The fresh start to yet another college football season, thankfully, is loudly knocking on our front doorsteps. And in that vein, the 2018 UofL Football Kickoff Luncheon is now only one day away. Being that the only thing to satisfy the sports hunger many of us currently have on a daily basis is either Major League Baseball or discussing the resurgence of Tiger Woods, I’ve already started contemplating what Head Coach Bobby Petrino is going to say on Friday.
Before touching on what Coach Petrino may or may not convey tomorrow, please ponder these questions: Have you ever listened to a press conference, for any sport, and afterwards ask yourself why you even listened? Do you ever get tired of “coach speak” and politically correct statements followed by hot takes that you’ve already heard numerous times in the previous weeks?
I suspect that on Friday Cardinal fans will hear about all the progress that the players made over the winter and spring months in the weight room, how Coach Petrino is excited to have a new defensive coordinator at the helm (his 3rd in just 4+ seasons of Bobby 2.0), that the team is motivated after being picked to finish 5th in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, that the last few weeks have been encouraging, and so on and so on. Oh, I left out that this Louisville team will have a lot of speed.
But it’s not what I PREDICT Coach Petrino will say at the luncheon that excites me. Oh no, in fact I would rather watch paint dry. Instead, it’s what I WISH he would say that gets me hyped. So, for the sake of something different let’s have a little fun. In my warped Cardinal obsessed mind, my wish would be a Bobby Petrino speech that sounded something like this……
Sean Moth: “And now I’d like to welcome to the stage, your head football coach. Heeeeeeeerrrrre Comes Bobby…….”
(thunderous applause, followed by Bobby slowing approaching the podium like a boss)
Coach P: “Thanks Sean and thank you to all the season ticket holders and fans who probably abandoned their jobs to be here today. Well, as all of you are aware, Lamar Jackson isn’t walking through that door. And that means that if Puma Pass doesn’t live up to the hype, the seat behind my football office desk could get hotter than H-E double toothpicks after this season.
(Bobby turns to Vince Tyra and gives a shit-eating grin)
Coach P continues: “Ok seriously look, I know all of you in here are probably still pissed we lost to Kentucky two years ago at home. I don’t blame ya! And I’m sure even more of you aren’t too chipper about how poorly our defense played last season. Look, Peter Sirmon looked like he knew what he was doing from afar. I was wrong. And I’d love to tell you that Coach VanGorder is a huge upgrade but I honestly cant’ say that yet. All I know is that our damn defense has got to be better this year.”
(golf clap from the fans)
Coach P: “I’m gonna get right to the point because talking in front of folks doesn’t get my juices flowing like drawing up plays in the dirt and breaking down film. In fact, I detest it.”
(nervous chuckles throughout the crowd)
Coach P: “I think a lot of you are gonna be really surprised with some of the newcomers to our team. To put it bluntly, P.J. Mbanasor is a real badass. There’s a reason he started for Oklahoma at one time. Rodjay Burns is another guy who has the potential to be a real stud for us. I also think all of you will be pleasantly surprised with Robert Hicks. Despite us possibly being inept defensively, he’ll likely start as a true freshman. Micky Crum’s face has been plastered on the back of milk jugs the past year and a half and if he doesn’t finally show up this season then I’ll be as perplexed as a third grader studying biochemistry.”
(more chuckles from crowd, only not as nervous this time)
Coach P: “Before I say anything about our first game…….”
(“Let’s Beat Bama” chant erupts from the back of the room)
Coach P (grinning with rosey red cheeks): “Calm down, calm down. Alabama is the defending National Champions so we’ll have our hands full that’s for sure. BUT, if you think we’re going to Orlando with the mindset of losing by any margin then think again. We plan on kicking some Crimson ass.”
(crowd erupts, 9 foot tall Cardinal Bird mascot does moonwalk across the stage, Rocco Gasparro tackles an excited fan trying to hop on stage and high-five Coach Petrino, Rob Hickerson starts a C-A-R-D-S rally cry from the corner of the room)
Coach P: “I like the excitement. I hope we see a lot of that this season in CARDINAL STADIUM. I’ll end my spill this afternoon by saying that if any of you REALLY believed me when I said that our offense would be better this season without a Heisman winning quarterback then you’re as gullible as Michael Scott from The Office. Puma, as good as he can be, will need time to develop. But one thing I do believe is that we will be more balanced offensively and should run the ball more effectively. Y’all remember the days of beating Cincinnati by 60+ points and ringing up record breaking yardage every Saturday don’t ya?
(loud ringing of cheers and clapping, a few folks throw up their L’s / Petrino exits stage left)
If you’re still reading, that’s the end of my fantasy. And look I get it, coaches have to stay within the lines and keep things pretty tame. Unfortunately, nobody has ever told that to Mike Leach.