12:30 … again.

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com
Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

If there is one thing Cards fans can agree on about this season, I’d have to say that it would be how much we hate early games. With (at least) half of our games this season at 12:30pm or earlier, it’s been pretty easy to question why Louisville continues to get snubbed for afternoon and night games – especially in big-name ACC match ups. I mean, our games against Clemson and Samford were the games with evening time slots all season.

When the game time for senior day against University of Virginia was announced, the chorus of grumbles was not much quieter than weeks prior – if anything it was simply a little more defeated. 12:30 games aren’t the most fun games throughout the course of a football season, but they aren’t the worst thing that could have happened to us. Looking at the negatives of early games, we tend to lose sight of why they aren’t (so) bad after all.

First of all, there is so much potential for fun, new tailgating ideas. Sure, everyone loves hotdogs and hamburgers and chili, but you know what is awesome about morning tailgate? BRUNCH. Mimosas, or beer-mosas for those with a heartier palate, fruit kababs, pancake dippers, so many possibilities. Check out this list of yummy breakfast tailgate ideas if you’re looking to spice things up for this coming Saturday. And I swear if one of y’all tries those cream cheese sausage balls, I BEST get an invitation to your tailgate spot to try them out.

In addition to great food at tailgate, nothing says school spirit like a bunch of undergrads taking over the parking lot at Old Cardinal at 4:00 am. While I didn’t make it this season (semi-regretfully rolled out of bed at 9:00), the two 4:00 am tailgates I did attend in my time here were some of the most legendary mornings of my college career. For students, tailgate means loud music, school spirit, and maybe a red solo cup or two. There is no excuse of missing a morning tailgate for class, because honestly who hates themselves enough to have class on a Saturday morning? (Do they even offer those?) And besides, you all know what they say about starting in the morning…

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com
Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

I’m making a pretty big assumption on this last one, but I know it is true for me and everyone else here at CSZ – if you’re into Louisville football, there’s a good chance you’re into college football in general. While being the 12:30 game is a drag, it leaves plenty of time to hit the couch and catch the tail-end of the afternoon games, and all the evening games. The season is coming to an end, which means the stakes of securing a top four spot in the CFB Playoff rankings are higher than ever. At least if you keep up, you’ll know whether you drink the same kool-aid as the selection committee or think the rankings are actually selected by Satan (which is my theory). More money might be more problems, but more football is definitely not.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… I know you hate early games. You hate them, I hate them, we all hate them. But not only is it the last home game of the season, it’s senior day. “Too early” isn’t an excuse for those guys on the field putting on the uniform, the athletic trainers and doctors standing on the sidelines, the equipment managers who make sure everything is ready, or the cheerleaders and Ladybirds we all love. So fire up those grills, crack a cold one, throw on some red and black – and don’t leave your seat empty just because it’s “too early.”

Don’t let “too early” cast a shadow over what should be a great (not to mention 50° and sunny) day. Bundle up and show your support for your favorite boys of fall – especially the seniors playing their last games at PJCS before closing this chapter of their lives.
(And as a college senior myself, I assure you we can use all the support we can get.)