By: Kris Carr
Excited to go back
This Saturday, I will be going back to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to watch the Cardinals play football for the first time in three years. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out my three year absence coincided with Steve Kragthorpe's horrific coaching tenure. Previous to Koach Kryptonite's arrival in Louisville, I did not miss a game. I watched Chris Redman throw passes to Ibn green, I watched Dewayne White bull rush offensive linemen, and I loved watching Michael Bush run right over UK for what seemed like his 46th touchdown of the game.
That all changed when Steve Kragthorpe arrived. Kragthorpe removed all excitement that our fan base once had. He was a coach who was completely asleep at the wheel. We did not produce on the field, academic standards slipped and off the field problems grew and grew. Game days came and went and we simply did not care.
But after three disappointing seasons, the excitement is back. Tom Jurich has seemingly corrected his one mistake. He has hired an exciting coach with a championship background in Charlie Strong. Coach Strong has brought back what was missing from this program. He is recruiting winners, he is getting academics back in line and he is holding his players accountable for their actions both on and off the field. He has also reinvigorated the fan base. Ticket sales have shot through the roof for the newly expanded stadium. This is much different from the last few years when you couldn't give tickets away.
While I think the outcome of the game this weekend is going to be close, I (and most UofL fans) will be happy and amazed to see the Cards line up properly and play all 60 minutes of the game. This was something the previous coaching staff could not accomplish. But most importantly, I am just excited to go back and watch a well coached Cardinal football team play!
Final prediction: We shock the Cats 24-17 with Doug Beumont taking home the Howard Schnellenberger trophy. Go Cards!