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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thoughts on CardNation - Sunday Cardinal Couple

I'm a fan of UofL Sports, all of them.  I try to follow all of them and be aware of the goings on in each of them to a greater or lesser degree.  I know that's an earth-shattering revelation to you, the readers of Cardinal Couple.

Recently, I've begun to really question what most people think it means to be a fan, though.  To be clear, I'm not just talking about the context of UofL athletics, here, but certainly the current state of CardNation is part of my deliberations.

In addition to being a UofL fan, I'm an unabashed geek.  I like science-fiction, I come home from working with computers and computer networks all day and enjoy doing some work on computing systems at home.  Spaceflight and rockets fascinate me, and I try to watch as many live streams of rocket launches that I can (SpaceX is scheduled for one tonight at about 8pm EST, FWIW...streaming live on the SpaceX Youtube channel).  I could go on and on about the traits that make me a geek, but suffice it to say that I doubt this aspect of me will come as a shock to any readers of this site either.

I the fandoms of UofL Athletics, (and indeed most college athletics, though it's perhaps brought into acute focus at UofL) as well as many of the fandoms common in geeks (comic books, sci-fi, etc.).

First off, there's rampant sexism in all of these fandoms, but perhaps surprisingly, that's not what I want to write about, here.

There also seems to be a very strong attitude of entitlement among fandoms, the belief that the fans are owed some sort of behavior from the athletes, or creators in the case of most geek fandoms.  While, yes, fans pay for tickets, or buy comic books, or go to sci-fi movies, the sense of entitlement seems to go far beyond that degree of investment.

I'm seeing a lot of this with respect to UofL's Men's Basketball team right now.  But it's there in athletics elsewhere if you look.  Look at how some fans are responding to the Men's team after 4 losses.  Yes, those losses sting if you're a fan, but yesterday's loss was in overtime to a Top 25 team at Clemson.  Afterwards, fans were lambasting the players...saying things like they weren't motivated enough, weren't trying hard enough, and criticizing the coaching of David Padgett, a 32 year old, abruptly elevated to the head coach position, from his 3rd assistant coach role, with no assistant coaches to help him, 48 hours before the start of the season, in the midst of some of the most egregious drama ever seen in a university athletics program.

Maybe cut these folks some slack.  Maybe think about, if you're castigating these people for their performance and questioning their commitment and devotion because they're struggling in the craziest of seasons, that maybe they're doing the best they can in an awful situation.

So, what does it mean to be a fan in this situation?  Does it mean you can't criticize what you see on the court?  No, I don't think so.  I have no problem with fans pointing out the flaws of their teams and even offering suggestions on how to fix them.  Maybe keep some perspective on how relevant your suggestions are, in the overall scheme of things, but having that discussion is fair and understandable.  Let's not cross the line, particularly in the situation we're in, of personal attacks, or moving into pure negativity.  As a fan, isn't it our role to cheer on our teams, to support them, to want the best for them?  Is calling our team "trash" and "worthless" really doing that?  If you're calling our team that...






These players see what the fanbase is saying, they hear it.  They may not hear what you say individually, but they might, and they certainly hear and understand the overall sense and attitude of the fanbase.

Let's keep it positive, folks.

Now here's the problem with my writing, here, today.  If you're reading, here on Cardinal Couple, particularly if you're one of our daily readers and participate in the Cardinal Couple community, then you're almost certainly a fan of a number of UofL Sports, and not just the ones that get the mainstream media coverage.  That also means you're probably more aware of how your fandom impacts the sports teams, players and coaches.  And the correlation that I think I'm seeing is that, if you're fan of sports beyond the big 2 of Men's Basketball and Football, you probably have a better perspective on what it means to be a fan.

Thank you.

As a UofL fan, you are the type of fan that I want to be around and associate with, to celebrate wins with, to commiserate loses and hope for a better outcome in the future with.

Women vs Virginia Tech

Today at 2pm, the Women's Basketball will be looking to extend their longest win streak ever against a top-third in conference Virginia Tech here at the KFC Yum! Center.  For our out of towners, it is available as typical on the ACC Network Extra.

Not a lot of height on the VT team, so this could be a good game for our bigs and strong forwards to make their presence known.  Myisha Hines-Allen could have a field day on the boards, and I'm definitely looking for another double-double for DOU-BLAY.  Assuming VT is seeing the same things I am, they'll be working the outside with ball movement, which will bring our guard defensive play into focus.  Dana Evans, Arica Carter, and Sydney Zambrotta will be called upon to jump the passing lanes and disrupt the outside offensive patterns.  With a high voltage defense on the outside, Jess Laemmle could be called on for some spells as well.  I would love to see some great frustrating lock-down in-your-face defense from the Attack Yorkies, Dana and Jess.

If we can do those things, I think we come away with another win today.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

We were back live at WCHQ yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks.  We had to take two weeks off as
the studio was moving to a new location and needed time to get set up and ready for live shows again.  We struggled slightly with the new setup, getting the kinks worked out, but I think we came away with a good show.  Case, Julie JC Sullivan, and I, joined Paulie for a romp through both Men's an Women's Basketball, some discussion of Lamar Jackson's decision to head to the NFL, and even added in a bit of Volleyball news.

One of Paulie's eyeglass lenses made a run for it, but it was corralled and returned to normal service.

Check out the entertainment in the replay when it gets posted on the SoundCloud at (at least, I think that'll be the right URL).



Also, a bit of sad news concerning WCHQ. The highly popular The Morning Jam will be cutting back to once a week (Fridays) beginning this week. With the cutback brings a cessation of my involvement in the daily Sports Shorts segment. I will miss not hearing Kevin and Bryce each morning and my involvement with these two great guys. We cry a few tears and move along. 



  1. Amen. Goes back to the old saying I was brought up with. If you can't say something positive, don't say anything.

  2. From the Sports creed (author unknown)

    The Player -
    1. They live clean and play hard. They play for the love of game
    2. They live without boasting, they lose without excuses and they never quit.
    3. They respect officials and accept their decisions without question.
    4. They never forget that they represent their school or organization.

    The Coach -

    1) To inspire in players a love for game and the desire to win
    2) To teach them that it is better to lose fairly than to win unfairly.
    3) To lead players and spectators to respect officials by setting a good example.
    4) To be the type of person that his players want to be

    The Official -

    1) They know the rules.
    2) They are fair and firm in all decisions. They call them the way they see them.
    3) They treat players and coaches courteously and demand the same treatment for themselves.
    4) They know the game is for the players and lets them have the spotlight.

    The Fans -

    1) They NEVER boo a player or official
    2) They appreciate a good play, no matter who makes it.
    3) They know the school or organization gets the blame or the praise for their conduct.
    4) THey recognize the need for more positive reaction and less negative reaction.

    Some words maybe we all can take a look at, no matter where you fall in the four caegories...


  3. The Bird Lady1/08/2018 3:56 AM

    Jeff, thank you for a great piece today. I cringe when I hear "fans" trash players and coaches. With everything the men's team has been through, the fact they show up is reason enough for me to cheer them.

    Critique the play but respect the player.

    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt


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