Light It Up: Making Football Great Again
In an article reviewing recent comments of Coach Petrino by our own Jeremy Wahman, it was mentioned that maybe he knows something we don’t. Coach P said how he would like to light up the scoreboards again and I think everyone is ready.
We have said it since his return that it is time to get back to Bobby Ball but to different people ,that means different things. To some t means pro style QB play with a strong upfront running presence to open up a spread offense to take shots downfield. To others it meant spread, and throwing the ball deep or to a big athletic tight end like Gary Barnidge with little to no mention of a running back even though they were instrumental in both. The one constant in the perception of Bobby Ball is the idea that we scored points and scored them in a hurry. Lighting up the scoreboard was as familiar to Louisville as Coach Cal doing something to copy Rick Pitino (2 book titles in a row? Really dude?)
I must admit, through no fault of my own I did not see ALL of the Bobby years. Where I am from you never saw Louisville anything on tv unless it was against the almighty uofk. If it started to appear UK would lose, the tv would cut back to something else with UofL never to be seen again until the next time they met in a sport. My first real intro to Bobby Ball was in 2004 in a nationally televised (take that local programming) game against Miami. Some teammates of mine who were also considering coming to UofL after graduation gathered to watch the game. We had a bet that if Lou won, we were definitely coming to Louisville. From checking things out on YouTube, this Louisville team looked fun and they looked explosive. There were two things we looked at on YouTube back then, Noel Devine highlights, and Louisville football. Both were fun to watch during downtime at school waiting for practice to start.
(abc.com Not the same UM game but remember that?)
We watched as Devin Hester broke hearts but we also watched a great game where Louisville gained more yards than Miami 507-431. There were a few other considerations for me with scholarships and athletics but every guy in that room decided then that we were all coming to Louisville and that we wanted to also be a part of the athletic program. In that game, a down one, Louisville scored 38 points. In the past 6 years how many times has that happened again?
My first in person Bobby Ball experience came that next year as a freshman at UofL. The same guys I watched that Miami game with the year before, came with me to check out our first game at PJCS. The game was against the
Cincinnati Bengals Oregon State Beavers and billed as an exciting matchup.
Due to one of my friends having a girlfriend issue, we arrived late towards the end of the first quarter. Louisville was down 10-7 I believe and we were so confused on what had happened to this explosive team. We were sitting front row (until the 3rd quarter when the real seat owners showed up from a funeral…oops) to try to get as close to the action as possible. We knew the boom was coming and just had no idea when. We just wanted to see it for once in person.
In the second quarter the boom hit and it was glorious. Louisville dropped about 30 points (28) that quarter and another 21 in the third. Oregon State tried to be cool in the fourth so Bobby put up another 7. The final score 63-27. Football was fun!
From that moment on, Louisville football to me was excitement, train horns, and fireworks at PJCS. It was the Mario Urrutia stiff arm, the Michael Bush 200 yard touchdown run against UK, Elvis Dumervil sacks while Elvis music plays,West Virginia blackouts, and driving to Miami for the Orange Bowl.
We all know the rest of the story but those days were fun. Games were more of an event than they had been recently. Imagine those crazy games with the stadium and DJ atmosphere we have now. Think about that, this can get really fun this year.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Charlie Strong. I think there was another coach before him but for some reason those few years are a blur. Charlie strong is the reason we have a lot of what we have now, he righted the ship and he got us this skinny knees kid from Miami with small hands. Louisville owes Charlie so much, but imagine if Teddy had a year or two with Bobby Petrino and a more aggressive offense. That Athletic Bowl game where Teddy looked like a created player, that is Teddy all year under Petrino.
Now we have a few created players and that starts with Lamar Jackson. His madden speed is like 98 and elusiveness on 99. We have the players and the speed that can make this the type of offense from the old days. Lamar Jackson is an underrated passer in my opinion and can do just as much damage in the air. If the running game gets going and brings the DBs in a little, look for some deep bombs like the ones in the spring game.
From the outside looking in, this looks like the year we can really welcome Bobby back and get rolling with Bobby Ball.