I can’t quite place it, but something seems strangely familiar. Could it be the boxers that I’ve been wearing for the last five days? No, that’s not it. Is it this whole election thing that seems to take place every three years or so? No, that’s not it either. It must be this strange sense of Groundhog Day Ja Vu that I’m experiencing as I contemplate what to say about our inferiors situated on the Indiana border. For I seem to remember writing about Louisville already. If that’s the case, then this should be rather easy as I’ll just use the same material that didn’t work the first time and you can not like it again! But know this: every Republican and Democratic candidate for president reads Know Your Enemy with the regularity of a prune-loving old man and thinks that I am hilarious and also the most handsome boy in school. Upon reflection, it looks like I’m going to have to write new “information” for everything except “Location” and “Notable Alumni” as the previous write-up was directed at Louisville’s football squad. Therefore, while Location and Notable Alumni will remain the same for this post, everything else will change. Aren’t you lucky?
So the Cats had several United Nations resolutions ratified against Florida International this Saturday and managed to come away with their best performance of the year and the first of which included Patterson, Jasper, Meeks, and Scherbenske available for the entire game. The James Gandolfini-led Florida Internationalizers were no match for Jasper’s knee brace of fury and sulked back to the international waters off the coast of Florida which is where I presume their campus is located (you can have monkey knife fights and professional boxers can fight horses in international waters). Was this a harbinger of things to come? I don’t know, because I’m not sure what harbinger means, but I think the FIU game was the start of what will be a magical run where the Cats do not lose another game the rest of the year (NCAA Tournament included). The next step is the always underhyped Louisville Cardinals and their head coach Rick Pitino (everyone else has taken up all the clever and not-so-clever nicknames for him). The Cards currently are perched precariously atop a 9-4 record that has seen them fall from their preseason Top 10 rank and it would appear that Louisville is so dedicated to the Kentucky rivalry, that they are attempting to have an even worse year than the Wildcats. With losses to BYU, Dayton, Purdue, and Cincinnati, Pitino has been loading up on Prilosec and Rogaine in preparation for the UK game. Think a loss to U of L will suck for the Cats? Just imagine what a fourth-straight loss to a historically bad Kentucky team would do to Louisville’s already fragile pscyhe? Masiello will have to give him his back massage for an hour longer if that were to occur. So having said all that…Gentlemen start your engines.
Location (this section originally appeared in both Know Your Enemy: Louisville Cardinals Football and the New York Times June 1, 1934. Because I’m lazy that’s why)
Louisville is the state’s biggest city in terms of both area and population and is thought of as the state capital by a surprising number of non-Kentuckians who have never heard of Frankfort. Founded by Kentucky hero and line-dancing contest winner George Rogers Clark, Louisville was named after French king Louis XVI–the same Louis that would go down in history as having lost an entire empire due to his arrogance. Just keep the whole “fall from perceived grandeur” thing in mind, Cardinal fans. But I joke. I actually have no problems with the city of Louisville itself. It is a cool town with lots to do and has been the site of numerous historical events ranging from the first public viewing of Edison’s light bulb to the origination of the phrase, “That’s my Mama!”. No, my problem lies with the University of Louisville Athletic Department. Few know this, but the UofL Athletic Department is actually built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground (1956-1963). This same site was also used for the hanging of horse-thieves, was the birthplace of Ted Bundy, and played host to “A Very Brady Christmas”. Evil incarnate, folks.
Notable Alumni (yes, this part is from the last KYE, too)
While UofL alums include both “The Dollmaker” author, Harriet Simpson Arnow, and current presidential candidate and Q-tip look-alike, Christopher Dodd, the former Cardinal that has received the most pub this past year also happens to be their most greatly accomplished alumni. By now you’ve figured out that I’m talking about Larry Birkhead. What’s that? Can’t quite place the name? You must have let your subscription to Us Weekly expire, then, my friend as paparazzi photographer Mr. Birkhead drew much attention to himself by impregnating a washed-up Playboy model 15 years past her prime and then winning a bizarre custody battle with said model’s lawyer/agent/husband through a heartwarming(?) DNA test. Cardinal fans, does that make you proud? You’re basically on par with the Maury Povich Show. Congratulations?
Cheerleader Scouting Report (Last one that I’ve already used, I promise)
Ever wonder what Shirley Temple would look like if she went to college and became a stripper? Check out the C-leader in the front row second from left. Much like their football counterparts, this set of Cardinals is more talented than both EKU and Kent State, though they’re not as attractive as I would have expected. Most of you by now know the rather randy story about the UaVell cheerleader who had her “private” pictures stolen and then plastered on the internet. Based on this I just assumed that the squad would be a little more photogenic…and more overtly slutty.
Pretty darn good. While it’s history is arguably top 5 in the history of college basketball, it is hands down number 2 in its own state. The Cards won two NCAA titles under Dennington H. Crum, but their success predates Denny and his Stewie Griffin-shaped head by several decades. Beginning in 1944, Louisville managed to run off an impressive string of 46 consecutive seasons with a winning record. The Cardinal program began with a loss in 1912 to Louisville YMCA, although it seems odd that a policeman, a construction worker, and an Indian chief would beat Louisville in a game of basketball (actually it’s not that odd). The first of many embarressments for the Cards at the hands of the mighty Cats occurred the following year as Kentucky smoked Louisville like a pack of Kools in prison by a score of 34-10. Denny Crum refused to shake Joe. B. Hall’s hand after the game.
The Derick Caracter story has been retold many times and even appears in newer versions of Aesop’s fables I believe. Since it’s been done to death, we will spread the disdain among several recognizable names, all of which have been held up by Pitino as A. The greatest basketball player in the history of the world B. The greatest person or “kid” in the history of time or C. Both A. and B. David Padgett has miraculously recovered from his knee falling off, Reginald Delk is trying to escape his Uncle Tony’s immense shadow…by playing for Tony’s former coach, Stuart Miller believed Pitino when he said he would get playing time at U of L, two of Edgar Sosa’s favorite TV shows are Flavor of Love and I Love New York (really?), Juan Palacios is from the same hometown (Medellin, Colombia) as infamous cocaine dealer Pablo Escobar, Terrence Williams has over 130 shoe boxes in his dorm room, and over half the team lists Martin, the Fresh Prince, and/or Family Matters as their favorite TV show. That last one would make sense if it were 1995. That’s really what they watch? Come on, Gina! Phew! You have to be glad you have me to look all this up for you.
Now that Patrick Patterson has someone to get him the ball consistently, he will leave behind his former averages of 35 and 14 and jump up to 61 points per game and 24 rebounds per game. Gillispie employs Mr. Miyagi to perform his hand-rubbing-together-to-make-pain-go-away treatment to Derick Jasper and Jas-pah-san responds with no pain and records a quintuple-double. Jared Carter makes himself known by posting an impressive triple-single: 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 block. Since this is a rivalry game, be aware that things might get testy when Kentucky gets up by 45 points, but have no fear, Mark Krebs (the enforcer) is here.
There you have it. Not my best work, but…actually it is my best work, and that’s kind of saddening. Anywho, expect the Cats to wallop the Cards and watch as Stevie Masiello and Richard Pitino become the first assistant coaches in NCAA history to visibly cry during the game at the sight of their Cardinals being slaughtered. This team is much easier to watch with its full complement of players, and here’s hoping that Kentucky can get not hot, but at least lukewarm before heading into SEC play. Go Cats.