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On Cardmageddon And The Beginning Of Always

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. --J.M. Barrie

The saddest thing about the best and worst days of our lives is that we're rarely able to distinguish their significance before, during the time or immediately after they occur. Time is the only begetter of a solid understanding of past emotions, and that's pretty inconvenient.

Sure there are those days we know ahead of time that we're going to remember in some capacity for the rest of our lives - wedding, birth of a child, senior prom, etc. - but those are merely a handful of bananas (gross) in the giant bag of Runts that is life.

The same holds true with subsidiaries of "real life," like your life as a sports fan.

Win or lose, fine details aside, we all knew that we were going to remember events like the national championship game and the Sugar Bowl for the rest of our lives. Things like the Kevin Ware injury against Duke and the five overtime game at Notre Dame, on the other hand, were impossible to foresee and equally impossible to fully understand while they were taking place.

We didn't know that Kevin was going to be okay, that he was going to become the biggest news story in the country and the defining image of Louisville's run to a national title. We didn't know that the Notre Dame game was going to be the longest regular season game in the history of the Big East, and even after we did, we didn't know that Rick Pitino's postgame "win the last seven" speech was going to become another major piece of lore from a championship season.

Life rarely gives you the opportunity to brace yourself or open your arms for what's about to be chucked in your direction, but every now and then you're given a heads up.

I think we can all agree that regardless of what happens today, it's going to be one of those sporting days that stays with us for as long as our minds are doing a suitable job. That's kind of cool to know ahead of time.

The significance of the Kentucky basketball game has been talked about 100 times here and a billion times in other places. It's one of the most prominent memories of any Louisville basketball season, regardless of who won or how they did it. Still, after some time has passed, there are certain "Dream Games" whose memories need some dusting off before they can be accurately reprocessed. The fact that this game is being played on the same day as another of such prominence just about guarantees that it's going to stick somewhere in all of our minds.

That other prominent game is probably the fifth or sixth biggest postseason game that the Louisville football program has ever seen. The Cards will take the field against one of the names most synonymous with major college football, and attempt to make an undeniable statement to the rest of the conference they're about to join. In the process they'll be bidding farewell to a group of players who changed the direction of the program forever, and one who may wind up being viewed as the best to ever wear the red and black.

This could be really bad, it could be kind of okay or it could be the absolute ideal capper to an already unforgettable year. Regardless, if you're passionate enough about this stuff to be reading these words, this is probably going to be one of those days your brain has little trouble accessing a decade or two down the line. Once again, that's pretty cool to know before any of this even gets started.

Get some food you like, get some people you like, go to a place you like and let's do this.