When Close Becomes A Chasm

Playing Cincinnati close wasn’t good enough, even for fans who ordinarily would have been surprised and encouraged that the University of Louisville football team hung with Cincinnati for almost four quarters. One can only conclude that nothing short of winning will satiate a growing segment of the UofL fan base. Here’s Sonja’s take:

By Sonja Sykes

Kragthorpe apologist aside, let’s call it the way it really is: This is not very good football right now, and how much of it is traceable to the play calling in the last several games? This year could end very badly for this version of the football Cards.

Next up is West Virginia, which is in a dogfight for the Big East Championship, and Pat White, although probably not NFL material at QB, is a shifty, elusive game changer who may have lost two good running backs from previous years, but still has some talent that to which he can turn. Rutgers has been thumping opponents the last three weeks, and the Cards have to go there.

Folks, let’s face it. This season looks like a 5-7 finish, and will get the Kragthorpe haters more ammunition. Even Krags takes it upon himself for his 11-11 record and the meltdowns the Cards have has this year. Although it’s a nice gesture designed to protect his staff and players…it has a certain amount of accuracy to it as well.

The fan base I know, and talk to regularly, grudingly agree that he’ll get that third year to “build” this program “his” way. But at what cost? A deteriorating fan base, a lack of interest and loss of popularity in those areas outside Jefferson County? It’s not Cooper, yet…but remember that Louisville football was 12-10 under Coop after two years. Then the meltdown came. I hope we win the last two. I hope we become bowl eligible and we see a resurgence of offense and a continued strong defense. But like many fans, I have my doubts.

Despite the rosy picture painted about player unity and belief in the Kragthorpe system, all is not Disneyland at the Schnellenberger Complex. In Tom Jurich we trust. But trust only takes you so far.

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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.