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Yesterday, Cardinal Dominance presented the comments made by Head Coach Charlie Strong regarding questions about his future coaching intentions at the University of Louisville.  In the end, there was a Big Elephant in the room that people were not ignoring.  Why didn’t Charlie get rid of the obvious pachyderm and just put the rumors aside.  Is something in the mix?  However, at the same time, Coach Strong’s strength is his principles and what he thinks is right and what is wrong.  Charlie felt that he should not comment on rumors --- and so right or wrong, he didn’t.  See:  STRONG: THE COACHING RUMORS AND THE FANS


In yesterday’s article, Cardinal Dominance expressed concern about the message a radio station sports show was broadcasting to their fans.   One person was very negative about Charlie because he presumably had blasted the fans.  My best bud Bob latter told me that many fans had angrily disagreed with Charlie and how he had put us down.  The crescendo further elevated during the day on other talk shows.


This person was in attendance at the Press Conference and yesterday strongly disagreed with the people who broadcasted those incendiary remarks --- and one of the most known announcers in the area questioned whether the other person was taking Charlie out of context.   Today, I still strongly disagree about the claim that Charlie was bashing the U of L fans.  This article’s sole purpose is to present his remarks. 


Yesterday’s Press Conference was divided into 5 parts.  The first 9 minutes and 35 seconds mostly spoke about the Rutgers game stars, the relationship Charlie had with some of the current Florida players, etc.  The next 4:18 was spent on Charlie’s Coaching future.  Most of these remarks were contained in our article yesterday.  During the next 9:47 segment, Charlie spoke about more of the Florida matchups, the Cards’ strength and weakness against the Gators, and then his thoughts about the new uk coach’s remark about helping Florida State (his old team) PARTICULARLY if they were playing Louisville.  The next 3:52 were initiated by questions regarding Charlie’s wish list for taking the program higher.  This will be addressed today.  This is where the alleged fan bashing occurred.  The final 9:22 addressed some pretty cool topics --- when to expect the Cards to jump to the ACC, his main recruiting objectives this year, Teddy and Will at Rutgers, and what a stupendous job his Assistant Coaches put together at the Rutgers game.


And so, let’s address the 3 minute 52 second where Charlie talked about his wish list in his 36 minute 54 second Monday Press Conference.

REPORTER 1:  “What would you like to see changed in this job ---- uh, the things that you feel this program needs moving forward.  You’re in a position you probably can ask for about anything.” 

The reporter’s question was presented with the inflections and the soft voice basically asking Strong for a wish list.

CHARLIE:  “…. at the end of the season I think I can sit down with my A.D. --- and Tom will do anything that we ask --- it’s gonna be some things we need to get done --- we’ll be able to get them done to get this program to move to where it needs to move to.”

REPORTER 2:  “Can you give us an example of something like that?”

CHARLIE:  “Well, … we can talk about expanding the weight room which we’re gonna do and then  ….. and then at some point and we get the program going we’d like to add more seats --- put more seats in the stands and enlarge our seating capacity.”   

REPORTER #1:  "What would you like to see from the fans?  You know, you have been in S.E.C. schools and it’s a big deal --- and you all are playing Connecticut and you’re 9 and 1 and there are 42,000 fans in announced attendance.  What would you like to see from them in terms of support for this program?” 

Once again, the honest question was presented and it was almost a continuation of his first question asking for a wish list to help move the program higher except it incorporated the fan base into the question. 

CHARLIE: “Well, you want the passion from the fans and you want the support.  And I tell you what, this has frustrated me more than anything --- and we have great fans here --- but when we came here on Senior Day, the Connecticut game, we get off the bus and I don’t care what time Card March is, if it is 8:00 in the morning then it is 8:00 in the morning; but no one came out and for it to be Senior Day, --- we had a few people out there, I mean we had the real fans out there and I’m not trying to say we didn’t have anyone but you would like to see more fans come out.  And I know I heard it’s new --- well, it’s not new.  But I mean, when you support your program, you support your program.  You want that.  And we have fans that do support their program --- and not to throw any salt on the wound but kentucky (fans) can travel as the big blue nation and they go take over.  We should have that same passion here and go take over when we go travel.  And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.  But someone told me we were such a young program and we have a young fan base and that doesn’t happen.  But I don’t buy that.  I just think that when you are passionate about something, you go support it.  And it doesn’t matter who we play --- if it’s Connecticut, if it’s Pittsburgh, if it’s Syracuse, you come to support your team.  You come to watch Teddy play.  You come to watch Stein play.  You come to watch Preston Brown play.  You come to support your team.  It doesn’t matter who is on the other side.  Just look at the other conferences and I don’t think it is any different.  Those fans come out to support their program not who they are playing against.” 

We U of L fans are so lucky.  Charlie is as real as it gets and he says how he feels.  How many programs have a Coach that is that way?  He was asked what he thought the fans could do that would help our program grow higher.  He told us.  He was honest.  He wasn’t overly critical nor did he say it in a mean spirited way.  I understand many people’s heartburn and I honestly don’t particularly like his thoughts on comparing us to the “virtues?” of uk fans.  I promise you the least thing that I would want to do is to act like many uk fans that I have talked to through the years.  Like many of us, I was a uk fan at one point and their fanaticism is unbearable and uncalled for.   But, I can live with his phoopahh.  There is nothing else in his comments that he hasn’t said before.  It was an honest and non-threatening opinion that was solicitated from him by an honest and well meaning reporter.  Except for the lousy comparison with wanting us to be like uk fans (Yuk! Vomit! and other digestive depreciating thoughts!), there is not anything that is new here and he did not lump us all together as being terrible fans.  He just wishes we were more passionate about supporting his and our kids, our players, our seniors, and our team.  What other Football Coach in the country wouldn’t want the same?

REPORTER 3:  “Do you think playing in the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl and that visibility is going to be one of the things that leads to changing some of the things you are talking about here?”

CHARLIE:  “Well, you would like to think it would but --- you would hope it would but also, it’s here.  We have (it).  I mean look at this city and I know it’s split down the middle or whatever.  But we still have our fans here and our fans can support this program.”

That’s fair isn’t it?

REPORTER 4:  “Does the fan support make it less comfortable for you as a Head Coach  ….. (in staying as Head Coach)…?”

CHARLEY:  “The fan base isn’t going to have anything to do with it (in staying as the Head Coach).  I just look at them to support our players and I think our players deserve to get the fan support whomever they play.  I think you should pack it in and whomever we play, you’re there to cheer on our players and that’s your role.  But, you know, if we’re not winning, ok.  Then I can see why you don’t want to come out there to support us but we’re sitting there at 9 and 0 and you’re right (the reporter).  We don’t go and pack the stadium --- and we’re like 9 and 0.  I mean, Wow.  I mean we are at 9 and 0; what more do we need to do?  And then we come back against Connecticut and we have Card March.  I know this.  At Ohio State, whatever they seat, they had a 12:00 game, too.  They had a March and they filled it up.”


That was it regarding Charlie’s thoughts on how the fan base can help the move to the next level.  Except for his uk passion comparison, there is not anything new that we haven’t heard before and surely not anything that should be interpreted as fan bashing.   


In the next couple days, Cardinal Dominance will bring you some interesting bits from Head Coach Charlie Strong’s Press Conference like his response to the new uk coach statement about Louisville against Florida State in the Orange Bowl, ACC entrance timing, the Rutgers game stars, and what to look for in Florida. 

Views: 463

Comment by mel jones on December 4, 2012 at 4:01pm
That was the most thoughtful analysis I've seen since this overreaction to CCS presser. There was not one thing he said that was not true. No one should have reacted the way some of the fanbase did if his statement about BBN was taken in context. He used them because u of l fans are familiar with them. Petrino and John L really did a number on this fanbase. Why does he have to keep saying he has a job. Some of the fanbase are like girls in that if you don't tell them their pretty everyday they get paranoid.
Comment by dimori on December 4, 2012 at 4:22pm

He needs to understand that All Schools and Tradition is not the same.At Florida there is like close to 40 thousand students on Campus that have nothing better to do in Gainesville a Town, Yes a Town with a Population of 125 Thousand People that Life Revolves around The Football Program.Unfortunately at Louisville is a more adult  fan base that have other commitments than get up at 9AM to see the Card March.He needs to understand where this program came from and how the facilities were back then compare to now Tom Jurich has done a magnificent job as AD as Louisville is in the Top 15-20 in Revenues In The Nation and last Year The Basketball Program brought in like 25Mill Net and The Football Program like 22...Rome was not built in One Day!!!

Comment by Dustin on December 4, 2012 at 5:52pm

Listen I appreciate what CCS has done for this program and without question has brought us out of the pits of the kragthorpian days,a Sugar Bowl and to new beginnings in our future home of the ACC. None of that is possible without his doing so with that being said what that press conference has shown me is he's still new at being a head who doesnt handle the press well.  We have suffered through some horrible coaching stints and have also had our hearts ripped out by coaches who've promised to stay all the while making back room connections at other shcools.  We are a young football fanbase who is trying to grow our fanbase and tradtion the best we can so thats where i feel a disconnect with CCS. 14000 tickets sold first day to Sugar Bowl but yet we dont support our team?  The BIG10 title game had 40% empty seats there...ya thats a conference championship game...You build tradition by getting a coach who is commitied to BUILDING that tradtion which inturn means staying and making that happen. CCS is in the position to lead us now into this coming Sugar Bowl and should be the hands down favorite to return next season.  2 back to back BCS bowls does wonders to help lay that foundation for the future and our own tradition.  Then we have the chance to move into the ACC and battle schools like FSU that has plenty of tradtion to go around by WINNING bigtime bowl games and NC's.  Comparing UL fans to UK fans is as about as far from where i'd go to get the CARDNATION to respond in a favorable way that CCS seeks this still shows he hasnt grasped the fanbase totally yet..and yes he was angry about the CardMarch but what about the 3 marches that was canceled due to weather and 1 I know for fact canceled without any notice for the fans that was standing there waiting?  If he wants the SEC tradtions its up to him and the UofL to make that happen...lets get better opponents in Papa Johns thats a start right there...I dont think every SEC school sells out when they are playing Missouri St. do they?  I hope CCS stays because I think he's the right man for the job and can take Louisville to new heights never seen before and be the one man to actually make UofL's traditions to grow in a way he envisions.

Comment by Anthony robert milburn on December 4, 2012 at 7:37pm

He may also want to consider that "Big Blue Nation" had less than 20,000 at their last home game.  He must surely have been talking b-ball!  We have more than held our own the last 2 bowl games in Tampa and Charlotte!

This eerily sounds like a John L dumping on the fans to cover his ass as he went out the door!  We heard all the same stuff THEN that we're hearing from him NOW!  Best thing CCS has done for us is..we will easily get a Top-Notch Coach to replace him as long as it's not another Kragthorpe!

Comment by Jenny Merryman on December 4, 2012 at 8:28pm

If you accuse any man of something, whether it's true or false- the guy's gonna get defensive, right?  It's a natural response to an accusation, assumption or attack.  So I don't know if we should ever try to predict the future based upon emotionally charged comments.  Each comment made by CCS, a media source, a fan....anybody- at this point- will fuel unsavory reactions and speculations and suspicions.  Even those "in the know" get blindsided occasionally.  Way too much going on that none of us will know until it's time. 

Comment by dimori on December 5, 2012 at 7:11am

Coaches Coach and put players in position to Win games.The School Administration Promotes Games and events like Card March.Like some have mentioned here there were 3 Card Marches canceled without the Fans knowing it on One occassion I was told it was pouring and The Card Faithful Fans stood out there for quite a while before they were told it was canceled.Then He comments about Big Blue and The Blue Kitty's Fan base being more passionate than Louisville Fans,That My friends You DO NOT DO AT ANY TIME since they pay part of YOUR SALARY WITH THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY TO SUPPORT THE PROGRAM!!!

Comment by Lakinit on December 5, 2012 at 10:37am

computer issue.

Comment by Lakinit on December 5, 2012 at 10:40am

Dustin, "kragthorpian days??" --- do you mind if I plagiarize you?  Too funny.  Nice response.  I think we are pretty much on the same page.  The only minor difference is I think saying CCS was angry was a little too strong a word.  Frustrated is more like it --- and he was solicitated for a wish list and he gave his opinion.  I can't fault him for that.  Dimori and your comment on notification for cancelled Card March was dead on.  If I receive a chance to voice a request that the word be immediately spread through the radio about a cancellation, I will.

Anthony, dead on about the uk attendance and bowl participation.  That should be brought up, too.  I respectfully disagree with comparing this to the John L scenario.  Even if CCS leaves us, I believe he was giving an honest answer to something that could help us move up in having a better program.  His response came from a line of questioning that wanted to know what could improve the program.  CCS wants the players supported more.  John L was a bitter so-and-so when he went out the door and burnt bridges like John Hunt Morgan.  I don't see this situation as similar.  Honestly, not a CYA scenario.

Jenny, I beleive you are right in talking about people are defensive when accused of something, etc.  At the point in time when CCS made the analogy about uk passion, CCS wasn't defensive.  He was just answering the wish list question.  I am sure he became defensive later in the day and might even be now.  However, I bet that he will be reminded of his bbn/uk analogy faux pas --- forever!.

Let me recommend Eric Crawford's article on --- click on sports.  His article yesterday and today were so dead on in capturing the moment. 


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