We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday CARDINAL COUPLE. Yes I know! It's Laundry Day at Sandy's house - again!


-Sandy's Laundry Day

-More changes at Churchill Downs

(Cardinal Couple columnist Sandy gets out the Tide, Spray and Wash and's laundry day here at the C.C. She is pictured below on the left...she and Sonja patiently posing for another Paul camera-phone picture ).

Yes, I know it is laundry day, literally as my washer has been performing its duties since early this morning but as we all know that in most  any task it takes the whole team for a success to occur.  This morning both my dryer, as well as my laptop, are straining to perform as needed so both the literal laundry and the women's latest news tasks are suffering.  Thanks for bearing with me.


This week, no one has been without a huge variety of choices of sporting events to view, including women’s basketball, as the Olympics are in full swing.  Geno Auriemma, as coach of the U.S. basketball team (that is United States -- not UConn team) was reminded of the team concept in the opening match as the Americans struggled early against Croatia until Louisville and Atlanta Dream star Angel McCoughtry
was brought off the bench to help overcome sloppy play and spark a struggling US team to a commanding win with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and a blocked shot in just over 11 minutes of play. 

Monday night play saw Angel score 10 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in 18 minutes of play in the US win over Angola. (Editor note: The stat line says two steals, I say three.)
Tomorrow, August 1 at 10:15 PM against Turkey will be the next game in their Group A, game 30 match play. 

Might be time to rethink the starting line up Geno.



As much as some other teams would love to fuel the gossip columns and blogs with tales of Jeff Walz’s impending jump to another team we are happy to inform you of your future disappointment.
University of Louisville AD Jurich appears to have taken the pro-active route and approached Jeff concerning a contract extension which has been agreed to by all parties.  Reports are that  2 years have been added to Jeff’s existing 5 year contract which will keep him in Cardinal red through at least the 2018-2019 season.   Other details are not known at this time beyond the inclusion of reported financial incentives which occur for his fulfilling extended periods of the contract which is great news for all of the Cardinal faithful.

( Editor note: Coach Walz recently told CARDINAL COUPLE that he is "pleased and excited" about the extension and his goal continues to be bringing a national championship to the Ville)


Under the heading of day dreaming… 

It appears that the Seattle Storm are having some difficult negotiations with their city regarding the building of a facility and what contributions the city will make for the teams presence. 

If things don’t work out for you in Seattle – Storm President and CEO Karen Bryant...

You should come check out Louisville where the benefits of a city having a professional team here during the summer would be a great benefit to the city and fill the empty gap the Louisville basketball faithful feel during the summer months.

 Can you imagine the attendance with Angel and other UofL greats playing their professional careers locally?  Just a thought...

( Another great column today by Sandy! As we end the month of July, the writers at CARDINAL COUPLE are gearing up for the first month of UofL women's fall sports. We promise in-depth and comprehensive coverage of all activities and we appreciate you reading CARDINAL COUPLE!!) 



I just might need a tour guide or map when Churchill Downs opens for its fall meet in late October. Churchill has announced changes in gathering spaces and room that will start renovation in early August. 

- Champions Lounge, the second floor club where I've spent a lot of time over the past several years, will now be the track's main Gold Room...which moves from the 6th. floor, where it was next to the media center. The Champions Room has been so many things over the past several years...whether being a Gold Room will work or not is debatable.  Still no bathrooms in there.  

- The Mansion replaces the Media Center and Gold Room on the 6th floor. It's billed as a "spectacular new venue that will meld the legendary past of the historic track with an exciting future to provide a lavish ambiance, panoramic views and unprecedented  levels of personalized service, elegance and excitement." (We're guessing the $3 draft beer and hot dog Fridays won't make it up there)

- The Media Center is being moved from the 6th floor to the 1st. floor of the general offices, located by Gate 1 and the infield tunnel. From the grand view to the grandstands. 

- The former Paddock Pavillion building will be razed and will become a open gathering space for patrons of the Derby and other social events throughout the year. Wonder if they'd let us set up a Cardinal Couple UofL Women's Sports Concierge kiosk there? Thought not...

All I want to know is what's the name of the room where the Pick4 plotters, daily handicappers and trifecta terrors are supposed to meet? It's sounding more and more like "the bricks". 

It all about the benjamins, ladies and gentlemen. The decline of the Twin Spires Club unless you're wagering the income of a family of four, cut backs on giveaways and promotions (whatever happened to the Chili Cook-off?) and general indifference to the $2 regular bettor and attendee continues. 

And they wonder why they can't get enough horses and trainers to run more than 4 days a week? 

Churchill is spending $9 million dollars to fete the folks who attend four days a year (assuming they still are part of the Breeder's Cup rotation down the road.) 

Looking at the "regular fan-friendly" efforts of Saratoga, Del Mar and Monmouth (none of which are CDI owned) and the successes there lead us to believe that Churchill is content to throw Ms. and Mr. Joe Public a bone occasionally (Downs after Dark) but if you aren't in a Armani suit, flying in on a Lear jet or throwing $100 dollar bills around like pennies...then try not to mess up the red carpet rolled out to the 1%

This goes way beyond a casino gambling issue. It's a corporation tailoring its' image to service greed. And, greed is good, according to Gordon Gekko.  

Greed is Good

This article probably won't please the admins, muckity-mucks, media wizards and brass of Churchill. They don't please me much lately, so it's tit-for tat. 

Nevertheless, the fan's view must be told. Yes, we're still out there...decreasing in numbers, reeling with the changes. We may be war-torn Poland in this latest Churchill blitzkrieg, but the fact of the matter is, it just doesn't matter. 

We're only the other 99%. 

I'd like to see a position created at Churchill. I'd name it Director of Average, Everyday Person Operations. I'd volunteer to be that director. At least the little guy would have someone to go to who would listen. Probably couldn't accomplish much, but at least they'd have an ear to bend. 

Yep, sitting here waiting for the phone to ring...



Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Watson's farewell


-USA Womens Olympic Basketball cruises by 52.

-The final Watson column (for awhile)

-Chicken Sandwiches: To eat or not to eat. 

Angel with 10 points and three steals as USA rolls past Angola 90-38. After a slow first quarter and only a 22-12 lead, Angel and company kicked it in gear and took  a 41-18 lead at the half. 69-29 after three and a balanced scoring attack for Geno's ballers.

Three-point shooting still needs work, but an easy-as-expected romp to go to 2-0 in pool play.

Undefeated Turkey next on Wednesday. 


(David Watson is a special columnist for CARDINAL COUPLE. He'll be taking leave of us for he explains in today's column.)

All good things come to an end. 

I've had a great time writing for CARDINAL COUPLE over the last couple of years, but other things are, this will be the last chance you have to shake your head and wonder what this boy is thinking for awhile. 

My oldest daughter Abby is enrolling in college this fall. Actually, she's already on campus and taking summer classes -- so she's already technically a freshman. 

One down, two to go. 

She fortunate enough to be attending on a couple of partial scholarships -- one for academics and one for field hockey. From what side of the family she got these special talents from to earn these honors is still up to debate -- but we're all proud of her. 

Since it isn't UofL where she's matriculating, I have decided to follow the university where she's attending.

Might even start a website/blog about the trials and tribulations of her athletic and academic pursuits through the eyes of her father. Her mother and I plan on being active parents in any way we can toward the college and have already met several of the field hockey mom and dads. 

If I do start a site, I'll insist Paul put me on the "Sites We Recommend" on the left side of the site. After all, the tremendous growth CARDINAL COUPLE has experienced was certainly spurred by my ground-breaking and thought-provoking articles, right? 

I'll leave with a couple of parting comments. 

First, I'll still be following the pursuits of the University of Louisville sports teams. Louisville looks to be very strong in quite a few different sports this upcoming season and I expect nothing less than conference titles from them in football, both basketball teams, volleyball and softball. 

Tom Jurich has done a great job with facility building, coaching hires and creating excitement for the fans  University of Louisville athletics. The University of Louisville seems committed to raising the academic bar as well. I truly hope that the recruits continue to be top-flight for the sports teams at UofL.

I can't help but wish my daughter had been talented enough to receive a scholarship offer from Louisville...but that's the way it goes and she's happy where she is. 

Finally, I want to thank Paul and Sonja for letting me be a part of the CARDINAL COUPLE world. I know there have been times when readers have disagreed with me and taken a different viewpoint. The way I see it is that if everyone share the same viewpoint, it would be a pretty boring world. Several people can look at the same event and have a different viewpoint on it. I've tried to express my views with you, the CARDINAL COUPLE readers, and I appreciate the chance to do so. 

Not to worry, you've still got quite a few excellent writers here at CARDINAL COUPLE to keep you informed on the joy and excitement that is UofL women's sports. I've enjoyed reading articles by Jenny, Sandy, Mark and the co-owners of the site -- Paul and Sonja. I never got to meet the first three mentioned above, but feel like I know them from their writings. 

Paul has encouraged me to pop in from time-to-time with a column and I've promised him I'll try, so maybe this isn't a final farewell, but a "till we meet again" goodbye. 

Anyway -- it's been fun and I'll be reading, so keep the bar high in your coverage, comments and details of one of the best sports programs in college athletics.

-- David.

(We wish David all the best and thank him for his coverage these past couple of years! We know he and Cheryl will be great college parents.)


The Chick-Fil-A drama is heating up on the UofL campus and we've received several e-mails about it so we'll take a little time today to discuss it. 

We'll go on record by saying that we like the tasty Chick-Fil-A sandwich and UofL was supplying these to the media earlier this year during the softball tournament. I suppose they were donated by the restuarant or maybe purchased...we're not sure, but they seemed to disappear pretty quickly.

I remember eating mine next to Courier-Journal sports writer C.L. Brown a few innings before Louisville won the game against Valparaiso in dramatic fashion when Alicja Wolny cleared the right-field fence with a base clearer. If I knew she was going to provide such a dramatic ending to the game, I might have asked for two sandwiches and saved one for her.
I don't know if this would have been considered an NCAA violation or whether she likes chicken sandwiches or not. I might have even eaten both sandwiches. I'll ask her at the start of softball season.

The recent statements by the owner of Chick-Fil-A have drawn considerable scrutiny because of the content. Seems he's in favor of traditional marriage and some other situations that have angered the gay and lesbian community. Thus, a boycott has been called and UofL's president James Ramsey and other UofL administration personnel have stated that they'll no longer eat at the campus location. 

I'm trying to cut down on fast food, too. It's worked, I'm now at 192 lbs. and two summers ago I tipped the scales at 240. 

I don't attribute all the weight loss to cutting back on fast food. But, I've stopped drinking soft drinks also. Switched to a low carb, light beer. Started walking more. Ride my bicycle 3-4 times a week. I can tell you my knees feel a whole lot better without the extra 48 pounds.

I still crave fast food, I just don't indulge in it as much. I'm guessing Teena Murray, Director of Sports Performance at UofL would be proud. I've never talked at length with her, but we did an article on her awhile back and I know she tries to get the players to eat healthy. 

I do like the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, though, so the moral dilemma begins. Do I join the UofL boycott of the restaurant or give in to my taste buds and still occasionally treat myself to one of their sandwiches? 

I may still get a sandwich occasionally but I will try not to be happy about it. Until that first bite. Then again, I've heard Zaxby's and Wendy's have a pretty good chicken sandwich also. I may have to investigate.

Maybe one of our sponsors, Panera Bread, will invite me over to sample their chicken offerings. I'm about out of cinnamon raisin bread, so that would work...

We live in a country that gives us religious and social freedoms. We live in a country that protects us from oppression. We live in a country that allows entrepreneurial opportunities. We also live in a country where the media can make a big deal over chicken franchises. 

Somewhere, Col. Sanders is rolling over in his grave, clutching his secret spices recipe tightly. 


USA Womens Olympic basketball tonight against Angola. Go, Angel go! 5:15 EDT time. MSNBC with the live action. Rachel Maddow and Larry the Cable guy with the play-by-play. (Just kidding.) 

We're pretty sure Angel will see some significant minutes. Unless she and LeBron James have decided to enlist in the French Foreign Legion. 



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- Sunday with Sonja


- Is Nita Slaughter the next Cardinal gunslinger?

(WE continue our series on the 2012-13 UofL women's basketball team roster with a look at the juniors. First up is wing Antonita Slaughter.)

The first thing you notice about Antonita "Nita" Slaughter is the vibrant smile that can light up a room. Easily one of the most recognizable Lady Cards, Nita seems to bound endlessly and effortlessly across the Cardinal Arena practice floor. 

As you watch her, you notice that the threes she's arching toward the rim don't miss very often. The same practiced, controlled release...the high arch and perfect rotation. The ball dives through the net...only to be followed by another and another. 

Is she the next long-distance gunslinger for UofL? The mad bomber from beyond the arc? The Becky Burke of the 2012-13 squad?  Her past performances would indicate she's ready to fill the position. Becky Burke is gone and Slaughter will be counted on to provide long-rang aerial support for the Cards along with the Schimmel sisters and Tia Gibbs. 

It's a role Nita is ready to fill.

Nita knew early in her high school days at Christian Academy in Louisville that red and black was the jersey she wanted to don when she attended college. Verballed to Louisville as a freshman. She started catching coaches' attention as a eighth grader at Shelby County High School, leading them to the Eighth Region title. At Christian Academy, she was the Seventh Region Player of the Year. An All-State First team selection. Ms. Kentucky Basketball candidate. 

The Cards were getting a good one and the 6'1" wing ended her freshman year by leading the team in three-point percentage (39.4%). She drilled three treys against Southeast Missouri, Mississippi Valley State, Tennessee-Martin and Cincinnati. 

Last season, the barrage continued. "Big Shot Nita" was third in three-pointers for UofL and saw her playing time almost double from the previous season. She was also fifth in rebounding for the Cards, proving that she wasn't just a shooter. A steady contributor off the bench for Coach Walz, she led Louisville in scoring in three games and in rebounding once. 

Basketball is a tradition in the Slaughter family. Her father A.J. played. So did siblings Toni (for UofL 2006-07) and brother A.J. (WKU & EuroHoops in Belgium). 

Jeff Walz will tell you that when Nita is "on" and has her confidence rolling, there isn't anyone who can match her "from the deep" on the team. Opposing coaches have her pegged as a long range shooter and leaving her open has made more than one coach shake their head in frustration and implore that someone get out there on her.  

We'll tell you that she's one we'll be watching closely this season. She's got the skills to be a zone-buster. She possesses a serious shot-fake also and is deadly from the free throw line with a 75% career average. 

She fits well into a Cardinal squad that has so many  different weapons. The importance of a wing that can consistently fill up the net from beyond the arc is obvious. It's comparable to the speed-burner wide receiver in football that'll torch you for long yards if you leave him open. 

We're not sure what type of wide receiver Nita would make. But we can tell you that the "distance" Nita possesses will make a lot of opposing coaches cross their arms in disgust and reach for the Rolaids this upcoming season.

Louisville has had a great tradition of three-point shooters over the years. Kristin Maddox, Sara Nord, Jill Morton, Misty Smith, Connie Neal, Brandie Radde, Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel. Nita stands at the ready to join this elite "downtown" group. 

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book years ago called Slaughterhouse Five. Louisville has Slaughter (in the) House (For) Three and it's a best seller...


                                  GAMES PLAYED    MINUTES PER     THREES      PPG     REBOUNDS
2011-12               32                  15.3           27-78     4.7     118
2010-11               34                   9.4            28-71     3.2       57


Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with Sonja. As we roll into August, we'll be picking up our coverage of Cardinal womens' sports live events with increased frequency. 

I'll still devote my Sundays to the review and commentary of the UofL womens' basketball team roster. We've covered the seniors, one junior down and a couple to go. By the time we reach the season will be very, very close and that's a good thing! 

Have a great Sunday and week ahead! 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Saturday Cardinal Couple -- Walz receives two year contract extension


-UofL WBB head coach Jeff Walz receives two year contract extension.

-Olympic Opening Ceremonies. What did you think?


Tom Jurich realizes the importance of good coaches. 

University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz received an additional two years on his existing five year contract with UofL. The add-on extends his contract to coach the Lady Cards through the 2018-19
season. Financial terms weren't made available.

Details are as follows. Coach Walz is under a rollover type of contract. This type of agreement means that the five year term automatically is renewed each year. 

Jurich offered this to Coach Walz after the 2008-09 season, a season where Louisville was the national runners-up. 

Walz's new contract adds a few perks. A retention bonus for staying at least four years and an additional bonus if he fulfills the entire length of the contract. 

What it means for the University of Louisville women's basketball program is stability and security under the tutelage of one of the finest coaches in the nation.

He also stresses the academic excellence he expects out of each player who suits up for him. 

It also, hopefully, puts an end to the rumors circulated last year that other universities might be in the hunt for Walz's services.  

Walz is 119-56 in five years as the Cardinal women's basketball head coach. 

Here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we're very excited to hear this news and it strengthens the concept that we believe Coach Walz is out to make a make Louisville women's basketball a contender on the national level year-in and year-out. 

The man is tireless and relentless in his dedication and efforts to bring the best talent in high school to the University. He's got more frequent flyer miles than a lot of major corporations. His staff is stellar and, as a tribute to his teachings...two of his original assistant coaches here at Louisville are now head coaches of their own programs.


 Walz presser after DePaul win

You don't waste good. You don't let good get away. You encourage good to keep getting better and you reward good. 

Jeff Walz is good. The man wants to build a top-flight program here at Louisville. 

Tom Jurich has signified that he's "all in" when it comes to that. 

And, fantastic news. In an era where coaches jump around like transient fleas in a kennel, Jeff Walz has indicated he is staying put.

And, why shouldn't he? Look at the athletic director he gets to work for. Look at the facility his team plays in.
Look at the fan base that flocks to University of Louisville women's basketball games. 

Louisville women's basketball is good. Very good. It's poised to become great. Reaching the status of a UConn, a Tennessee, in terms of national championships is borrow the words of legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger:

"The only variable is time."

Jeff Walz has time to build his dream. 

Charlie Strong and his coaches advise Cardinal football fans to "get on the train". We advise Louisville women's basketball fans to "get in the Yum, great things are going to come." 


Did you watch the opening Olympic ceremonies last night? WE were with a few friends and members of 80 Under 80 last night and saw portions of it. The storms that rolled through Louisville Friday evening had the Dish TV signal down for periods of time. 

What we did see was typically British odd and strange. 

Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) least...pretty funny. LINK BELOW.

Bean in the Orchestra

A parachuting Queen, though?


Tons of pre-Industrial Revolution laborers walking on a big clump of dirt? 


At least Paul McCartney didn't disappoint. If you made it that far. 

Bring on the games. And spare us the hype. 


The USA women's basketball team was having more trouble than expected with the Croatian squad in the first game of pool play. Croats up by three? Surely you jest! 

Geno finally used his noggin and sat the UConn starters. Enter (guess who?) #35. 

The talented Ms. McCoughtry scored 13 points, had three steals and two blocks (at least) in a reserve role as the USA team pulled away under her guidance and won 81-56.

Yeah, I know. Basketball is a team game. No one player does it all on their own. McCoughtry's spark, enthusiasm and play...along with the other subs who entered the game with her...quellled and quieted the inspired Croats, though and USA is now 1-0 in pool play. 

WE like Augustus, Big Syl, Angel, Harding and Maya Moore on the court together, Geno. They just may have saved your bacon today, pal. 

Angel. Yeah, she's a Cardinal. Any other questions? 

USA, USA, (not UConn) USA! 

Friday Cardinal Couple -- Revisited



-What we are...

-Happy Birthday Mercedes!

( Written while looking for my shuttlecock & racquet.)

Somehow, the gremlins ate the earlier post we had up here for Friday. Not sure what happened, hope you got a glimpse at it earlier today and we'll try to re-create some of it. 

(Runs into backyard, shaking his fist and screaming at the heavens..."Why? Why? Why? The best stuff I've written since 1989 and you take it from me?" AARRGGHHHH!)

We thought this was a phenomena that only happened to our writer Sandy Walker. Guess we were wrong. 

Maybe the dingo ate it? Link below:

The Dingo ate...


IF I recall correctly, we were looking at UofL athletes that were competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Lotta swimmers in that group and our #35 Angel McCoughtry on the hardwood. Carlos Almedia and Pedro Oliveria are swimming for Portugal. Joao De Lucca for Spain and Eszter Povansky for Hungary.

Francisco Garcia and Edgar Sosa were trying to get there for the Dominican Republic men's basketball team but the D.R. failed to qualify. The only silver lining in this cloud is that we don't have to watch their coach (John Calipari) on the sidelines. 

Over 5500 hours of the Olympics on NBC and their affiliates. That's the equal of watching 184 episodes of

Do you have a favorite Olympic event? We've got a poll on the left side of the side you can vote on. 

I like the badminton events. Reminds me of when I won the inter-murals singles tournament in college.
I was pretty ferocious with the shuttlecock and racquet. 

(Insert your joke or wise guy comment here)    

Of course, I also like the basketball, track, swimming...well, I like all of it. Except maybe for rifle events. Not a big gun enthusiast. 


We had previously discussed the state, art and philosophy of recruiting here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Jenny did a bang up job on this Wednesday and we've had some great e-mails about it. Make sure and read her article if you missed it. 

We also had some comments that I went in and deleted later. 

Just for the record: 

CARDINAL COUPLE is a website primarily dedicated to the joy and excitement of women's college sports at the University of Louisville from a fan's perspective. (Most of the time). We understand that some of our readers and fans are passionate about recruiting. We like to know who's a prospect to come to Louisville also.

What we won't tolerate is bashing, bad-mouthing and cynical, snarky comments about the program or possible additions to the program here. Feel free to e-mail those to us...but please keep them out of the comments section. 

We appreciate you reading CARDINAL COUPLE. We're excited about the upcoming fall sports at UofL. Let's do what we can to promote the joy and excitement of womens'  sports at UofL and stay away from the "Debbie Downer, Curtis Critical and Sammy Slammer" type of stuff. 

Remember that coaches, players, recruits and parents read CARDINAL COUPLE. Let's express to them the great things about UofL, the coaches, staff, players and campus. 

L1C4, baby! 



Finally, a very happy birthday to high school girls basketball superstar Mercedes Russell! We hope it's a GREAT one for you!


(I had Paul McCartney write and sing this song especially for her. OK...I really didn't...but it's a fun, little birthday ditty to get up and boogie to for a couple of minutes. Consider it a mini cardio-vascular workout.)

Stay seated, Asia...we want that hip to heal.

If it's your birthday today...first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY and show your receipt to our CARDINAL COUPLE cashier when leaving to receive a free toothpick!  

The video below was filmed in the KFC YUM! Center last night when word got out it was Mercedes' birthday. 

(OK...that's not true, either..but wouldn't it be fun to have Paul McCartney come to the YUM?) Maybe for a WBB game.


Have a wunnerful Friday everyone and a "tip of the hat and wink" to CARDINAL COUPLE reader and my "bestest, little buddy" J.P....glad the surgery went well and you'll be tossing touchdown passes again in no time. 

Be strong, Live strong, Stay Strong.

--your senile, senior columnist and co-owner