So I have decided to start a weekly personal blog, or column, or random series of thoughts. Whatever you want to call it. I figured rather than constantly just passing information and facts along, I would have a post that is just all opinion and my thoughts. I will focus on just whatever my feelings are about UofL athletics at the time, but this may venture into other topics, such as high school sports or even fantasy football. So it could be anything. Hopefully it is somewhat worth your time to read. If it isn’t, I apologize, but at least you got your money’s worth on CSZ. If it is, then great, and I hope you will continue to read it every Friday.
I must give credit to Jeremy Wahman for coming up with the name of this. I had no real idea of what I wanted to call it, because there isn’t a specific direction that this post will go. He suggested this, and I didn’t even try to think of anything else. Good work, sir. As for the picture, I wanted to have something that will be used with all of these posts. I Googled “Justin Time” with no idea what would come up. What I saw was perfection! So here we go. Here are my thoughts and opinions on whatever comes to mind, and I bring them to you just in time for the weekend!
It’s great to be a Louisville Cardinal
Has there ever been a better time to be a fan of the Louisville Cardinals? I try to not be a prisoner of the moment and always say that whatever just happened is “the best ever.” But right now has to be the pinnacle of being a UofL fan. If you are just a fan of basketball and football, then obviously you are in a good spot. Basketball has a recent National Championship and Rick Pitino is recruiting better than he ever has at UofL and shows no signs of slowing down. Football now has Bobby Petrino back and it just feels like the program is going to take that next step and become a national powerhouse.
As I sat here trying to think of how to start this out, I finally realized that I have a Louisville soccer match playing on my computer right now as I type this. If you would have told me that a few years ago, I would have said you were crazy. Soccer is just something that I never watched or cared about growing up, or even when I was a student at UofL. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a Louligan at this point, or even say that I have been to many matches at all, but Lynn Stadium will definitely have me out there a few times. The facility is second to none, and the team is currently ranked 9th in the country. Pretty good combination.
I won’t go on and on about all of the other sports right now. That can happen anytime. But it is just a great feeling to cheer for a University that has multiple teams that are competitive. It’s not just basketball like down the road. It’s not just football like down south. We are good at both, and we are good at everything else. There is never a dull moment if you are a fan of the Louisville Cardinals.
Will we ever see the real Michael Dyer?
Since he decided to come to Louisville to finish his collegiate football career, I have been preaching about Michael Dyer. Living in Auburn from 2008-2012, I personally witnessed Dyer at his best during his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Tigers, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards both seasons, broke Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record, and was the MVP of the BCS Title Game. Because of all that, I have consistently said that Dyer is the best running back on the team, and when healthy, it isn’t really close. The key words there appear to be “when healthy.” Dyer had a good opening game last season against Ohio, but never really got going. Then he got hurt and didn’t play the last few games. He had a great spring, and showed in the spring game how good he really can be. Now he is hurt again, and likely won’t play on Monday against Miami.
The other running backs on the team are more than capable of carrying the load and being just fine in that aspect of the game. But if you have a Michael Dyer that is 100%, you are immediately a different team. He is a game changer. I just hope that we will get to see Dyer at his best while he is at Louisville. If we don’t, some fans will say it never worked out for him here and it was a waste to get him. I will tell you this: it was definitely worth the risk to take Dyer, just hoping that he can become what he once was. There is still time, and I certainly hope we see it.
Most anticipated Louisville football game ever
So yeah, earlier I did say I try to not be a prisoner of the moment. But for me personally, this is the most excited I have been about a Louisville football game. The original blackout game against West Virginia was great, probably my favorite Louisville football game I have ever been to. The hype was very big for that. #5 vs #3 ranked teams in the country. Petrino, Brohm, Pat White, Steve Slaton, I get all of that. But we had just played Syracuse about a week and a half before that. So there was a week and a half to build that game up.
And yes, there was the Sugar Bowl, possibly the biggest win in school history. I was obviously pumped up for that one, no question about it. But I must say I went into that one thinking “If we keep it within 10, it will look good nationally.” And if we did lose by 7 or so, I was in New Orleans. I was going to have a decent time regardless. So yes, huge win, a lot of buildup, but not the anticipation like this one for me.
This game against Miami has been brewing for many months. An entire off-season, just knowing that the Hurricanes were coming to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to be our first ACC opponent. Add to that the return of Bobby Petrino and the blackout, and this game is just huge to me.
It really can set the tone for the entire season. Bobby has weapons, and if the Cards put up a lot of points in a victory and show the country that they are the real deal, look out. With their schedule, they could find themselves 6-0 heading into Clemson. But it all starts with Monday night. Bobby is back, we are in the ACC, the stadium will be full, and the atmosphere will be incredible.
Now I know this wasn’t the best, and the Justin Time series will improve as time goes on. I definitely hope to start posting this early in the day on Fridays, not when it is almost midnight going into Saturday. And you will have to excuse me for tonight, and I wasn’t going to mention this at all, but I spent most of the evening at the funeral home as my friend Brandon Royse passed away the other day. Brandon was 25 years old and had cancer. He was such a fighter and was whooping it, but ultimately it was pneumonia that got the best of him. I knew him for probably 20 years or so and we always played basketball together. He was playing with us as recently as January, and he first got cancer a couple years ago, so there’s that. Saturday will be the funeral for Brandon, and it will be strange to be 28 years old and seeing my 3rd friend lose their battle to this disease.
I welcome any and all feedback when I write posts that have personal opinions and thoughts. So if you have anything, just let me know! Thanks for reading, and Go Cards!
Follow me on twitter @JustinRenck
Follow CSZ on twitter @CardSportsZone