Growing up I was not what one would call athletic. A heart condition and being a long serving
band nerd pretty much doomed any chance I had at a NCAA Division 1 scholarship. I didn’t
follow any sport other than my beloved Atlanta Braves. We had basic cable and I saw no sense
in being a Cubs fan. However, there is one thing I knew about sports. I absolutely hated
Wildcats. When it came to the state’s most heated rivalry I was present. Nothing more. Nothing
Fast forward to a monsoon on September 26, 2002. The Cardinals. The Seminoles. I think I
turned it in because there was nothing else I was really interested in on tv. That night something
of a seed was planted. I kept up with Louisville football more and more the following couple of
seasons. Then the Miami game in 2004. That’s when I think I turned the corner and knew I was
becoming a die-hard Card. I remember going nuts when we beat Boise St. to win the Liberty
Bowl. 11-1. What a season. That season was also Bobby Petrino’s second season. Then the
2005 season came and I remember standing at an open bar at a friend’s wedding living and
dying with each OT in Morgantown, WV. Then the “Vick Stomp” at the Gator Bowl. This was my
team. After nearly 24 years, I had a team. I had a coach.
The 2006 season came with unbelievably high expectations. Outside of a fluke night at Rutgers,
they were met. Shortly after the Orange Bowl is when I felt the first sting of being a passionate
fan. I remember being so irritated at how things went down. A stellar year. A chance to build on
it. But it was thrown away on a Sunday afternoon to coach in Atlanta. Wait? What?
Quickly after that began the fall of Petrino. A post-it note goodbye in Atlanta. A stint at Arkansas
in the almighty SEC was derailed by a personal affair. Once one of the brightest rising stars in
college football was now falling back to Earth at ludicrous speed. He may have gone plaid at
some point. I don’t know for sure.
A chance at redemption in Bowling Green. A chance to spend a couple of years reworking a
highly tarnished public image. Cue stage exit left for Charlie Strong. And this is where I become
highly suspicious of the decision made by Tom Jurich. Years of Jurich pulling winning rabbits out
of his hat (I’ll forgive him for Kragthorpe) and we go back to one of our greatest betrayers?
I know there’s a very vocal part of the fan base salivating at the thought of having one if the
greatest offensive minds of all time back on the headset. There’s another part of the fan base
who isn’t quite as vocal but is deeply concerned at this hire. We question it because of the
man’s history. A sketchy past that was always spent looking for the next best thing. We know
Louisville is a destination job now. So if we’re a destination job for the future, why are we looking
in the rear view mirror for our next coach? The bad thing about staring in the rear view mirror is
that you very easily can run yourself off the road.
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