Archive for October, 2009
Tags: nathan arizona
It has been a tumultuous football season to say the least. The poor performance on the field coupled with the ongoing behind-the-scenes drama of trying to replace a hard-headed coach has been a recipe for a long fall sports campaign for Cardinal faithful. You may smile now though.
Rick Pitino and his Cardinal basketball squad take the court at 7PM tonight in an exhibition against Georgetown College. It wasn’t this way only a few small years ago. Louisville fans were one of the very few who had both a basketball and football team that was a threat nationally.
Petrino and Pitino had both programs rolling (finishing in the top 6 in 2005) and we could stick out our chests a little further than anyone not wearing the orange and blue of the Florida Gators. Now, like it was in the formative years of football – you know, when your ass would stick to the aluminium bleachers at Old Cardinal – the fans are forced to depend on the basketball team for national success.
Pitino’s squad has been fortunate enough to be wildly successful nationally the past two seasons and this years version shouldn’t be a step back. Watching the annual Red/White game on Sunday, you could tell a lot of the chemistry from last years team has returned this year – along with a quartet of freshman who fans will enjoy watching grow over the next 4 years.
Mike Marra is a lights-out shooter who hit 3 straight before missing Sunday. Rakeem Buckles has put on some weight and looking like he might actually give servicable minutes inside this year. Steven Van Treese showed he is active on the glass although I doubt clocks many minutes.
Peyton Siva is the cream of the crop, giving the Cards a pass-first point man for the first time since the days of Poncho Wright and Lancaster Gordon. The best part about the class is that all 4 should be here for all 4 years – something very rare in todays game. Blend those 4 in with a battle-tested group led by senior guards in Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith, a fiery, much-improved Preston Knowles who is looking to make the proverbial “leap”, and the two-headed monster of sophomore big-men – Samardo Samuels and Terrence Jennings.
Add in a Delk, Goode, Kuric and Swopshire off the bench and this team will be fine. As with any team, there are weaknesses. Interior depth and toughness come to mind first. It will also be interesting to see how the team handles the rigours of road games with the off season they have had – 2 players arrested and 1 coach…well we won’t go there. Judging by what I’ve seen and heard since practice starts, I doubt it will be a serious problem. Everybody seems to get along and that cohesion will help in those situations.
If you follow any of the aforementioned media-types you know that they are influenced by TJ and shy away from criticizing the program in fear that Jurich will wield his heavy hammer and make their lives a little tougher. We at LSB however, aren’t affected by this tactic and have been saying what is just now coming out in the so-called “mainstream media” for weeks, months…hell, even years. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Kragthorpe may single-handedly take a program with the biggest athletic surplus in the country and turn it upside-down.
Sources within the athletic department tell LSB that Kragthorpe’s contract is very “buy-out friendly” as was Bobby Petrino. Allegedly, it includes a lump sum payment of the 2-3 million dollar range and may also have an annuity involved that reaches as high as 1 million dollars. Denny Crum didn’t even get this sweet of a deal, but Jurich felt betrayed by what Petrino did in leaving for the Falcons and wanted to give the new guy (Krag) some incentive. For his loyalty, Jurich almost guaranteed he wouldn’t be fired throughout his first contract which reportedly has another year remaining. Jurich assumed that things would be manageable for at least 4 years and if nothing transpired, a move would then be made. The play of Kragthorpe’s Cards over the last 2 1/2 years has expedited that process and put Jurich in the biggest predicament of his tenure in Louisville.
Jurich has to make a move though and, according to multiple sources, has tried more than once. As Michael Lombardi reported in his famous Jon Gruden post, Jurich offered Kragthorpe a buy-out deal at some point during the offseason, which was declined – something that somehow went unreported by ANY media around town. As was reported by myself on this site, Jurich gave Krag another chance to accept before the Southern Miss game. As expected, Krag declined again. For such an alleged good Christian man, Krag sure is letting money get in the way of his honor and dignity. Isn’t he?
Jurich wants to make this go as smooth as possible on his end, but it might be difficult. Friends of LSB tell us that there are still 13,000 (yes, 13,000) season ticket packages still available for the new upper deck at PJCS. With many fans already holding tickets threatening to boycott and/or cancel their pre-existing season ticket packages should Kragthorpe stay, I don’t really see that number decreasing unless a decisive move is made. Also, the Cards are at the tail-end of a lucrative television contract with WHAS11 that might not be so lucrative should Kraggy still be at the helm at the time the new deal is being negotiated.
With all the negativity surrounding what only 3 years ago was a budding national power in college football, Cardinal fans deserve a breath of fresh air of some sort. Basketball season beginning tonight will help that. However, it has gotten so bad that the day it is finally made official and Krag is let go will be a day of celebration for Cardinal football supporters. Don’t be surprised if it takes longer than necessary due to the fact Krag has not an ounce of dignity – proven when he was kicked out of Trinity’s locker-room for giving a trainer grief for the way his son’s minor injury was being treated.
You can almost even tell he knows he is screwing us. He seems broken at times, but you would never suspect him to be the coach of one of the worst BCS teams in the country. The cliches and petty joke-cracking at press conferences is not the type of approach a coach that has been a colossal failure should take when dealing with a media contingent that is looking for blood. Looks like the Klownthorpe routine cam a little too late.
All this factors into the decision Jurich has already made: Kragthorpe is a lame-duck and will not return. This was all laid ot on this site a few weeks back and we will continue to bring you the latest as soon as we receive it. Like a great coach once said, the only variable is time. For now, enjoy the basketball team.
Thank you Enkafan for this great video.
Tags: nathan arizona
As we all saw today, there were a large number of media people who actually stood up and confronted this football issue at UofL. There were two radio hosts today who made very good and emotional observations about the “Coach” and his program. Tony Vanetti must be congratulated for standing up for us Cardinal fans. He really tore into the inadequate coaching strategies that we, as fans, have had shoved down our throats for three years. Lachlan even weighed in with some hefty criticism. Eric Crawford should also be commended for writing the truth. And, Bozich also opened his eyes this morning and decided to almost be critical.
Here is where the dilemma stands. As has been reported, if Koachthorpe is fired, the University will owe him $2.8Million as his buyout for the remaining time on the contract. A friend of LSB has told us that Kraggy is getting really hardheaded about negotiating this buyout. In fact, he believes he deserves the full buyout if he is fired. As you know, the University, AD and, most importantly, the fans want no part of this. All of us see this past three years as a reckless waste of money.
Now enter my conspiracy theory. The AD knows Kraggy won’t budge. Krag has said he is here for the long haul. What would be a better way to get him to resign as a last option? That would be to make him as miserable as possible here in Louisville. In my opinion, our media folks all got a communication that they could finally take the gloves off without the fear of retribution by the school I think the word was sent down to get the media to talk about what is/has been going on. What is/has been going on has been a circus. From losing guys, to crazy tweets from players, to this guy’s press conferences to his play calling, this whole situation has become absurd.
There is one major project hanging in the balance here. That project is the work in progress upper deck at PJCS. Jurich knows that will be a ghost town if this guy is here next year and may be half of a ghost town if this guy stays through the year. I think they will pull the plug on the Tulsa Trash in the middle of the season but if they don’t, you can write it down that he will be removed long before my season tickets and Cardinal Athletic Donation bills show up in my mailbox.
In other words, if Stevie Blunder doesn’t want to go now, look for the outpouring of negativity in the media and the outpouring of hate in the fanbase to cause Stevie to look at stepping down to join a staff as a positions coach somewhere soon – hopefully way far out west.
I have sat quietly for several years while putting up with this spinmeister. I have heard him make excuses for everything from Kragthorpe to Pitino’s choke jobs at the end of close basketball games. I have listened to him say the word, “extremely” 30 times in a 5 minute interview. (Ah yes, YOU will also start noticing that comfort word of his). I have tried to read that garbage rag that they send to all of us season ticket holders. (Louisville Sports Report – forget good or bad…it is ALWAYS ugly).
After hearing him take exception with a local radio host today, I can no longer go without addressing what kind of crap this guy constantly spins to the fans. And to think he is considered a credible source!
Today, a local radio host took exception to the “giddy” nature of Klownthorpe’s press conference. The host said Stevie was joking, smiling and having a fun day. You know this is disturbing. Kind of like Jack Kervorkian showing up at one of his patient’s funerals and cracking one liners. Howie took exception to what the host said. To sum it up, he said coaches are not like media people or fans-they have to forget about what happened the weekend before and move on.
Although this is generally the truth in most situations, consensus would actually have to consider Stevie a football coach for it to be that way. Howie is dead wrong. (I guess the same goes for Howie being considered a legitimate media person). The bottom line that people like this get away with this sort of propaganda is nobody in the media is allowed to or will ask tough questions.
It was great to hear people ask about Darius Ashley, how Burke/Froman are feeling, how Vic is, etc., but we need someone to have the stones to stand up and ask this guy some real questions. You know, “why did you waste all of your timeouts in the third quarter at (insert game),” or “why did you give their field goal unit time to line up,” or “why don’t you ever throw the ball to (insert talented receiver)” or most importantly “why did you appoint yourself the Offensive Coordinator.”
In summing this up the bottom line is, Howie is an extremely disappointing reporter as far as fans are concerned. Maybe he should apply for the job of Press Secretary for the new Mayor of Louisville? At least the PR spin is expected in that type of job. God knows he has practically ruined the cardinalsports.com site with his patsy set of rules. Just check out the numbers at insidetheville.com versus cs.com next time you get the chance.
Howie, wake up. Grow a set and become an asset to the fans. Don’t continue to be Baghad Bob.
The one thing I’m going to miss the most about Kraggy are the unintentional hilarious quotes he has blessed us with over the last three years. Hopefully he can land another head coaching gig some where so we all can read them when we need a good chuckle. Here are a few from this year alone. These are in no particular order. I love them all so much asking me to pick my favorite is like asking me to pick my favorite kid!
- “Sweat is the lubricant for success” August 09 Not sure where he got this one. Maybe he has been ease dropping on Coach Pitino and has been hearing him talk about lubricants and how success is a choice.
- “Diesel fumes get me ready for Football” August 09 I don’t know about Coach K but diesel fuel makes me feel queasy. The only thing that makes me feel worse is thinking about what this guy has done to the program.
- “We went right after his ass” September 09 Seemed so crazy to hear Mr. “Do it the right way” call out a kid in a press conference. Also, crazy to hear him get kicked out of a high school locker room at half time. I guess at this point nothing would surprise me.
- “Ass is in the Bible” September 09 Thanks for the info Coach
- “Don’t you say a word about Trent Guy, I’ll be watching” September 09 Maybe he should have spent less time watching the media and more time getting ready for Utah. Just a thought!!!
- “I wished we would have faced Pike, he is one dimensional” Oct 09 Coach K has officially lost it. He would rather face a Heisman candidate than a back up???? Is he serious?? What else can you do but laugh?
The last one is probably my favorite, if i had to pick one. Just when I thought I head it all. Good ole coach K comes through with a doozey. I’m not sure if it was the classic quote or the ASS (I can say that it’s in the bible) whoopin’ but something seems different with the “credible” media guys. They are even bashing Kraig on cards radio. It’s like an email went out that said “Dear Credible Media guys, you can stop blaming Petrino this guy really does suck. We can’t hide it anymore. Stop blaming Bobby, I’m sorry I made you guys look silly on this one”.