What happens when the hunters become the hunted?

Do they run with their tails between their legs, longing to return to the days of the old? Do they rise up, became the beast of forest, and merely chuckle at the notion of being ‘hunted’? In popular films, once the hunters become the hunted, they are recognized as villains and usually are defeated by a hero of some sort. Usually when hunters become hunted, they run frightened, give up and well…things don’t end well.

Charlie Strong is hoping for a different result.

Can the Cardinals thrive as the hunted? Maybe so. It’s worked before, ask Head Coach Nick Saban. But last year wouldn’t be the opportune thing to look at, that is, if your looking for reasoning. When the pompous – or as their quarterback describes them, ‘big headed – Louisville Football team welcomed Uconn on Senior Day; it wasn’t pleasant. The 8-1 Louisville Football team, sleepwalked their way into a shocking 23-20 defeat. The Cardinals refusal to be hunted was quite a dreadful sight. I probably don’t have to rehash the how the game proceeded, I’m sure you remember.

But then, when the Cardinals return to the role of the ‘hunters’, being told they couldn’t accomplish what they did; they thrived. Louisville finished with two wins against Rutgers, Florida. Both games they were told they couldn’t win. Both games they returned to the old familiar state of ‘hunters’.

In 2013, the Cardinals are once again the hunted.

Charlie Strong didn’t expect this. He probably shouldn’t have either. A gradual growth, a slow but steady improvement was to be expected, but certainly not this. But that happened. Teddy Bridgewater happened. Alas, the rest is history

Now the Cardinals arrive into the 2013 season as prohibitive AAC favorites, BCS game expected attendees, and being told anything short of undefeated season is a sure disappointment. It’s quite grand and a real enjoyable time for Cardinals fans who are foreign to these type of expectations.

But I ask, once again, Can the Cardinals thrive as the hunters?

Maybe Charlie Strong should ask Munchie Legaux if he could start making absurd comments again, because that turned out so well for him Maybe he could get Kirk Herbstreit to start preaching about the Cardinals – even with Joe Montanta- having ‘no chance’ again. Or maybe not. Maybe none of this is needed.

Is this Cardinal team much different than 2012? No, not exactly. They lose two key starters but return generally the key pieces to their Sugar Bowl Champion team. However, they’ve grown. They’ll tell you their ready for this this challenge, in fact that they embrace it now. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Head Coach Charlie Strong all preach the same message: This team has grown, this team is more mature, and the disappointments of last year are nothing but in the rear-view.

Maybe so. Maybe not.

Can the Cardinals thrive in the role of the hunted? I expect so, but only time can tell.

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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