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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Promising spring, incoming class give Ferguson-Dayes plenty to smile about -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WSOC Opens Home Exhibition Schedule Aug. 8th.

On a sun-splashed Tuesday morning I headed to the Belknap Campus to discuss the Louisville women's soccer program with head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. Instead of the usual, yearly in-office, pre-season chat...I was directed to the McDonald's practice field to conduct the interview. (Ever wondered what the name of the soccer field next to the Bass-Rudd tennis courts and across from Trager Stadium and McDonald's was called? You now know.) 

Summer camp was in session for 65 eager young girls dressed in white t-shirts. The Future Cardinals camp is designed to work with the younger players to develop comfortably and control of the ball. I got lucky, the campers were on a re-hydration break when I showed Coach K. and I were able to get about ten minutes in before the whistles started blowing again. And...two UPS planes joined us as well....which you'll notice during the interview we'll play on Saturday's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. (We pride ourselves on getting a plane, train or siren during our outdoor interviews).  

Louisville women's soccer begins the exhibition season on Aug 4th at Ohio State. Most the players are already on campus and a few were present working the camp. I kept my questions pretty short and direct for coach. 

You had a very good spring season from all reports: 

We did! It was actually an excellent spring and something we have prided ourselves on. We kept a clean sheet for our goal keepers and didn't give up a single goal all spring (in four games). We felt really good about that defensively. 

What are some of the expectations you take out of the spring as you get ready for the fall. What are some of the things you're looking for? 

We have a lot of returning players who know our language. Know how we talk. Who have played significant roles for us...who will continue to keep us riding the success of the shutouts in the spring. 

Tell us a bit about the returnees. You have five out of your seven top scorers back and a Bjerke back from China...

K.B. is fantastic. One of the best leaders I've ever coached. she's locked in with what our expectations are, making her teammates better. She's a team captain...this will be the third year she's been a team captain and I'm super excited to get her back on campus. She went to Norway from China. 

A lot of freshmen who have become sophomores. That bodes well for you. 

Absolutely! That class is fantastic. A lot of key kids that played significant roles for us. They are a year older, a year wiser, a year stronger, a year quicker and a year smarter. 

You have some adds on this year. A transfer and some talented freshmen come in. 

Kennady Carbin has been with us here. She came in as a transfer (Mississippi St) last spring and it was invaluable for us to have her for that spring schedule. An exceptional athlete. We look for her to provide an impact for us in scoring goals, creating goals.

The team had a unique opportunity to go to Costa Rica during spring break. Fill us in on that. 

It was a wonderful experience for our team. I think we are a very special group. It gave us a chance to get ever closer. there was not a lot of centered media or it gave us a chance to hang out together. We got a lot of positives that will help us be successful this fall. 

( For the entire interview, be sure to catch the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Saturday)

                                    --           --           --          --          --

Successful. It is something the Louisville fans want to see out of "The Ladies of Lynn". 

Coach was hesitant to discuss the freshmen at length...even though all but Emina Ekic are already on campus...but the Cards have some very good ones in her, Taylor Kerwin, Nadage L'Esperance and European standout Mollie Rouse all part of the class of eight newcomers. 

Will they, along with "K.B."...a handful of leading scorers back from last year and a new mindset be enough to get the Cards over the 7-7-4 2016 season and the 8-8-2 record in 2015. Can the Kickin' Cards compile an above .500 slate in the highly-competitive ACC? The Cards haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013...something fans bring up to me at times when we discuss the program. 

On a bright, beautiful morning on the Louisville campus...all seemed possible. All sounds well for the UofL WSOC program. We'll find out how it starts when the ball hits the pitch in Lynn Stadium in a little over three weeks when the the Cards host DePaul in an exhibition. The Blue Demons bested the Cards last year. The returnees haven't forgotten that. 

The ACC competition will not get any easier in 2017. The Cards will be challenged with the pre-conference slate as well...with UK, IU, Purdue, Boston University and Marquette as a few of the teams that will test the Cards. 

Fall sports. They're getting closer and the coaches and players (along with the fans) can't wait. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Field Hockey Adds Argentinean Midfielder -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Mercedes Pastor Joins the Fray

Multi-talented Mercedes motors to UofL 
Whether or not Ms. Pastor will be on the field for UofL when the field hockey team opens play next month or isn't available until 2018 is unclear, though if I had to guess, I would say all of the buzz is surrounding a player that will be coming to a campus near you immediately. The story I'm sourcing from currently has conflicting dates. Two points in the story indicate a 2018 arrival while a few more indicate Mercedes will be joining this year's team. Let's hope Paulie can go through his sources to clarify this for us.

At any rate, Mercedes has signed her National Letter of Intent. For those of you who do not particularly care about recruiting, the NLI is currently the only thing keeping fax machines alive in the United States. Every year, thousands of high schools for thousands of players break out their dusty old machines and punch in the number included on business cards that you never worry about having to use. The NLI essentially locks a player into their commitment and is the thing that a committed players needs to be "released" from in the case of a late decommitment. 

Lucas likes her skills
The Argentinean national hails from Buenos Aires and will be studying Industrial Engineering, which she says is the career she always wanted. She cited the ability to go to school and play high class hockey in the same place as her reasons for selecting Louisville. The Cards are equally as excited to have her, as associate head coach, Lucas Piccioli, lauded her versatility. Listed as a midfielder, Pastor is capable of playing all six front positions and Louisville will likely take advantage of this fact.

Pastor has been a member of youth national teams in her home country since joining the U18 team in 2013. She has been on the U21 team since 2015 and scored 11 international goals. Since 2007, Pastor has scored 27 goals for her club team of Hurling Club. The coaching staff is excited to welcome Mercedes to the team and there is clearly good reason. Whether she is coming this year or next, she is likely to be a cog that drives Louisville's offense for years to come.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cards Pass -- The chatter continues...MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


(Editor note: You may be accustom to reading our Case Hoskins here on Monday Mornings. He and I have switched days this week, so his writings will be here Tuesday. In the meantime, you're stuck with the old guy who has the bionic hip and 
no clear understanding on how to Tweet properly. Enjoy!  Case will be back tomorrow.  -- Paulie) 

CARDS PASS. What is it? How does it affect you and how does it affect seating for the University of Louisville WBB seat for the 2017-18 season? We'll try to look at the new way of seating people in selected sections (from an objective view point) and your reactions. 

A couple of things to clear up. First, I don't have season tickets. Because of the media coverage I provide for WBB, I am allowed to sit on press row. I used to be a season ticket holder years ago but that was back in the Freedom Hall days. Secondly, the information I am receiving is from other sources. I did not get the e-mails about the changes, nor did I get the e-mails about meetings planned to explain the process. Nor did I receive the short video about the process...but someone sent it to me.I wouldn't mind attending one of those scheduled meetings. I did get an invite from a couple of Cardinal WBB staffers.

First off, the e-mail that has caused the chatter: 

"In an effort to enhance the game day experience for Louisville women’s basketball fans, a CardsPass mobile ticket option is being implemented for the 2017-18 season. In addition to this ticket option, we have updated the seating arrangements for 2017-18 to create a more dynamic environment for women’s basketball.
Reserved, hard-ticket locations will be in sections 104-108 and 114-118. The remaining sections are for the CardsPass or single-game tickets. CardsPass holders will receive best availability on a game-by-game basis, however, seat locations will vary each game.
In late July, the Athletics Ticket Office will conduct its women's basketball season ticket relocation. To provide our current season ticket holders the best season tickets available, you are able to log in to your ‘My Cardinals Account’ on your selected date and time to view all available inventory and possibly upgrade your season tickets. The relocation process is conducted in point order with the information below. We will have dedicated phone lines for customer service during these times to answer any outstanding questions.
We are very excited to use this online program for the relocation process and to implement a dynamic ticketing option to provide the best environment for the Louisville women’s basketball program! If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Ticket Office at (502) 852-5151.
Thank you again for your support of Louisville Athletics!

Next,  a link to the video:

Now you know what I know. 

It is important to point out a couple of things. Only certain sections in the lower bowl are affected. 104-108 and 114-118 are not in the end zone and are not affected Hard tickets will still be issued for those areas. Secondly, the CARDS PASS introduction is being called a relocation process. I had questions. I called the phone number listed to ask them. From a reporters point of view. The call went to voice mail. Twice. Maybe call levels were high...They did provide a e-mail address on the I sent an e-mail. It is below:  


I am doing an article at our website about CARDS PASS and had some questions. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you, with our readers in mind. Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below for Cardinal Couple or give me a call.


Paul Sykes
Co-Owner/Senior Columnist/Radio Host
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO - Now on WCHQ 100.9 FM and still on the internet.


I am waiting for a reply. If I get one after this article is posted, I'll come back in an update the article. 

I did get a reply from someone connected with UofL WBB. It is below: 

Paul - 
Thanks for reaching out. We are rolling out a new ticket plan in the corners/end 
zone's  to help with the large gaps in empty seats that seem to happen during 
ball games. Club seats and sections connected to the club are not being 
We are having some educational sessions this week with Coach Walz and the ticket 
office at our new practice facility. Would love for you to come so you can be in 
the loop. 
Wednesday 07/19 - 8:30am till 9:30am 
Wednesday 07/19 - noon till 1pm 
Thursday 07/20 - 5:30 till 6:30Ipm 
2432 South Floyd street 
Louisville Ky 40209 

I will attend one of the sessions. 


Let's move on to your reactions. We have comments in our comments sections that you can read. The comments are spread over several days...just so you know. I also get e-mails...believe me, I get e-mails. I have only received one quasi-positive response about the CARDS PASS introduction. It's below: 

Hi, Paulie: 

I like the idea of this Cards Pass. It will fill up those glaring empty seats in the end zone that people see on TV broadcasts. It will give grade and middle school teams a chance to see the action closer up. I bet a lot of those seats were purchased by football season ticket holders anyway. I don't have seat in the affected area. I will receive hard tickets for the season, just to make that clear. 

(Name withheld) 

Then, there is the other side of the fence. Here are some excepts from e-mails I have received from those who aren't in favor of CARDS PASS. Once again, names withheld. 

...A stupid idea that will just lower attendance. Anyone ever notice that when Walz first got here he wanted 12-15,000 a game in the KFC YUM! Center? Last year, it was 7-8,000. I have seats in the affected area, to boost football points, but we do attend most of the games. I do not use apps, though, and I wonder what they'll do when I show up with my proof of purchase at the door and nothing to scan?...

...i don't even bother with season tickets. I just walk up and buy them outside. Several times last year, I had people walk up to me and give hand me tickets. I offered to pay. No money was accepted. I was on the sidelines -- real good seats -- each time...

...Just another way for UofL to track you. I'll watch on TV or listen on the radio. They are experimenting with WBB. Eventually it will spread to all seats at all ticketed events. If you don't have a smart phone, they don't want you as a fan...

...You notice they brought out Mr. Golden Voice Sean Moth to explain CARDS PASS on the video? Better than Walz or Paul Rogers, I guess. I have hard tickets. They better not ever try to change those...

The end zone in this picture looks pretty packed.... interesting move at a time when one major sport at UofL has already left the YUM! and attendance is dropping in WBB. 

I want the best of both worlds for the program and attendance. Full end zones and increased attendance. i'm not sold on the idea that CARDS PASS is the answer. It seems to have stirred up season ticket holders, which was probably the opposite of what the athletic department intended. 

Basketball season is still several months away. We'll see how this plays out. In a time where a ton of WBB programs are just trying to get more fans in the looks like UofL is focusing on a new approach toward seating some of them. I'm sure they obviously want more season ticket holders in general and fans to attend games, too.  

Paulie in the end zone for football. I like the end zone for
football and  always have...even in the old Crunch Zone
Crazies days in Cardinal Stadium. 
I have moved on into the world of apps after I upgraded into the smartphone world a couple of years ago. I like to listen to the radio station we do THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR from WCHQ sometimes on their app. There are other apps that I have downloaded and use from time to time. 

I don't know exactly how I would react if I was in the section that will be affected by CARDS PASS. I guess I'd try to find a couple of seats in the hard ticket section. I might bug a buddy who has club seating for all KFC YUM! Center events for his tickets...because he rarely attends UofL WBB. Gathering those CAF points. 

I do know that I'll never give up my end zone seats for football. Had 'em since PJCS opened and it's the most exciting way for me to watch the game. People criticize me for not using my media pass to go to football games. People who have slyly asked if they could use them to get in. 

(No, you can't...) 

This public service announcement from the Field Hockey
people. Home opener is against IU. 
Quite frankly, I like football from a fan/spectator's viewpoint and not a reporter's eye. We got guys on staff now that do that much better than I could or would.  If I want to get up and yell for Lamar to reach the end zone on a run or pass or the defense to make a 3rd and short stop in front of me...I can do so. We all have ways we like to watch events. Sometimes, I like being a fan. After all, this is a website based on fans views. 

Give me your thoughts in the comments section. 

Go Cards! 


Sunday, July 16, 2017

What Should We Call July? - Sunday Cardinal Couple

I thoroughly enjoy my lazy Sunday mornings.  I don't set any alarm (unless for a special event), I wake up when my body decides that it has rested enough.  My normal routine is: checking up on all of the world's knowledge via my phone, shower, dress, and head out of the house.  Usually Sunday mornings of late find me at the newish Heine Brother's coffee shop at Hikes point to write this article.

Despite what I may appear to be at UofL sporting events, I am massively an introvert.  I've referenced this on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour a number of times.  I put a very high value on my alone time, my time to be just with myself and my thoughts.  The physical location a situation doesn't matter quite so much - there are a handful of people around me in this coffee shop as I write this, for example - it's the having time to recharge my "social energy" and impose a sort of mental calmness on, what feels like, but isn't really, the chaos and insanity of day-to-day interactions with other people.  Such is the perspective of an introvert, please don't take offense as it's not an indictment of those around me, it's just the way my mind processes my environment.

Separately, as someone who is probably vaguely autistic (no formal medical evaluation of this, just my own knowledge about the autistic spectrum, and knowing my own tendencies along it), loud noise is also something that I tend to eschew (quit turning my headphone volume up, please, Paulie)

Such a depressing sight for a UofL sports fan
Despite all of the above, I find myself thinking wistfully of the energy, noise, and joy of visiting with other UofL fans at various sporting events.  I miss seeing high level athletics, and my beer league sand volleyball on Sunday afternoons/evenings certainly doesn't qualify as that.  We have fun, but no one will accuse of having ever been professional volleyball players.  I miss visiting with other regular fans, and while I have "friended" some on Facebook, that interaction just isn't the same, of course.  I miss having the reason to look at the website every couple of days to check the sports schedule to remind myself when the next event is.  I miss, for at least some of the sports, the opportunity to hang out with some of the behind the scenes UofL Athletic Department people.

To be sure, as a massive introvert, when I return home after these events, I am consistently exhausted and fall into bed for a good night's sleep, and in a day with multiple sports events, will wake up the next morning with what I call a social hangover.  Despite all of that, I miss it.  For a college sports fan, July is just...dull.

My life is great, even in July, don't get me wrong, I took a wonderful road trip Friday with my mother and nephew and had an absolute blast of a time.  My work keeps me plenty busy, as does keeping up with various other random events that seem to collect in the month of July.  But being a UofL fan, while not all consuming to the point of being unhealthy, is certainly a real part of who I am, and July leaves a hole, there.

So what should we call this period of time when there are no official UofL sports events, this month that is totally devoid of activity for that realm of my life?  I've heard other sports folk call it the Summer Slump, or the Summer Slowdown, but while those have the advantage of being alliterative, I don't think they capture the impact that it has on the psyche of...well, of me at least, I don't know how much I can speak to the thoughts of others on this topic.

As UofL sports fans, what do you call July?  I'm curious, and looking for a descriptive term that captures these nuances.  Help me out, and maybe make plans to join me, August 12th, for the first UofL sports event of the fall in Louisville?  Women's Soccer takes on DePaul at 5:30, and if you're a soccer fan, you can stick around for the Men's exhibition game against Lipscomb at 7:30.


If you missed the Saturday broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO missed a good one! Fortunately, you can go back and listen to the rebroadcast at the link below:


"I be in Section 110, in my designated seat
by 6:47 p.m....for the 7:30 p.m. tip against Clemson." 
What you'll find is a great interview with Cardinal WBB hero Becky Burke in the second half of the
show, the weekly quiz where Worldwide held his dominance over the guys with his third straight win (play along and see if you can beat him) and a frank and revealing discussion to start off the show about the possible use of apps to verify whether certain WBB ticket holders will be attending home games.

(Big brother is watching!)

It's all great fun...we'll see if Paulie's index cards survive seven days and reappear next week and the same four knuckleheads have conspired to invade this community radio station's air time space next week. Let this serve as a warning.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Women's Soccer Preview -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

What's in Store for the Kickin' Cards?

Since the women's soccer team will be opening up the fall competition this year for UofL, it seems only fitting for them to get the preview treatment first. You've already seen my lofty goals for the Cards. I want 12 wins, a win in an ACC tournament game, and an NCAA appearance. I think that if the first two happen, the third is a foregone conclusion, but stranger things have happened. Last week on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, you may have heard me defend my goals. While the Cards finished only 7-7-4 last season, with a 2-5-3 conference mark, I think they are far more likely to move forward this year than back. The women's soccer team is due for a big step up, and I believe they have the team this year to do it. 

The ladies at Lynn are led by head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. Coach K has been in charge for 16 seasons, and there are those that believe her best days as head coach are behind her. The Cards have made the NCAA tournament 4 times under Coach K's control, but not since 2013. It was in 2011 that the Cards made the Sweet 16 and won a school record 14 games. (Yes, my goal for their season is only two games off of the school record.) To the naked eye, it may appear that this team has seen better days and that it will take a new leader to bring them out of their current slump. However, soccer is a fairly cyclical sport. A single player or group of players can spell massive success for a team, and losing those players can create a void. That does not mean that Coach K is not able to recruit other good players or that the team cannot exist without stars, merely that it can be harder to find an identity in that situation.

I played soccer for 15 years before graduating high school and putting my particularly competitive days behind me. Since I have played in an adult league and in college intramurals. Unlike football, where all eleven guys on the field have a specific role and a specific task on each play, soccer requires extreme team chemistry and mental understanding. Not having a vocal team leader can lead to miscommunication on plays, and a single misplay in soccer can lose the game. Other sports provide other opportunities, whereas soccer may be the most punishing for even an attacker making a mistake. The attack is, of course, the first line of defense. The Cards this season may not have that star player to shine on the field and lead the team (but they might, who is to say), but they certainly have a greater chance at team chemistry. Some of the key members of last year's offense were young. Even if they were extremely talented, it is hard to create significant chemistry in such a short time, especially with organized team activity rules in place in college. Look for a step up in maturity and teamwork on the field this season.

This past year, Louisville's biggest loss was that of goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin. She provided a rock solid defense in the goal box, yielding only 20 goals against while racking up 72 saves in 1,714 minutes. She recorded 3 clean sheets and had a 1.05 goal against average. It is hard to replace that, but the Cards have last year's back up, Victoria Gabor, leading a host of challengers to take the spot on the back line. Tori is the only other keeper on Louisville's roster, having played 37 minutes in relief last season, garnering 1 save and giving up 0 goals. However, most of Louisville's key players returned. That said, Louisville sits with 6 seniors on this season's roster. With some of the star studded names from last year (Allison Whitfield, Brooklynn Rivers, Niamh Nelson, Sarah Feola) being only sophomores and soon-to-be big contributors like Kennadi Carbin being added to the fray, this is the year for the offense to be the driving force of this team. Last year's offense put up 27 goals, however many came in the early part of the year against lesser non conference opponents. They finished with a shot conversion percentage of just over 9% and an on-goal percentage of 47%. Yikes. This year's team should make strides toward better shot decision making, which should only lead to an increase in goal production. Last season's team outscored opponents by a total of 27-20. They still lost or drew 11 games. With a higher octane offense this season, the Cards stand to turn a lot of those losses and draws into wins.

Last year the Cards played only 8 non-conference games with only 1 on the road. They went 5-2-1, with the draw coming at Ball State. Louisville with face 10 non-conference teams to open their schedule with perhaps the three biggest (Ohio State, Indiana, UK) all coming on the road. Louisville will need to be tuned in ready to go. After opening with OSU on the road, they'll come home to open at Lynn Stadium against Depaul. Last season's early season successes may have been fools gold. Louisville played inferior opponents and got burned in ACC play. That said, one of Louisville's two conference wins came against then-number-one UNC at Lynn Stadium. This season's non-conference schedule, while still containing a few pushovers, should create a more realistic view of this team early on. I have complete confidence that they can find an average of 6 wins each between conference and non-conference.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

It's Saturday, and you know what that means! We knuckleheads will return to our seats in the studio and bring to you an hour of the joy and excitement of women's sports. Paulie might even drive himself! We may ramble, get off track, and discuss the male Cards, but we will have plenty to discuss regarding the crux of this site. Paulie also gathered an exclusive interview with former Cardinal Becky Burke that you won't want to miss. Tune into the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11AM on 100.9 WCHQ FM. The replay can be found at the link below:


Until next time, Go Cards.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Softball adds two...The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


We haven't had a lot a Softball talk here in the CARDINAL COUPLE articles since the season ended back on May 11th. in the ACC quarterfinals with a 5-2 loss to NC State. One thing we have lamented about is the lack of getting runners on base to home plate. 

Sandy Pearsall is working on that. 

Madison Cousineau and Darrianne Hale are the two newest "Hit and Pitch" Cards to join Pearsall's roster...both coming in via the transfer route. They'll be on campus for the fall 2017 session and both have impressive numbers. 

Cousineau comes to Louisville from Mississippi State. She spent two seasons as a Bulldog and plays catcher. Her knowledge of the game and communication with the pitching staff are strong points for the Otto, N.C. native and she also possess a strong bat.  

Returning from last year behind the plate is senior catcher Jenna Jordan...who started 40 of Louisville's 44 games and batted .286. After that...with Alison Szydlowski now looking to be more of an infielder now than plate guarder and Shelby Graybill...listed as a catcher but used primarily as a pinch hitter...Cousineau's addition adds valuable backup at the position. 

Hale hits the Belknap Campus after a season at Butler Community College. She was a member of the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association championship team. Playing first base and pitching...she complied a .407 batting average and hit 22 home runs for the Grizzlies. She also went 6-0 on the mound with a .187 ERA in 45 innings of work. She comes in as a junior...spending her freshmen year at Incarnate Word...where her numbers were equally impressive. 

The Cards have needs at all three areas of Hale's expertise. WIth Tiarra Sanabria graduated and Michala Riggle transferred to Liberty...first base is open. Pitching wise, the Cards show only Megan Hensley and Sydney Warriner...who spent most of the season injured... on roster. A back up in the circle...especially one who can a welcome aspect for this squad. 

We haven't seen a list yet of the freshmen that will be on the 2018 squad yet. We imagine there will be a sizable number...a look at the current roster, adding in Hale and Cousineau, shows 16 players. Of those, six regularly saw starting roles for the Cards in the 2017 opportunities exist for immediate playing time for the reserves and newcomers to the program. Another key element will be how starting shortstop Sidney Melton comes back from an early season-ending injury last year. 

We'll miss the speedy McNary...but will cover her
future political aspirations as they develop. 
Graduation hit Louisville fairly hard. Gone are Maryssa Becker, Jordan McNary, Morgan Meyer and Tiarra Sanabria...all key starters from 2017. Transferring out of the program were Lillie Goetz (Murray State) addition to Riggle. 

Cardinal fans and the players are anxious to see this squad return to post-season play. Hopefully, the returnees and newcomers can accomplish the task. The Cards will play a fall exhibition schedule and we'll watch it with interest as a pre-cursor to what lies ahead for the squad in the ACC for 2018



We have had a lot of fun and you, the listeners, have really seemed to enjoy the "Catching Up With" segment we've been featuring on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour the last couple of weeks. Believe me, it's been a blast creating the piece and my sincere thanks to Sara Hammond and Asia Taylor for eagerly agreeing to be our subjects of examination and providing us great interviews in the first two episodes. 

We go to a Burke this Saturday. 

No, not musical performer Justin Burke. It's not ESPN announcer Doris Burke (although both would make for pretty interesting interviews). 

#11. "Double B's"...the Gunslinger. Becky Burke joins us to catch us up on life in west central Arizona as she prepares for her second season as head women's basketball coach at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. 

Some teases to listen for..

- What "aged Becky 20 years"? 

- How does she view this current crop of Cardinals? 

- What were her favorite memories as a Cardinal? 

- What is a common misconception about Embry Riddle Aeronautical University? 

- Can she still drill the "3"? 

Becky's segment will run around 11:30 Saturday. The show starts at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM locally and on the Internet at

You can go to the Cardinal Couple archives at the radio station website to re-listen to the Hammond and Taylor interviews if you missed them. I think the previous show list goes back about four months currently. 

Go to the site, hover over Programming, click on Cardinal Couple and scroll down to see the previous broadcasts. It's so simple even Paulie can do it! 

Who said we've nothing to cover in the off-season? Join Worldwide, Case, Jared and I Saturday for sports talk radio that "beats anything on the air in Bradenton" according to David Watson.



Normally, this wouldn't be a big area for us to cover here at Cardinal Couple. Since it seems about half the Louisville sports media has descended on Charlotte, however, and it involves Lamar Jackson....I did sample some of the stuff that happened down there yesterday. 

Three things I liked: 

"New look" Lamar
1) I wonder if Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher is an auctioneer in the off-season? Have you ever heard this guy ramble? I think only horse racing callers and ice hockey announcers have a faster delivery style...

Sample a bit of his audio if you don't believe me from yesterday. I surely would not want to have to transcribe him live for visual content. He's the Hannah Koloski of talking! 

2) Head Syracuse football coach Dino Babers has a sense of humor. During the media days yesterday, he walked up to Lamar Jackson and touched him on the shoulder. He then turned to the cameras and said: 

"Did you get that? I just wanted to prove to our defense that you can get to him...he is touchable." 

Reportedly...Lamar got a big kick out of the encounter.  (Last year, L.J. put 610 total yards and five touchdowns on the Orange.)

3) Speaking of about the "new look" for the Louisville quarterback? Sporting a new haircut and a under-toned but stylish looks like he's undergone a bit of GQ transformation. We approve. We think he'll have a lot of photos snapped of him this upcoming season and you might as well be photogenic, right?  


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Coming soon and catching up -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Ah yes...the doldrums of summer. July does have some bright spots in terms of Cardinal ATHLETICS...most of the 2017-18 athletics are on campus now and busily preparing with individual workouts and the occasional coaches contact sessions...but as far as scores and games...we got nothing. It is that time of year. Football is going through their ACC Media Days currently. I'll pass...a bunch of guessing about what might happen and reviewing what we already know. I wonder if Lamar took the Heisman Trophy with him? 

We'll follow the USA U 23 women's basketball team tryouts with interest. Two current Cardinals (Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen) and one former Cardinal (Mariya Moore) are scheduled to be part of the 40 trying out for 12 spots. Jeff Walz is the head coach of the squad and former Cardinal assistant Michelle Clark-Heard is one of his assistants. That training camp starts on the final day of July and the dozen roster members will be announced on Friday Aug 4th. 

Out of the 40, here are some tidbits: 

-- Walz, Hines-Allen and Durr have played or coached against 15 of the invitees. Kristine Anigwe, Erin Boley, Lexie Brown, Kalani Brown, Natalie Chow, Rebeccas Greenwell, Linnae Harper, Marina Mabrey, Jamie Nared, Arike Ogunbowale, Mercedes Russell, Jessica Shepard, Desiny Slocum, Asura Stevens and Jackie Young 

-- The ACC is represented by eight players from three schools (Duke, Notre Dame and Louisville). 

-- Two players from the state of Kentucky are on the list of 40....Greenwell and Boley. 

-- Walz coached six of the invitees as an assistant coach on the 2015 U 19 team. Wilson, Slocum, Moore, Stevens, Collier and Angiwe. 

-- 22 schools are represented in the 40 players. Notre Dame and UConn each have four invitees. Texas has three. Ten schools have two players. 

We'll keep an eye on the proceedings and keep you updated. 



In case you were wondering, Louisville women's soccer will be the first women's fall sport to host a match on campus...when they bring in DePaul on Saturday, August 12th. Field Hockey has Miami (OH) on campus Friday, August 18th. and the annual Alumnae Game on Saturday, August 19th. WSOC also hits the pitch on Aug. 18th. when they face Boston "Univerity" (we're pretty sure that's supposed to be UNIVERSITY...unless BeanTown has sprung up a new school). Oh...that accurate SID crew. Do they need a proof reader? 

At least they've differentiated on the start times for the 18th. Field Hockey hits the Trager at 1:30 p.m. and WSOC squares off in Lynn at 7:30 p.m. Thank you, scheduling staffers! Maybe a promo of sorts to get people to both? Like bring a poster or some giveaway from the Field Hockey game (which is free admission) to get free admission to WSOC? Or have a tailgate for a few hours somewhere on campus in between games? 

That Paulie, always thinking...



(Sadly...the surgery failed to make me
any cuter... )
Hard to believe...but it's been 35 days (5 weeks) since I got my bionic right hip. I'm walking without a cane now, started driving again Tuesday, and working on strengthening the right leg muscle, tendons and stuff they had to cut to get at the bone. A bit of a limp still...and still taking steps one at a time...but progressing each day. 

It's been a experience...that's for sure. I want to take a minute and thank all who have provided me with words of encouragement, offers to aid, tips from previous hip replacement folks, those who have inquired, called, e-mailed and texted, stopped by and commented. Your positive reinforcement was needed.

Most of all, thanks to "Coach Sonja". She's been my sidekick, motivational instructor, drill sergeant, compassionate ear, taxi and chef for over a month and there is no way I could have got through this without her. 

A bit of a worry yesterday when out walking in the over 90 degree heat... I got real dizzy, real fast. Thought I was going to end up horizontal on the sidewalk. After a prolonged rest and hydration, though...I got back to the car. And got a "probably needed" chewing out from Coach when I got home for not taking the walk in a air conditioned facility and waiting for her to get home and go with me. I saw the high schoolers out practicing football and went with the "if they can do it, I can do it" philosophy. Coach Walz would probably question my "heat index" IQ...and I've discovered I ain't 18 anymore. 

We go on. We get better each day. We stay positive and headed in one direction. 



We have been having big fun on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR with the "Catching Up With" segment...where we interview a former Cardinal WBB great and see what's up with them these days. So far, we've chatted with Sara Hammond and Asia Taylor.

This upcoming Saturday, we'll hear from Becky Burke. "Double B's" is excited about the chance to fill in the listeners on what she's doing these days and the life of being a head coach at ERAU. 

Ol' #11 thrilled many a fan with her three-ball efforts during her time as a Cardinal. What got her into coaching? How did she end up in Prescott, AZ? Just a couple of questions we'll ask. IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO ASK B.B....e-mail me or leave it in the comments section. 

Tune in at 11 a.m. for the show Saturday. We do the "Catching Up" sequence at 11:30. It usually takes me 30 minutes to get the cast of knuckleheads in studio with me in some semblance of order, clarity and control in the studio. Usually unsuccessfully. (I wouldn't have it any other way.)  

It's big fun.  Go to to see what's happening now!