Saturday evening, with the sting of the Cardinals’ loss still in need of some prescriptive to lessen the pain, with the cloud of the defeat at the hands and feet and speed and strength and dominance of Arch Rival still hovering, I got a message from the person I’ve known longer than anybody else in my life.
RVY and I met when when we were 6 or 7 years old, and our older brothers were playing football at Atherton HS. We’d pitch and catch the pigskin and play along the edges of practice, when our dad’s took us. Which was often.
He went to Belknap. I went to Longfellow. But our paths crossed again at Highland Jr. High, and we schooled together through our own years at Atherton, then again when we were law school classmates.
Through the years, we hooped in alleyways, and, as adults, played racquet ball.
As his older brothers were, so was RVY a football player. His father always reminded me of Bear Bryant, his carriage, his demeanor. A man’s man. A football guy.
RVY moved to SEC Country a few years back. Which makes sense.
He always loved the Cats. As I have always loved the Cards.
His message was a question.
”How in the world did U of L win 7 games?
It was in the contemplation of my response that the pain abated somewhat, and the psychological if not meteorological clouds began to dissipate.
My simple response: “Playing better than they did today.”
Underlying that answer is the wonder of just how amazing is what this undermanned, generally undertalented U of L football team accomplished.
Five payback victories, including one over the ACC Coastal champs. Sole second place in the ACC Atlantic.
A bowl trip in the offing.
How were these accomplished?
It would not be untoward to ask if it was all smoke and mirrors, some sleight of hand?
But the conquests came on the gridiron. Not constructed with twine and paper maché and Elmer’s glue, they were the result of grit and guile and resolve and significant overachievement.
There have been a surfeit of flaws and foibles present throughout the season, yet cleverly disguised by the sterling coaching of Scott Satterfield and his staff, as well as the work and dedication of the squad.
Unfortunately, in the rain and cold of Saturday, they were all exposed against a Kentucky contingent prepared and equipped to down their rival.
Hope was buoyed at the break for the Cardinal faithful by Javian Hawkins Holy Shit! 56 yard scamper for a score right before halftime.
At 13-17, there was aspiration. But a dream was all it was.
The Wildcats had dominated the first half. And left no doubt from the get go after intermission.
That’s my takeaway.
-- Seedy K