Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
-- "I believe they have it out for us because for the past two years they've been one of the teams that we've had success against," defensive tackle Anthony Perkins said. "So if I were a betting man I'd say that they would be prepared for us. It's away and at their place, so I know they're juiced up to come out and show they can win, too."
-- "Of course, it's a one-game season right now," running back Averin Collier said. "We're taking it one game at a time and are going after each game and attacking it with a winning gameplan and go in to win."
Focus and determination disgusts me. Kick their ass Cards!
-- "We just go out there and we gotta play real hard and know we got to come out with a victory," Davis said. "Since we know that we gotta win these three straight games, everybody is real focused, not like we haven't been focused, but we're real focused right now and hungry to get a win."
Look, I like offense as much as the next guy. But you don't turn down Scarlett Johansson just because you happen to be a legs man. I want points, but I also want a stout defense, and exciting special teams for that matter (the good kind of exciting, not the kind we have now). A complete team, efficiency in all phases of the game, is the goal. Strong is a defensive mind to be sure, but it doesn't necessarily follow that offense would suffer under his leadership. For one thing, he hasn't been given a head coaching opportunity yet; it remains to be seen what type of coordinator he will hire, or how Strong's personality would be reflected in his offense.
It's the personality that interests me greatly. It's not always about style-of-play. Sometimes it's about style, period. I know Steve Kragthorpe was already on Tom Jurich's radar, but for the life of me I cannot imagine him wowing anyone in a job interview or expounding a vision for Louisville football. He always communicates in predictable ways, either dull/monotone coachspeak or jittery/fiery coachspeak; neither is one you want your head coach to project. Did you hear his halftime interview during the West Virginia game? He sounded like he had just downed 4 pots of coffee, I don't think he took a breath.
Charlie Strong is the opposite of that. He's an authoritarian, but one with the rare ability to garner both fear and adoration from his players. He's a successful, charismatic African-American male, and it seems likely that such a figure would generate interest from recruits, the majority of which are young African-Americans. He is exactly what UofL is looking for. He's an up-and-comer in that he's never been a head coach, yet he's also a proven winner in that he has two national championships sparkling like diamonds on his resume. I would hate to see the Cards pass on this potentially transformative figure just because he doesn't run the spread offense.
Syracuse is in turmoil; their locker room is still reeling from the departure of Mike Williams. Losing that target will have a negative impact on QB Greg Paulus, who seems to be getting shakier with every week. I think the Cards grab their only comfortable win of the season. 27-14 Cards. Book it.
Well...it ain't gonna happen. They're good. Both of them (even though USF got smashed). Much better than we are. For the first half anyways, it was a wild game full of turnovers, special teams adventures, and big plays; both Rutgers and South Florida played with an intensity that the Cards have seldom shown this season. Oddly, the coaches seemed to design a game plan to maximize their players' talent. And the players, strangely enough, responded favorably to being put in such situations. Football can be such a fun, beautiful sport when played the right way. I will relish the day the Cards have a coach to get us back in the party.
Just saw the worst dunk ever from Dwade OMG !!!!!!!!!Edgar Sosa:
D-Wade just finished varejao... OMG!... DAMN!Peyton Siva:
Omg d.Wade don't do it like datChris Brickley:
Dwade just smashed it on verejo!!!And he triple-doubled the Wildcats in the 2003 tourney, don't neglect your history kids.
Inane billboards touting Louisville as a premier college town always came across as a hortatory marketing ploy unmoored from reality. Louisville is much more emblematic of a pro sports town (despite its inability to attract one). When it comes to basketball, 19,000+ follow the team with enviable ardor, push the limits on the decibel meter during the peaks and groan in the troughs -- all without a callow, self-regarding student section bobbing up and down and howling when a particular opponent dribbles the ball. Football passions were ignited over the past ten years by the quality product that both John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino led out of the Unitas Complex. But just like the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, the fans voice their disapproval with events on the field with their absence.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
"I HATE COLLEGE I CANT SEE ME DOING THIS FOR LONG.HINT HINT.-0 LMAO"The funniest thing about this situation is the nonchalant manner in which Coach Dave Marrone broke the news that his flamboyant/troubled/best-player was no longer with the team. Listen below, Marrone drops the news so casually around the 5:00 minute mark that the reporters start laughing.
Louisville cannot lose three years in a row to a moribund football program, but the Cards, along with Connecticut, have provided Syracuse its only Big East wins during the past two years. So in a weird way, this contest actually will have the makings of a big game, if for no other reason than respect... well, more like saving the last shreds of respect still salvageable, unless one or both teams have unexpectedly solid years (and I'm hoping!). So yes, an unlikely battle for bragging rights, but in any case, a game the Cards can ill afford to lose.And September 13, I wrote this:
I don't care what our record (or theirs) is by the time we face off on Nov. 14. That's going to be a big game, a showdown to save pride or sink it. Bring it, Orange. By November, we'll either have played better than expected, or will have had the type of season that there will be nothing left to lose.The second turn of events has obviously come to pass. Nevertheless, I want to win this game! The thought of losing to Syracuse three years in a row is not bearable. Do it for pride guys.
Preview from an Orange blog about the Cards "seeking revenge" available here.
Yikes. Kind of puts the Kye's altercation into perspective doesn't it? Kudos to Pelphrey for putting basketball in the backseat and jeopardizing the season while the situation is sorted out. True freshman Julysses Nobles (featured) will take over at point guard for the Razorbacks when they face the Cards on Tuesday.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Buckle up your chin straps tight, folks, because the national media is going to have a ball with this. It’s hardly a secret that when it comes to basketball, our state’s values are grossly out of whack. Just about everybody either snickers at us – or pities us – because basketball is so obviously more important than education. Now, courtesy of the UK Board of Trustees, the critics and the comics now have this wonderful mother lode of new material with which to poke fun at the commonwealth and our warped values.The rest of his post can be read here, but I would be skipping over it if I didn't also highlight this little nugget:
So you can’t blame the same industry which is trying to develop “clean coal” technology with trying to develop a “cleaner image” strategy. But, heavens, you can certainly blame the whores and other assorted knuckleheads of the UK Board of Trustees.
I sympathize with those that see the writing on the wall, but are chastised for their impatience while a program falls apart, little by little, season by season. Now WKU is not a tradition like Michigan or Notre Dame, and neither is UofL for that matter, but the point remains the same. There is no magical, optimum moment when removing a coach becomes a manifest necessity. When it's apparent to the vast majority of freethinking people that it's not working out, you grit your teeth, rip-off the bandaid, and start the process of getting better. Maybe it's easier for sportswriters to paint a narrative of a coach being betrayed by backstabbing administrators, but these situations always seem to elicit vague maxims (e.g. "You just don't do that"), rather than a commonsense examination of the situation. In the UofL context, for example, many became disillusioned very early, and could plainly see that Kragthorpe was a poor fit. Time and again those fans were told to wait for Kragthorpe to get his players, despite the fact that that reasoning made little sense in our situation. You can't get rid of him now, said the wise ones. Why? You just can't, that's why. Bad precedent, etc. etc...
Well, we waited, and whaddaya know, it didn't get better. It's still not time, according to Crawford. In his opinion, there's little to gain in removing Krags now:
Attendance may suffer, but the seats have been sold already, and fans of the Cardinals aren't known for packing houses in November anyway. There were better than 3,500 empty seats for the final home game of the Cardinals' 2006 Orange Bowl season.Little to gain? Maybe, maybe not. There is a medium between the 3,500 empty seats from three years ago and the 20,000 seats empty last week. In my opinion, however, it would be worth it, if only as a small vindication for those that saw that there was little to gain in bringing Kragthorpe back a year and a half ago.
Shamarko Thomas and Brandon Sharpe are marked men ... and know it, too. As seniors at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Va., Thomas and Sharpe made verbal commitments to sign football grants-in-aid with Louisville. Then they changed their minds and signed with Syracuse.
On Saturday, Syracuse plays at Louisville in a Big East Conference football game. It’s a good bet that the Cardinals are on alert to remember the actions of Thomas and Sharpe.
“I’ve got to perform well,” said Thomas to laughter with reporters on Tuesday. “I’ve got to show them the reason I came here is to change this program and we’re not losing to Louisville.”
“They probably do,” Sharpe said, when asked if the Cardinals will know who he is. “It’s going to be a good game, though. The competition level is going to be high, of course, for me and Shamarko because we were both committed there, and then we decommitted. It’s going to be lots of fun.
“I’m kind of anxious for this game. I hope I get a lot of plays. Hopefully, it’s a good game."
* J.J. Moore: The 6'6'' small forward out of Connecticut has trimmed his list to 2, and those are likely Pitt and St. John's. Cardinal interest in Moore waned somewhat following his visit.
* Russell Smith: The mystery guard from the same high school as Moore is yet to be offerred a scholarship from the Cardinals, despite some reports (and Smith himself). He's a high-risk, high-reward sort of talent. He visits Louisville the 17th, and will likely sign then if an offer is made.
* Tobias Harris: The big one, the 6'8'' forward from Long Island, was long rumored to be a Syracuse lean. But Demling's a tease, and he suggested last night that Tennessee and Louisville are both in solid positions based on the rapport Harris developed with the teams. Don't count the Cats out yet either. Basically, no one knows, and won't until Harris announces on the 19th, or until word inevitably leaks out on the 18th.
Q: This summer, two coaches dominated the headlines - Pitino and Calipari. How damaged are their legacies after Pitino’s sex scandal and Calipari had another Final Four scrubbed from the books?
Vitale: It certainly doesn’t help their image, or their resume, and it brings the doubters out in full force. However - remember this - Rick Pitino has said it once, twice, 20 times, 50 times: He made a mistake. He made an absolute mistake. No doubt whatsoever. What he did, as a married guy, he knows was wrong. However - saying all that … he was a victim of an extortion attempt. The trial is coming up. This woman has been charged with extortion, which is a criminal offense.
Rick, when I talked to him [Friday] … is so dedicated to two factors: Family and Louisville basketball. That’s all he wants to concentrate on and that’s all he wants to do. As long he has admitted to his wife and kids what a mistake he made … you know, people make mistakes.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This of course sent me scambling to websites like bulgarianbasket.com to find out all I could on the aggressive, balding, 31-year old Israeli. Here's how my new favorite foreign center has been described by his Haifa team:"If I let up a basket that easy, I would want to stab myself."
"The most veteran crown moves to Ido "Concrete Wall" Kozikaro. The massive inside player hasn't missed a single EuroBasket in the new millennium and is considered one of the most important locker-room players on the team, in addition to his toughness and great strength he adds on court. In the Israeli league he continues to be a force in the paints and now he carries on his wide shoulders a lot of experience that might turn out very beneficial for the team. Kozikaro will push, shove, fight and hustle for every point and rebound. If you want to show some fans what hard work and passion can do, focus your eyes on the Israeli big."
I fully agree with Coach on this one. There's a term for fans that only show up when the team is having a winning season.
It began early last Sunday morning, 5:30AM, when star wideout Mike Williams and three prominent teammates were involved in a car crash on the New York State Thruway. The next day came an abrupt announcement that Williams had left the team, with few details and little explanation. The talented Williams has had a rocky tenure at Syracuse; he missed all of last season after being involved in a cheating scandal, and had also missed the previous game against Akron for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Fallout from the car crash continued later that day. As word was being circulated about Williams' departure, it was announced that three other players, including tailback Antwon Bailey and starting offensive guard Andrew Tiller, were suspended from the team. It was later discovered that they were the three also involved in the crash. Syracuse lost big to Pitt on Saturday, and since then the team has been the subject of nonstop speculation on Mike Williams' status, reports of secret team meetings and player votes on whether or not to reinstate their teammates. The other three players were reinstated by rookie Coach Doug Marrone yesterday, but there has been no change on the status of Mike Williams; he is not presently on the team. We will bring you further updates as the Orange turns.
Monday, November 9, 2009
You want to feel even more queasy about the loss? The Cards outgained the Mountaineers 301-273, had more time of possession, allowed only ten complete passes, and won the turnover battle. The Cards weren't just competitive, they should have won. Why did it still seem so far way?
Still, I would caution those who blame Stein for the loss or think that Froman would have done better given the same pathetic play-calling. In fact, the ineptitude of the Cards' offensive performance most closely resembled the second half of the game against Pitt, when it was Froman who couldn't get a first down if his life depended on it. At least in that game, Krags called plays moving Froman out of the pocket. I never could have imagined that offensive play-calling would get worse after Pitt, but against West Virginia, it was that bad. Playing our 5 foot 8 quarterback, why did we call so many straight-dropback plays? Stein looked bewildered in the pocket, but as he proved on the touchdown pass that was nullified, he is capable of threading the needle on the run. That his touchdown throw was taken away because of a holding penalty is a damn shame, since it was a terrific play, would have tied the game, allowed fans to savor some aspects of Stein's performance, maybe even enabled us to win. I guess that's just football, particularly in the Kragthorpe era.
Honestly, if I were Krags, I wouldn't hesitate to play Stein again. He may not have the most ability, but seeing if the undersized local kid can compete against the competition is one of the last interesting things left in a lost season. I admit, very parochial, but here we are.
Nevertheless, play the other QBs too. Play 'em all! What possible reason is there left to stick with one quarterback as some point of coaching dogma? If you're going to be annoyingly coy about who is going to start before every single football game, then you might as well get some value out of it and try different quarterbacks during the game. In a season that doesn't mean much anymore in terms of wins and losses, what's the harm in trying new things?
* Coach Bill Stewart, on the post-game groans from WVU fans: "It is a shame a Big East win is no longer good enough..."I guess you are supposed to win by overwhelming odds all the time."
* WVU fan: "I’ve pretty much taken up for Stew and had adopted a wait and see attitude. That being said, I’ve waited and seen enough. This crap is PATHETIC. Unless Stew suddenly wakes up and gets this shit straight, Cincinnati and Pitt will roll this team. I heard Stew’s after game comments and apparently, he’s satisfied with a 17-9 win over an absolutely horrible UL squad. That makes one of us.
* And finally, a WVU columnist throws a hissy fit over Steve Kragthorpe's wife sitting in the press box during the game. I'm not sure if it qualifies as one of the reasons for the decline of print journalism, but pretentious attitudes like this one sure aren't helping:
The men and women -- like myself -- who have a job to cover these teams should be granted one piece of real estate that serves as a sanctuary from everything else: The press box. We earned as much, we deserve it. If you expect objective, non-biased reporting, we expect an atmosphere free of the wife of a coach sitting right behind us.
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Nov 8 - Nov 15
- (Almost) Rock Bottom
- Go Cards!!!
- Some goosebumps to go with your coffee...
- ...and predictions
- Quotes from Syracuse
- More winner, less weiner
- Predictions, predictions...
- Don't think the unthinkable
- Flash Forward
- The unexamined life is not worth living
- Oh yea, one more thing...
- Your move Patrick Hughes
- The Cardinal family
- Arkansas Suspensions
- The Piledriver
- Drink forward, Fall backward...
- Billy Reed takes on UK and coal-mining
- Less Moore
- Lessons from WKU?
- Syracuse Orange's "This is Sportscenter" moment
- Marked Men
- National Signing Day!
- Greg Paulus Flops
- Dick on Rick
- Impact Player Alert
- Big East Preview
- Judge Ido
- Leave Greg alone!
- Kragthorpe Kwote of the Day
- Syracuse Turmoil
- Mark your calendar
- How good was the defense?
- Remember Jeremy Tyler?
- In defense of Stein
- Mountaineer Reax
- You've made a powerful enemy today, my friend
- ▼ Nov 8 - Nov 15 (38)
About the Bloggers
Mr. Red is also known as Timothy Johnstone. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville.
Mr. Black is also known as Christopher Cunningham. He is a graduate of the University of Louisville.