Nearing the tail end of a Louisville football season loaded with head-scratching decisions, I suppose there's room for one more.
The powers that be at the U of L athletic office have declared Saturday's noon tilt with West Virginia a "Black Out" game, and are asking fans attending to wear all black.The gimmick worked to perfection two yers ago when a packed house watched the No. 5 Cardinals topple the third-ranked Mountaineers in the biggest game in the history of the program.
Whether or not The Oven will come close to resembling that scene when the 5-5 Cards host the unranked 'Eers at noon in two days is a question I'll let you all answer quietly to yourselves...or loudly to anyone and everyone around you...it's your call.
In your humble narrator's opinion, this is a terrible idea on many, many levels, but we'll just look at a few:
1) No one's getting the word out
Yes, last year's Louisville team was as bad as this year's Louisville team, and yes, last year's Rutgers squad probably wasn't as good as the West Virginia team coming into town this weekend, but that Black Out was planned before the season even started. It was on all the schedule posters, it was a hot topic of discussion on message boards before the season; everyone knew it was coming.
I have no idea when this decision was made, but I'm assuming it was at some point within the last seven days. That's not nearly enough time for this to have any chance of looking respectable.
2) It's kind of annoying
The vast majority of the fan base is already all sorts of pissed off and far more likely to be annoyed by this type of request than in seasons past. Last year it was Senior Day for three of the best offensive players to ever come through the program, which made even the most despondent of fans that much more willing to show up and abide by the unofficial dress code. This year the program is in the midst of the first three-game losing streak in 11 years, and the opponent has also been a bit of an underachiever.
3) We already had a gimmick game
U of L chose before the season to designate the Kentucky game as a "Red Out," which was the right thing to do since it was proably the most important contest on the schedule. We showed up, we wore red, our team lost by 25. That should have been it. We should have been allowed to regroup and then be fully prepared for a something out against Connecticut in the Hall on Feb. 2.
4) There will be empty seats
Let's be honest. Unless someone paints all the seats black at some point between now and kickoff, there's going to be a healthy amount of visible red.
5) It's going to be really cold
As Charles Springer pointed out, this isn't really the time to be asking Louisville football fans to buy black winter gear to wear for one game. If someone has a red jacket and only a red jacket, they're going to be wearing a red jacket.
Now I'm not saying you shouldn't show up or wear black out of spite - the seniors deserve a proper send-off, and if the stadium is packed with Gothic Cardinal fans then that will be awesome - I'm just saying that this idea was completely ill-advised. There are a lot of U of L fans who are ready for this season to be over, but who will still show up on Saturday. This isn't the best time to make additional requests to these diehards, and it also isn't the best time to provoke the portion of the fan base that secretly loves all this.