With the scores of team previews and predictions that you will certainly wade through in the coming days, I thought it choice to provide you with a simple guide of how you, the fan, should act come the final day in August. As both a native Loo-uh-vill-ian and a lifer in big brother’s corner (there’s more of us than you realize), I feel that it is my duty to both prepare you for—and guide you through—the many obstacles that you will encounter come Sunday. Not only am I a (former…and hopefully future) local, but I am also drenched with self-importance, and the only way I can relieve this malady is to tell thousands of people I’ve never met how to act. I am much like Sally Jesse Raphael in that vein.
Therefore, as game day approaches, be sure to follow this rigid guide concerning both your behavior and the prospective behavior of those surrounding you.
Pregame/Tailgating: I would be remiss if I were to ignore the fact that UL’s tailgating scene is pretty special. There are a few drawbacks, however, aside from the obvious fact that you have to hang out with UL fans. One of the caveats of having a giant open parking lot is that, during the summer, the temperature can rise to well over 350 degrees. That, coupled with the stadium’s proximity to the fairgrounds and its horse shows (dung sure lingers), can usually conjure a stench resembling something between burnt hair and a dog’s butt water. Incidentally, this pungent aroma actually made its way to Bristol, CT., where ESPN brass, rightfully identifying the odor as desperation, began scheduling the Cards on random weeknights. So, in a way, this smell defines the UL program.
Food: Though the stadium is named for, in essence, some dude who makes pizza, the ringer of the PJCS concession stand is the pulled pork sandwich. Well, that and the beer. But seriously, have you ever had one of those personal pizza’s that wasn’t tepid and disgusting? I did. Once, at the SEC Tournament in Atlanta. It was pretty solid; but then a tornado crashed into the Georgia Dome. So, I guess it was a wash. Either way, if you find yourself craving a mid-game snack to sop up a day’s worth of libations, don’t hesitate to stray from the pizza, despite the stadium’s namesake.
Better ingredients. Better pizza. I’m a douchebag.
There will be Blood: No, not the movie that I didn’t understand, but rather the undeniable fact that there will be at least one viewable fight during this game. I’ve been to more UL games than I’d like to admit (secretly cheering for the opposition, of course…sorry Chuck), and I have never been to a game and not seen a couple of ruffians throw-down. I once saw a fan of Army (or Navy) chuck a Louisville fan down the stairs. It was awesome. Anyway, I would strongly advise you to avoid any physical contact with opposing fans, as you will be immediately ejected from the premises, thus ensuring the fact that you will not get a pulled pork sandwich.
Fan Conversation: It has been my experience at both UK/UL games that I attended that halftime is reserved for going on to the concourse and smoking as many Newport 100’s as time permits. At this time, you will certainly find yourself engaged in some sort of ridiculous conversation with a fella of Louisville persuasion, likely outfitted with a tattered Ralph Dawkins jersey. Not only is it cordial to chat-up the host, it is also imperative, especially in the unlikely event that we are facing a deficit. If this situation arises, be sure to make up as much nonsense and “insider” information as possible. Start blabbing about our “brown-eye” defense that we have yet to unveil; mention a few secret weapons that will be used sparingly at nonexistent positions (such as: slug back, down blaster, or tit hawk); launch into a nonsensical diatribe (not unlike the one you are currently reading). Basically, do anything that will get them thinking. If you can distract them from focusing on their own team and worrying about ours, than their indifference and worry will creep into the psyche of those on the field, leaving them vulnerable for attack.
I mean, if knowing is half the battle, than pretending to know is a quarter of the battle. If we, as fans, pretend to know, than we’ve conquered a quarter of the battle, which is half of a half. And if we round up up, half of a half equals a half, and half would eventually lead to a whole. Before you know it, we’ve won the war. Did you follow all of that? It doesn’t matter. I’ve just cleared out your bank accounts.
Confusion is a powerful tool that UL is surely susceptible to (see: defensive backfield, 2007). Use it.
Follow these rules, stay out of jail, and don’t punch anyone—no matter how much they deserve it.