STOP THE COUNT!
No seriously, I mean it. Please stop the count right now.
Despite all of us currently experiencing a time in history when our country couldn’t possibly be more divided politically, my ask above has nothing to do with ballots or the recent 2020 Presidential election. So, if you by chance were anticipating or remotely interested in me going on a pro- or anti-Donald Trump rant, you might be disappointed as you continue to read.
I actually have no desire to discuss politics. After all, that’s not the purpose of this platform. Instead, I’m using this ongoing political statement to try and bring Louisville Football fans together. Politics may well divide many of us but Cardinal Football should not.
The 2020 UofL Football season has undoubtedly been one that many of us as fans will remember for different reasons. On a personal level, I’ll never forget how bizarre it has been to watch games with virtually no fans in the stands. Frankly, it’s been weird. I’ll also forever recall the uncertainty of not knowing who would and would not be playing every week due to COVID-19 related issues. But perhaps most of all, my recollections down the road regarding this year’s UofL Football season will focus on Coach Scott Satterfield and his status with the Cardinal fanbase.
I’m usually not one who gets overly excited or hyped heading into a new season. In 2019, Coach Satterfield and his staff raised eyebrows by resurrecting a team and roster that appeared to be left for dead. Winning eight games, notching a bowl game victory and being voted as the ACC Coach of the Year is a pretty decent way to start off your tenure at a new spot. But in the world of college athletics, particularly football, winning games is does and will define your legacy as a head coach. And in 2020, Louisville Football has done very little winning.
Insert dissension, disdain and doubting.
Louisville Football has placed its fans on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime doing so in just four years. From being a top 10 nationally ranked program lead by a Heisman Trophy winner to one that has been utterly trampled in back to back games against its in-state rival, UofL fans have experienced more than their share of highs and lows. The hiring of Scott Satterfield had seemingly mitigated many of those lows that Bobby Petrino had helped orchestrate prior to his departure. But heading into a Friday night game against an appallingly bad Syracuse team in two days, many UofL fans are focused in on Scott Satterfield and scratching their heads while posing questions about play-calling, culture and……coaching.
My take: It’s time we STOP THE COUNT.
I certainly am in no position to educate others on how to “fan”. After all, I once threw a Milk Dud at my tv screen so hard in disgust following a UofL loss that it stuck to the screen for two days. But, by asking others to stop the count I’m proposing the following…….
• Let’s stop counting all the play calls, primarily those on the offensive side of the ball, that we disagree with and find so shitty and questionable. Disclosure: I’m guilty.
Do I enjoy seeing the Cards run a speed option down 14 points with less than two minutes to play in a game? No, I don’t. It’s frustrating to say the least. But I’m done punishing myself by getting worked up over something that is being done with a roster that is still very much under reconstruction and a team that has been decimated with COVID-related issues. I’m not making excuses, believe me. But I say we stop counting the number of contentious play calls and celebrate the good ones. The alternative will eat you alive. Trust the process.
• Let’s also stop counting turnovers, specifically those by the Cards’ quarterback. Disclosure: I’m guilty.
Have the turnovers been costly? C’mon man (Joe Biden voice), of course they have been. Many said TOs have put UofL in positions to lose games as opposed to winning them. But you wanna know who’s even more aware of the magnitude of those interceptions and fumbles? Scott Satterfield and Malik Cunningham, that’s who. Counting the turnovers, dwelling on them and then using that to berate and criticize the players and head coach on social media is one’s choice but it won’t yield positive results. If a change is needed and warranted, I’ll maintain faith that the head coach will make it happen. Again, trust the process.
(won’t lie, I wouldn’t mind seeing Puma Pass get one more shot b/c he stuck it out)
• Moving along, let’s stop counting how many games remain until this season is finally over. Disclosure: I’m big time guilty.
Truth be told, we’re pretty fortunate that this college football season even took place at all. Clearly it hasn’t played out the way we as Card fans had hoped or anticipated. But if you comb back over the 2019 season with a fine-toothed brush, you may start to realize just how close the Cards came to not winning enough games to even be bowl eligible. That doesn’t make losing to the likes of Georgia Tech and Virginia in 2020 acceptable, but I think we all should acknowledge reality: the rebuild is real, the roster will continue to need additions and a talent influx is still very much in need. Let’s enjoy the last three remaining games and focus on guys who will be strapping on their pads for the last time (thank you Seniors) and those guys who will be the cornerstone of the program for the next few years (Kei’trel Clark is special). Is there an echo in here? TRUST THE PROCESS.
This is a contentious time in our country. Let’s look out for one another. Let’s give Coach Satterfield enough time to prove the naysayers wrong and give the supporters reason to celebrate. It’s going to take time, embrace it.
Stop the count. Start the support.