The Barbour Shop: With An Unpredictable 2020 Season Set To Kick Off Saturday, Let’s Enjoy Every Single Game Like It’s The Last Of The Season

It’s game week for Louisville Football. The season fans weren’t even sure would happen has arrived. Even with the season just on the horizon, there are still many unknowns. Will the first game go off without a hitch? Will the entire season actually take place? Will fans be allowed to every game or could things go awry? These questions will be answered only through the natural course of time. However, despite the many unknowns, Saturday at 8:05 pm, Louisville kicks off the 2020 season. There have also been questions as to whether the team should even be playing with the Coronavirus ever present. In the end, those questions are moot because it’s happening.

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There are risks and I do not blame anyone for questioning whether the health risks are worth the reward. Let us hope the risks aren’t realized and the reward is an enjoyable season for the players, coaches, and fans. I hope that every one of the 12,000 fans in attendance is loud and proud. I hope that every one of us watching from home are as emotionally invested with every snap, first down, and touchdown as we are every year.

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For the fans in attendance, please enjoy the fact you get to be in the stadium we all love watching the team we all love. Understand, however, the virus is still out there. Be smart, be respectful, and, most of all, be safe. You can have fun and still be safe. Fans are very important to the experience for the team. Let’s not lose our ability to have fans. Follow the rules and make that stadium sound like there are 60,000 fans instead of 12,000. Please understand we are one of a handful of schools allowing any fans in the stadium.

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As for the fans at home, which will include myself, let’s watch every single second. As I said, it’s perfectly reasonable to question whether the season should even be happening, but when it kicks off, let’s give these young men our attention and love by providing a huge ratings bump. All these players and coaches have been working their asses off to be prepared for the season. Virtually all have been adhering strictly to safety protocols to avoid the virus and be able to do what they love. Let’s reward them as best we can. Let’s give them the eyes of thousands of fans Saturday night.

No one knows how many games will actually be played in 2020. It could be all 11, it could be 6, or it could be just Saturday night. The virus makes predictability impossible. We can only hope for routine rather than rely upon it. So, my message to Card Nation is to act like the first game Saturday is the last game of the season. Act as if it is a huge bowl game. Let’s make this game as special as we can for these young men that put on pads in 90 degree heat working diligently to get ready for game day. They run plays and drills over and over in preparation to play a game they love. They put on our Cardinal red and black and take the field representing the university, the city, the fans, and themselves with honor and pride. If the virus determines this is the only game, let’s make it a memorable one. Let’s show the team we love and support them. Give ACC Network the best ratings its had since its inception. Fans in attendance, respect the rules and regulations designed to keep you and the team safe. Then make the stadium the loudest it has ever been.

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If there is one thing this virus has taught me, and should’ve taught us all, it’s that we should take nothing for granted. We should live in the moment. So, don’t go into Saturday’s game assuming there will be 10 more. Instead, treat every game as a gift and as the last because it could be the last for 2020. No one truly knows. Hope for the health and safety of the team and all of us. Enjoy every big play and big moment. Let the guys know we appreciate what they are doing for UofL and the city. They are giving us a semblance of normalcy and hope in dark times. They are letting us believe that the night may be the darkest at this time, but the dawn is so close to breaking. Enjoy Saturday Card fans. Do it safely, be vigilant, but be vigorous in your cheering of the 2020 Cards. It’s ok to enjoy our team even under these circumstances.

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