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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Cardinal Couple - Horses Turning Left Edition

Softball Set to Wrap Regular Season

On the road in Tallahassee, UofL Softball looks to wrap up their regular season with some upsets against the 5th ranked Florida State Seminoles.

It will be a tall task, and success would not improve the Cards' seeding in the ACC tournament, though it may prevent the bat swingers from dropping to lower seedings if Notre Dame or Boston College see success this weekend.  Both Notre Dame and BC are poised for success as they tangle with Pitt and NC State respectively to finish off their seasons.  Neither Pitt, nor NC State are powerhouse teams in the ACC.

Here's how some of the math works out.  If BC sweeps NC State, UofL only has to win a single game in the weekend to stay ahead of BC.  If ND sweeps Pitt, UofL would have to sweep FSU to hold onto their second place seeding.  If ND drops a game against Pitt, UofL only has to take a single game off of FSU to stay in 2nd place.  If ND drops two games against Pitt, they can't catch UofL.

So all three teams, UofL, FSU, and BC know what they need to do this weekend, now it's time to go out and do it.  With a powerhouse like FSU in the other dugout, The Cards may have the hardest task of the weekend, despite being on the defense for their position.

Games are at 4pm and 6pm today, and 1pm tomorrow.  All are available on ESPN3.

Horses Turning Left

The drumbeat of decadence and depravity (with a hat tip to Hunter S. Thompson) has begun.  OK,
this is Louisville, the only place in the world that can turn a two minute long event into a two week party, so it actually began two weeks ago.

You saw the extent of my horse picking prowess in yesterday's article, so I shan't be elaborating on that anymore, but as a born and raised Louisvillian, I thought I might take a few minutes to try to capture why the Derby is a special thing to me.  This is primarily geared for our out of town readers, but I hope I can give some words for other Louisvillians to latch on to as well.

My recent vacation included an eastern European river cruise, which was wonderful in general.  One thing happened frequently on the cruise when other passengers found out we (the four of us traveling together) were from Louisville.  Almost without fail, particularly because of the time of year it is, they asked us if we always go to the Derby.  My response was always a hearty laugh followed by, "Lord no, I avoid that whole area of town the whole week!"

I've have only ever actually been to the Derby one time, and I was working grilling hamburgers in the infield for nearly all of the day, so my appreciation of Derby has nothing to do with actually going to the event.

The city spruces up for Derby, and that's a part of it.  The first year that Tess Clark, of UofL Volleyball, was here, she was excited, but uncomfortable, with our winter because of the cold and snow...that's what you get from an Arizonan.  My response was, "Yeah, but April and May in Louisville are worth it!"  Of course, Louisville tends to get wonderful weather in April and May (albeit, a bit miserable for allergy sufferers), and that's a big part of the meaning in my response, but part of it also comes from the way the city puts an effort to presenting itself for the best in the season leading up to Derby.  Having a large national spotlight on the city every year gets the city and its citizens to put in some serious effort in putting our best foot forward.

Louisville is also just a very congenial city, I'm coming to recognize that more and more.  I may have been a little slow in recognizing this, as I grew up here and assumed incorrectly that the general congeniality of Louisvillians was common across most cities.  That approach to others is only enhanced by the large influx of visitors to the city this week.  We are proud of our city, and I think with good reason, so when others come to visit, we don't resent their presence...we dearly want to share our city with them and for them to see how awesome this city is and what we have to offer.

I'm speaking in some sweeping generalities here, and of course, any group of people will have its That is what makes me appreciate Derby.  I'm proud of my city year around, but Derby is the day, every year, when that pride reaches full blossom and we have a reliable stage to show off what is great about us to the country, and even to the world.
Curmudgeons, some...but there is very real and tangible sense of civic pride in Louisville, particularly around Derby time.  

So this is our day to shine.  We love it here, and we hope you can join us, perhaps even for Derby week festivities in some future year.  Plan ahead, though, as hotel rooms sell out early.  Seriously, if you want to come for Derby week next year, book a hotel room now.  If you can't make it for Derby, come to The Ville whenever you can.  This is a particularly great time of year, but anytime in Louisville is great.

Paulie's Derby Selections

Paulie's Derby Selections are at his personal website. LINK:

After the day he had Friday, they may change the name of the facility to ChurchPaulie Downs. If he has the same successes today that he did yesterday, he just might abandon THE CARDINAL COUPLE website and start his own tip sheet service.

HAPPY DERBY TO ALL FROM PAULIE, JEFF, SONJA, SAM and all our valuable associates! 

- JMcA

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