Friday, August 27, 2010
This is a major blow to the team and it majorly blows. Insert Sypher Joke, I don't even care anymore.
It leaves the Cards hard up at the 3-spot next year since Sallie was supposed to be insurance for wingman Justin Coleman, who also didn't qualify academically. It reinforces the appearance that Rick Pitino just doesn't have his shit together. The personal stuff has been dissected ad nauseaum, but these are professional errors.
Recruiting kids with little chance of qualifying academically. Whiffing on big-time players. Decommits. And now having transfers never see campus due to "academic timelines"? This couldn't have been discovered before he was offered and announced a spot?
These are professional errors, and they need to get cleaned up, because it's damaging UofL's brand, and I'm getting sick of making excuses for it.
Happy birthday us. Here, below, are what I consider to be the ten most important moments in our pitiful first year of web publication. If Mr. Red disagrees with any of the selections, he can kiss my ass. Same goes to you. And thanks for reading. We're all looking forward to another year together, that is unless Mr. Red forgets to renew our domain name again.
10. The post that started it all -- At the height of the Pitino scandal, Cardinal Laws was born one year ago today. As such, Mr. Red focused his first post on Pitino's combative press conference rebuking the media for giving Karen Sypher too much attention (thank God that that spectacle died down shortly thereafter). In retrospect, so much about that post -- down to Mr. Red's own flesh and blood rebuking him in the comment section (first ever comment at CL!) -- set the pace and tempo for everything that ensued.
9. Remembering Howard -- During one of the most disappointing eras in the history of Louisville football, it helped ease the pain to relive the days of our program's belligerent patron saint.
8. To boo or not to boo -- Taking on our own kind was not exactly what we had in mind when we started this blog. But urging Cards fans to stop booing our guys after the second home football game last season was an important moment for CL, if also an unfortunate byproduct of an interminable football season.
7. We happy few -- It was a painful moment to realize that the football program could not be salvaged, and that in effect all that we had left was -- gulp -- each other. But finding ways to love a bad football team became a memorable rallying cry for us during a tough year.
6. Dreams of a Florida man -- six weeks before the Age of Kragthorpe was brought mercifully to its overdue end, Mr. Red finished his homework and singled out the next man destined to take the reigns of Louisville football. Thus was born the love affair between CL and Charlie Strong, not to mention the beginning of the cat-and-mouse stalker's game between the elusive Strong, the ever crafty Mr. Red, and the latter's trusty pair of infrared-lens binoculars.
5. Charlie's first press conference -- No one will soon forget Charlie Strong's introduction to us, how he connected immediately to a Louisville fan base desperate to believe and hope, or that moment when he choked back tears upon realizing he had, finally, achieved his dream of becoming a head coach.
4. The Worst 24 Hours in Cardinal Basketball History -- After news outlets reported that Pitino made inquiries into the New Jersey Nets job, followed by an embarrassing loss by the Cards to St. John's in Market Square Arena, Mr. Red defied our viewers -- and a bottle of Jack -- to prove him wrong.
3. Victory over #1 Syracuse in last game at Freedom Hall -- A thousand years from now, Crazy Old Guy will still live, kicking and gesturing wildly and waving that dirty referee towel, telling his Crazy Old Guy Grandchildren tales of Kyle Kuric and alley oops and a perfect day in a manure-stenched heaven known as Freedom Hall.
2. You're Welcome -- Mr. Red simplifies the KFC Yum! Center's tongue-tangled title by coining a more appropriate moniker.
1. Farewell to Freedom Hall -- Mr. Red and I profiled the Cards historic departure from Freedom Hall in different ways -- Mr. Red recalling his first visit with his Dad in a story that begins "It smelled like shit," while I drew up a tribute consisting of 95 incomplete sentences. But the conclusions reached were the same. An era has ended.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It's tough to gauge exactly what had him so miffed. He responds to a direct question that "intensity" wasn't the issue, instead offering that no one would "compete", and that the team suffers from a lack of leadership.
I don't want to be Chicken Little, but the video does have me concerned for a few reasons. One, from what we've seen, Coach Strong is a direct individual. He doesn't seem to relish playing mind games with his team ala Pitino, so if he says it was a crappy practice, I'm inclined to believe it was just that.
Two, he seemed concerned about the different team that shows up when practicing at Papa Johns. Something about the surroundings provokes an anxiousness. Needless to say, that's not good for your home field (although it was cool to hear Strong refer to the Papa as "Our House").
Again, I don't want to read too much into things, but one concern I do have about September 4th is retaining composure for 4 quarters. Adrelanine can backfire if not channeled correctly. Young guys will be asked to mature quickly, to stay focused and weather the breaks and bounces that the Football Gods have in store.
Coach Strong is right on point. Leaders need to emerge.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
But that's neither here nor there, you're stuck with us for another year. It seems like only yesterday that Mr. Black and I were just a couple of regular Cardinal diehards with dubious hygeine and borderline drinking problems. Viewed in that light, it's remarkable how little we've grown.
It's good to be back if only to highlight this idiocy over at KSR. One of their bloggers spends an inordinate amount of time mocking the grammar on the FAKE twitter account of UofL recruit Demar Dorsey, which has been known to be a FAKE for a long time, and then chides a FAKE Louisville official for swooping in to offer a FAKE apology for the FAKE Dorsey's FAKE espoused opinions. Nice work, Woodward.
Good to know we won't be short of material the next 365. Let's beat their ass. Go Cards.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Anyway, it probably will take me a few days to get back into the full swing of things in Cards Universe. Certainly the big news right now is Coach Strong naming Adam Froman the starter. Not really a big surprise there, though I was startled by some of the blowback.
As Red noted below, Eric Crawford's embrace was less than full. Was Crawford hinting that Will "Short Fry" Stein was the better choice? I supported and defended the decision to give Stein playing time last year, but all things considered, a healthy Froman was always the favorite.
Bozich's column this morning, meanwhile, stopped short of questioning the pick (sort of), but made clear he thinks the issue will be revisited. Of our challenges at quarterback, Bozich writes, "But here are the questions from opposing defenses: Can you beat us with the deep pass? Can you hurt us with the midrange pass? Prove it, fella." Well... okay. If Froman can't get it done, Strong no doubt will look at other options at quarterback.
But what are they exactly? According to Bozich, there'd been some "innuendo" (my words) that the contest in recent weeks had tightened, but the evidence presented is ambiguous:
There were whispers that Justin Burke edged ahead last week because of his"Whispers"? "Somebody told me"? Bozich has a source on the inside! And I think it's Eric Crawford.
powerful arm. Somebody told me Will Stein was scrambling and making plays
like Doug Flutie, the way Stein performed at Trinity High School.
I feel a bit at sea making sense out of such fleeting evidence. I feel grounded again when settling on the more tangible fact, that Froman is the starter until performance suggests otherwise. But we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that Burke or Stein offer a set of "intangibles" far beyond what Froman brings to the field.
Short of Dominique Brown coming on strong mid-season, I believe the coaching staff will grant Froman more latitude than what our guys at CJ seem to be suggesting, and otherwise will seek to limit their risk in favor of a strong running game. I like all our guys, but I don't think we should fool ourselves into believing there's a sleeping giant riding the pine.
Monday, August 23, 2010
If you're going to call it that instead of "the best man winning the job", one would assume that a more mysterious pick with more dymanic potential lurks on the roster. Crawford suggests none.
The only person that would fit that bill is true freshman Dominique Brown; most agree he's far too raw, though his athleticism could be used situationally.
The other two--Burke and Stein--well, they do essentially what Froman does. They're nimble-footed, they have decent arm strength, they can deliver accurately and command the huddle. But apparently, in Coach Strong's estimation, Adam Froman does it best.
So, as long as DaMarcus Smith continues to play in Seneca colors, instead of calling Froman "the safe pick", I'll call him what he is. Our starting QB and our captain.
The quote seems particularly apt after reading the article in the CJ yesterday on the importance of the position next season. That piece, in tandem with a previous story on the undersized defensive line spells the biggest question mark as to whether the Cards can have success next season.
Once again, the rumors of the crappiness of the Big East conference have been greatly exaggerated. There are at least five teams with massive offensive lines and dynamic running backs returning. The Cards are small up front, and no amount of coaching 'em up can fix that. If they are going to be stopped, it's going to to fall on the linebacking corps to plug the holes.
It will be a difficult task, but it can be done. Brandon Heath has had praise lavished upon him by the coaching staff since practice began; USC transfer Jordan Campbell has been cleared to practice, if he left all his baggage with him on the West Coast, he'll be a teriffic contributor. I'm also reminded of the stroke of luck that befell us Signing Day when local linebacker Tim Patterson spurned the Cards for UK. His spot was quickly offered to highly-touted Cincinnati linebacker Preston Brown. Patterson won't be academically eligible to play on September 4th, and it remains to be seen if he can fully recover from knee surgery. Brown, on the other hand, looks to be one the talented freshman expected to make plays immediately. Life's funny.
The heart and toughness of lineman like Greg Scruggs is unquestioned. But until Coach Strong is given time to bring in recruits with the bulk to match their brashness, it's going to fall to the linebackers to keep our defense respectable.
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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.