University of Louisville football fans tend take the train horn blasts after UofL touchdowns for granted at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, having been treated to an ongoing smorgasbord of lopsided wins under former coach Bobby Petrino. Don’t. The horn apparently has a debilitating effect on the opposition.

The train whistle is a remnant from the days when the Papa John’s property served as rail yard and switching station for Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The horn, along with the cabooses used for tailgating, brings back some good memories for some residents.

Not for South Florida. “I hate that horn,” says USF tight end Cedric Hill, in an interview with the Tampa Tribune “We want to silence that horn.”

Highly touted defensive end George Selvie also has some recurring memories of the last game the Bulls played at PCJS, a  game the Cards won 31-8:

“They threw a lot of stuff at us; they beat us pretty bad,” Selvie said. “All I kept hearing was the horn going off – ‘Uhhhhhhh! Uhhhhhhh!’ It was horrible. They kept scoring on our defense, and it was pretty cold. “Every time they scored, it got colder and colder; the stadium got darker and darker.”

Quarterback Matt Groethe, however, was hearing bells after being sacked by UofL’s Peanut Whitehead on the first play of the game:

“Honestly, I knew it was gong to be a long day after the first play of the game,” Grothe said. “We had a rollout to the left, and I got the living crap knocked out of me. That’s not a very good way to start the game, and that kind of set the tone throughout the whole game.”

Tough assignment for the Cards. Assuming they find the end zone against the Bulls, the finger of that train whistle button should linger a bit longer when points are added to UofL’s side of the scoreboard.

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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.