55 Special Edition: Mack Isn’t Going Anywhere (So Deal With It)

What’s up Card Nation? Jeremy aka 55 here. I just wanted to vent and get some thoughts off of my heart and mind and put them to paper, so to speak. Been a lot of negativity on social media the past few weeks (years but whatever) surrounding the captain of our basketball ship, Coach Chris Mack.

Before we get into things I want to make something clear: I am not on the fire Coach bandwagon. This article will probably seem one-sided. I just want to put all of the info out there that I know so that instead of leading the charge to fire him, I can throw some water on those flames. Let’s jump into the convo shall we?

The biggest misconception on Twitter is that people aren’t real fans if they criticize coaches or players. I actually believe it makes you more of a fan if you care enough about the team that you want them to get better and you voice your displeasure at times. For me though, it’s not the criticism that is concerning, it’s the way it’s being relayed. We live in an age where we can directly @ Coach Mack and there’s a chance he can see it. So, if you feel the need to @ him, just be respectful. I’m sure he does not mind respectful criticism. I just never have understood being a negative Nancy all of the time. It doesn’t change a thing and then you’re still mad. In the end, we fan however we darn want. That’s our prerogative.

Here’s the problem with a lot of the negative criticism of Coach Mack. A lot of people are not taking everything into consideration. Let me run down a list real quick of things he’s had to deal with:

  • NCAA cloud
  • Multiple injuries
  • Multiple covid pauses
  • He got covid
  • Player Sickness
  • Cancelation of games
  • Youth of the team due to the cloud
  • Only got to coach in one tourney because of covid
  • Barnhart
  • Tried to play a few big games to make us happy and got blasted. That was due to covid fatigue
  • Roster turnover rumors
  • Guys never healing from injuries

Despite all of that, he’s still recruiting like a boss and giving his all for us. Some of you will complain about anything, but when we have it, you switch gears. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “I wish Coach P was a little more laid back and not as serious.” Now we have a guy that’s not afraid to be and it’s “I wish our coach would act like a coach!” Which is it?

“You’re just making excuses!” I’m actually just giving reasons. “We got blown out twice and nobody else came off of a pause and played that bad!” I would like to think we are all smart enough to know that covid treats people differently. The way it affected those other teams may not be the same way it affected us. I know people who had covid and had nothing else wrong. No side effects. I know people who had it and were immobilized at the age of 19. It’s crazy.

You have your group of fans that are on Twitter right now saying, “I don’t feel sorry for him, he gets paid the big bucks!” or “With the amount he’s getting paid, we should see better results!” You know that can be true and, at the same time, be voiced in a different way so that we as fans don’t look like pricks. I feel like we are absolutely allowed to critique and even complain. However, ever since the year of the Cardinal aftermath, we lost our patience. Rightfully so. There’s a better way to voice those frustrations, though. This guy came to Louisville when a lot of people wouldn’t. Left a percentage of people here in Payne because they didn’t get who they wanted. (You’re dang right I did)

Here are the facts. Coach Mack is not gonna get fired without just cause. He has a contract that Louisville cannot afford to void and buyout. However, like any coach, I believe that Coach Mack deserves a few more years before the fan base, who can’t fire him anyways, tries to oust him. He’s really not had enough time. He doesn’t even have a team full of his own players yet. He’s only coached in 85 games and won .671 percent of them.  Not the worst. I know what’s coming though. We are a top 7 school of all time and we should expect more…

Louisville is a top 7 program of all time, but it’s not the 80s any more. That was a phenomenal decade for our team and was only outdone by UCLA prior and only duplicated by Mich St and UConn respectively. The times are different and I have no faith that we will adapt and get back. Having former players from the 80’s pissing all over the current coach because they didn’t get their candidate is not a good look and also childish. Yet, you didn’t hear that from me…. I digress.

At the end of the day, I guess that I’m just thankful that we have a coach at the helm that is laid back, trustworthy, hardworking, and an all-around good guy. I don’t wake up every morning anymore wondering if there will be be a new allegation. That’s a good feeling and that can attributed to Coach Mack. You as ll complain about wanting a coach that wants to be here. We have THAT now. Be appreciative. Thank you Card Nation. Do me a favor. Give the guy a break. He wants greatness for us just like we do. Stay blessed.

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