Photo Courtesy of Kenny Klein GoCards.com
What we all witnessed at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium last Saturday night was a debacle. However, in the grand scheme, we all know it’s just one game. 11-1 or 10-2 still has a really nice ring to it.
This game hurt a little more than normal because we had played Clemson so close the previous 3 times. The first time, James Quick gets caught from behind and the ball is inexplicably spiked at the goal line. Next time, missed field goals killed us. Last year, the infamous James Quick play where he runs out of bounds a yard short of a first down. Heartbreak ensued.
We expected this to be the breakthrough year. Lamar is Back. Mike Summers is back. The offensive line is revamped. New playmakers have arrived at wide receiver. A new defensive coordinator came and the hope he wouldn’t blitz every 3rd down with him. Jaire Alexander would hopefully be making life miserable for Kelly Bryant. It just didn’t happen that way.
Clemson is a great team. They are well coached and on that night, they were just better. Sometimes, a team just has a bad game and this was UofL’s.
As a football team and as a fanbase, it’s time to regroup. There are 9 games left. We can all either mail it in or decide to give it our all on the field and in the stands. I choose the latter. I hope you all will join me in the stands. I hope the team will join me with their performance on the field.
Even though I’m not a huge John Cena fan, his motto seems appropriate to quote here, “never give up!” If you expect the team to show up and give it their all the rest of the year, you have to be willing to do the same as a fan.
Listen, it’s easy to root for a team that wins all the time and is dominant. It’s times like these where we are needed the most. This is what fandom is all about. We have all had our moments in darkness and had friends that got us out. Well, we fans now must do the same for our beloved Cards.
I’ll leave you with this. For last Saturday’s game, I sat next to an older gentleman and his son. His son had an intellectual disability. I wish I was half the fan this young man is. He cheered every play on offense and defense until the very end. He never wavered. He never booed the players. He got angry here and there, but he never stopped cheering.
In his heart, he believed Lamar would lead the comeback and the defense would get a turnover. Even when the contest was decided, he went down cheering his favorite team. He will likely be there tomorrow at noon, cheering as hard as ever for his Cards because he loves them no matter what. We should all endeavor to be a little more like him even if it is inevitable we will all fall a little short.