Born in the Highlands
And raised with the Gorguis
Of Louisville, Kentucky
On wobbly knees
With mama beside you
To help you along
Sadie Jane Blair'll soon be a growing up strong.
Side note: SJB gets extra points for dropping an "Uncle Mike" reference in her email. I like that...as long as it doesn't mean I have to have to buy a gift or something.
Virginia Tech's Montrezl Harrell is expected to officially ask for his release from Virginia Tech today. There has been some talk that Louisville could potentially go after Harrell as a late addition for next season.
Charlie Strong and Rick Pitino each spent some time checking out the scene on the backside of Churchill Downs this morning.
Here's Charlie hanging out with Bob Baffert:
And Pitino with Terry Bradshaw:
My all-time favorite - or at least most memorable - backside experience came during Derby week in 2008. Myself and a small group that included Steve Kragthorpe were waiting around to get a look at Big Brown. The entire morning, no one had talked to or acknowledged Kragthorpe besides Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford.
When Big Brown finally came out of his barn, this group of people, appearing to have absolutely no idea (or just not caring at all) who he was, screamed "MMMOOOOVVVEEEEE!" at Kragthorpe. It was kind of incredible, and I'm not going to lie and say I didn't laugh extremely hard. A group of people yelling like a 3-year-old at the head football coach of a BCS program to get out of the way so they could get a glimpse of a horse.
A pretty solid summation of the era.
ESPN's Adrea Adelson is planning her dream Big East road trip for the upcoming football season, and would like to spend week one in The Ville.
Why: First of all, I love rivalry games. This may not be a league game, but it absolutely is one of the best rivalry games remaining for all Big East teams. Last year, Louisville beat Kentucky for the first time in four years and was hands down the best team in the state of Kentucky for the first time in a long time. The Cardinals now seek to run away with that title, as they are no doubt expected to be a Big East title contender. Beginning the season against your rival in a primetime nationally televised game is a huge opening test, especially for a team that must live up to such high expectations. What is critical for Louisville is being able to win a marquee game right off the bat, with a team that struggled under the weight of expectations last season.
Just as critical is winning at home. Last year, Louisville was 3-3 at home, with losses to FIU and Marshall. Coach Charlie Strong has emphasized that his team must be better at home this year if it wants to contend for a championship. Keep in mind, the nonconference schedule is not a back-breaker. Getting off to a 1-0 start against Kentucky no doubt will create momentum, and more importantly, allow Louisville to keep in-state bragging rights for another year.
In news that is equally awesome and creepy, five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves continues to tweet and retweet things about Louisville ("Card Nation," "L1C4" and the like). Hargreaves is likely to be rated as a top ten (at least top 15) overall player in the class of 2013 by every major recruiting outlet. Basically, he'd be the most highly-rated recruit ever to sign with Louisville.
Indian Hills JuCo PF Jameel McKay is reportedly drawing significant interest from Rick Pitino and company, although - contrary to previous reports - no scholarship has been offered yet.
"Derby" and "dirty" sound a lot alike. Someone should try to do something with that.
The best thing of today, and maybe ever:
Larry O'Bannon will be holding a basketball camp for kids ages 7 and up at Male High School from June 11-15. More details can be found at his website.
Several Louisville baseball players rank among the Big East's statistical leaders.
If there's no Gorgui float in the Pegasus Parade, then I don't even see the point.
If I were a Bulls fan, this would be almost too much to take:
A great update story from the Detroit Free Press on Austin Hatch, the Michigan basketball recruit who survived two plane crashes that claimed the lives of multiple family members.
The U of L baseball team travels to Bowling Green today for a tilt with Western Kentucky. The Cards have won six of eight, and defeated the Tops 9-2 earlier this season.
Brian Brohm has signed a contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. There he will be reuntied with former teammates Trent Guy and Victor Anderson, who have also signed on with the club.
And finally, what do you think is the best name for a horse named after a former U of L athlete? I'm not talking about the name of your favorite former Cardinal, or the most outrageous name; I'm looking for the name that you could actually envision being attached to a Derby winner.
I'm thinking "Unitas," but I could be convinced otherwise.