Wednesday, March 1, 2023


University of Louisville News & Perspectives

What Do Louisville Fans Have To Lose?

By Tom Stosberg

Could you tell me once again just exactly what University of Louisville football fans have to lose in this coming Saturday’s game? And please, no whining.


As I see it, the U of L faithful win whether the football team wins or not. If the Cardinals win the game everything is obvious giddiness.  But if the team loses the fans still win because chances are they can look forward to getting a new powerhouse, wonderful, spectacular, incredible football coach in December.

Now did I say if he can’t beat Kentucky, he can’t win in the Big East? Or did you just get ahead of me there?

First, let’s cover the winning-the-game giddiness. You see any coach who can beat a rival can probably beat anyone else on the schedule. Not because the rival is that good but simply because it’s a pressure game. Pressure games cause some coaches to get conservative, play scared, try to run the ball up the middle too much, play not to lose, call really dumb plays, uh … kind of like USC 18, Ohio State 15 (plus the last 10 times OSU played top five teams).

Anyway, once the rivalry game is won and the pressure is off the coach can get back to happy football … like with long passes, wide open offenses, jail break blitzes. You know, fun stuff.

So if Coach K is loosey-goosey and let’s the kids do what they really do know how to do, he could actually win it. Note the loosey-goosey part. Trust me, UK will play tense.

On the other hand, if Krag gets scared and plays not to lose, acts like he’s in the Big Ten or something (ooops, did I say that?) then he’ll be wise to get at least three quotes … Mayflower, United, Allied, North American Van Lines, American, Bekins, National…

[stextbox id=”custom”]It’s not the thought of losing a game, as much as it is losing to Kentucky, as in go here.[/stextbox]

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Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

12 thoughts on “What Do Louisville Fans Have To Lose?

  • September 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    We really don’t know what kind of team we have yet. So why not go out there and have fun? I just want to see some of the potential everybody talks about so much become evident on the field.

  • September 15, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    It still ain’t gonna be fun, Tom, with all the crap we will have to put up with from yuk fans. They are really getting brazen these days.

  • September 16, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I fully plan on having a great time in Lexington this Saturday. A win would make it all that sweeter, but college football on a Saturday…the tailgating, atmosphere, all of it is a 12-13 week affair that can’t get here soon enough and never lasts long enough each year.

    Your assumption that Krags is gone this December, a hopeful one for many UofL fans, is probably not going to happen. I see Jurich keeping him thru the 2010 season and re-evaluating then.

    What do we have to lose in this game? Thanks for lobbing the softball in there, Tom. This one’s going over the fence…bad knee and all.
    1) We face going 0-3 in the last three years against UK if we lose. Hasn’t happened inthe modern day revamping of the series.
    2) We lose momentum with the in-state recruits that both UK and UofL are wrangling for. Very easy to point to the opposition and say…”Yeah, they’re an OK school, but WE’VE BEAT THEM THE LAST THREE YEARS. Why not play for a winner, son?”
    3) We lose the momentum of starting the season with a win. An ugly win, granted…but we’re 1-0 right now. I know a ton of Cardinal fans who would feel better about 2-0 instead of 1-1. Myself included.
    4) We lose those in the fan base that would still be behind the Cards with a 2-0 start. They may be just fair-weather fans, but every time I drive by the construction on Floyd…I wonder…who are we going to put in those seats…beside visiting UK fans and WVU fanatics once every two years?
    5) We lose ground on getting to a bowl this year. 6-6 will probably be finishing point of this team with a victory over UK and good enough for a minor bowl. 5-7 keeps us home.
    6) We lose the Gov.’s Cup again. There are few better sights in college football than seeing our guys bring it over to the cheering fans who madethe trip to Lexington. Watching it go to the UK student section is very depressing.

    I’m not a rose-colored glasses guy here. I know we’re (as of this morning) a 13 1/2 dog to the Cats. I know we have tons of problems to work out with this year’s team. But, a win helps the morale and attitude around the locker room and in the seats.

    We lose most of that with a loss to UK. Big game, yeah…I think so.

    • September 16, 2009 at 9:25 am

      Paul I tend to agree with Tom on this one. The truth is that we have fallen so far, so fast that there isn’t much else left to lose. As for your points…

      1. We are set to gain a 3 game losing streak in the series. I don’t really see this as any kind of loss, unless you are counting dignity.

      2. We haven’t had any momentum with in state recruiting since CBP left. UK has done a phenomenal job of out working Kragsy in every aspect of recruiting. From visiting local high schools regularly, to attending Coaches Association meetings at which they are scheduled to speak, Krags has been taken to the woodshed by Brooks and Phillips.

      3. I don’t believe the ISU game gave us any momentum whatsoever. If anything, all it did was reinforce less optimistic fan’s expectations for the season as a whole. To the “a win is a win” crowd, it’s Indiana freakin State. The worst team in college football. Anything less than a 50 – 0 win is completely unacceptable.

      4. I don’t believe Louisville will lose many more fans based on the outcome of the game. Attendance will be down compared to the last few years for sure, but our fan base has still grown enough to almost fill up the current capacity of the stadium even without the so-called fair weathers. Though judging by the mass exodus at the ISU game at halftime, I’m guessing our games are steering back towards more of a social event than an entertaining competition. Also, you are dead on in regards to the expansion. The waiting list is gone and there is no longer a demand for tickets. It will truly be a sad day if Jurich keeps this loser and we see our newly expanded stadium full of blue bloods on opening day next year.

      5. I agree that there will be pressure to win this game due to the fact it would get us closer to bowl eligibility.

      6. It is depressing that the Gov cup will once again belong to Lex., but we haven’t touched it for two years. Why would that change now?

      I ask, why do you think Jurich will keep him through next year? Is this claim based on an expected season record, or towards seeing “improvement”? How is improvement not measured in wins and losses? Are we really stooping to UK’s level and now counting moral victories? Why is it so hard for people to see this phony for what he is and call a spade a spade?

      • September 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

        I agree with you. If you look at the Sagarin ratings (yeah, computer rankings are especially dumb this early in the year) we figure to finish either 1-11 or 2-10 (I don’t remember Arkansas State’s rating). If that happens no way TJ can keep Kragthorpe.

        And as for attendance, don’t believe the numbers. That I believe is the number of tickets sold. I was just told a couple of days ago by someone I know that he has a good friend with 10 season tickets. He used to pass them out to friends and for business. This year he kept his tickets but when they arrived he tore them up, all 10 sets. He is hoping empty seats will send a message. What I am willing to bet is while announced attendance will remain about the same the concession sales will drop and perhaps later in the year nosedive. And $ count.

  • September 16, 2009 at 7:54 am

    The recruiting advantages for the winner of this game are vastly exaggerated. With all the wins U of L enjoyed over the last decade, there was, with the exception of Brian Brohm and Michael Bush, no noticeable increase in pickups of local talent, or state talent for that matter. Kentucky players are going to UK unless Michigan, Notre Dame or Ohio State want them. Brohm and Bush were going to U of L anyway so that doesn’t count. Today there are 21 Louisville players on the roster, 15 on the UK roster.

  • September 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

    All good points, Paul. You never want to lose to your in-state rival. We have the game to lose. Only the UofL fans who would rather see us lose in hopes that it might hasten Kragthorpe’s departure could cheer against us in this one.

  • September 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Mr. Anon…

    Just some of the talk I’ve heard around various circles leads me to believe that this won’t be the “make or break” year for Kragthorpe.

    Jurich is committed to giving Kragthorpe every possible opportunity to build a winner here. Until that position becomes unviable, he’s your coach. Would a 2-10 or 1-11 season make it unviable? Plenty of fans out there hope so. I will never wish bad things for the program to expidite the removal of a coach. What true fan would?

    And, I don’t want to lose in Lexington. What Cardinal fan in their right mind would? Leaving there after a loss teaches you a lot about temper control and humility. Only Morgantown rivals Lexington in fan taunting for the visitors.

    Wins translate into recruiting bonuses. You call Vic Anderson and Doug Beaumont “nobodies”? You haven’t been watching us play, have you? And, Brohm and Bush weren’t “guaranteed” to come here. Brohm has four schools in mind up to his last week. Bush had half the Big 10 after him.

    By winning games, even the rivalry game will put fans in that east side addition that is being built. I’ve been in stadiums where the empty seats were overwhelming and the fan base was apathetic. I pray it doesn’t happen here again. 1997 was bad enough.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I miss going to Jacksonville and Miami for bowl games. Even Memphis. I’ll give up on Kragthorpe when and if Jurich does. He’s far more qualified to make that call than me, you or anyone on this board. He’ll make the right decision when it needs to be made.

  • September 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I agree that as fans we can’t hope to lose in order to hasten Krag’s departure, even if it really would do so. As for Jurich supporting Krag, I think the 3 year rule is both fair and appropriate. I just can’t understand how improvement can be measured in anything other than wins and losses, especially with our weak schedule. Jurich has given Krag every opportunity to succeed, but he has failed time after time. Why must we sit through another year of awful football? The further we bury ourselves with Krag the harder it will be to dig out once we fire the clown and hire a competent coach.

    As for losing to UK, of course I want us to kick their butts. They have grown arrogant these past couple of years because they know Krag can’t beat them. The truth is they are really no better than they were back when we were beating the crap out of them. We just suck that much more thanks to doing it the right way.

    I’m not sure I follow you on recruiting. I think Anderson and Beaumont are fine players, but not good examples as to why the UK game is important to recruiting. Anderson was a life long U of L fan, but had made it pretty clear he didn’t want to play for Petrino b/c of his preference to use big, power backs in the offense. Also, both of these guys were committing to a team that just won the Orange bowl. They had no idea, nor did the rest of us, how incompetent Krag would be once he got here. Had they known how bad it was going to get, I doubt we get either one.

    As for Brohm and Bush, I don’t believe either of them were seriously considering UK anyway, so it’s a huge stretch to say they would have went to UK instead if we would have lost the rivalry game. If anything, they would have just left the state all together. The point I’m trying to make about recruiting is that the rivalry game is just a drop in the pan. Players want to play for a great coach, period. While wins are a direct reflection of a great coach (except in Jurich’s eyes), one game doesn’t make or break a coach. Say we lose this weekend, but go on to win the Big East and win a BCS bowl. I think it’s safe to say we’d see a positive reflection in recruiting, both in state and out.

    Winning games will put fans in the seats, but not just this game. If we go 1-10 each year from here on out I’d be willing to bet that place will be empty. The sad thing is that beating UK would probably be enough for some people.

  • September 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I’ll take a win over UK, given the current state of our program. And, I’ll end by saying that I’m proud to have good, revealing and point/counterpoint exchanges with the readers on this board. Some of the other boards out there…the rats have overtaken the galley.

    • September 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm

      Yes, Paul, the “rats have overtaken the galley” at other boards and they can’t even have a civil exchange of ideas without someone from U-Know-who butting in. I don’t understand a fan site that allows the rival to come on and trash the blog’s home team. I like this site because Charlie runs it the right way. It’s just us Card fans talking among ourselves.

  • September 18, 2009 at 5:31 am

    I know that Howie over at CardinalSports has made a controversial move by eliminating the “Rivalry” board…where most of the Kitties and fans of other schools used to spew their venom. These invaders have noe literally clogged the free basketball and football boards. When you combine them with the Kragthorpe haters and Pitino bashers, it’s hard to stomach what goes on over there anymore. I simply stay away from them. Sonja still goes, she’s going to write about UofL Women’s basketball anywhere she can. I gave up on Scout/ITV a long time ago. I think Idi Amin got his start over there…

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