Football Futures, More Footie Less Favre, Fatally Flawed Memory Plus

I’m working on a profile of Louisville coach Charlie Strong for an upcoming pre-season football print/ online issue of LEO, so I don’t want to use my best stuff in advance.

Nonetheless, a few observations after yesterday’s luncheon.

The faithful are smitten.

Nobody has raised hopes like Howard Schnellenberger after Bill Olson pulled off the coup and hired the national championship coach and brought him home. But there is something about Strong that resonates just as deeply with the Cardinal fanbase. Perhaps more so.

I’m not sure I can put my finger on it yet, but it goes deeper than hopes he’ll rejuvenate the program. There is something about the guy that confirms genuine decency.

There might have been a few hopeful souls who left yesterday’s noon pledge of allegiance with delusions of grandeur for this season. If only. But nobody left the room without a sense that in three years for sure, Louisville’s football fortunes will rise again.

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During his laudatory intro of the new coach, U of L AD Tom Jurich advised that Strong was the only candidate “two years ago when I knew we needed to start looking to rebuld our football program.”

That would have been after Steve Kragthorpe’s inaugural season. One in which that fraud turned a potential national champion with Heisman quality leadership into an also ran.

Listening to Jurich, I couldn’t help but think of newspeak, the language George Orwell invented for his iconic tome, “1984.” Anybody who dared criticize Kragthorpe’s abilities after that first season was immediately guilty of thoughtcrime.

Now history has been revised. Oceania was never at war with Eastasia, now that they are allies. Oceania is an ally of Eastasia and has always been at war with Eurasia.

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One guy’s opinion is that the whole personality syndrome that now permeates professional sports is an offshoot of the existence of ESPN and its expansion to multiple networks, and rivals attempting to challenge its supremacy.

In it early days, before it had contracts with all the major sports, it would show a whole weekend of beach volleyball and matches of Australian Rules Football. To name just a few “minor” sports we were given the opportunity to savor.

No more. Now it’s simply the major sports. Okay, and regional Little League games. The rest of the time it’s talk talk about about what prima donnas Brett Favre and LeBron James ate for lunch. Copters following the car with Favre inside to Vikings training camp, like scenes of OJ in that white Bronco.

Disgusting. I’d rather watch camel races from Berzerkistan than another interview with a shirtless TO while he’s doing situps.

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While I have little clue what the World Equestrian Games really encompass, I guess I understand it’s a pretty big deal within that sport. Dressage. Eventing. Reigning. Vaulting. ???????

I’d rather be watching footie. (See previous section.)

What I have heard is that the folks putting it on in Lexington next month might take a bath bigger than cousin Churchill Downs did on HullabaLou. Which finished $5 mill in the red.

The WEG folks hoped to sell 600,000 tickets. Or so I’m advised by sources with some sense of this horsey stuff. They’ve sold less than half that, I’m told.

Maybe they should book Bon Jovi for a concert.

– Seedy K

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