Reasons the observer can hardly wait to pack the car and head out to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for the kickoff Saturday:
- Another opening game for University of Louisville football, the 54th for the observer since first hearing Ed Kallay broadcast the games on WAVE radio. No Louisville football on TV in those days. The games would have been in black, white and grainy.
- A return to a great stadium, a possibility that was never even imagined before Howard Schellenberger. Seemed unlikely in 1985 to the observer, sitting behind that post blocking the view of the 50-yard line at old Fairgrounds Stadium.
- The observer and his first date with Barbara, the girl he would later marry, occurred at a Louisville football game on Nov. 28, 1972. Took a while to ask her if she liked football, less than a minute for her to say yes.
- Attending a meeting in the mid-seventies with U of L athletic director Dave Hart, Jr. about a tailgating concept he wanted to introduce at football games. He claimed it would enhance the social atmosphere at games.
- The observer lifting his son high in the air after touchdowns, still wincing from the binoculars banging into the nostrils on one occasion. Watching him grow into a bigger U of L fan than the observer, his reveling in a win over Miami.
- The observer introducing his first grandson to Louisville football, his excitement at Eric Shelton running 90 yards for a touchdown on the first play against Cincinnati.
- Bowl game after bowl game, the apex coming in Miami for an Orange Bowl, the jets shaking the stadium after the National Anthem, the observer surrounded by approximately 40,000 U of L fans.
- The optimism of team members, despite the grumbling, that comes with this season. The observer likes the positive attitude, the talent at several key positions, and wants whoever happens to be the University of Louisville football coach to be wildly successful.
- Watching the steel rising above the east side of the stadium, the promise of a future that the University of Louisville intends to keep.