As a 10 year old kid living in Louisville (my hometown) watching Darrell Griffith lead the 1980 Louisville Cardinal basketball team to the college basketball National Title, I thought Louisville, Kentucky was the center of the world. When Denny Crum coached the Cards to the 1982 and 1983 Final Fours and the 1986 National Title, thanks Pervis, my thoughts and ideals were confirmed. The rest of my life has shown me that Louisville is not the center of the world, but only a great city with tremondous people, great fans, and outstanding history. I moved out of Louisville after Dr. Dunkenstein led the Cards to the title, but I always visit at least a couple of times a year, and I have had the fortune of living and visiting throughout the U.S. and overseas. What I have learned is that Louisville Basketball is a special entity that ranks up there with all the other great sports franchise and college programs in history. Louisville Basketball historically is a Top 5 program in attendance and the Louisville fanbase is second to none. Factor in the greatness of Louisville native, Muhammad Ali, and the Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports, the Kentucky Derby and it becomes very apparent that Louisville is a great sports town. This all means that even though Louisville is not the center of the world, it is still a very special place.
So with my first Blog I am going to tell you that the 2008-2009 Louisville Cardinal basketball team will win the National Title. As their Hall-of-Fame coach Rick Pitino said, 'this is the deepest and most talented team he has coached at Louisville,' that includes the 2005 Final Four team led by Francisco Garcia, Taquan Dean, Ellis Myles, and Larry O'Bannon. This team has potential NBA first round draft picks in Terrence Williams, Earl (E5) Clark, and the Freshman Samuels, along with outstanding role players, McGee, Sosa, Smith, and many others. When you consider that this team made the Elite 8 last season and has most of the returning starters and players, plus excited and talented newcomers present, cutting down the nets in Detroit, Michigan in April is not a far fetched dream.
What I want all Louisvile, and all sports, fans to realize though is that sports is only a game. We need to stop taking these games with young men and women involved and making them the end all of the world. It's only a game, the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening, so stop sweating the outcomes of your favorite teams contest. Let's enjoy sports for what they are, but always remember what's really important in life.
PEACE and LOVE, Nate