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Red & Black Rants & Raves: 10/02

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Safety knew, Scheduling oddity, and TJ’s continued loyalty

I know we’re probably really tired of talking about THAT PLAY last Saturday, which Seminole interception with a couple minutes on the clock set in motion Florida State’s improbable come from behind victory pilfer.

But, hey, just one more anecdote.

A.J. Westbrook is the name of the Seminole playing safety who intercepted Puma Pass’s throw on a play that should never -- never ever -- been called.

He says he knew before the snap that the Cardinals might try to pass instead of running out the clock as the situation called for. He noted that TE Mickey Crum made an unusual hand signal to Pass while the Cards were lining up.

So, Westbrook was ready to stay with the route. Here’s how he described it:

“I just sat there, and I jumped it, and he threw it. I was like, ‘Wow, he really threw it.’ I don’t know why he threw it, but oh, well.”

* * * * *

U of L’s women cagers are a legit national title contender, looking to take a couple steps beyond last season’s Final Four appearance.

The major feature to the schedule is a January 31 visit from perennial power UConn.

But the early season slate is most odd.

Asia Durr and the gang open with five straight road games. The season tips November 6 in Bowling Green against WKU’s Hilltoppers. Before the home opener a day short of three weeks later against Miami Ohio, Jeff Walz’s squad will travel to Chattanooga and Boise, then to Vegas for tilts against Arizona State and Hartford.

Later, after a six game home stand, including a visit from the rival UK on December 9, U of L visits Central Michigan on December 20. And doesn’t hit the hardwood again until the January 3 ACC opener against the visiting North Carolina Tar Heels.

Odd.

* * * * *

It was right down the street and there was nothing much else going on last week, so I walked down to Carmichael’s Bookstore to hear what Michael Sokolove had to say.

He’s the author of “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino.”

(Worry not, I intend to keep my recent vow not to weigh in yet again on the whole Pitino brouhaha.)

My first observation is how sparse the gathering was.

When Sokolve started his reading, several minutes after the announced start time, there were seven of us total in the audience. A young couple sitting in the front row. A woman whose tenuous connection to Pitino made no sense when she tried to explain. A fellow who has apparently been a buddy of Sokolove’s for a long time. A second string reporter from WAVE there for a quick sound bite. A disinterested store employee who meandered over, thereby increasing the crowd by 14%. And yours truly.

Former Mayor for Life Jerry Abramson, who apparently is quoted in the book -- I have not read it, nor intend to do so -- stopped by for a short chat with the author, but skipped off before the proceedings.

Local scribe Bill Doolittle sauntered in fifteen minutes after it started. Then, another woman walked in twenty two minutes in and took a seat. The WAVE guy left. C-J’s Tim Sullivan stopped by several minutes later. Then our final attendee, another woman who, when asking a question, referred to the “smug mediocrity” of the University of Louisville.

Which is to say it was not exactly SRO.

While Sokolove’s outsider perspective was interesting, he really didn’t have much to share that those who have been paying attention don’t already know.

When he talked of his meeting with the Jurich’s at a home they own in Colorado, I asked if he’d inquired of the former AD whether in hindsight he’d have dismissed Pitino after either the Karen Sypher embarrassment or the Minardi Hall parties that officially cost U of L the ‘13 national championship?

According to Sokolove, Jurich has no second thoughts on that, believing loyalty to Pitino prevailed.

-- Seedy K