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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cardinal Caravan begins tomorrow, 'Off The Rez' feedback


-First Cardinal Caravan is Wednesday in Elizabethtown

-"Off The Rez" still generating lots of comments

-David Watson weighs in on "Off the Rez"

Three Putt Willie's at Pine Valley in
Elizabethtown, KY is the first
Cardinal Caravan stop

The 2011 edition of Cardinal Caravan kicks off Wednesday in Elizabethtown, KY. at Three Putt Willie's. This annual event features University of Louisville coaches, players, athletic administrators, the Cardinal Pep Band, the LadyBirds and Louie the Cardinal Bird interacting with fans over food and drink. Louisvillle athletic teams have a significant fan base in the Elizabethtown area and, although we don't know the exact list of coaches and players schedule to address the crowd and mingle can be assured that Tom Jurich and his staff have lined up a good cross-section for the Cardinal faithful.

Still no mention yet of a Louisville appearance for the Cardinal Caravan.
The event has been held at Captain's Quarters, off River Road, in past years and has proved to be a popular and well attended venue. We do know that the Caravan will land in Jeffersonville, IN. (right across the Ohio River from the KFC YUM Center at Buckhead's) and maybe the Cardinal Caravan planners figure that's close enough for Louisvillians to travel. No harm in gathering with Southern Indiana Cardinal fans at all. Same cause, same team.

The caravan is also scheduled to hit the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.


We are getting plenty of e-mails and comments about Saturday night's TLC showing of "Off the Rez"..the documentary about the Schimmel family and their move off the Umatilla Reservation to Portland, Oregon.
The documentary was watched all over the nation and we've received responses and comments about it from East Coast, West Coast, Hawaii and many other locations here in the United States. The vast majority of you liked and enjoyed the documentary. It has spurred several of you to go about obtaining UofL women's basketball season tickets for next year. "Off the Rez"  has certainly enlarged the Lady Cards Basketball fan base and even rival BIG EAST bases like Rutgers and Connecticut have had kind words to say about the documentary.

A few people have wondered why more wasn't included about the Jeff Walz recruitment of Shoni and why Walz didn't have a significant role in the film. Remember, coaches can't comment publicly on recruits until they've sent a letter of intent (LOI) to the school or enrolled on campus. The vast majority of "Off the Rez" 
Shoni Schimmel is not a one
misguided e-mailer to CARDINAL COUPLE
suggested. She's a CARDINAL!  
was filmed before Shoni announced she was going to Louisville. Even though it wasn't shown until after the completion of her freshman year at Louisville. Also, this was a story about the Schimmel's... not the recruiting prowess of Coach Walz. We don't need a documentary to highlight Walz's expertise on bringing talented basketball players to campus...but it would be something fun to watch for Cardinal fans...

There are always a few 'negative Nellies' and 'stupid Steve's' out there, as well. "Off the Rez" was certainly NOT a UofL propaganda one e-mailer insisted. And, let's get one thing straight...the proper spelling of her name is SHONI SCHIMMEL. We've seen that butchered several times. One e-mailer came up with the preposterous theory that Schimmel's decision was "made for her by the Umatilla Reservation tribal council" and she would have gone to Stanford if she had been able to...but her grades were too low to gain admission there. Whatever. We should note that Shoni made the Honor Roll at UofL her first year academically. 

Several of you have lamented the fact that you missed the documentary and wonder when it will be shown again...or if it is available on DVD yet. TLC has not announced a rebroadcast time or date for the documentary yet. We're hoping they has to be more gripping and rating-worthy than "Say Yes to the Dress" or some of the other TLC staples...

We'll end with this communication from Sarah P., of Nashville:

"My daughter and I watched the show "Off the Rez" Saturday night and were so impressed we watched the rebroadcast also that directly followed it. My daughter Karen now has a hero and role model in Shoni Schimmel and wants to be a basketball player. We hope that Louisville's basketball team plays in the Nashville area sometime before Shoni graduates and we plan on driving to Louisville a couple of times in the upcoming basketball season to see her and the Louisville team play.  What a wonderful story and remarkable young lady!"

We have a feeling that "Off the Rez" has created a lot of new Schimmel and Cardinal women's basketball fans across the nation, as several of you have indicated. We can only tell you that you need to catch the Cardinals live in the KFC YUM Center if you get the chance. The fan base is over 10,000 per game, loud and frenetic and the rest of the team beside Shoni is pretty darn good as well. Wonder when the Asia Taylor
documentary is coming out...or the Shelby Harper or Monique Reid? As we've told you since this site was first started..."see the show".


David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. He recently watched the documentary "Off the Rez" and comments on it:

I didn't get to see "Off The Rez" until Monday night. Was involved in a weekend golf tournament and the less said about that the better. My clubs will soon be appearing at a yard sale near you. Those that are still intact. In watching "Off The Rez"(which goes so much faster when you can fast forward through the commercials) I came up with several thoughts. I wondered about the life on the reservation and how I - as a middle class, white American- would adapt to it? I have travelled in areas of our nation where American Indians are not held in very high regard. I have not known the slanders, slurs or experienced the discriminations that still occur to ethnic citizens in the United States. Would I have a chip on my shoulder? Would I distrust the outside world off the reservation? Would I lapse into alcoholism and despair over my situation?

I've had it pretty good so far in life. I've never known hunger, poverty or racial hate. I am sympathetic to all of these and tried to do things in my life to combat them. I will continue to do so. I guess what I wonder is whether one has to experience these things directly to fully know them? Is throwing money, man-hours and unused clothing and appliances at the problem enough of a
contribution to gain understanding and sympathy for the plight? 

I come from a family of five other siblings, so I can identify with a large family. My parents are devout Catholics and did not believe in birth control methods that were not authorized by the church. I have three children, I remain Catholic in name, but not so much in practicing philosophy. I don't know how others feel about the aspect of large families, but I do know that you learn a lot about child raising, responsibility and life when you are the oldest of six children who have two full time working parents. One thing about large families is that you never have to worry about having someone to play with. 

"Off the Rez" reinforced my belief that there are still many problems we need to fix here in our own country before we try to solve the rest of the world's problems. Indian, Jew, African-American or Hispanic...we are all Americans and despite the political rhetoric and 'me first' philosophy that is so prevalent these days...we need to care about each other. Shoni Schimmel made it. So will Jude. How about the rest? Who will do documentaries on them?


  1. The United States government has created the injustice and poverty found on Indian Reservations. Same as in the ghettos and housing projects. Occasionally, a kid get out like the Schimmel kids. The overwhelming majority don't. By government design.

  2. I dont see how they lived in the house that is located on the rez, seriously, its SMALL! The house they have now in PDX is a mansion :-) I lived just down the road, its not bad but for such a big family I dont see how they did it, they had to have slept on couches. Our rez is one of the best and safest around, like Dinsey Land compared to other rez's. But like any community there are problems, I moved out of rez housing/projects,I will never live there again. I still live on the rez but wont go back to the projects. And racism will always be an issue world wide, but its hard to stop when it happens in public at games. Nixyaawii Community School on the Umatilla Rez has experienced this since they opened in 2004, saw it/heard it 1st hand. Overall, this year has been a great year for our reservation, Shoni carrying UofL to sweet 16--imagined if she had just 1 more minute vs Gonzaga ;-), Nixyaawii girls state champs, Judes announcement to play for UofL the Off the Rez Documentary. BTW my then 4 yr old daughter has a 1 sec shot in the Doc' going after a loose ball lol--Umatilla23

  3. Great comments about "Off the Rez," CC and Dr. Watson. As another middle class white guy (who was at a lot of the games shown in the movie), I'm sure that some of my reactions to the movie were very different than if I had been "in their shoes." In any event, the impact that Shoni is having on Native Americans cannot be disputed. Spend just five minutes reading just a few of the thousands of comments posted on her Facebook Wall.
    --PDX Phil


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