After those glorious few months that gave us the historic "Year of the Cardinal", the things that have occurred these past couple months have been undeservingly heartbreaking. Losses that any other year (I would hope) would be brushed off as national statements that YES we in fact can play with the best of them, have instead become an albatross around our collective neck. Before things get out of hand after yesterdays puzzling loss to UNC, I think it’s time we take a moment and come to terms with the situation.
From my perspective here are the things that we better learn to deal with this year, so we can go back to enjoying the awesomeness that is Cardinal Athletics.
Yes we lost to UCF at home after being up 21 points, and we are no longer going to a BCS game.
"But Juan", you might say, "A lot of us have already come to terms with that. That’s old news. We’ve moved on."
No you haven’t.
If you had in fact moved past it, then that stadium off Floyd St. would have been packed to the brim as we celebrated a 10 -1 cardinal football team, and sent our seniors (and possibly Teddy) off with the praise and glory they deserve. Scratch that, not just deserve, after bringing us out of the pits in which we once were, they downright earned that and more.
That’s right; an effin 10 win Louisville football team.
Do we need to call Kragthorpe up for 3 more years for us to appreciate what we have?
2. The Rivalry
Something that we can all agree on is that Kentucky fans are absolute trash. That’s just the bottom line. I know it might be a little too harsh to say that, but seriously who else would eviscerate a kid over a speeding ticket to the extent that they have, and worship a radio guy who does nothing but paint our players as "mongoloids" and "thugs". That is classless trash.
Their inability to name off the current years roster is much more a testament to how blindly they follow anything branded blue, rather than their basketball team’s yearly turnover rate.
"What's a point guard? Is that the cross armed guy in front of the scoreboard?" - average UK fan
They crown themselves preseason everything until reality starts setting in, and nowhere along the line do they even show a hint of humility. Instead it’s replaced with "Wait til [insert random UK thing yet to be proven mere hype here]".
I’ll give them one thing however. Without their ridiculous "let’s t-shirt everything" mentality, the t-shirt donating planes to Africa might be flying empty handed.
So knowing this, why do we act as if after every loss we somehow have to get ready to defend the events that transpired against them?
Since 2010 our Football team has won 35 games, meanwhile they’ve almost lost 35 games (33 to date).
Our one loss in our year in purgatory isn’t anything to be happy about, but it certainly isn’t stooping to UK’s level.
Yesterday’s loss against UNC is the same thing; only it hasn’t destroyed our chances of repeating as National Champions. Not in the least!
In fact it has increased our chances.
Even better, we get to play UNC again next year and every year after that. That’s what we call a good opportunity for revenge. Sorry UK, but kicking Indiana off your schedule after losing, but then scheduling Robert Morris after a loss, forever prevents you from bragging about a revenge tour.
So let’s not get so down on ourselves about that, and act like "Oh boy them UK fans at work/school are going to let me have it now".
Our basketball programs are literally neck-to-neck in the modern era. For the past 3 decades and up to now we have each won 3 National Titles, and have been to 7 Final Fours.
[As long as they keep insisting UCLA isn’t a better program than them since their titles are outdated, I’ll continue not caring about their elderly titles as well.]
The greatest part about all of our success is that we do it without selling our soul, publicly letting recruits know that we have no integrity, and that they are free to use us for their own pleasure. So long as they leave the money on the nightstand on their way out, of course.
While our programs are neck-to-neck success wise, our methods are different. Personally I prefer tradition, the Louisville way.
In short: We owe them nothing.
As a wise man once said, "The lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of the sheep".
This may not be the epicness that would be the Year of the Cardinal part 2, but it is certainly not anything even remotely resembling a down year. Let's not forget where we were just a few years ago. With our move to the ACC, and the leadership we have in place, we will be successful in that conference as well. This is just that one year that we have to suffer in the AAC.
It’s still a pretty damn good time to be a Louisville Cardinal.