be unfurled.spotlighte

Roll the highlights video, Angel McCoughtry greetings from Russia, Candyce Bingham’s remarks.

Drum roll … time to reveal the banner.

The spotlight lights up, searching, searching for the banner. The inept spotlight operator can’t find the banner, clumsily turning the beam this way and that.  No idea where it is, resorting to opening the lens to full frame. Never to land on the intended.

It isn’t until the overhead lights go on that fans are finally able to spot the banner.  A “teachable moment” for whoever is running the show … by the seat of his or her pants.

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Speaking of Angel McCoughtry, she has a great-looking new web site here. Thanks to Sonja for the find.

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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.

5 thoughts on “The Case Of The Missing Banner”
  1. Woulda, coulda, shoulda been a thrilling prelude to the game but instead turned into a very awkward moment, much like a celebrity stumbling on the steps to the stage to accept an Oscar.

    Surely all in Freedom Hall yesterday shared the outrage I felt at this insult to the glorious Lady Cards’ heart and effort for their 2008-2009 season. Shameful indeed.

    But at least with its pure whiteness, this banner will stand out among all those red ones. Here’s to many more. And Congrats again to Coach Walz and the Lady Cards. Go Cards!

  2. Regardless of the writer’s offense to the technical difficulties experienced during the unveiling ceremony, how about we keep this page semi-positive. The spotlight on the banner was obscured by the scoreboard, that is why it couldn’t be illuminated by a spot. Surely this could have been resolved with a pregame dress rehersal, but as is often the case, things did not go according to plan. \
    Lets not take the heads off of the crew that gives us a fine venue night after night to watch games. When was the last major technical failure during a home game event in Freedom Hall? Did you say thanks to the lighting and sound crew the last time you sat thru a game anywhere…I doubt it….

  3. Sorry JohnJohn, but this was just too big a moment to screw up in honoring a group of players that had earned their moment in the spotlight. As for staying positive, there is time to vent and a time to relent. The focus was on the spotlight operator, not the lighting crew. He or she had no idea about the location of the banner. Just a look upwards toward the rafters beforehand would have prevented the embarrassment.

    1. Agree with Charlie; there’s a time and a place for criticism and this is that time and place. The event meant a lot to many people and required perfection.

      It would be like misspelling Denny Crum’s name on the court. Someone should be responsible for conducting a quick rehearsal of the banner ceremony given the significance of the event. This wasn’t a shot clock malfunction or someone forgetting to turn a microphone on. This was recognizing the sweat equity of dozens of players and staff whom elevated the prestige of the University and community.

      The folks in charge of the ceremony air balled a free throw.

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