Tuesday, July 19, 2016
WILL A SUPERB SUMMER TURN INTO A FANTASTIC FALL?
Once again, I return to the CARDINAL COUPLE pages to offer viewpoint from a non-local but still committed Cardinal athletics fan. In case you are relatively new to the site, my name is David Watson and I've had the pleasure of knowing Paulie and the site since its inception. I'll jump in here once or twice a year to write for Paulie but I do follow it each day. Louisville women's basketball was the hook that brought me to the shore, as it was probably many of you, but through the writings of Paulie and Jeff -- plus their radio show I highly recommend you catch -- I now follow volleyball, lacrosse, and definitely field hockey.
My daughter just recently graduated from college and spent four years as a partial scholarship field hockey player in the Northeast. Anyone hiring? I jest there -- she is interning with a nice outfit that manufactures boats of all kinds. She also is a volunteer field hockey coach. They say if you can't play, you coach. She seems to be good at both. It was her interest in basketball before field hockey won out that got us to Louisville games and subsequently meeting Paulie and Sonja.
I keep my eyes on the Cards (and the Irish as well, I'm a retired professor from Notre Dame)and have been enjoying the 'summer of love' that UofL sports has had so far. Seven swimmers under Arthur Albiero headed to Rio! How incredibly wonderful for that program! The all-encompassing Angel McCoughtry will play for the USA and be a heavy favorite to bring home gold. If they don't, there should be a major inquiry.
Dan McDonnell has several ballplayers that will be bringing home the mega-dollars in baseball. Jeff Walz keeps lining up recruits and, as a side-note, did you hear that great interview Paulie and Jeff did with head coach Chris Souder? Looking at some college coaches and then hearing Souder's philosophy on the game and his players, I have to ask the question. How is he not coaching in the college ranks? I have to assume it is because of his own choosing. I'd be proud to have a daughter play for him!
Moving from Muncie, to Sarasota and then Naples has sent me on a search for a local team or sport I can back. I keep hoping the Tampa Bay pro outfits will step up but it always seems to be "Wait until next year" with them. USF has peaked my interest, especially in women's basketball -- which is how I first met Paulie -- with Jose Fernandez doing a great job with the Bulls. He's also a very fun and wonderful guy to talk to. I hit several Bulls WBB home games last year. I'll do the same this year while fervently praying my youngest daughter magically grows 10-12 inches and can rebound. She's a force at 5'6". Loved watching Courtney Williams and Alisha Jenkins play. Briahanna Jackson, too. We'll see if she can make the freshman high school girls basketball team in a couple of months. I want to be a WNBA dad.
Summer turns to fall eventually. That means all the hard off-season practice and training evolves into success in the field of competition. I used to tell my daughter "keep your eyes on the prize, it makes the journey more meaningful to get there." I tell my son, a budding golfer who tees it up on the other coast here in Florida the same thing. He just nods and proceeds to crush me off the tee by 50-60 yards whenever we get together to play. He lets me stay close to him in score -- I theorize -- so I'll keep sending checks and care packages to him at college. Maybe he'll make the pro tour someday. We have nothing in our lives if we don't have dreams.
Will the summer's hard work pay off for the UofL athletes? I suppose we'll know soon enough. I look forward to following LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL in Cuba, in the tough preseason ahead and in the ACC. I'm not ruling out trips to FSU, Miami or even Atlanta and Clemson to see them play. I'll also roll back into Louisville for a game or two while visiting my snow-bound brother in Louisville this winter. Usually, people escape the cold to come down to my part of the country. I head north for a week or two. I guess I still miss the snow shoveling and sliding off icy roads just a little bit. A very little bit. It makes me appreciate those sunsets and sunrises on the beach that much more. We had a beautiful sunrise this morning. It was hard to leave, so I brought my laptop to the beach and sent this column to Paulie while watching it. I also like the I-Heart radio app. I heard Jeff McAdams on it this morning on Cards RADIO talking to Howie Lindsey
We've come a long way from erecting antennas to get better radio reception, haven't we?
Ok, PAULIE. Here's the column I promised. I know I rambled somewhat. Us older guys do that from time to time. You know that. Go Cards, Irish and Bulls in the fall. Keep up the good work via column and radio. We're reading and thankful. And thanks for inviting me to jump in and be a fan/writer. It has been a good summer for Louisville athletics. Superb! I hope the fall is fantastic.