William Gay has a great piece on SI.com explaining why he wore purple cleats and why he was completely okay with paying the resulting NFL fine.
So it was no surprise when I received a letter explaining I would be docked $5,787 unless I wanted to appeal. The same thing happened to me last year; I paid up.
It's not that I don't understand the value of money, and it's not that I'm trying to stir trouble. When I wore those purple cleats, I was standing for something much larger than a football game. October is Domestic Violence awareness month, and purple is the official color for the cause. When I was 8, I lost my mother. She was shot three times by my stepfather, fatally, before he also killed himself. My mother didn't know she was in an abusive relationship until it was too late; she didn't know what domestic violence was, let alone how to get help. Awareness, to me, is everything.
And so when I wore those cleats, people noticed. People asked about it. During the game one official actually came up to me and asked me why I had purple shoes on. Later, he told me, "I really appreciate what you're doing." I came home that night to hundreds of messages on Twitter and Instagram. I gave interviews about it. Fans chatted about it. People were talking about what I did, but in doing so, they were talking about domestic violence. The discussion grew louder. Domestic violence, an often uncomfortable and neglected issue in our culture, was brought to the attention of thousands.
The whole thing is worth your time.
A tip of the holiday cap to U of L volleyball for taking down Boston College today to move to 16-1 in conference play and clinching at least a share of the ACC regular season title. The conference championship is the 19th for the program and its first as a member of the ACC.
Bruce Feldman has a good Q&A with former Louisville assistant Tony Levine centered around the topic how he spent his one year away from football.
Via Kelly Dickey, Louisville has opened a basketball season with four wins by 24 points or more for the first time in program history.
Your first set of ACC dunks of the week are here.
Mark Blankenbaker over at The Crunch Zone has a thorough look at the latest installment of the great Kyle Bolin vs. Lamar Jackson debate.
With last night's defensive performance against St. Francis, Louisville moved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the country in field goal percentage defense. The top-ranked team in that category? Surprisingly, it's BYU.
The folks over at Campus Insiders are taking the upset this weekend.
Why Kentucky Will Win
The Cats have offensive shortcomings, but so do the Cards. And Kentucky is confident it can keep Louisville from getting back on track. The Cards have yielded 43 sacks, more than any other FBS team, and they were just eviscerated last week by Pitt's Ejuan Price. LB Josh Forrest and DT Cory Johnson are all-league-caliber talents who can whip the Louisville front and pressure the quarterbacks into forced throws.
Player Who Matters
Who walks through the revolving door that is the Louisville quarterback situation? Petrino has used three different players behind center, primarily Lamar Jackson and Kyle Bolin. Jackson, the rookie, makes the most sense, since Kentucky has had issues containing athletic quarterbacks. And he can be a game-changer in the open field, leading the Cardinals with 548 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
What's Going To Happen?
Kentucky is going to be fired up to capture the seminal victory that earns a bowl berth. It'll be the difference in a game that Stoops must have to validate the progress he's making strides in Lexington. The Louisville D is much better than it's shown the past two weeks, but something is missing on that side of the ball. And Petrino's O-line is a disaster. This is a tough spot for Barker, but he'll get enough support from RB Stanley Williams and the defense to earn a very important win for the program's future.
Louisville vs. Kentucky Prediction
Final Score: Kentucky 24, Louisville 23
The Cards also made a jump from No. 17 to No. 16 in Ken Pomeroy's rankings.
Bryce Cotton has been called up by the Suns. So far this has been a very productive Thanksgiving week.
Louisville WR commit Seth Dawkins (Columbus) will be attending Saturday's game as a guest of Kentucky.
Syracuse's appeal of its NCAA sanctions has gotten it some scholarships back, but Jim Boeheim's forfeited wins and his 9-game suspension for this season (at least of this moment) still stand.
Eric Crawford has six takeaways from last night's hoops victory.
D1Baseball.com takes a fall look at Louisville.
Kentucky's 247 Sports site takes a look at four players on each side to watch out for on Saturday.
You've already made your stance quite clear, Jared.
And finally, you missed Howard Schnellenberger on today's Ramsey & Rutherford, you missed him calling leaving Louisville for Oklahoma "the biggest mistake of my life." Check out the interview on our soundcloud page.