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It’s time to dump “L1C4” and bring back “Red Rage”

Let me explain!

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Look, I have no idea how this idea is going to be well-received. Y’all are either going to love it or hate it, and if you hate it then it honestly makes the idea even better.

This has been something I’ve been wanting to write about for some time now, but I wasn’t sure when there was ever a good time to bring it up. Since we are in one of the quietest times of the year for college sports, and since this is peak recruiting season for many fall and winter sports (I’ll elaborate), I feel like there really isn’t a better time for this kind of premium offseason content.

Let’s start things by going ahead and ripping off this band-aid: UofL needs to replace L1C4.


Hear me out. I have no doubt Pitino’s heart was in the right place when he coined the phrase in 2012. For many UofL fans, it resonated with them deeply and still does. For others, like myself, it has always sounded like a Groupon code. Regardless, the school and its athletic department’s marketing teams took it and ran with it in 2012, and it’s hung around for the most part since then.

But today there are enough problems with it where we need to look inward and make a change.

First off, it’s hard to explain to unfamiliar college sports fans. Example:

“What is L1C4?”

“Well you see, it’s actually an acronym with numbers in it that means ‘Louisville First. Cards Forever.”

“Mmkay, but what does that mean?”

You get the idea.

Secondly, when it comes to recruits, it is especially clunky as a hashtag. When you see a recruit put out a top-five list and it includes easily recognizable hashtags like #HookEm or #Clanga or #Cocks, and is then followed by #L1C4, no one knows what the hell that is. Especially not 18-year-old kids. That’s just bad marketing.

It’s also just not something you can scream drunk at a bar or game and sound cool. Try it. Seriously. Do it this weekend when you’re mask-free for at a bar. Remember the insane looks you’ll get from even your own friends and family who share the same affinity for the Cards that you do.

Lastly, it all goes back to the guy who invented it. I have a lot of mixed emotions about Pitino, and they’re mostly positive, but there’s no doubt that ever since whatever the hell happened between the Fall of 2017 and now that things are just different. That era, for both men’s basketball and football, is over. And I don’t think it’s a secret that the new athletic department has been trying to distance themselves from it either. Let’s turn the page and start a new chapter.

So, my proposal is simple: Bring back Red Rage.

But why? Because it’s cool af, that’s why.

Seriously, though. It’s cool. But it’s also something that I’ve wanted the University of Louisville, the school’s athletic department, and its fans to bring back for a long time. And I feel like there’s a real appetite for a rally cry of its type.

Don’t believe me? Then how come a quirky coach in his late 50s came up with some kind of cryptocurrency sounding catchphrase in the first place and y’all still ate it up? Exactly.

As Marvin “Marv” Merchants said in Home Alone, “Harry, it’s our calling card! All the great ones leave their mark. We’re the wet bandits!”

Truer words have never been said and we need to take them seriously.

Think about it. The greatest college sports programs almost all have an awesome rally cry.

You’ve got Alabama’s “Roll Tide,” Auburn’s “War Eagle,” Texas A&M’s “Gig ‘Em,” Kansas’ “Rock Chalk,” Tennessee’s “Rocky Top,” Arizona’s “Bear Down,” Ole Miss’ “Hotty Toddy,” Arkansas’ “Woo Pig,” Georgia’s grown men who bark at people (actually super lame), Penn State’s “We Are!,” USC’s “Fight On,” Ohio State’s “OH-IO,” Oklahoma’s “Boomer Sooner,” and Washington’s “Purple Reign.” Even mid majors ranging from the likes of UCF to Ball State have cool rally cries like “Charge On” and “Chirp Chirp.”

We deserve one equally as cool. And thankfully Vince Gibson already came up with one, Red Rage, in the late 70’s to fire up his teams and fans. Even Denny Crum liked it and used the imagery with his basketball program.

1976 Replica “Red Rage’ Helmet

Fun fact: Gibson (25–29–2) was the most successful coach at UofL between the Corso and Schnellenberger eras. So basically, Red Rage is synonymous with success.

We should also be thankful that different university organizations, even infamous tailgating crews (s/o RRTG @TheRed_Rage), have kept it alive ever since. And with it being something fans are already somewhat familiar with, it should stick better than anything else we might come up with.

What’s not awesome about it? It sounds great screaming it at your loved ones, it looks great on a t-shirt, and it’s easy to hashtag and wouldn’t be hard to explain.

I also believe it encapsulates the attitude of UofL and its fanbase as a whole really well.

Since the fall of 2017 we’ve all been a pretty angry bunch. Hell, we’ve kind of always had that pissed off attitude. Just look at our beloved tooth bird logo. He seems upset about something.

Tom Jurich used to love saying, “We love being little brother. We love that culture, and we always love to say that little brother is up to 6’5” and 295 now and he’s running a 4.6.” Having that underdog mentality has brought Louisville an awful long way in a short amount of time, and I think it makes Red Rage fit even better.

So how do we make it happen?

Well, I know for a fact that Vince Tyra, Scott Satterfield, and Chris Mack read this site religiously, so if you guys could adopt this ASAP that would be super helpful.

In the meantime, for us as fans let’s kick the tires on it. See how it feels. As Ted Lasso once said, “Just try it on. See if it fits. You know, it might not. Then again, it might be a very flattering silhouette.”

Personally, I think we’re going to look sexy as hell.