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Fate of Card 9 Caps Year to Forget

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I remember the screed, the fuel-fired gist of which, subtle as an Oliver Stone movie, was there was no such thing as 12:00 AM or 12:00 PM.

That there was only 12:00 Noon or 12:00 midnight.

The former of which came midday when the sun was high in the sky; the latter in the dark of night, when the date flips and Cinderella’s carriage turns back into a pumpkin.

Except for this Memorial Day. The Louisville Cardinals’ baseball season expired at High Noon, when their name was not among those designated for a regional in the NCAA tournament.

It was a sad but justified end to this seriously disappointing campaign for the U of L 9.

It was a most appropriate finish to this academic year for the three major men’s sports programs.

Scott Satterfield’s pigskinners finished 4-7, with only three league Ws, and no post-season bowl game. Then the coach flirted with South Carolina.

Chris Mack’s hoopsters finished 13-7, and finished the year ranked #69 in the hearts of the Selection Committee. Then the coach canned two of his assistants, one of whom’s threats ended up with criminal charges.

I remember, in brighter days not so long ago, the disappointment when Dan McDonnell’s team was not listed among the potential regional hosts. On a telecast, Chris Burke observed, some #1 seed was going to be dismayed when the Cards were also in their region.

Now, like their football and basketball brethren, the baseballers are standing outside, at no tourney site, their faces pressed to the candy store window.

Adding to the gloom is that coaching vacancy in Baton Rouge at Louisiana State University. Where college baseball is huge, and has been so for decades. I’ve Apriled in New Orleans for decades, and remember how odd it seemed in the 80s and 90s, to read these huge game stories in the Times-Picayune, way before the collegiate game became part of the ESPN franchise.

At his Monday press conference, McDonnell was asked about the rumors linking his name to the Tigers’ job. He was fairly dismissive of the chances of that happening.

After saying he had not had any contact with LSU, he finished his response with a quiet, almost afterthought, “. . . yet.”

And so cometh the inglorious, ignoble end to an autumn, winter, spring and upcoming summer of discontent for fans of Louisville Cardinal men’s sports.

It doesn’t appear that 2013 be pulling up to the Thinker in a limo any time soon.

— c d kaplan