Justin Renck: Football Kickoff Luncheon

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2012 UofL Football Kickoff Luncheon at the Downtown Mariott on Thursday afternoon. It was a good experience with Cardinal football, great food, and some laughs as well.

After Michaelee Harris started us off with a prayer, Tom Jurich was introduced by the voice of the Cards, Sean Moth. He started by thanking the sponsors that put on the great event. He then mentioned the 10 Big East titles that were won last year by UofL, and said that this athletic year could be the best ever at UofL. When talking about Coach Charlie Strong, he said that it was an easy hire, and he said Charlie is the best at hiring great people.

Coach Strong has come a long way in being comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd. It may not be his favorite thing to do yet, but he is definitely better at it than he used to be. He began by praising Tom Jurich and said that anything he has asked for, Jurich has approved of. He spoke of the full room at the Mariott, and pointed to the side and said he wants to “push that wall down” and expand the luncheon each year, which got a lot of laughs.

He then moved on to introducing his coaching staff and their families if they were there. He mentioned the nutritionists that keep the team looking lean and in shape, but said that the linemen want to eat all the time so they don’t always like the nutritionists! Speaking of food, he said the meal served at the luncheon was the best it has been in his 3 years because we are expected to be good, which also drew a lot of laughs and applause!

Coach Strong also told a funny story about the 2010 team. He said those seniors built the foundation and just wanted to reach a bowl game. To get there, they had to beat Rutgers on the road in the last regular season game. At Rutgers, both teams run out of the same tunnel. When the teams were about to run out, the Rutgers players did not have on long sleeves or tights, and it was freezing outside. The UofL players did have these things on because it was so cold. So Strong told the team to get back in the locker room and take off those sleeves and tights and get back out there! Then they went to stand around the heaters on the sidelines, and Strong made them unplug the heaters! I guess he did not want them to look “soft” by showing that they were cold. Pretty funny story!

He also talked about certain guys on the team that have stepped up, and he talked about winning on and off the field. Overall it was a fun experience and I am glad I was able to attend and represent Cardinal Sports Zone. I am very excited that the next football event that I attend will be an actual game! Hurry up September 2!!!



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