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R.I.P. Louisville Cardinal: 2003-2007

rip_cardinal

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of the Louisville Cardinal. Card, as we all knew and loved him, was a dear friend, brother, colleague, classmate, and a proud representative of the city of Louisville. As I stand here before you today, looking out amongst the congregation of black t-shirts, sweatbands, sterling silver chains, and flat billed baseball caps, I want you to stop for a minute and think, what would Card want from us today? Would he want us to weep? No way. Would he want all of us to sit here sobbing in this gloomy Salvation Army auditorium? L no. I know exactly what Card would want from all of us and that is to celebrate the few good years we had with him. So with that being said, I would like to ask all of you to remove your stunna shades, wipe those tears from your eyes, and crack open a Miller Chill as we celebrate the life and times of our Louisville Cardinal.

I knew Card for a long time. Way back before his popularity blossomed in 2003. You see, before you guys met him, and before puberty, Card was just another bird. He was hardly noticed around town, he certainly wasn’t respected in the state, and most of his friends were just undersized white boys from the surrounding counties. It wasn’t until about 6 years ago, when he went through “that phase,” that his popularity really took off. I think it all began when he decided to get dental implants. We all tried to stop him, I mean, what kind of Cardinal has teeth? But Card had his heart set on this new look of intimidation. It started with the dentures, then came the Old English lettering, a black wardrobe, a scowl on his face, and a whole new demeanor as he strutted around what he likes to call, The Ville. At first, I thought, “oh well, he’ll outgrow this – next week he’ll be emo and then comes the frat boy.” But no, Card really liked this new attitude and people were catching on. Stores began to sell out of merchandise, the national media was following the craze, and even his friend base took on a whole new demographic. Now, he was surrounding himself with faster, stronger guys, some from Florida, who had more talent, braided hair and tattoos. And with these new friends came a new lifestyle. He discovered rap music and marijuana, he robbed convenient stores at gun point, and he was known to “smack a bitch up” if she got out of line. Oh, how things changed so quickly.

I say this with a smile, because we’re proud of the four good years he gave us, but you can’t help but wonder what could’ve been. It seems like just yesterday he was dancing around Miami, and at that moment, we all knew he had made it. Who can forget Card and all of his buddies throwing oranges around as they celebrated this newfound success. Little did he know, what could’ve been, had he not bullied up on his older brother earlier that year. You remember, we all remember… the day Card broke his best leg. That’s all it took to bring him back down to Earth. Card hobbled around all year with that bad leg holding him back from reaching his full potential. Yeah, the oranges in Miami were sweet but the sky was the limit for the bird that year. Sometimes I still look back and think, what if? But that’s just another day in the life of being a Cardinal. A life that is all so disappointing.  A great offensive philosopher once said:

“The life cycle of a Cardinal can be broken down into three phases; struggle, growth, and transformation. In the early stages of life, the Cardinal struggles to fly as it is constantly being preyed on by neighboring Cats. For years, the adolescent bird endures the abuse from the bigger, much stronger species. Then one day, that little Cardinal spreads its wings and begins to fly. The bird is now high above the Forest and looking down upon the now dismal species that were once competitors. And just as that bird sticks his chest out in pride and is finally soaring above the rest, the life cycle takes its toll and all is lost. Because in the end, that cute little Cardinal that grew into a powerful bird, well, it becomes a Falcon.”

And with that folks, I leave you with a moment of silence and time to reflect on the Louisville Cardinal. It is a shame that we only enjoyed our time with him from 2003-2007 but it was a time we’ll cherish forever. Now, we start fresh. I ask that you please leave here today and go out into the world with your heads down, just as they were before we met him. Please let go of the memories of oranges, no one cares. Just go out and underachieve as I know you all can. Godspeed, and may the Louisville Cardinal rest in peace.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR