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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hello again and what was your name? -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


( I talked yesterday with one of CARDINAL COUPLE'S first writers and a man who still checks in from time to time. David Watson handles today's column and does it in, well...David fashion.  Paulie )


Saturday morning greetings to all Cardinal fans -- and also to those who may not be Cardinal fans but are here just to check up on Cardinal women's sports. My name is David Watson and back before Trump drama, Clinton e-mail frenzy and the AAC and ACC, I used to write here at the site for Paulie. Yes, we had electricity. Paulie even splurged for DSL and a ink jet printer. 

That was back before he got all fancy with radio, comedy routines with coaches and when he still had a black beard. Yeah. Eons ago. I gave my old buddy a call bright and early yesterday morning to discuss Louisville women's basketball -- since he's not up on his golf game anymore and carries no interest in collecting eight tracks -- I figured hoops would be a good starting point. After some grumbling and queries about what time it was, who was calling him and where was he -- we had a great talk and he asked me if I'd like to return to the pages today. If this distress you in any way, shape or form, I suppose you might go back and read another column again or Google something. Or you can let him know in the Comments section about ol' Dave's reappearance. I just hope I'm sending this rambling mess to the right web-site. It might cause a few furrowed brows over at Owl Monthly or Fun with Hydraulics. 

I am, and have been a huge UofL women's basketball fan since the days I lived in Muncie, IN. and drove my daughters down to watch games at Freedom Hall. Having a brother in southern Indiana helped with that (free lodging!) and I met Paulie and the brains of the organization (Sonja) quite by chance at a game when we ended up sitting next to them. My daughters liked her shirt. 

Since that auspicious beginning, my oldest daughter has graduated from college, where she played Field Hockey, and she's in sports marketing in New York. My youngest daughter runs cross country and is weighing where she wants to attend college. I have a son, also. He is on the golf team in college. I don't mention the schools' names because I owe a ton of tuition still and you've probably never heard of them anyway. Plus, there are a few coaches and incidents that probably still have campus security on the prowl for me. Parents' weekends are wonderful and ignore your children's pleas to go without the name tags if you attend one. 

I moved from Muncie to Sarasota, FL and finally Bradenton since I met Paulie and Sonja. My wife is still an RN and I am retired after many moons as a college history professor. Easiest job in the world, if you like to read. It is the hardest job around to get when you are a radical, long-haired hippie at a conservative catholic university.

OK, enough of the sign in and resume. Let's talk hoops!

I have been watching this version of Jeff Walz's Cardinal program (and a big 'thank you, Thank you! to the Internet for that!) with great interest this year and also tuning in to the new guy on Cards Radio as well. I like the new guy, Nick Curran -- but I liked the old announcers too. Paulie gives me a good report on young Nick, too. Seems he came over from Bellarmine. I hear he does baseball also and that's a game I still have a great love for. Even if the Cubs dissed my Tribe. You may have noticed that I get side-tracked quite easily. It only gets worse. Last chance to go to foragingbears.com 

I was discussing with Paulie a few of the things I have noticed and he encouraged me to get up some semblance of an article and either e-mail it to him or he'd send a staff chimp over to pick it up. I chose e-mail. We're still paying for the last time he sent a chimp. We're still finding caches of banana pudding and I'm missing my autographed picture of Edgar Sosa. Plus, they never found the golf cart. 

In no particular order, here's what catches my eye about the Cardinal women's games this year.


  • The Ladybirds.
  • The Cheerleaders
  • Why doesn't Katie George do WBB play-by-play? 
(It's OK. My long-suffering wife has come to the realization that I am a dirty old man with good intentions and a 'look, don't touch' policy.) 

In something that is rare for me, let's get serious a minute. Cardinal fans have nothing to worry about when it comes to this year's women's basketball team. Yes, I know, they have lost two games in a row. Losses to the third and fifth teams in the country, according to some. I think South Carolina just may be the best team in the country and Maryland third, behind Connecticut -- but requests for the David Watson/Port-O-Let Systems Women's College Basketball Poll aren't in much demand these days. I know Coach Walz called for coastal warnings and all small ships to return to shore in what was a unique and interesting press conference after the Maryland game. Do not worry Cardinal fans. Stay calm and do not panic. 

Being a history guy (ancient history, if you ask some) I've noticed a somewhat repetitive pattern to Jeff Walz teams in early season. They usually have a great start to seasons. Some of you may raise a halting finger and remind me of last year. Yes, the were 1-4 to begin but rallied from that to win 17 of their next 18 games. 


  • 2014-15. A team starting 8-0 before losing to UK. They went on to win their next nine.
  • 2013-14. Winners of their first seven before a loss to UK. That squad won the next 16 games.
  • 2012-13. Eight wins to begin followed by a loss to (say it with me in unison) UK. Following that winners in six of the next eight.
  • 2011-12. A 7-1 start before (OK, we get the idea, David)


It seems very clear that Louisville has to do two things. Drop UK from the schedule and not sweat the early stuff. Maybe they could replace the Cats with another Wildcat. I've always loved the Villanova style of hoops that Harry Perretta uses. I'm pretty sure he's coached there since the New Deal. Or, maybe schedule the Kansas State Wildcats? I hear late fall in Manhattan is exciting, vibrant, busy and -- oh, you are right. They are in Manhattan, Kansas, not New York. Let's just forget about it, then, and keep UK on the schedule. No offense to Megan Deines, of course.

Before you scroll down to the comments section and start blasting me, rest assured I am jesting. I like the UK versus UofL rivalry as much as the next fan and would never want to see it end. I just want to win one every once in a while, like you. 

The second thing I prefaced earlier is to not sweat the small stuff.

As I used to tell my undergraduates, I don't expect you to remember every battle, change of ruler or economic condition over the course of a decade in a country. Instead, take a look at the total and cumulative result. Just as Germany overcame a harsh and severe post World War I sanctioning from the League of Nations and survived the Great Depression to come back and become a world power (despite the horrific and awful ways they accomplished it -- it was effective. In no way acceptable, tolerable or humanitarian-approvable but it worked) Cardinal fans do not need to sweat the early losses to national powerhouses. Brenda Frese and Dawn Staley have been in this game and at the top of the game for a long, long time. 

I do think that the UK game will be an interesting thing to witness in terms of how has the team taken to Walz's impassioned plea for his players to show some heart and get with the program. I'm sure Coach Walz gets quite tired of hearing the sad, old litany that begins with the lyrics 'you gonna beat the Cats this year, coach?' I get tired of hearing it down here in sunny Florida -- where I'm surrounded by either the Orange of Florida or the Garnet and Gold of Free Shoes University. I do think this is the year it will happen. Especially if my plans to have Epps on a plane en route to Bangkok at game time come through. 

"Sorry, Ms. Epps. We boarded you incorrectly for your flight to Louisville. We'll stop at Hawaii and drop you off." 

I also considered informing the Cats that the game had been moved to Freedom Hall because of the circus coming to town but realized that even Matthew Mitchell would figure it out before too long and eventually end up downtown. I think he and Epps are the only ones left up there who remember coming to the YUM! two years ago. Give the man with the weird hair and dance moves some credit, though. He can manage to beat Louisville even if he can't stagger past the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

History teaches us that great leaders weren't always loved by the masses. FDR is credited the United States out of the Great Depression but it was World War II that actually spurred the economic growth. There was a contingent of Americans who were convinced we were headed to a socialistic state. Players don't need to be in love with Jeff Walz and idolize him -- they just need to listen to him and his staff. If they do and if they buy in, we have seen the results that will follow in past years. Sometimes the medicine is bitter but it makes you well. 

I do love this year's squad. I followed Jazmine Jones' high school career down here in Florida and was thrilled when she chose the Cards. I watched Briahanna Jackson guide UCF and win a Freshman of the Year AAC award and was pleasantly pleased when she showed up on the UofL campus. I remember Paulie telling me a couple of times that the Cards were in on a forward from from Jersey. The first one was Myisha Hines-Allen and the next one was Sam Fuehring. I remember when Cortnee came in and feel certain that this young women will be a success at whatever she does after basketball. And, how can you not love Jessica Laemmle? Paulie started the "attack yorkie" description for players under 5'5" (I have two daughters in that club) and I know the fans in the YUM! get fired up when she trots onto the court and hounds the opposition. I saw the original attack yorkies (Kala Faulkner and Shelby Harper) and approve of the nickname.  

The keys are unity, consistency and comprehension. It's not too tough a assignment list for college kids. I remember Walz telling reporters on his first Final Four run something to the effect of how he told his players that if they would listen and follow the coaches' instructions, they would get them to the Final Four. That guy is still on campus. The assistants may have changed up a bit from then but the message is still there.

Don't worry about these Cards. There is plenty of poker left to play and hands to be dealt. 

It was great visiting with you again on these pages. I have some very fond memories of writing here. It is nice, though, to be a reader instead of a writer these days. I do not miss deadlines and commitments. It is a perk of being old and, occasionally, wise. I have always loved the concept of what this website stood for and it pleases me to see how far it evolved. I hope it never diminishes or fades.

This is a very good group of writers and fans that Paulie has assembled here and I hope you appreciate their enthusiasm, youth and skills. I suspect they have fun letting him think he's in charge of things. I see their commitment to the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and applaud their efforts. In an increasing world of headline and drama based and not always factual journalism, Cardinal Couple is refreshing and real.

We'll talk again soon. Maybe on a night with a harvest moon. Or a slow sports day in June. May your life soar like a helium-filled balloon. Dance to the tune like no one is watching.  



Go Cards. 
Your friend,
David Watson.


(Thanks to David for sharing his thoughts with us today. He tells me he now has over 10,000 8-Tracks and I believe him. Be sure to catch The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today at 11:00 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM. He probably has an episode or two of that somewhere on 8 track...) 

www.crescenthillradio.com




22 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff, David. We need to get together and play golf again. Hope Don is hitting them straight in college. Relax, Cardinal fans. All is well in the mothership. Some bozo at the Washington post is dumping on Walz.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2016/12/02/salty-womens-basketball-coach-has-had-it-with-participation-trophies/?utm_term=.dc0a986935d0#comments

    Great to see you back on the site, Dave! Give me a call, we'll knock a few around on the links. I need some lessons.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once again, a big thanks to David for jumping in and giving us his insight. Check him out at a yard sale near you...looking for 8 track tapes.

      Paulie

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    2. 8 track tapes? Tell David I have about a hundred plus of them sitting in a box in my basement. Would be glad to send him any or all. Good to see him do his yearly thing on here.

      Blue Lou

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    3. I'll shoot him your e-mail address Blue Lou. He's got everything categorized in alphabetical order of artist and name of selection. You guys can work it out.

      Paulie

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    4. 1) That would be fine, Blue Lou. I'll send you my file on what I have and if you have something I don't, I'll take it.

      2) Joe! You hit the ball better than I do and I'd love to drive down and play at the Country Club. Tuesdays and Thursdays work for me but anyday would be fine. Call me. Donnie finished 3rd in stroke average for the fall and is entertaining a transfer possibility to somewhere here in Florida.

      3) Paulie. Thanks again. I'll be up there on Friday 16th with Cheryl to visit my brother for a few days. We'll get together and hoist a few. Got tickets for Charleston and Evansville games.

      MrWatsonIpresume
      David Watson

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  2. Welcome back, David. I share your optimism and your idea to not sweat the small stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Charlie! They'll get it done and end up with a great season. You must be related to Jeff McAdams? I do like his work on the website and radio.

      MrWatsonIpresume
      David Watson

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    2. Yup. We claim Jeff. He is one of the good guys. I agree, David, that the fans need not get hung up on one/two games. Be sure to come section 115, row CC to see Jeff when you are in town.

      Delete
    3. Thank you Vivian -- another McAdams I suppose? -- I will try and do so. We have tickets through my brother but we're running into a bit of difficulty trying to get my wife off work. They try to work RN's to death. To prevent death.

      MrWatsonIpresume
      David Watson

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  3. What a great post. Seems appropriate to get some ULWBB history from a retired history prof. Although I somehow survived university studies and moved on in life I've gotta say as far as college goes after recovering from the shock that I would actually get college credit for sociology classes I somehow settled down and got outta there.

    Looking back the most interesting and compelling course I took was an Early American History class at 8:00 am from a guy by the name of John Dobblebower. Can't believe I remember his name after all these years. I took it with another freshman on the basketball team and of course after somehow getting up and to class at eight in the morning we sat back in the corner of the classroom and tried to fake our way through it. After a few classes this guy somehow made it interesting and to this day it's my favorite university level class. Turns out his son had committed suicide the year before and it kinda made sense as he always came in looking like he slept in his clothes, but he was a great and wise teacher.

    Thanks to Joe for the link to the Post piece. I keep an eye on ESPNW and yesterday they pulled a couple minutes out of Walz's MD presser and posted it with the headline that pretty much echoes the editorial slant of the Post. ESPNW is savvy enough not to open this type of post and give folks the chance to comment. It speaks volumes.

    I like Walz. I'm on the record with not being crazy about his screaming at the kids as I just don't think it works and if I balled for him it would have pissed me off. That said the guy gets it. After listening to the LaChina Robinson podcast with Jeff and knowing that he walked away from a full ride because he understood, at 20 years old, that he just wasn't good enough and it wasn't the right thing to do to stay on scholarship is pretty amazing. Show me another kid that age with that level of maturity. Pretty exceptional in my opinion.

    We're lucky to have the guy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 41 hits yesterday when we loose.
    How many when we win?Lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you are the same David Watson I think you are, I took your American History class back in the 70's at Notre Dame. What a great class! I didn't last too long there, just two years, but I remember that class because of the "Jeopardy" format you had on occasions.

    Glad you are doing well, David! Nice article! Nice website as well.

    Kenneth from Chi-Town

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    Replies
    1. Guilty as charged. What's "David Watson for $500, Alex"

      MrWatsonIpresume
      David Watson

      Delete
  6. Wow.... !Kentucky lost to UCLA a major upset although they beat them last year.

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  7. Paulie. just reporting in from west coast saw Minyon Moore dish out 15 dimes tonight USC 111 Sac St 95. Fun action packed game

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is something special, for sure. They're 7-1 and she's having a great start for them.

      Paulie

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  8. Where is the pregame coverage of the UofL v UK game Paulie?

    I will offer my breakdowns. The Cards must do four things to win. 1) Contain Epps as best as possible. She is a force and I would put a combination of B.J., T,J., J.J. and Jessica on her to wear her out. The old box and chaser. 2) Rebound, especially on the defensive end. Limit the second chance opportunities. 3) Open looks at threes. The Cards don't need Asia firing off balance, hurried shot from the three-point arc. If it's there, take it. If not reverse the ball and wait for a mismatch. 4) No time off! Whoever is out there has to play 100%. If they're tired, get them out of there and get in fresh legs. Go Cards, beat UK! The Deb Factor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Case had a lot to cover yesterday but I'm sure he'll do a good job on today's write up. In the meantime, how about a little Mattie on today's game?

      http://www.lex18.com/story/33856723/matthew-mitchell-previews-rivalry-game-against-louisville

      Paulie

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    2. That was a great article with Mitchell on game with Cards and rivalry. This game means a lot to KY and he admits it which WALZ plays down. Different approaches. Neither team carries over the results of the game to affect their season.

      Delete
  9. Well, Paulie, we're headed out the door for Louisville to watch the annual beat-down. Thanks to a friend, we have $3 tickets, which means we'll probably end up in nose-bleed area. Maybe you and Sonja would trade seats with us? I expect a good game, a hard-fought contest and truly believe the winner will be who wants it more. Since your Cardinals don't seem to be able to close the deal against top-flight opponents, UK will win. 6-0.

    Matthew Mitchell For Governor. Makayla Epps for World Peace

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    Replies
    1. LOL. I'll alert Kentucky State Troopers and the LPD. I, too, want a good game and hate to burst your bubble but Epps can't so it all by her herself and the Cards overall edge in talent will decide this one. Cards by 8,

      Paulie

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  10. Just noticed that your rebroadcast of the radio show is playing last week, Paulie

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    ReplyDelete

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