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!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Cardinal Couple Report by David Watson

The Saturday Cardinal Couple report

by: David Watson

Hello Cardinal Couple readers!

Yes, it's been a long time since I've graced these Paulie pages of UofL women's sports. An early morning phone call from a distraught and anxious Paulie that revealed he was having computer issue and unable to post an article or get online.

"Now batting for CC - - David Watson"

The radio show that Paulie and Worldwide do occasionally features a rant from Worldwide.

Oh, and Paulie wanted me to remind you -- dear readers -- that the show will be on this morning from 11 a.m. to noon this morning.

I'm going to rant via internet today but the subject is going to be a positive rant.

The ACC is one month away for Louisville Athletics. This just may be the biggest event in the history of Cardinal sports. Louisville joins a conference where the competition increases in toughness and skill level against every opponent. If you look at the almost 20 sports that are offered in the ACC -- from basketball to volleyball -- this is the toughest conference to become a Conference Champion in.

It is also a proud conference in terms of tradition and rivalries. Duke vs. North Carolina. FSU vs. Miami. A conference where the Cards will hook up again with some long time adversaries (Syracuse, Pitt) and start some very great annual battles.

Florida State and Miami come to Papa John's for football. That needs no other platitudes.

This ACC entrance also has increased the task level and pressure on every coach under Tom Jurich's domain. Lacrosse's Kellie Young, field hockey's Justine Sowry, Jeff Walz, Sandy Pearsall, Karen Ferguson Dayes -- just to name a few -- will be seeing stronger and tougher in-conference battles than they have ever seen in their head coaching careers.

I am excited. I live in Florida now. These schools, these trips for away games -- for the most part will be shorter and much more lucrative than going to Houston, Dallas, Rhode Island or Chicago.

The times ahead promise thrilling competition, more nationwide exposure than ever before and a direct challenge for the new kids on the block to see if the can establish the same dominance that they had in the BIG EAST and AAC.

I'm pumped, stoked and geeked up. This 2014-15 season can't start soon enough.

Paulie hopes to return to these pages tomorrow. I'm sure there is a certain communications provider in Louisville that is getting blasted by "the big guy" this morning.

Thank you for letting me share my excitement with you today about this brave, new world the Cards are entering.

Good bye Philly, hello Chapel Hill!

David Watson

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Cardinal Couple -- ACC: New logo, new challenges


- ACC reveals new logo

- Cards rowing starts NCAA Tourney today

- Crescent Hill Radio Trolley Hop Concert Tonight!

The ACC has revealed their new logo, website address and twitter info. Louisville has unveiled their version of it also.

In case you wondered, here's the old one:

Wasn't it nice of the ACC to do all that just because we're joining? After all, there were no logo changes when Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame opted in, right? Cards rule! 
So...what's the thinking here? We'll get past all the flowery words and kudos that the ACC Commissioner pontificates in his introduction of the new brand. That's what he's paid to do. The real question is...are you...the UofL fans cool with the design and look? After all, we are recently invited guests to this party. How are the appetizers and snack food?
Keep in mind, this is something you'll be staring at when Bria breaks loose and cans a jumper from mid-range. Or when Brittany Duncan sends one over the right field fence. An image Kaylin Morissette will be winning her draw controls on top of and a design that Katie George will be celebrating on after a Cardinal kill or point.
It's bolder, underlined and has a background behind it.
Does it matter?
One thing we can all be glad of...there will be no confusion anymore about which conference a particular UofL sports team is in anymore. (Something we're wildly happy about for live Cardinal Couple Radio broadcasts)
Paulie: "And with the win, Jeff...that moves the Cards into second place in the AAC."
Jeff: " Remember, we're in the BIG EAST in that sport."
Paulie: "What? Did I do it again? BIG EAST, my bad. "
Jeff: "Until July 1st."
The league will face challenges. TV broadcasts for Cardinal sporting events will be one of them...since the ACC basically owns all conference member games broadcasting rights. Are the days of Drew Deener and Bob Valvano (or even Sean Moth and Patty Norton Dennison) calling games on the Accuweather channel @ Time-Warner Cable TV done?
Your thoughts? Shoot us an e-mail or leave a comment.
Row, row, row you Cards..
Earning their first NCAA Championship berth as an automatic qualifier with last
Sunday’s dominating win at the American Athletic Conference Championship, the
Cardinals will compete in the three-day event scheduled for May 30-June 1 at
Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind. Overall, the 22 teams in this year’s
championship are comprised of 11 automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large


Louisville’s varsity eight boat was seeded 16th overall and will compete in Heat
1 against San Diego, USC, Ohio State and Michigan. The Cardinals’ second varsity
eight crew was seeded No. 15 and will open the event in Heat 2 against Oklahoma,
Notre Dame, Stanford and Princeton. Louisville’s varsity four boat was seeded
No. 14 and race in Heat 3 against Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin
and Jacksonville.


More information on the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championship is available online at .
At the Hop!
Hey, hey, hey!  Tonight is the first of the five Crescent Hill Radio Trolley Hop Concerts. This is big family fun associated with the Frankfort Ave/Crescent Hill Neighborhood Fat Friday Trolley Hop gala affair.
The concerts are free. Bring the kids, lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of great music and with John Gage and The Bottom Sop.  J. Gumbo's will be onsite with their food selections. Celebrate the last Friday of the month with us at Crescent Hill Radio!!
(You might even see the crazies from Cardinal Couple Radio if you look around. Don't be shy, come up & say "Hiya, pal")
A guaranteed good time is assured for all...Peace, Love, Dove.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- ACC women's sports preview: DUKE


- ACC women's sports preview: Duke

We've been doing a weekly preview of the ACC women's sports teams and schools Louisville will face in the 2014-15 seasons over the last couple of weeks. Next up...the Duke Blue Devils. 

Duke University, founded in 1838, is located in Durham, NC. They joined the ACC as an original member in 1953 and enrollment was recently listed as 6247 students. 

Their nickname is The Blue Devils and colors are Duke Blue and White. Their mascot is....wait for it....a Blue Devil.

What exactly does Duke have to do with Devils? And why Blue Devils? Aren't devils supposed to be red? Well, according to their official web site, the Blue Devil name was inspired by French soldiers in World World I, nicknamed "Les Diables Bleus" (French for Blue Devils if you didn't catch that.) These guys were strong, specially trained, fierce fighters dressed in blue capes. When the U.S. became involved in WW I, Les Diables Bleus toured the U.S. to gain support and money for the War and left a lasting impression among Americans.

Duke competes in 12 women's sports...Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Rowing, Soccer, Swim/Dive, Tennis, Track and Field and Volleyball. 

Duke will be adding Softball as a varsity conference sport in 2018.

We'll look at eight of the squads that the Cards will probably face them in: 

Basketball.  Duke finished the season 28-7 and went 12-4 in the ACC. They were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by DePaul in the second round.

Joanne P. McCallie "Coach P" heads up the Blue Devils and she's starting her seventh season as head coach. She returns eight players from last season...notables are Elizabeth Williams, Alexis Jones and Owensboro's Rebecca Greenwell. Coach P recruited well within the class of 2014...bringing in three freshman and receiving a #3 in nation ranking from ESPN HoopGurlz.   

Cross Country.   The Duke distance runners finished 4th out of 33 teams in the NCAA Southeastern Regional. They were 5th out of 15 teams in the ACC Tournament and had the top place finisher in senior Julie Bottorff. 

Field Hockey.  Former UofL head field hockey coach Pam Bustin led Duke to the NCAA Championship finals, where they lost 2-0 to Maryland. They posted a 12-7 record and went 3-3 in the toughest field hockey conference in women's college athletics. 

Golf. Duke's women's golf team won the NCAA Championship in 2014. They also took the ACC Championship and four other matches during the season. They won the Bryan National Tournament by 18 strokes...a tournament where Louisville was also a participant and finished in 6th place...49 strokes back.

Lacrosse. The Duke Lax squad was 11-8 overall and 3-4 in ACC play. They made it to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, winning three games before falling to Maryland 15-8. They met Louisville early in the season, earning a hard fought 14-11 win over Louisville LAX. 

Rowing. Duke rowing faced a competitive schedule and finished fifth in the ACC Championships. They did not receive an NCAA bid. 

Soccer. The Blue Devils went 10-9-6 overall and 5-5-3 in the ACC. They qualified for the NCAA Tournament and three games before getting eliminated by Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals.

Volleyball. A program that won the ACC Tournament while posting a 28-5 overall record and 18-2 ACC mark. They surprisingly lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Durham to American in straight sets. 


They'll be one of the toughest foes Louisville will face in ACC play. Louisville will have their work cut out for them in hoops against McCallie's superb front line and Duke Volleyball looks to be returning a very strong squad. The lacrosse and field hockey squads will most likely handle the Cards and Duke women's golf...well, they were the national surmise the rest. Rowing and cross country probably won't hook up until the conference tournament...but both squads look comparable to Louisville's on a talent basis. 

Paulie's Favorite Duke memory:

It would have to go back to the summer of 2003...when Sonja and I visited relatives in Burlington and Haw River...a mere 15 miles from the Duke campus. We spent a day checking out the Duke Gardens and Forest, plus the beautiful Duke Chapel and campus architecture. We eventually hit Cameron Indoor Stadium and found it wide open. We walked the bleachers where the Cameron Crazies hang out and also got down on the court.

There were a couple of basketballs in a corner, so we saw no harm in hoisting a few shots. An elderly custodian came out and approached us with a disapproving look. I quickly explained our visit and it turned out he had relatives in Bowling Green. He smiled and his first question was...'Louisville or Kentucky fan?' I guess I answered correctly because he advised me I could take a few more shots if I final shot was a "three" from the baseline in front of the bench that was 'nuthin but net'

I figured it was a good stopping point. 

My imagination had me with the ball, two seconds left and Laettner and Hill rushing out to block the potential go-ahead goal for the Cards. Minor, Rozier (and Sonja) crash the boards as I launch the pass from LeGree...and Coach Crum jumps to his feet as the shot goes through the net at the buzzer....Denny tossing his rolled-up program into the air. Jerry Jones shaking his head in disbelief as Coach K scowls and slowly walks toward the visitor bench.

Paul Rogers yells over the airwaves "GOT IT!!!!" and a stunned Cameron Indoor Stadium watches the wild celebration...

I know...but...sometimes it's fun to pretend.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mariya Moore -- Intense Competitor


- Salesian's Mariya Moore:  Future Cardinal brings fire

If you read Cardinal Couple on a regular basis, you've probably seen and know the Bay area superstar Mariya Moore will be a freshman on the UofL women's basketball squad this fall. 

You may also be aware that she was one of twelve players picked to play for the USA in the U 18 FIBA Tournaments that begin in late July out in Colorado Springs.

There is also a close resemblance in her name to the name of the UConn/Minnesota Lynx superstar Maya Moore. We're pleased to announce that Mariya Moore brings the same fire and intensity to the court that Maya does. 

You's very simple. Mariya Moore hates to lose. Whether it's left-handed layup competition, playing for the California Girls Basketball State Championships or qualifying for an elite team like the U 18 USA team, Mariya wants to win. 

Moore knows a few things about championship games. The senior helped Salesian reach the Division IV state title game the last three years. She made her commitment to Louisville a day after helping her club team, Cal Stars, reach the finals at Nike Nationals, one of the premier club tournaments of the summer. She is an All-American. 

According to her coach, if you want to bring out the fire in
Moore competed against GabbyGreen
throughout high school
Mariya...tell her she's good but not great at something. You'll see her dedicate and devote her self to achieving a great status.

This bodes well for the concept of teamwork. Teamwork is high on the charts when you look at what Jeff Walz demands out of his players. Coach Walz has also been known to suggest to players things they can do to become great, not good. 

Moore will have a busy summer...learning more about her UofL teammates, competing on a worldwide stage and making the transition from high school to college. 

What will she bring to the Cards? Here's one analysis:

Strong, athletic perimeter performer with emerging perimeter game; slashes, drives and finishes vs. contact; workhorse on glass, handles and distributes in transition; versatile

The 6'0" wing is one of five freshmen who will join a strong returning cast that will try and replace Shoni, Asia, Tia and Nita. 

How will she do?

We'll go out on a limb and say...



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Another Look Back


( Worldwide Jeff McAdams catches us up on Mariya Moore making the USA U 18 squad and looks back at 2013 Field Hockey.)


USA Basketball U18 Team

Mariya Moore, who will be a freshmen on the UofL Women's Basketball team has been selected to the 2014 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team after tryouts this weekend in Colorado Springs, CO.  The team will play in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women, also in Colorado Springs, from August 6th-10th.  Eight teams from North, Central and South America will compete in the event, with the top four becoming eligible to play in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women next year.

The tryout roster for the U18 National Team consisted of 29 players, and the team roster is 12 players.  The head coach of the team is Dawn Staley, who is head coach at South Carolina and was previously at Temple, with assistants Kim Barnes Arico of Michigan and previously St. Johns and our very own Jeff Walz.

Obviously this is a great feather in Moore's cap, but it also gives her a framework to play at a higher level and get into better condition in preparation for playing at the college level.  It also will be nice for Moore and Coach Walz to work together some before arriving here at UofL to give them some added familiarity with each other.

Congratulations Mariya!

Headlining the USA squad is a trio of USA Basketball gold medalists, including ReceĆ© Caldwell (Homeschooled/San Antonio, Texas); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S/Pearland, Texas) and A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./Hopkins, S.C.).

Joining their first USA Basketball team are: Ariel Atkins (Duncanville H.S./Duncanville, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.); Paris Kea (Greensboro Page H.S./Greensboro, N.C.); Marina Mabrey (Manasquan H.S./Manasquan, N.J.); Teaira McCowan (Brenham H.S./Brenham, Texas); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Salesian H.S./Richmond, Calif.); Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.); and Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep School/Ocoee, Fla.).

Another Look Back

Let's take a look back this week at the Field Hockey Season.

In just two seasons with the UofL Field Hockey team, Australian Justine Sowry has already put her mark on the program as Head Coach with a significantly increased level of competition.

Unfortunately, this season didn't achieve the successes that I'm sure Sowry aspires to, though it did feature a conference co-championship, one of 14 conference titles that that UofL teams won or shared this year (11 in The AAC and three in The Big East).  Because The AAC didn't sponsor Field Hockey in its conference, Field Hockey, like Lacrosse was still playing in The Big East Conference, but will join The ACC next year with all of the rest of UofL's sports.

Other positive notes include a 15th in the nation RPI at the end of the season as well as a 15th ranking in the last NFHCA Coaches Poll of the year.  Beware, though, that the same poll had all seven Field Hockey playing teams in The ACC (including Maryland who won't be in The ACC next year) ranked 13th or better.

The season started off on a sour note with a 3-2 loss to future conference-mate Virginia, but that was followed up by a 2-1 win over the Richmond Spiders (Best. Mascot. Ever.) just two days later as The Cards visited much of the state of Virginia.

The first chance to see the UofL Field Hockey team in person this year was the next weekend when The Cards got comfortable in Trager Stadium with two wins, 4-1 over William & Mary, and 6-2 over The Ohio Bobcats (I like to emphasize "The" when I refer to OU because it makes OSU folks angry).

On the road again, UofL picked up a 5-0 win over UC Davis playing at the University of Michigan, but the win streak came to a halt two days later with a hard fought 1-0 loss to the Blue and Maize.

Conference play started the next weekend with a rain-soaked and twice-lightning-delayed 3-2 overtime win over a Field Hockey powerhouse in Old Dominion.  ODU ended the season 6th ranked in the nation, and tied UofL and Connecticut for the regular season conference championship.  Also visiting Trager that weekend was Northeastern, which Louisville dispatched 2-1 in much more pleasant weather.

Back on the road, and back in conference play, UofL easily dispatched Georgetown 8-1 on a neutral field, but much closer to home for Georgetown, in College Park, MD.  Heading back west, they then dispatched Ohio State (See? No "The".) on their home turf in Columbus, OH.

Continuing the on-the-road/home-again pattern, as well as conference/non-conference switchups, but more importantly continuing the winning, UofL battled to their second overtime win of the year over Temple by a score of 2-1.  The non-conference opponent this weekend was near neighbor Indiana who were sent packing without any goals with a 3-0 Cardinals victory.

Back out on the road in a weekend that I'm sure Coach Sowry would love to have just gone on
walkabout, The Cards lost 6-0 to a very good UConn team, a team that would eventually end the year holding onto a national 4th ranking in the coaches poll.  Things didn't improve with a visit to Rhode Island, though this was a hard fought loss, with a score of 2-1 decided in the sudden-death overtime.

Back at Floyd Street things got better, though The Cards were still facing stiff competition and took two overtimes to battle off Rutgers 2-1.  A little bit easier later that weekend, Northwestern went back and started planning their revenge in Lacrosse when Louisville hung a 2-0 victory on the board.

A bit of a slow weekend just before Halloween with a quick trip to Philly and a relatively easy win over Villanova, 6-1.

While all of the scares are supposed to be over on Halloween, All Saints Day didn't want to let them go, with Providence pushing into the sudden-death overtime before UofL was able to get the 3-2 win.  Finally the regular season came to a close with a pretty easy 6-0 win over Kent State.  (Incidentally, Kent State, along with Kansas and many "K"'s...are coming to Louisville this coming weekend for the Baseball regional tournament being hosted at Patterson Stadium here in Louisville)

Post season ambitions for the Field Hockey squad were stymied by a first round exit administered at the hands of the very good ODU squad that we discussed earlier.

With five losses, UofL found themselves on the outside looking in at the 19 (19?  Yes, really, 19.) team field in the NCAA tournament.  Perhaps some small consolation could be found in the National Championship being won by one of the teams that were able to prevail over The Cards, conference-mate UConn.

 OK, probably not very much consolation there.

The future looks bright for the Cards Field Hockey squad with 5 new players signed for the fall 2014 season, including twins from duPont Manual, Anna and Renee DuFour (The DuFours apparently capitalize the "D", duPont Manual High School does not).

Your correspondent is looking forward to seeing more Field Hockey games this fall and hopefully getting to know the game a bit better.  Admission at Trager Stadium is free, there's plenty of seating, and concessions are available.  Come out and catch a few games, its a lot of fun to watch and I do believe we have another team on an upward trajectory, here.


Our Asia Taylor saw minutes off the bench in the 75-72 Minnesota win over Chicago on Monday. Her stat line:

Asia Taylor, F110-30-02-221310012+12


Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day








Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- WNBA news...Lynx win, Dream lose, WNBA to market for LGBT community


( We take a look at the WNBA this Memorial Day weekend for our Sunday Cardinal Couple.)


Maya Moore recovered from cracking heads with Seimone Augustus to score 30 points on a record-setting night and the Minnesota Lynx defeated the New York Liberty 87-82 Saturday.

Moore became the first WNBA player to score at least 30 points in four straight games. She hit four 3-pointers in the game's opening minutes and finished 11 for 19 from the field.

Her streak appeared to be in jeopardy after she and Augustus collided while chasing down a rebound at the end of the first quarter. Moore's forehead slammed into the crown of Augustus' head, and both players missed a good portion of the second quarter while recovering.

''I needed an ice bag for my forehead when that happened,'' Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''I'm thinking, `How are we going to score?'''

Louisville's Asia Taylor played 17 minutes in the

win..getting 10 points and four rebounds. A-Tayy was 3-3 from the field and 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Point guard Lindsay Whalen helped the Lynx maintain their cushion with their other two Olympians on the bench. Whalen scored Minnesota's first nine points of the second quarter en route to a season-high 21.

But Tina Charles then scored eight straight points and the Liberty charged back and stayed on Minnesota's heels the rest of the night. New York opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run and led 53-51 late in the third with Moore and her teammates struggling to regain form.

Then Moore drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and hit a baseline jumper to close out the quarter with 23 points. She clinched the record on a drive to the basket with 3 minutes, 13 seconds to play and the Lynx hit 9 of 11 free throws to hang on.

After scoring a career-high 38 in a win at Tulsa on Friday night, Moore is averaging a league-best 33.8 points.
''It's really kind of overwhelming. I'm not really thinking too much - I'm just out there playing, worried about helping my team win,'' said Moore, who needed five stitches to close the cut over her right eye.

Moore is shooting 55.3 percent from the field and 51.6 percent on 3-pointers through her first four games. Augustus, who returned late in the second quarter and finished with 18 points, is in awe of Moore's hot start.
''Any time you see someone in a zone like Maya's been the last four games it's amazing,'' Augustus said. ''People come in with the strategy of stopping her and no one's figured out how to do it.''

Charles led New York with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Cappie Pondexter added 18 points and Essence Carson chipped in 14 for the Liberty (1-2).

''I thought we competed hard,'' Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said. ''If we play that engaged throughout the course of the season we're going to win a lot of basketball games.''


The Chicago Sky are still missing two starters yet haven't missed a beat.

Elena Delle Donne scored a season-high 27 points and the Sky (4-0) set a franchise mark for best start in a season with an 87-73 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night.

''We're thrilled to be 4-0 and have all W's,'' said Delle Donne. ''But it's early and we have to continue to get better and improve. Even tonight there were some lapses that we can't have.''\

Chicago's previous best start was three wins to open last season.

Chicago guard Epiphanny Prince, who averaged 15 points per game last season, rejoined the team this week after a lengthy personal leave but didn't play Saturday. Also out is veteran center Sylvia Fowles, sidelined until June following off-season hip surgery.

Even without those two All-Stars, the Sky had more than enough to remain unbeaten. Allie Quigley scored 13 points, Courtney Vandersloot had 10 points and 11 assists while Courtney Clements and Markeisha Gatling each added 10 points.

Erika DeSouza led Atlanta with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Shoni Schimmel had 17.

The Sky led by as many as 11 points late in the third quarter on the way to a 65-57 advantage heading
into the final 10 minutes. The Dream never got closer than eight points down the stretch.
Atlanta (2-1) was without guard Angel McCoughtry, a two-time WNBA all-star. She was a late scratch after suffering an unspecified shoulder injury earlier Saturday. McCoughtry was averaging 24 points per game.

''She's better,'' said Dream coach Michael Cooper. ''I think it was more of a precautionary measure for her because we play tomorrow. If that had been late in the season and we needed her, I'm sure she would have toughed it out.''

Delle Donne scored 14 first half points as the Sky opened a 41-39 lead after two quarters. She converted a three-point play to force a 39-39 tie with 36.3 seconds showing and Gatling drove for a layup with 5.2 seconds left to give the Sky the lead at the half.

Chicago never relinquished the lead in the second half and led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta resumes WNBA play Sunday at home against Indiana while the Chicago hosts Minnesota on Monday



A few years ago, a group of gay activists publicly called out the New York Liberty, looking for ticket deals and to be recognized at games, claiming they comprised a significant chunk of the team’s fan base.

The team didn’t bite, responding that all fans who appreciate good basketball were welcome. The Liberty and the WNBA had a simple goal – to be taken seriously as a basketball league, not as a special attraction for any particular group. Now that’s changing. The league will still certainly take anyone’s money, but for the first time it’s putting on a full court press to attract the LGBT audience.

Why now? Some point to the recent public momentum in the tolerance of gay athletes – Jason Collins, Michael Sam, and the WNBA’s own Brittnay Griner – going public.
“I don’t think this initiative would have worked two or three years ago, but the environment has changed,” says Paul Swangard, Managing Director of the Warsaw Sports Management Center at the University of Oregon.

But there’s another reason for the new strategy that can’t be ignored: that a sudden public push to embrace the LGBT fan base is a tacit admission that the old strategy, basketball for the sake of basketball, isn’t working. A few years ago then-NBA Commissioner David Stern told Forbes that he saw women’s’ pro basketball as existing in the same place that women’s tennis did a generation earlier. Bumps in the road might be inevitable, but it will eventually catch on.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened. As the league embarks on its 18th season, the struggles continue.
Attendance has hovered at or near record lows in the past couple of years, at roughly 7,500 a game. Expansion from eight original teams to 16 proved to be overambitious: when the NBA, the original owner of WNBA franchises, began to divest itself in 2002, selling the WNBA teams to the NBA clubs they shared cities with or to outside investors, those that couldn’t attract buyers were folded. The league shrank back to 12 teams.

TV rights that bring in $1 million annually per team from ESPN ESPN have been something of a stabilizing force, though viewership hit an all-time low of 180,000 per game in 2012. Ratings did rebound nicely to 230,000 a game in 2013, according to the Sports Business Journal, possibly due to the rookie debut of Griner, who had earned herself a big name as a dominant college player at Baylor.
But speaking of women’s college basketball, its’ games on ESPN average slightly more viewers than WNBA games do.

Some have argued, convincingly, that women’s hoops just works better when good old college spirit is part of the equation. Now the WNBA, to draw an analogy to politics, is embarking on a strategy to rally the base, rather than broaden it.

“They’re recognizing the need to embrace this fan base for its future,” says Swangard. Maybe that narrow base of fans can pull the league through. If not, the clock is ticking.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Cardinal Couple -- Rowing ready for NCAA Championships


- Rowing heads to Indy with major upsets in mind

- Boltja an All-American

- Fellerhoff and Shine eliminated

- Radio Today!

The Louisville rowing team learned its heat race assignments
and seeding for the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championship on Tuesday afternoon as the
complete field of 22 teams was revealed on


Earning their first NCAA Championship berth as an automatic qualifier with last
Sunday’s dominating win at the American Athletic Conference Championship, the
Cardinals will compete in the three-day event scheduled for May 30-June 1 at
Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Ind. Overall, the 22 teams in this year’s
championship are comprised of 11 automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large


Louisville’s varsity eight boat was seeded 16th overall and will compete in Heat
1 against San Diego, USC, Ohio State and Michigan. The Cardinals’ second varsity
eight crew was seeded No. 15 and will open the event in Heat 2 against Oklahoma,
Notre Dame, Stanford and Princeton. Louisville’s varsity four boat was seeded
No. 14 and race in Heat 3 against Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin
and Jacksonville.


More information on the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championship is available online at .


2014 NCAA Rowing Championship – May 30-June 1

Eagle Creek Park – Indianapolis, Ind.


Varsity Eight – Heat 1

San Diego, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Louisville

Second Varsity Eight – Heat 2

Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Stanford, Princeton, Louisville

Varsity Four – Heat 3

Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Louisville, Jacksonville


Nikki Boltja's senior campaign is concluding as her most decorated one. The University of Louisville women's lacrosse attacker earned All-America honors on Friday.
Boltja is one of 25 players on the website's All-America team and the only player from the BIG EAST on the squad.  Earlier this week, Boltja earned first team IWLCA All-America honors to become the first in program history to achieve the feat. In 2014, the Medina, Ohio, native also collected first team all-region honors, unanimous BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year status, and all-BIG EAST first team accolades. After totaling six goals and four assists, she was named to the league's all-tournament team.  She has achieved all-BIG EAST and all-region honors each of the last three years.Boltja finished the year ranked third nationally in goals (71), goals per game (3.55), and points per game (5.00), and fourth in points (100). She registered 14 hat tricks this year and totaled the 24th-most assists in the country (29).  Career-wise, Boltja finishes first on the school's career charts in free-position goals (52), second in points (235) and goals (193), third in assists (42) and game-winning goals (9), and ninth in game starts

Her coach, Kellie Young, told me a couple of years ago that Nikki had the strongest work effort of any player she had ever seen, or coached. Night or day, sun or snow...Nikki was continually practice her show and her moves to get open and score. Looks like it paid off...


Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine had formidable opponents in the first round
of the NCAA Doubles Championship but just walking on McWhorter Court in Athens,
Georgia  at the national championship was a historical moment for the Cardinals.


Louisville’s most successful doubles pair in school history drew the No. 3
ranked singles player in the country, Kristie Ahn, who partnered with the No.
21-ranked singles player, Carol Zhou from Stanford.  Fellerhoff and Shine, who
made the finals in the ITA Indoor National Championship, took the first set 6-4
before falling 6-3, 6-2 in the next two.  Ahn and Zhao improved to 29-5 with the
win and advanced in the bracket.


"This was a high level match. The points were being won and not given away.
Stanford is a very good team obviously and they executed a little more than
Julia and Becca. We definitely had opportunities to win it, so the only
disappointment is in the loss! These two have elevated Louisville tennis to a
national level. We will continue building on what they have started. These two
should be recognized as the two best to ever play at Louisville. They have had
amazing careers," said UofL head coach Mark Beckham. 


Not only did Shine and Fellerhoff reach the final match of the National Indoor
Tournament but entered the season ranked No. 2 in the nation as a doubles team,
the highest-ever ranking for a Cardinal duo. They each achieved milestones this
season. Shine registered her 104th win in singles to take over the school record
and she also notched her 102st victory in doubles placing her second on the
all-time doubles list. Fellerhoff went undefeated at home in singles over the
past two seasons with a perfect 16-0 record at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


We'll be radio-talking today at 11 a.m.

We'll discuss all kinds of stuff...and throw in a quiz as well. We're starting a campaign to get Jeff to shave for the summer and your cards, letters and telegrams are needed.

As his mom says:

"His beard is old enough to buy alcohol"

(Which explains a lot of his comments on the show)

Join us if you dare:


Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Cardinal Couple -- Where we are


- 1700 posts and still here

I recently noticed that Cardinal Couple passed the 1700 mark in posts. I had to reflect a while on that...and think a bit about what Cardinal Couple is today and what it was when we first started...back in early January of 2010.

Sonja and I had an idea that we would start a website about UofL women's sports. We would cover events on a daily basis...add commentary, analysis and human-interest articles on the women student athletes at UofL.

We received encouragement from some very important people to do so. Julie Hermann, Tom Jurich, several UofL women's head coaches, Kenny Klien, Charlie Springer (who we'd previously been writing for over at):

Charile has been my guru on journalist philosophy. He is a trusted and wise counsel. I consider him a friend.

And... Howie Lindsey...who has been an incredible proponent and positive backer of what we do. Love ya, big guy...

The early days of getting established were a lot of work but great fun. David Watson would write several article a month for us. We eventually added a few columnists, they stayed for varying periods of time and we went about securing things like media passes, interviews with coaches, a radio show and t-shirts.

We dropped advertising and made the site reader and listener-sponsored. We're still non-profit, barely hanging in there financially and still have T-Shirts available. We still accept donations and Pay-Pal funding. When the finances get tight...we ask for contributions. My own personal costs are irrelevant. I'm still living in a house and not under the 2nd Street Bridge.

I thank God for my horse-racing handicapping skills that have pretty much supplemented the costs associated with the site and show. I ask for future successes.

Over the years, Sonja has moved to an administrative role and no longer writes but is immensely helpful in helping me form ideas for articles and provides invaluable insight on games, teams and coaches. She determined that constructing articles wasn't her thing but providing insight and handling other aspects of the site was. She's be-friended some very talented UofL women's student-athletes and provides a very clear and rational observation of events and performances.

What Mama wants, Mama gets. Makes life a whole lot easier. I am a very lucky guy...

We've had some changes in our columnists...but each and every one of the former contributors know they are welcome back at any time. Things happen. They contact us on issues they are concerned and proud of. We appreciate that.

As Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd said many years ago:

"It ain't for everybody...being in the spotlight. Only you can decide if it's right for you. Ain't nuthin' in the world wrong with a person who'd rather observe than participate. They're the ones that keep you pumped and comin' back...because they are the ones who keep you driving...makin' you want to try to please and satisfy them. They are the gas that keeps the engine runnin' "

Through it all, we've tried to present Cardinal women's athletics from a fan's perspective. Jeff and I are huge fans of UofL women's sports. David Watson still chips in now and then...the tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic and humorous "Mr Watson"...Gary sends us great commentary and reports on women's basketball and our former writers still read, e-mail ideas to us and comment. Jenny ( who has been a very popular columnist here) has indicated that she'll consider a return when her life slows down a bit.

We understand. No promises, no demands. She's family.

When Jeff (Worldwide) first came on board...I knew we had something special. He continues to provide it each week and is one of the most insightful and unique people I've had the pleasure to know. His intelligence level and way of breaking things down is amazing. He's also popular and connected with UofL folks. He's got great parents. We're pretty sure he wasn't an original Brady Bunch sibling. We accept what he wants to give and we're happy as hell to receive it. No demands. Just tons of gratitude. He dishes it out and can take it. He tells it like it is. I dig that.

We have so many fantastic readers and commentors in our comments section and via e-mail. You have no idea how much I appreciate you and your words.

Things change. I went back to work full time. We've seen three conference changes. We've seen new coaches, a multitude of excellent athletes and unparalleled success for many of the women's teams at UofL.

It will continue. We will continue. We'll still agonize over losses, celebrate victories and discuss them here.

We have radio now. We enjoy it. We are assured of eventually progressing from an internet and low wattage AM station to an FM choice in Louisville. The beauty of it is that we can be heard anywhere on the globe. Listener choice. We work with a wonderful, witty and delightful station owner who provides an unmatched format and personally engineers each and every show we do...adding her own welcome and appreciated additions to our broadcasts.

Crescent Hill Radio is family. We're proud to be relatives.

The main thing...the key is this:

It wouldn't be possible, it wouldn't have grown to an amazing daily readership across the globe without you...the reader, the listener.

We can only humbly thank you and pledge to try and provide you with interesting reading and listening material. We welcome your comments, observations, ideas and support.

Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.

And thanks for putting up with an old man's recollections, reflections and observations. Here's to the next 1700 posts.

Stay tuned...