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Red & Black Rants & Raves: 11/02

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Carl Spackler anoints, Women with a chip on shoulder, and the Bobby P conundrum

While I certainly don’t wish the kind of tsouris that has befallen U of L basketball on any other institution of higher learning -- except for maybe a rival school or two and they know who they are -- there is a bit of comfort knowing the Cards are not alone stewing in boil boil toil and trouble.

How’d you like to be a Maryland fan these days?

A player dies because of negligence or possible malfeasance on DJ Durkin’s watch. After a thorough review, the university’s tone deaf Board of Regents keeps the coach and pushes out the school prexy, who correctly believed the coach should be gone.

What an ostrich like decision. The guy was 10-15 in College Park. And, you know, a kid died because Durkin and staff didn’t properly attend to him in practice.

A day full out outcries after Durkin’s reinstatement and the outgoing president defies his superiors and dismisses the coach. The president will be gone after the school year. And the head of the Board of Regents has taken his leave.

Geez, does this sound familiar?

So, yeah, anyway, Bobby Petrino isn’t the only coach whose employment has been and continues to be in jeopardy. Though his is due to his current ineptitude in leading, coaching and recruiting.

Not that those factors matter all that much.

BP’s been advised of the run on pitchforks at Tractor Supply. He can smell the kerosene soaked torches. All while he attempts to prepare his less than engaged squad for a visit to Death Valley where the Cards almost a 40 point dog.

No wonder he’s starting to plead his case at press conferences.

No wonder kids like frosh QB Jordan Travis are jumping ship.

* * * * *

So, U of L hoopsters have experienced their first Carl Spackler moment.

Luke Murray’s papa showed up at practice the other day on Floyd Street.

While we old farts from memory can probably recite Spackler’s iconic Caddyshack soliloquy about looping for the Dalai Lama -- “Big hitter, the Lama” -- one has to wonder whether any of the current Cards understand the comedy icon Bill Murray is for older folks. OK, maybe Akoy Agau, but who else?

The movie was released in 1980, decades before any member of this year’s team was old enough to savor the flick.

Maybe. Who knows?

What I do know is that the kind of bemused pub that Bill Murray’s presence fosters is a big +++ for Cardinal hoops.

Murray the Elder seems about as accessible as any major star. No trick, all treat.

As for Murray the Younger, Luke, he was just named by theathletic.com as one of 30 up and coming coaches to keep an eye on. Chris Mack calls him a superstar.

Let’s hope he’s around here for a few years before taking over a program of his own. Long enough for Murray the Elder to pass out more candy to the kiddos, more laughs to the fans in the stands during a game, and a few noogies to the Cards after a big postseason W.

* * * * *

As for the Women’s BBall team, hopes are high, powered by that very disappointing OT L in the national semis.

Last year’s Final Four squad is itching for more. Jeff Walz’s program has obviously reached the upper echelon of the sport.

The Cards are preseason #5 or #4, choose your poll, and Asia Durr is on every observer’s radar as an All-American.

First game is next Tuesday in Bowling Green against Western Ky.

This team who throttled last year’s champ twice will be balling with a chip on its shoulder.

* * * * *

Have you been boning up on the pack line defense yet?

It’s about time.

What fascinates me about it, though I can’t claim to fully comprehend its nuances, is that it’s designed to protect the middle. In an evolving game where outside shooting is on the increase and becoming the norm.

Another main purpose is to dominate the defensive boards. Which is most welcome, given how many offensive boards U of L has given up in recent seasons.

-- Seedy K