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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

David Watson on...Success and UofL women's sports -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Hi, again from the nutty ex-professor living "the dream" (or nightmare) in Florida. It has been awhile since I've been on these pages. A dottering old man can find all kinds of mischief to get into if he applies himself to the task.

I have taken up another hobby beside golf, collecting 8-track tapes, pestering my kids, wondering why I can't grow tomatoes like I used to back in Muncie, IN and keeping a still very interested eye on UofL Athletics. 

Bocci ball. 

Some call it lawn bowling. it is widely known as bocce, too. Some call it croquet without mallets. Some call it a good waste of valuable land property. Whatever you want to call it, I call it a fun way to spend a couple of hours a few times a week. Maybe it's the shuffleboard of this decade for old farts like me but it is challenging and rewarding at times. Or maybe I just like sitting around after a couple of games and sipping wine and beer with the other participants. I play in a men's and mixed league. Maybe with a few under the witness-protection act -- I don't ask a lot of questions. Keep your eyes downfield and develop a strategy, son.

I would not say I am successful at it yet. But, I am fascinated by it to a degree and trying to become proficient at it. I have gotten pretty good at placing the "jack" (smaller ball -- also called a a pallino or boccino) and I am trying to be a valuable team member. 

I'm not a Asia Durr or Myisha Hines-Allen yet. Maybe a Sam Fuehring or Jazmine Jones. Without the strength and speed. It's fun, though and another reason to slip out of the house before my betrothed can find me with her "honey-do" list. Elusiveness suits wide receivers and me quite well, at times.   

I have to say that I am excited about the things I am seeing here at the website. I like the writing styles of Case and Jared and I think they add a valuable emphasis and depth to the already excellent Jeff and Paulie. Keep up the good work guys. You've come a long way and greater things are ahead for you -- of this I have no doubt. You and your rapport on radio is fun and refreshing. A lot better than some of the crap that passes for sports radio down here. 

I read with interest the recent articles on success. I even took time to send Paulie an e-mail and offer my ideas on it. That's what brings me here to these hallowed and respected pages today. He said "Go for it." I think his hip has his interest more than the site or show these days. I can't condemn him for that. Walking? Yeah, that's a pretty valuable commodity and need. 

I am a firm believer in the quotation: 

-- Successful people do what unsuccessful are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better -- 

I have met a few very successful folks over my years and found that, to a rule, almost, they have been willing to look at things with an objective viewpoint. Instead of "I can't", they say "Let's try." Instead of "impossible" they see "difficult but possibly worth the effort". The will take the road that many don't want to travel. They see the journey as a chance to learn and benefit, not arduous and cumbersome. They caught breaks, sure, but they make a few of their own as well.  

They are willing to go a few steps further. 

I'd like to think I've been moderately successful in my time here on earth. Not a corporate tycoon or Nobel Prize winner, no yacht or hovercraft in the back yard -- but felt I've made the difference for a few in their lives. I've sent my kids to college. I've retired from a very prestigious university. I can still amble the grocery aisles and come back with a lot of stuff originally on the list. I'm nice to waitresses and can routinely whip Joe Hill in golf. 

I have taught, people have learned. They have come back years later and thanked me for what they learned. That is rewarding. It is maybe one of the most simple concepts out there, but one of the most rewarding.

To learn.

Once you close your mind to the concept of learning, of betterment -- that's when you start to die, in my opinion. I try to be open. Sometimes, it is not an easy thing to do. Embracing concepts and ideas that may not correlate with your own is not easy. The thing is, you can always give them a try, a look-see -- and if they aren't meant for you, at least you probably gained from the experience in some way or means. Ignorance is a sin. Apathy is pointless. 


It's difficult to remember your initial objective was to drain the swamp when you're up to your ass in alligators but you learned a valuable lesson.   

On success and sports: 

So -- here's what I would consider successful for three of the six UofL women's sports the guys here have been bandying about lately. No offense, Paulie -- but lacrosse and women's soccer just aren't my bag and I just haven't followed them very closely. After being a field hockey parent and watching one of my daughters for 14 years of grade, middle, high school and college field hockey -- I do believe I am worn out on the sport currently and I'm taking some time away from it.  


Water Under the Bridge
I think the Walz Cards need another Angel or Shoni and a supporting cast to surround one. Is Asia Durr that next-in-succession candidate? I didn't ever think it was Mariya Moore and don't think it's Myisha Hines-Allen. Maybe that player is a year or two away? With those two (Angel and Shoni) the "buck stopped there". Yes, a Final Four is probably needed. Or, at least a better performance than the abysmal performance against Baylor that ended last season. That Louisville team quit. Does Coach Walz need to be off coaching USA squads during the summer when he has a relatively unproven roster of 13 on campus that have never been to a Final Four? I'll trust in his judgement, he knows better than I. He does have good assistants. He needs scorers, rebounders and a leader on the court. Whether he can find them or not is a question some are beginning to ask (again). Never doubt the mad scientist, some say. What has he done lately, though? The golden ring has eluded him.  


Who knows what changes Dani Busboom Kelly can affect? In horse racing parlance...the breeding looks good, the past performances are impressive and there is talent in the barn. Is there spectacular, though? A Katie George? A Lola Arslanbeckova? I'm willing to give Dani a few years to "build it and see if the wins come." I'd think that a top-four conference finish and a better than .500 mark would be the right steps for 2017. And, an emerging star. Normally, when a program moves from a larger to smaller arena, that's not-so-inspiring. Would the Louisville Bats move to Jim Patterson for the season? Or the Tampa Bay Rays to the USF campus? Or is it a step back before a big step forward? A boutique arena might be trendy, I couldn't say for sure, but if you can play in front of 3000 or 1200, which would you choose? Maybe it was a financial thing. 

Will this bunch eventually become "Kelly's Heroes"? The stopwatch has started and you're under the gun, Dani.  


She will be greatly missed
Is the clock starting to wind down on Sandy Pearsall? Or has she been reborn and rejuvenated by a new staff and improved facilities? Fans want to see this team get past a regional, or even to a regional, and they've been waiting for awhile. The ACC is a good, but not great conference. Besides Florida State, there are no perennial powerhouses. So, shouldn't the Softball Cards be able to ascend the ladder to success here rather quickly? A follower of the program for quite a few years who now has retired and lives and resides in Florida offered me this insight. 

"Pearsall's successes started to slide when she lost Carol Bruggermann as an assistant. Those high profile recruits don't walk through those gates at Ulmer like they used to. Maybe Sandy's peaked." 

A struggling infield that can only get better with the return of Melton but also an infield that lost Goetz and Sanabria. Losing McNary's speed and Becker's arm. Who will carry the circle staff besides Hensley, who could be inconstant at times last year? A great pitching staff usually has three great pitchers. Louisville has maybe one very good one and question marks. They have hitting returning. The thing is, pitching wins titles. Coaches go get good and healthy pictures.  

So, dear readers: 

It's been great being with you all again. I catch the radio re-broadcasts and the writings here most everyday. I think what Paulie and the guys have built here is a success. It's been a long time since the days of me, Paulie and Sonja doing the articles here and site has come such a long way. I think the ship is in very good shape and full steam ahead, ladies and gentlemen! Keep representing the fans. Don't let the muckity-mucks bully you. Stay strong and independent. There's a lot of negativity out there about UofL Athletics these days. Continue to be a bright spot! 

In the meantime, Ill be out searching for a little white ball in a glorified cow pasture, tossing a hard plastic ball down a freshly manicured surface as close as I can to a smaller ball or scouring yard sales and flea markets for 8 tracks 16,000 + now and still growing. (From Aardvark to ZZ Top and all artists in between). Maybe I'll open a retail outlet. (Next to Mouseville, of course!) 

Your friend, 

David Watson


  1. Good to see you on the pages again David. I must inform the readers, though, that beating me by three strokes over 18 holes is NOT a trouncing. Can't say I agree with a couple of the team assessments David, but that's what makes you unique.

    Long drive, no chip.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  2. Nice job, David! Aardvark? I havent't thought of that band in decades. Had a Bad Company member if I recall correctly and was unique...a rock back without a lead guitarist.

    Welcome home, son!


    1. Wow David! A bit rough on a couple of these coaches maybe? Sure we all want national championships but Walz and Pearsall are icons at Louisville and "poking the bear" wouldn't be the way I'd approach it.

      Put yourself in our shoes here at Clemson. We'd die to have the caliber and quality of a Pearall or Walz guiding softball or women's hoops.

      Be thankful for what you've got.

      Your #1 Clemson fan

      Greer, SC

  3. Great, thought provoking, stuff today, David! And I appreciate the kind words!


    1. You are doing great work Case. I wondered if there would ever be another "occasionally against the grain" columnist here after I lessened my appearances here. I think you are that guy. Keep them thinking and stick to your guns. "Yes men" are cheap.

      As far as "hard on coaches", Arthur -- maybe, but with fair intent. I'll offer this. 96 wins over the last three seasons for Softball. 138 wins in the three seasons prior to that. Where are the Wolny's, Keller's, Bemis's, Jones's and Collins's, Wadwell's and Fowler's ?

      On Walz. Coach will tell you he isn't satisfied with Regional trips and top 4 conference finishes. We shouldn't be either as fans. Time to return to creating buzz about the program over upsets and deep finishes, not participation ribbons.


    2. I really appreciate the encouragement. One of the things I didn't want to do when Paul asked me to come on was lose my voice. I'm glad to hear that some of my more off beat takes aren't frowned upon by everyone!

      Also, as a side note, I try to remember the doctrine that no coach is above criticism. As long as we understand that it's ok to have higher expectations for some coaches than others and for us to have higher expectations for our programs than other fan bases might, we can always aim high. It hurts more to lose when you've got really high expectations, but I wouldn't want to find myself satisfied by mediocrity in Louisville sports.

  4. Thanks, David for your fine article, I enjoyed it very much but I must disagree on where Jeff Walz should be. Those "special" assignments are exactly where one can make the contacts needed for present and future recruiting. Even if it does not lead to a direct recruitment if give one avenues for future ones. as a coach, I would jump at the chance to do exactly what Walz is doing. Just an old man's opinion.

    1. U17, U18, U19. Yes Charlie. U23 though? These girls are established with their schools and Walz had a shot at them 4-5 years ago.

      Interesting to see that Hines-Allen, Durr and Mariya Moore all on the list of 40 trying to make the roster. Does Moore even bother to pack her bags and go with Walz and Clark-Heard coaching> It would be like the mouse showing up for the cat convention and expecting a front row table.

    2. Many of these "women" continue contact with their HS coaches and remember their contacts in these events. It is called networking and it works.

  5. it dont matter if walz there or not they do not listen to him most the time and they got no focus baylor showed that

    1. I guess that's why Louisville is never in the top 25 and never goes to the final four, Eh?

  6. What are you hearing on 2018 prospect Queen Egbo and Louisville WBB?

    Blue Lou

    1. Good skills inside. Both Purcell and Walz have seen and like. She is 6'3". Doesn't have a list yet of schools. She could definitely play here.



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