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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Why Do We Do This?


(Jeff McAdams offers perspectives today on his involvement with Cardinal Couple. I think you will find them as interesting, riveting and descriptive as the weekly articles and radio commentary he provides. We are fortunate to have "Worldwide" on board and can assure you his dedication and interest to UofL women's sports is as strong as ours. Here's his views...)

Why Do We Do This?

Jeff poses with some of the Parrish House guys
Occasionally, I like to take a step back and revisit why it is that we do what we do on Cardinal Couple.  As our community continues to grow, slowly but surely, I think its useful to think about what we're trying to achieve, and consider whether how we're going about it makes sense.

How Did I Get Here?

Jeff's first articles were about Volleyball
I joined the ranks of Cardinal Couple columnists in late August of 2012 with the original intent of providing better and more in depth coverage of the Volleyball team.  Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love the sport of volleyball, and I saw an opportunity to share my love of the game.  It didn't take long before I started doing some coverage of some other sports, though.  Paulie encouraged me to branch out and give my input about some other sports.

An early picture of Paulie and Jeff
Basketball was the obvious first step outward.  I'm born and raised here in Louisville, so my life has been steeped in basketball of all sorts. 

 I won't claim to be particularly knowledgeable or insightful about the game, but I like to think I can bring some interesting insights to my columns.  I don't have first-hand experience with playing particularly competitive basketball...the most competitive venue I ever played in was a high school church league.  Considering that Women's Basketball drives the most readership and comments on the site of any sport, I sometimes feel like I'm doing well to hold my own with the insights and discussion that we get...and I love it.

The first time we asked Worldwide
to cover Duke...he rented this DVD
for more insight into the subject. 
That season, I also took the opportunity to take in some Softball games.  I generally know the game of Softball fairly well, though again I'm not an expert, but I started to learn the players on the team, a process that continues.  I also went to my first Lacrosse game, and was thoroughly mystified at what was going on.  I've since learned a fair bit, but have plenty still to learn.  Since then, I've been a fairly regular presence at Field Hockey games, going through a similar learning curve, and have been spotted at Tennis matches and Soccer games, and even found my way into the Ralph Wright Natatorium to see part of a swim meet.

Like Paulie, Worldwide also thinks Coach Sowry looks great
in a hat. She's always a fun interview and accommodating.
I truly, honestly, have had a ball and am thankful to Paulie for encouraging me to branch out, and step out of my comfort zone in working with Cardinal Couple.

(Editor's note: Jeff and I get to go to a lot of games and when we have the chance to sit together and watch them...his knowledge of the action is always impressive..)

But Why?

So, why did I get involved?

I, along with my parents, have held season tickets to
Chances are if it's a home UofL
women's event, you'll see Worldwide
(with or without glasses) in attendance.
Volleyball and Women's Basketball for eight or nine years, now.  In that time, I've also been to a few Football and Men's Basketball games.  Looking around Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium and first Freedom Hall, and now the KFC Yum! Center and seeing tens of thousands of fans, many of whom proclaiming loudly, and occasionally drunkenly, that they're "the biggest UofL fan ever!" I started to wonder, "If you all are such big fans, why are we only getting 700-800 fans at Volleyball games, or 2,000 to women's basketball?" (and, I was sure, attendance at other sports was even more limited).

To put it simply, I was peeved.  I started looking for media coverage of the less mainstream sports at UofL, with the intention of trying to highlight that coverage to whoever I could share it with.  I found Charlie Springer's UofL Card Game, where he does give some attention to Women's Basketball, and then I found Cardinal Couple.

And that was it.

Worldwide actually met Paulie outside a Cracker Barrel...
where he was panhandling for change with other
senior citizens. He left us some Canadian nickles.
Sure, some of the other UofL Sports news and commentary sights would occasionally mention sports other than Football and Men's Basketball, but they were few and far between and pretty perfunctory.  Only Cardinal Couple was really providing the consistent coverage of many of the less mainstream sports at UofL.  On a whim, I reached out to Paulie to ask if I could be of help providing coverage of Volleyball.  The response was far more affirmative and swift than I ever expected.  The rest, as they say, is history.

My goal hadn't been to specifically get involved covering
When he was younger, Worldwide was
never seen without his tuxedo on...
and was known as Louisville's
answer to James Bond
women's sports, but that's the niche that Paulie and Sonja had identified that they wanted to cover, and it covered much of the same ground that I was looking at.  So I've put in a fair amount of effort to start to learn about some other sports, to get to know the staffs and players, to step out of my comfort zone and do some post-game interviews (congratulations go to Justine Sowry of Field Hockey for being my first post-game interviewee), and just generally immerse myself in as many UofL sports as I had time for, and that turns out to be a lot.

A Few Word About Community

My day job is Computer Network Engineering.  I install, configure, and fix computer networking systems such as routers, switches and firewalls.  As a result of the work I've done for two decades, I've been involved in various forms of communities that call the Internet their home (mailing lists, web forums, real-time chat rooms, and others), all of the successful ones had one thing in common...the participants showed respect for one another.  Good natured ribbing has its place, but let's try to remember that we're all fans...most of us for the Cards, but we do get the occasional visit from fans of opposing teams, and I love that they always get treated with respect.  Thank you to all of the readers and commenters for that.

In the vein of community, let's start making some contingency plans for Tampa, shall we?  If...let's say when...the Cards make it to the Women's Final Four, I plan to be there, so let's plan a get-together of some sort.



  1. Hey Jeff - Great Piece! Good idea to let everyone know your background and how you got going with Paulie & Sonja. I had no idea you were a Tech Dude. Always been impressed with folks that can keep those networks going.

    I'll admit to only being a WBB fan although I'm trying to get interested in volleyball. My two nieces are playing both sports in HS / Club now so I should probably get up to speed on the volleyball side of things.

    There are a lot of dedicated blogs out there that support individual schools for all sports and there are a number of dedicated blogs that support WBB only at some of the big time WBB schools. What I had never seen before landing on this site is a group of folks dedicated to supporting only women's sports at a big school. It's pretty unique and pretty cool. Kinda surprising that with all of the Title IX hoopla over the last several decades no one has done it well until you folks got going on it there in Louisville. Surprised you haven't received more national attention for doing it.

    Just for the record in spite of some recent comments here a person doesn't have to have played high school, college or at the YMCA to appreciate and understand great basketball. You proved your BB chops to me in spades when you recognized that Jude might have had as big a part of The Shot as Shoni did. Only folks that get the game would have noticed the diminutive one hauling that rebound down away from two taller opponents and throwing the outlet pass from her knees to her Sis. Still looking for a picture of that action. If anyone has one let me know.

    I'm on board with a Tampa gathering if we make the Final Four. I'm not making reservations right now but if it happens I'll be there one way or another Charlie Creme has us as a two seed in Albany right now with UConn as the one. I'll be happy with the two seed but it would be nice to avoid UConn until the final four. A two seed this year in itself would be a huge win but we've got lots of wood to chop before that happens.

    Keep up the great work. We all appreciate it.

  2. That was a very nice article you posted today. You usually write just once a week. Is this by design or by Paulie?

    Curtis Franklin

    1. I'm sure Paulie would love for me to write more often than once a week. I'm not sure I'm up to it. It typically takes me several hours to write a post...not sure how professional journalists, or Paulie, do it.

      I've been trying to expand the Cardinal Couple media empire in some new directions, such as the podcast form posts that I did earlier, though I'm finding it hard to find material to work with for those when there's only Basketball going on since Paulie gets the recordings of post-game interviews and the like for BBall. Expect those to pick back up again some when Softball and Lacrosse get rolling. I also am trying to use the @CardCoupleRadio to send updates during events...less play-by-play and more instant analysis...if you want play-by-play you can get that from the official university sports twitter accounts, which should be included in the right hand side of the site twitter feed.

  3. That's our boy...anyone need baby pictures???

    1. You've done enough with the Senior in High School picture.

      Thanks for that. :/

    2. Such a handsome young man. It's a shame he's a UofL fan.

      --Matthew Mitchell for Governor--

    3. Surprised me. Paulie had to pull that from a Facebook page....

  4. looks like (by reader mandate) I need to have you write a few more articles each week Worldwide.

    You get Weds, Thurs and Fri! Don't bother to thank's the least I can do...



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