Try to ignore the title for right now.
I know at this point there’s been an ocean full of analyses on not just how the Alabama game is going to go down, but how we should approach it as a fanbase. And I’ve certainly contributed my fair share to this ongoing discussion.
So I’m going to say a few things about how my thinking on this game has evolved from New Year’s Eve Eve 2017 until now, before I cut to the chase.
I imagine a majority of us would consider the TaxSlayer bowl loss to Mississippi State the lowest point of the Lamar Jackson era, not counting the 0-3 start wherein he wasn’t the full-time signal caller yet. We certainly had opportunities to win that game down the stretch, but Lamar’s miserable 4-INT statline, complete with what wound up being a game-sealing pick, was the tale of the tape. So coming off of that, I think most of our thoughts, when thinking ahead to the Bama game, probably looked somewhat like this:
· New QB that’s not arguably the best QB in school history
· (Hopefully) new defensive coordinator
· Almost all starters on defense gone
Things kind of got better as we wandered through the vast desert that is the college sports fan’s offseason. We did get a new DC (who has yet to be sold to a large portion of the fanbase, myself included), and both saw and heard good things about Jawon Pass. Predictions came in, mostly littered in the middling 5-7, 6-6, 7-5 range, Mr. Bovada released the opening lines for the game, and we all generally agreed that that information seemed fairly on par with our expectations.
So, in short, not a lot has changed since the late afternoon of December 30, 2017 in terms of the perception of Louisville football and its fanbase’s enthusiasm. Sure, I think the slow approach start of a new season has gradually upped our excitement, but our thinking about the Alabama game hasn’t changed much. It certainly pales in comparison to this.
I’ve put a lot of time thinking (and writing) about, as the average Louisville football fan, what exactly would be the best way to approach this game. And when I say best way, I mean the mentality that strikes the right balance between a lifelong fan’s classic homer-ism, not completely insulting my intelligence, and a desire to just have a good time on a Saturday night. And this one’s a tough one. I think the closest buildup-to-a-game equivalent we’ve had in recent years was the Sugar Bowl, and we were already 10-2 and conference champions at that point. This one strips away all of those accomplishments. It is a blank slate against college football’s most known quantity.
So that said, I think enjoying this game to the maximum means, to me at least, shunning all prior game-watching mentalities. I think it means taking a page out of Dez Fitzpatrick’s, or Lukayus McNeil’s or Mekhai Becton’s book, or doing this, or even pulling what this guy pulled. What I mean to say is that I believe getting the most out of this experience as a Louisville fan involves a little crazy.
So all that said, to my main point:
I, Beaumont Rand, will literally eat a shoe if Louisville beats Alabama on Saturday.
And just to clarify, I will be actively cheering for this scenario to happen.