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Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Cardinal fans: Some perspectives


- "I'm a Cardinal fan."

As you probably realize, here at CARDINAL COUPLE...we try to present UofL women's sports from a fan's perspective. The writers here at the site are all huge Cardinal Sports fans and have spanned the nation in our travels to watch University of Louisville teams play.

I once did a count of the states I had been to following UofL teams. The final number was 30. I'm sure my columnists here at the site have comparable numbers.

Several weeks ago, I began contacting Cardinal fans I've had the pleasure of meeting as a fan, as a writer...and posed a simple question to them:

What is a UofL fan?

I got some great responses and, since things are a bit slow right now in Louisville as far as campus activity and games go currently, I decided to build an article around these responses. Got a take? Feel free to leave it in the comments section. Here we go.

-Cliff G:

"For me, it's supporting the teams I follow with season tickets, away trips when I can go and following them on the computer, in the media and talking about them with friends and co-workers. I've had the chance to go to some wonderful places over the last 29 years and see some incredible games. I was in Dallas when Denny Crum won the 1986 NCAA College Basketball title. A kid, but I remember it very well. I've been to Arizona and saw Howard's team beat Alabama. Probably my favorite trip was this spring when I rotated back and forth from Atlanta and New Orleans watching the basketball teams. I represent with my voice, my attendance and my wallet."

-Tom B:

"I think a Cardinal fan shows their choice by attendance, talking up the teams and wearing the gear. My wife says I have too many Cardinal shirts, hats and things. Each one holds a special memory for me though and I can't depart with them to the DAV or Goodwill. I still have a t-shirt that has the Final Four Participants from the 1980 men's basketball tournament. I have a football signed by every coach since Bob Weber. I have a picture of me and ex-womens' basketball coach Bud Childers. A lot of the older things I have stored away in boxes..but my den is a shrine to Cardinal Athletics. Framed prints, posters, newspaper headlines and other things I've collected since I was a boy and going to Freedom Hall to watch Butch Beard and Wes Unseld."

-Cindy L:

"I just love UofL teams, especially the women's teams. I live out-of-town now but when I attended UofL, I went to women's basketball and softball games when I could. I was in St. Louis when Louisville women's basketball made it to the championship game and had classes with a couple of the players on that team. I'm married now, my husband is a big Illinois fan and sometimes that causes a little bit of a rivalry between us. We agree on several things though. We both like to see UK lose, when Louisville is on TV we watch and we'll never forget watching the women's basketball team beat Baylor because we were at the hospital with his sister who was in labor. She had a beautiful baby girl 3 hours after the Cards won that game. Wouldn't it be cool if she grew up to be a basketball player and went to UofL?"

-Adam G:

"Football is what I love the most. The whole thing. Tailgating, the game, the fans. My dad took us out when we were kids and Louisville had just started playing in Papa John's. We made trips to Memphis, Michigan, Florida and St. Pete for bowl games. I actually quit a job a couple of years ago because my boss wouldn't let me off on Saturday's to go to football games. I get student season-tickets because I go part-time to UofL. My girlfriend's dad played football at UofL, so she's a big fan too. I go to men's and women's basketball too, and baseball. We also did a volleyball game last season and we'll most def be back this year. Go Cards!"

Cardinal fans. They represent, they display and they show up. I was recently in Gatlinburg, TN. on vacation. I counted over 20 people in UofL shirts or hats in the five days I was there. Only UT was better represented.

So, what is a Cardinal fan?

In short, they appreciate the players and the matter who makes them. They represent the school and own the praise or the blame for their conduct. They are slow to "boo" and quick to praise. They defend their choice in hostile territory. They may live far away from Louisville or five minutes from campus. They may attend hundreds of games a year or have never stepped foot on campus or the venues where the teams play.

They are toddlers, old men, construction workers, waitress and attorneys. They are black, white, short, tall, wear glasses, drink bourbon, eat wings, drive clunkers, live in mansions, shop at WalMart and none or all of the above.

And, in 2013...they are having the time of their lives.




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