On The Origins Of DePaul Day

Andy Lyons

Before the DePaul Day 2013 festivities can truly begin, we must first explain to the uninitiated what this is and how we got here. This is our history.

Generally a fan unwilling to overlook even the feeblest of opponents, the day on which the Louisville Cardinals face the DePaul Blue Demons in the game of men's basketball is one I celebrate with extreme reverence. It's an occasion I have, for about as long as I can remember, referred to simply as "DePaul Day."

For some time during our youth, a group of friends and I had danced around the idea that it was somehow impossible for Louisville to lose to DePaul in men's basketball. I embraced the notion fully for the first time in 1999.

It was in that year that then-freshman walk-on Quentin Bailey completely outplayed eventual Conference USA Player of the Year Quentin Richardson in a 71-68 Cardinal victory. In the middle of the game, Bill Raftery actually referred to Bailey as "the real Q." The Blue Demons had appeared to be the vastly superior team, but an almost supernatural force seemed to prevent them from victory.

Any and all doubt had been removed. DePaul Day was established as an official holiday.

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Further proof of DePaul Day's power came six years ago when Juan Palacios - who entered the game having scored a total of ten points in U of L's last four contests - hit 8-of-10 shots and dropped 21 on the Blue Demons in a 59-50 victory for the struggling Cardinals. Not only was JDP hitting open jumpers, he was effortlessly putting the ball behind his back on the fast break, doing double pump dunks, making no-look bounce passes and various other things that he would have been completely incapable of doing on any other day of the calendar year.

You put Blue Demon jerseys on the Miami Heat, toss them into the KFC Yum Center and put "DePaul" on the scoreboard, and all of the sudden Tim Henderson is cramming on Dwyane Wade. That's just science.

Now the "record books" show that U of L actually lost overtime games to DePaul in both 2003 and 2004, but the games weren't nationally televised and I was out of town and unable to watch the actual broadcast, so I don't believe for a second that either of them actually happened. If Kentucky fans can chuck the record books out the window and go with whatever they "know is actually true," then so can we.

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Over the past few years, DePaul Day has faced countless critics, a near cancelation and an all-out war.

We're still here. But we still have enemies.

How do we address these detractors? These DePaul Day libertines? I don't know, we eat, drink, watch a movie, nap in a hammock, take a trip to Fiji; whatever we usually do when we're completely at peace. It's f---ing DePaul Day Eve.

Every year I write this post, and every year people flip out, call it a jinx and talk about what they're going to do to me if we lose. This also does not phase me, for it is the eve of DePaul Day and fear I know not thy name (Chaucer/Wainwright).

They may win big, they may win small, but there is one absolute certainty when it comes to tomorrow night: the Louisville Cardinals will defeat the DePaul Blue Demons.

Enjoy DePaul Day 2013.

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