It’s far from the first time PD Pete and I have been at loggerheads.
We used to do battle day in and day out at the bench in the misnamed Hall of Justice. He got the best of me way more often than I’d have liked.
But there we were at it again, when he commented at FaceZuck to my hopeful pregame shtick.
“We don’t stand a prayer against Ole Miss . . .”
Aghast, incredulous, I responded, using the same malapropism as he did, “Don’t stand a prayer??? It’s not like they’re Alabama.”
My thinking: The cocktail crowd in The Grove doesn’t wear houndstooth. They don’t Roll, they sashay. Plus as good as prickly, sequestered Lane Kiffin’s O is, the Rebs D last season was porous.
Then the Labor Day evening Chicken Sandwich feature kicked off in Hot ‘Lanta’s relatively empty Dome.
Ole Miss was the filet.
U of L was the pickle.
PD Pete won again. At least for the first half.
The Cardinals were dismal on both sides of the ball, and headed into the locker room at intermission, a beaten team.
Dropped pitchout, preventing a possible score. Ten men on the field for a FG attempt. Matadorian D.
Louisville Zed. Ole Miss 26.
* * * * *
My crew of fans were frustrated.
A phone message from Doc early on. “The good news is all our offensive line is back. The bad news is all our offensive line is back.”
Then there’s a couple missives from my peeps early in the 3d.
Bookstore Billy: “This is a nightmare.”
“I am done. See ya.”
Dough: “I can’t watch anymore. So, good night.”
I mean, these are guys who have traveled to games, who command I send them every morsel of info I may get as credentialed media.
Taking these reports like the one you are reading more seriously than they might seem, I compile copious notes during U of L games.
After the Rebels got a pick, then scored in three plays to go up, 23-0, I put down my pen and legal pad, and force fed some gratuitous snacking calories to ease the angst.
As the game, which I watched from home because of COVID concerns, blasted beyond my normal bedtime, I considered turning it off and getting under the sheets.
I just couldn’t. I’m glad I didn’t.
* * * * *
U of L never really threatened to change the outcome after the break.
But the Cards did steady. At least on the offensive side of the ball.
And they didn’t fold.
The OL executed better. Satterfield adjusted to the defense schemes that came unexpectedly. Malik Cunningham calmed down, showed more patience. Receivers made some plays.
The Cards QB was 6/14 for 26 yards in the opening half, 17/24 for 174 after intermission. I think those numbers are correct. Frankly, I’m still groggy from the mugging this morning after.
The defense, down two stalwarts because of those correct targeting ejections, still had no answers for Matt Corral & Company.
* * * * *
In the 4th, when ESPN’s production staff was scrambling to keep things interesting, they focused on a couple of Cardinal fans, who somehow got their dog into the stadium.
Totally engaged in the action, the canine didn’t look like a service dog, but he must have been, right? If not, good on mom and dad.
I thought of the dismissive phrase, “played like dogs,” and wondered the origin.
Still grieving my sweet Abbey, I am not now, or ever, going to invoke such. Playing like dogs is to be cherished.
Besides I just loved that the poodle mix was in the stands. And taking it all in.
* * * * *
The Cards L was one of just three sad ones for the day. The hits just keep on comin’.
R.I.P. Omar. Michael K. Williams played my second favorite character (behind Bubbles) in “The Wire.” Never able to move beyond his real drug addiction, he overdosed.
R.I.P. Jean-Paul Belmondo. Star of the French New Wave. For years I tried to walk with a sportcoat over one shoulder like that very cool dude. To no avail.
* * * * *
Next: Eastern Kentucky.
— c d kaplan