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Joy Cometh in the Morning

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A nice write up from USA Today's Erik Brady on former Cardinal linebacker Nate Harris. The piece focuses on how Harris made the most of the second chance Louisville gave him after he lost his scholarship to Miami because of his role as a lookout in an armed robbery.

"I was being a lookout in an armed robbery," Harris says. "I never touched a gun, and I never robbed anybody. But I was on the scene and if one person gets caught, everyone gets caught. Everybody goes down with the same charge. I was just in the wrong place, wrong time with the wrong people."

Cassity says at the time Louisville offered Harris a scholarship, "It was all put on the table and we heard from the junior college what a model person he was there and we went with that. Here, he was totally, 'Yes, sir, what can I do to be a better player or person?' He was never afraid to talk about his past."

Before Louisville played Miami this season, Harris was quoted as saying he didn't understand why the school gave another recruit with an arrest record a second chance but gave up on him. Harris had five tackles and a fumble recovery in Louisville's 31-7 win on Sept. 16. He no longer criticizes Miami.

"I don't really fault them," he says. "I fault myself. I was the one who made the mistake. But I made a great choice by going to Louisville. That's all I can thank God about."

The biggest "where were you when you heard the news" moment of the month for Cards fans may not have been when they heard Bobby Petrino was leaving or when they heard Brian Brohm was staying, but when they heard that Rich Brooks was getting a contract extension.

Brooks' new contract is a four-year deal worth $1 million annually that gives UK an option for a fifth year. Brooks had been in the final year of a five-year contract that paid him an annual salary of $725,000.

Brooks' seat was as hot as any in the country before guiding UK to an 8-5 record and a Peach Bowl victory in 2006. Brooks is yet to beat Louisville in four tries.

For the record I think Rich Brooks is a great person and he makes it a bit easier to root for UK football from time-to-time, but I don't think he's the guy that can get the Cats over the proverbial hump against U of L, and thus I'm happy he's staying for multiple reasons.

For the fourth straight week Louisville moved up in the Big East Bloggers Weekly Powerpoll. This week the Cards jumped from eighth to fifth, their highest ranking of the season.

Pitt nabbed 16 of the 18 first-place votes, with second-place Marquette grabbing the other two. Georgetown and Notre Dame rounded out the top four.

The Card Chronicle ballot looked like this:

  1. Pitt
  2. Marquette
  3. Georgetown
  4. Notre Dame
  5. West Virginia
  6. Louisville
  7. Syracuse
  8. Villanova
  9. Providence
  10. Depaul
  11. Seton Hall
  12. St. John's
  13. Connecticut
  14. South Florida
  15. Rutgers
  16. Cincinnati
For the second straight week the bloggers chose Marquette's Dominic James as its player of the week, and 'Nova's Scottie Reynolds as its freshman of the week. Reynolds was CC's choice to take home freshman honors, but we went with Rutgers' Adrian Hill as our player of the week.

Having won three-straight and ten of their last 12, the Louisville basketball team is starting to garner some NCAA Tournament buzz from the main stream media.

Yahoo!'s (Again, can we lose the exclamation point, I feel like a fucking moron when I type it) Andrew Skwara features the Cards in a rundown of the hottest teams in America, and for the first time this season Louisville is listed on the bubble in Gary Parrish's weekly "Projecting the Field" feature.

In addition, ESPN.com "Bracketologist" (it's not cool anymore) Joe Lunardi said on Saturday that if Louisville defeated Syracuse that night they would be in the field of 65 for the time being. We'll see if Lunardi is true to his word when his latest bracket is released on Wednesday.

Amobi Okoye has been featured all over the place in the past week; here's a small rundown of the best:

Louisville's Okoye Impresses at Senior Bowl Practices (SI.com)
Louisville's Okoye Does More Than Football (AOL)
Amobi Okoye's Senior Bowl Diary Part I (Huntsville Times)
Amobi Okoye's Senior Bowl Diary Part II (Huntsville Times)
Broncos Dumervil Prepared Okoye For Draft Process (DenverBroncos.com)
Okoye Ahead of His Time (Birmingham News)

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the passing of 2006 Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro, who was just the sixth undefeated horse in 132 years to win the Kentucky Derby (Smarty Jones 2004, Seattle Slew 1977, Majestic Prince 1969, Morvich 1922, Regret 1915).

Admittedly I am a horse person, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize the absurdity in lavish medical bills, countless news stories and an outpuring of letters and greeting cards all going towards a horse when there are human beings all over the world who are homeless, suffering from terminal illnesses or away at war who are in desperate need of said things.

I love horses and I love horse racing, but the notion that a horse who can run faster than other horses is somehow more worthy of grief has never made much sense to me.

Still, Barbaro was a specimen. A horse whose 6.5 length margin of victory in the Derby was the largest since 1948, and a horse that I will always believe would have been the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed had fate (or Pimlico) not intervened.

But more than anything else I'll always remember Barbaro as the horse that made me hate Bob and John even more for fucking up both a straight trifecta and an exacta box. Needless to say when Bob and John dies there will be no black worn inside Card Chronicle Headquarters.

Peace, love, Cards.