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Saturday, July 30, 2016

CARDINAL COUPLE keeps on keeping on -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


JOIN US

I had an interesting discussion the other day with another UofL sports website owner and it evolved around the concept of having premium content. 

As you well know, there are some web sites that give you "exclusive" inside-information for a fee on their "premium" boards. It is a money-maker for them and, although the news on them does get out to the mass public eventually, it gives subscribers first chance at it. 

We have toyed with the idea of doing a "premium board" over the years but always decided against it. We are a non-profit, no-fee site that would rather earn our keep by having donors and sponsors instead of charging our readers for information by the month or year. 

It's our call. Thanks to you...the sponsors and donors...we keep on keeping on. The early days of "out of Paulie's pocket" have ended. We're able to get down the sidewalk without having to go to the "information for a fee" tactic.

You can help us stay that way. At the top of the website, there is a link to PayPal. Help us that way if you choose. On "The Right Side of the Site" there is information where you can send a check. 

We know there are a lot of places to distribute money these days. We appreciate whatever we get. We reach out to other charities and program if we're lucky enough to get a surplus. It's all about helping each other. Always has been here, and will always stay that way.

The person I had the discussion with is seriously considering going to a "pay for premium" concept. We are not. 

Thank you for reading the articles, listening to the radio show. You are CARDINAL COUPLE. We're proud of you. 

                             ****************************

RADIO TODAY! 

Paulie will be going it alone in the studio on the CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR today. Worldwide will be joining via phone. 

Join us, won't you? LINK BELOW:

LINK: www.crescenthillradio.com

Show starts at 11 a.m. (EDT) on 100.9 FM WCHQ locally. 

paulie
xxxxx

Friday, July 29, 2016

CARDS WBB trip to Cuba -- A few details -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


CARDS SCHEDULED FOR THREE GAMES IN CUBA

With the first exhibition game scheduled for Saturday, August 6th...we are getting a few details on UofL WBB's trip to Cuba. 

Our writer-on-hiatus Jenny O'Bryan is making the trip and had offered to do a blog on her experiences there. We will publish whatever Jenny sends us here. We have been told that the internet infrastructure in Cuba is minimal at best...so how soon we get reports from her will depend on that. Also, our old buddy Don Russell will be down there with A.J. We have been informed that there will be no signal coming out of Cuba for live viewing or listening to the games. 

The Cards will play on Saturday, Sunday and Monday...August 6th through 8th. They'll face the Cuban National team (Primero) once and the Cuban junior team (Segundo) twice. 

The Cuban National team, as of a month ago, was comprised of nine Cuban and three Brazilian players from the country's Liga Superior league...encompassing six cities.  Camaguay's Leidis Oquendo led the league in scoring. She's listed at 180 centimeters...roughly 5'9". The Cubans didn't fare so well in an international "friendly" in Spain last month...falling to the Canadians and the Spanish.   

It is a great cultural experience for these student-athletes and the fans making the trip. What exactly we'll find out about the 2016-17 probably won't be a whole lot...we expect Walz to distribute playing time pretty equally among the players making the trip. What the players will gain in terms of history, cultural differences and travel is incredibly valuable and a lifetime opportunity. 

As more develops on the trip, we'll let you know.

paulie
xxxxx

Thursday, July 28, 2016

With James Ramsey out as UofL president...who's next? -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


RAMSEY'S REIGN EQUALED GROWTH

The University of Louisville executive board met yesterday in a marathon session to address the the resolution of President James Ramsey's resignation. Ramsey is out. Immediately. Offered a two-year package, thanked for his leadership and will receive a $690,000 buyout to avoid the expense and delay of litigation.  

During his 14 year tenure, the University grew, grew and grew. It will be hard to find a replacement that is more involved, interested and pro-active toward UofL sports that Ramsey was. All UofL sports, not just the holy trio of football, basketball and baseball. Yes, there were mis-appropriations and there was scandal during his tenure. There was also a change from being a commuter-based place of learning to joining the ACC and numerous dorms, facilities and a downtown arena. Never underestimate how essential Ramsey was in helping UofL get to the ACC.  I hope to still see him at Louisville sporting events. 

Neville G. Pinto, the University provost, is the top guy now...until the board interviews and hires a replacement for Ramsey. He was a chemical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati. He came to Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, eventually became Dean of the Speed School and then moved on to interim and then permanent provost of UofL. According to University by-laws, he's the guy until the 18th president in UofL history is appointed. 

Petrino, Pitino and Pinto. It has the ring of a law firm title, medical practice or sixties pop group. 

So...the search begins. Junior Bridgeman, perhaps the most recognizable of the board members, indicates that the board "must be quick but not hurry" in selecting a replacement for Ramsey. Sage advice. I hope Jeff Walz adapts the phrase to UofL WBB guards this upcoming season.  

Is Bridgeman a candidate to become President of UofL? It is an interesting question. The man knows a lot about success and leadership. He parlayed a basketball scholarship to UofL in the early seventies into a NBA career, successful fast food franchisee owner and now soft drink bottler. Is Louisville ready for a African-American university president. Oh, yeah. Very ready. The question is, will he submit his application and would he accept the job? Honestly, he's probably made enough money in his lifetime to sustain him and his family quite well if he were to retire tomorrow. The challenge of leading a academic institution doesn't come along every day. 

I'll toss another name out there as a candidate. Jerry Abramson. He was Louisville's "mayor for life" for 25 years. Another guy who knows a thing or two about the University of Louisville's interaction with the city and Commonwealth of Kentucky. A former lieutenant-governor and successful attorney. He was also a candidate for the UofL Presidency fourteen years ago when Ramsey was selected. Would governor Matt Bevin veto any such move? Would the board consider him? Is Jerry interested? I love the guy. He'd be my top pick. 

And then there's still that whole issue of...is any of this positioning and maneuvering legal?  Kentucky's attorney general Andy Beshear is suing...saying that all of Bevin's actions in this reorganization are not constitutionally legal. 

This isn't some county ambulance-chaser trying to create a name for himself. This is the attorney general. One who has the power, knowledge and backing to keep this thing tied up in legality issues for quite some time. 

" UofL WANTS WHAT FOR CHRISTMAS? " 
Lastly, how will all of this affect UofL sports? We know of Bridgeman and Abramson's love for UofL athletics. Can we ensure the new president will give Tom Jurich the same 
'green light' to building, progress and continued growth of the sports programs we so dearly love in this community? I remember in the early eighties...there was a movement on to drop Louisville out of Division I football. Thank goodness Donald Swain came to his senses and Bill Olsen hired Howard Schnellenberger. 

Interesting times ahead...

paulie
xxxxx





Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Geonism? -- USA OLYMPIC team starts four UConn players in win over Team Select -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


IS THIS THE USA OLYMPIC WBB TEAM OR UCONN ALL-STARS? 


The term "jingoism" means extreme patriotism. Often used to describe the extreme loyality or patriotism one feels for a country or cause.

"Genoism" The head USA Olympic women's basketball coach starting four ex-Huskies against the USA Select team in their final exhibition tune up before hitting the world's competition. 

Is Sue Byrd, at age 34, the best point guard in the United States? I think Asia Durr is faster and much more exciting to watch. Is Diana Taurasi attached to her hip? She was 1-7 from the "three". Bring in Arica Carter...she's been shooting better than that and has a great smile. 

Yes, I know. They've had very few practices together and Geno is just trying to find a cohesive group right now. The 88-84 win close...but this was the Harlem Globetrotters against the New York Generals. No one expected USA Olympics to lose. They didn't. It may be the closest game they'll experience in their brief formation.  

Don't get me wrong, all are WNBA stars. Five of the twelve just happened to play for UConn. The average age of the squad is 30. 


"If I'd gome to UConn, I'd be out there now"
Our Angel McCoughtry played and nine points in fifteen minutes against the likes of Jewel Loyd, Odyssey Sims and Sugar Rogers. They probably faced the toughest opponent that they'll face in the whole exhibition and Olympic games. 

All told, there are probably over 100 players Geno and the crew could have picked from that could go to Rio and win the gold for the USA.


And that is, ultimately, the objective. Get the Gold for the USA. Doesn't matter if it's JMU, TCU, WKU or UConn athletes out there. It's America's team. 

A buddy and I were talking last night, hypothesizing...about a 12 player UofL WBB team in the Olympics. We're going with Angel McCoughtry, Asia Taylor, Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, Sara Hammond, Mo Reid, Asia Durr, Arica Carter, Cortnee Walton, Nita Slaughter, Becky Burke and Briahanna Jackson. I bet we'd get a medal in Olympic competition. 

I'm calling our mayor Greg Fischer immediately and suggest we declare our independence and become the principality of Louahvul. It's not too late to get this team and other Olympic sports together. We'd do well in swimming. Emmonnie Henderson and Jere Summers could throw field events. Dan McDonnell could take the baseball team down there. The time is now, fellow Louisvillians! 

Maybe Geno, who will probably still be around and winning in 2020, should suggest that Connecticut withdraw from the United States so he can stock a roster of 12 former and current UConn players for the Olympics that year. 

Finally, wouldn't it be nice to see five former UofL players on the 2020 Olympics basketball squad? Or five Cards in the WNBA in 2020?



Have a great Wednesday! 

paulie
xxxxx


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

MAKING THE STOPS, SEEING THE FUTURE -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


WALZ, STAFF HIT THE ROAD


If Jeff Walz and his staff relate to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Long As I Can See The Light" one could hardly blame them. 


(Click the link to hear this classic CCR song): 


LONG AS I CAN SEE THE LIGHT

You see...they're in the midst of another of those 10 day recruiting/evaluation/different hotel and mattress each night/what's for breakfast periods. 

They've got an agenda and they're in pursuit of it...it features some of the best names in the high school girls' game. 

2017 Destiny Littleton, Dana Evans, Evina Westbrook, Victoria Sax, Rennia Davis and Lindsey Duvall are some of the 2017 prospect that UofL is scouting...along with commit Loretta Kakala (you have to let the on-board already know that you're still there). 

2018 verbal Seygan Robins got a visit. Our buddy Chris Souder probably did too. Victoria Saxton is another out of the 2018 class that is meriting attention.  2019 Nyah Green will (or has already) be talked with and seen. 


Camps and tournaments make up the travel agenda as well. Atlanta and New Orleans for Walz so far...that we know of. Steph Norman is in our nation's capitol among other places. Samantha Williams hitting Minnesota and the midwest. Flights, rental cars and road food. I've done the life. It makes one appreciate the creature comforts of home so very much. 

If anyone could have ever found Gilligan, the skipper and the castaways...it most likely would have been Walz or one of the staff.

I used to be blase about recruiting. I'm slowly coming around. The theory of who finishes a career at a place instead of who starts a career still holds more merit for me. I do, however, realize the importance of getting quality players on campus. Nightmares of the 2009-10 season still exist. 

Travel well, coaches. See and be seen. Happy hunting on the road trips. And, stay cool. 

paulie
xxxxx






Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Cardinal Couple - Fan Traditions

Fan Traditions


I have long been a Cardinal fan, and I've long been a Volleyball fan.  No news here.  But one thing that has always dismayed me about attending UofL games is the seeming lack, compared to other athletic departments, of fan traditions.  Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of UofL traditions, but what I'm speaking of here is, at least in most sports, the lack of coordinated fan responses to events on the field/floor/court.

Most of my roadtrip experience is for volleyball matches, but I have done some travel for Women's Basketball games as well and one of the things that I've noticed, at the powerhouse and long established programs, is the crowd response to various events that happen on the field of play.  In most cases, it seems that most of this crowd response is driven by the student sections in crowds, and sometimes by the pep band.  Our pep band does its part..."You've gotta Hit. The ball. Over. The net!" when an opposing volleyball server hits the ball into or under the net...singing "Hey Jude" anytime Jude Schimmel had a highlight play....and others.  But we do lack a coherent student section at many of the less mainstream sporting events, even Women's Basketball doesn't seem to get a great deal of support from students, and other than athletes from other sports, or at big rivalry matches, there is essentially no student section at volleyball matches.

I think some of why we don't have more of these types of traditions is due to the relative youthfulness of our athletic program in general.  Compared to some of the big-name programs in the country, UofL Athletics is still young, and perhaps hasn't had the time to develop these sorts of responses.

And, I don't want to throw UofL students under the bus, here.  I would love to see the student body
more fully support the less mainstream sports, and perhaps the availability of more sporting events being seen on the new ACC Network Extra starting next month will help spur some more interest in the various sports, but I think we, the non-student fans, can start to establish some of these traditions if we work at it.  I'm proud to be something of a caretaker to the tradition, started by Kevin Welch (father of Caitlin Welch, Libero extraordinaire) of doing the C-A-R-D-S cheer when the opposing volleyball team calls a timeout.  I think this is a tradition that could be spread to other sports as well.  That's a start, but how about some sort of chant or quick response for a big block at the net, or a service ace?  These are events in the competition that could easily trigger a quick crowd response, and that fan involvement is big motivation for the players.  These sorts of events that could be a trigger for a crowd response happen in all sports, it's just a matter of identifying them and settling on some sort of crowd cheer or chant for them.

Can we come up with some ideas for crowd responses to actions on the field of play?  What say you.  Let's hear some ideas.  If I, a shy, reserved, extremely introverted kinda guy, can make the decision to jump up and lead half the crowd in the C-A-R-D-S cheer, you all can do it as well.

-- JMcA

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Strength in numbers can also have a down side -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


EARNING PLAYING TIME SAME AS IT'S ALWAYS BEEN


A high school junior, on top of the world because of the clamorings and wooing of major colleges, makes a decision. It's been a long process...with many people involved. The endless texts, calls, friendly persuasion and sage advice. 

"I've decided to attend (fill in the blank) ! 


Immediately, the fan base, coaching staff and local media responds like Pavlovian dogs...showering praise on the player, the brilliant coaches and merits of the school. The love affair is in full bloom. The player works diligently over the next year and a half...honing their game to meet the expectations of their future coaching staff. Develop this hand, work on this move, perfect this skill...all while trying to make your last year at your high school memorable. Keeping the grades up. Staying focused on multiple aspects of your life. 

Then it's time. Dad or Uncle Dave helps you and mom load up the mini-van, tearful hugs and goodbyes when the last chair or article of clothing is put into the new residency and you're at your new home...for four years...in a different city, with unfamiliar surrondings and faces. 


People are talking about you in print, on the streets...in huddled masses and over the airwaves. Let's call our protagonist "Bouncy". Can Bouncy take over for this graduated senior? Can Bouncy provide needed strength in this position? Is Bouncy the best thing to hit the campus since the invention of the laptop? 

Bouncy works with the new teammates. There are skills and drills to learn. New personalities. New responsibilities. You've just finished your high school classes and now your enrolled in college and taking classes.

Those fun summer days from high school are gone. No club travel or hanging out with your peeps at the mall or by the lake. You're getting up 500 shots a day. Lifting, running. Competing.

Soon enough, it is practice time. You start to comprehend that this isn't going to be a 32 minutes a game, 25 points a night year for you. There is bigger, faster, better and more experienced in front of you. You're giving it your all and it just isn't quite good enough. The coaches who wooed and courted you are now demanding, critical and impossible at times. 

It is competition and you're not in the lead.

The season starts. You find yourself in a "mop up" role. Getting off the bench for minutes if your squad is up by 25 or down by 30. Maybe a brief few minutes if someone gets into quick foul trouble. Your still working just as hard in practice. Dealing with everything. Trying to fully embrace the "team" concept. Bouncy loves the teammates, the roaring fan base and the travel. Bouncy has problems with 3.8 minutes a game, though, as the team heads into conference play. 

Bouncy wants to play. The minutes aren't there. Bouncy remembers the recruiting madness and schools clamoring for Bouncy's skills. Bouncy sees that "Directional School" is suffering at the very position Bouncy plays and the thought process begins. 

The season ends. The coaches talk and evaluate. Bouncy is informed that there probably won't be much more...maybe less playing time next season. "Coach Champion" has a top five ranked recruiting class coming in...Coach is telling it like it is. Either improve, relegate yourself to a backup role or try your fortunes elsewhere. 

There are some, but not many, players who are fine with a backup role in college for four years. Friends get in your ear and tell you this, that...dad or Uncle Dave think you'd be better off, closer to home and "Directional School" was 7-21 and needs to replace five graduating seniors. Fans wonder if you're the most likely to transfer and why you'd even consider coming back next season.

Bouncy is trying. Bouncy isn't good enough.

Players come, players go. A coach's nightmare...among the many they have each night...is having a roster so depleted by injury or other circumstances that they cannot compete effectively. Coaches recruit. They are paid to produce. They look for numbers. They expect hard work, all the time, from each and every player...regardless of playing time, stats or personal beliefs. 


Bouncy decides to leave. We see it at the end of each season and almost every school out there. Players want to play. Equate it to shopping. If you go to a store where the lines are long, no one is there to assist you and you can't get what you are looking for...you eventually end up going to another store. 

Sometimes the final chapter in Bouncy's book is uplifting. Bouncy ends up somewhere where the minutes, the opportunities and the recognition happens. Someone writes a "feel-good" story about how Bouncy "finally found a home" at "Directional School" and they had a winning season. Or, Bouncy's clutch play helped them win the conference tournament or beat the arch rival. 

Sometimes the final chapter is not so positive. Bouncy goes to "Directional School" and blows out a knee. Gets in with the wrong crowd and is asked or decides to leave the roster. Finds their role at the new school the same as at the old school.  

In the end, it is all about the competition. Coaches want to coach. They need to win in order to keep coaching. They need to play their best players...their best fits to win. There is pressure from the athletic directorship, the fan base, the parents, the media and multiple other sources.

Strength is numbers is usually a good thing. Sitting Bull and Santa Ana would agree. For some, though, it is a learning experience. Winning is the objective. Participation hugs and trophies are a sham. And, if you aren't playing or succeeding...you move along or get asked to leave.


In pick up games...the winning team yells out "Next?". The losing team moves off the court and hopes to do better next time. It's a matter of skill meeting satisfaction. The best survive and advance. 

The lessons learned in college can last a whole lifetime. There are winners and losers. There are good days, bad days and going stark mad days. 

There is, though, always a future. A new path to try. The decision, in the end, no matter what it is...comes down to this. At the end of the day, if you can look in the mirror and reflect that, despite whatever happened...you were being you...it is something that can never be taken away from you. 

________________________________________________


Yesterday's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR rebroadcast is now on the SoundCloud and can be heard at the link below. It was a fast-paced hour of discussion and Worldwide finally aced the quiz. Believe it or not, fall sports are rapidly approaching. WE can't wait! 




LINK: https://soundcloud.com/chradio/cardinal-couple-20160723

paulie
xxxxx