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The Monday After: Sorta Gloomy but not Totally

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You don’t need me to underscore that the Monday after the First Saturday in May is always kind of a let down.

So, when it dawned gray and damp, I’m thinking this feels appropriate.

Especially after a glorious Oaks and Derby Day that was much needed, for reasons I don’t need to explain.

After throwing myself into the Derbytime fray for decades, I’ve stepped back in recent times. Actually I’m usually in New Orleans, but my the JazzFest is currently set for October.

If they build it, I will come.

Even though I don’t go to the track, and party like it’s 1999, like I did in 1999, I love the energy, excitement, sense of community spirit those two minutes of racing bring to our burg. Other than, you know, almost getting knocked down walking into the grocery by a woman wearing a hat the size of a beach umbrella.

But here we always are, the Monday after, a little tired, whether we did the track to death, or are worn from over-gardening and carrying too many bags of mulch.

The sunshine is that we are almost, just about, on the cusp of some sense of normalcy.

Thank you, vaccine.

OK, some sports.

* * * * *

A Baffert horse going off at 12-1.

My buddies who bet aren’t nearly as embarrassed as they should be.

* * * * *

The Louisville Cardinal nine was not only swept over the weekend at Clemson, they were vacuumed, power washed and bused out of Pickens and Anderson counties figuratively if not literally in trash bags.

The only close one was Saturday, a 4-5 loss. The Cards were hammered in the other two games of the series.

While not an excuse, the absence of games the weekend before when Pitt COVID-canceled play had to be somewhat of a factor. Then there was the quirk of scheduling where U of L didn’t have a midweek game.

The two week rest was obviously detrimental to the club, which had been playing better in the weeks before. It was a noticeable regression.

Louisville’s bats were silent when it mattered.

Balls hurled by Cardinal pitchers kept finding Clemson metal. And open green. And the beyond over the outfield fence.

Discouraging to say the least.

How much of an understatement is it to opine that a W Tuesday at The Jim over vaunted Vanderbilt would be a huuuuuuuuuuge moral booster?

Correct answer: None.

* * * * *

The silence around U of L hoops remains, to coin a phrase, deafening.

The new assistant?

Why the other guys were fired?

Is the vacant scholly going to be used for a big or a PG?

* * * * *

Speaking of school’s filling vacancies, I’m fascinated by the shift in the plates of college recruiting.

It’s that Transfer Portal thing.

I hate the discontinuity, but am bemused by the chaos.

I believe it will calm down after a few years. But, maybe not.

U of L coach Chris Mack has been somewhat ahead of the curve on this new paradigm. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Of the moves, a couple intrigue me more than others.

The Groves brothers. You know those former Eastern Washington Eagle fellows who look like they should live in a beef jerky commercial. Hey, with NIL, who knows, they might.

Jacob the Younger, and brother Tanner, who hopes to become the next Cameron Krutwig, are taking their talents to Norman to compete for Flavor of the Month coaching hire Porter Moser.

Walker Kessler, who’d have looked really fine in red and black, has moved from Tobacco Road to the Plains, to play for Bruce Pearl, whose demeanor is somewhat different than Roy Williams’s. To say the least.

Oh, there’s a bunch more, given the grass is greener philosophy that’s an epidemic in the college hoops community.

* * * * *

In the realm of syntax and grammar, riddle me this.

Why in Europe, where football is futbol, are the teams referred to in the plural, when they’re a singular entity?

Makes no sense to me. And sounds odd to boot.

* * * * *

I watched meaningful live football yesterday.

DII, but a sports guy’s gotta do what a sports guy’s gotta do.

Like start paying attention to the NBA, because it’s the only hoops goin’. And the playoffs are coming.

— c d kaplan