“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”


Besides having water in my ear and being physically exhausted from trudging through  a monsoon last night, the BHK is here to deliver this week’s recap brought to you by PONCHO.


Before we begin, let me just say that I pride myself on being a glass half full type of guy. I try not to be overly negative or critical of things until I have had the chance to experience it for myself. However, I gotta state the obvious….something is wrong with Louisville football.  You see it, you sense it, you feel it.  This team is disjointed somehow and I don’t know how or why it happened.


Let’s get to what is sure to be one of the shortest BucketHatism’s ever. Thanks to Mother Nature being a jerk for the majority of Saturday, I had to vacate a game in the first quarter for the first time ever. Now I know how most of the people on the party deck feel.


To the notes. That is if they have dried out by now:


Any outbursts and you will be removed from the courtroom by tropical storm Gordon.  Sure, it is okay to rain, but to wash out an newly expanded stadium opener and crush tailgate dreams for the Cardinal faithful is as ruthless as they come.  Although I don’t like how things are done when Gordon is in the city, I know that he gets things done and can ruin days at a moments notice. I need that. We need that.


  • Lets address this from the start. This is no QB controversy in my opinion.  BUT…….there very much could be if Puma and the receivers can not develop any type of chemistry. I get that Puma had a driving storm in his face and it not as easy to throw a wet football but the fact is, the QB is the leader of the team and has to treat the situation as such.  Granted Malik Cunningham had no rain to deal with and once he entered the game the worst of the storm had moved on but still.  The Louisville offense looked like it did in 2015 at times last night.  Struggling to score, issues on the line, inability to develop a consistent drive, etc.  It’s the second game but Indiana State should have never been in the game to begin with. Puma is still your starter but IF he can’t show improvement it may be time to look at other options.


  • I never thought the defense would struggle the way it did Saturday. So much so that sophomore Dorian Etheridge had to be calmed on the sideline while arguing with coaches and teammates. Arm tackling is a major issue with this team. We refuse to teach proper tackling techniques and it allows the defense to rack up yards when instead they should be on the ground. Also, we have now lost the heart of our defense and our leading tackler from a year ago when Etheridge went down with an apparent leg injury last night. (severity of injury not yet known at the time this was written).  Look, I like that BVG is bringing pressure but what good is it when you can’t get the player down on the ground for a stop. I am not putting this on BVG, this started with Grantham and has gotten progressively worse.  Teach tackling, not arm tackling.


  • Welcome back Jeremy Smith.  Along with Malik Cunningham he sparked the offense in the 2nd half. Smith rushed for 56 yards on 6 carries. He seemed to also drag the entire state of Indiana on one play. Glad he decided to come back to Louisville instead of transferring.


  • The weather made it extremely difficult to pass the ball last night so the WR’s get a reprieve.  We need to involve Dez and Seth more than we have.


  • I was impressed with the intro video. I really liked how it was done.  The red lights and the purge siren is a nice touch.  BUT……someone has to tell Bobby that this is all in good fun and he shouldn’t look as though he got stuck in a timeshare meeting.




  • I am excited to see the newly expanded stadium minus the weather delays. I think the new administration have really put an effort into improving the fan experience at Cardinal Stadium as well as other sports.  We now have someone ring a huge bell before the game as well. Dr. Neeli Bendapudi did the honors on Saturday.


  • With all the great news and features that came with the expansion,  I see that Van Halen survived the demolition and somehow crept back in my life on 3rd downs.  Starting to think its the herpes of Cardinal Stadium, we are gonna die with it.


  • For the second straight game Louisville used some true freshman to get some game experience.  Javian Hawkins saw time, as did Marcus Riley and Jordan Travis.  This new rule by the NCAA that allows freshman to play up to four games without burning a redshirt is brilliant which is a word I don’t use with the NCAA often…….or ever.


  • I have seen a lot in my 30+ years on this earth. I have now seen a 355 pound man fly. Mekhi Becton’s touchdown was glorious, as are all big man TD’s. It was a thing of beauty to watch.  Now, he did ultimately crush two Indiana State players upon landing. One player quit football directly after the play and the other was last seen in a fetal position singing “Everybody Hurts”.


  • Mekhi’s name does not have the letter “c” in it.  I am on thin ice so I will just say “Yes Ma’am” from here on.


  • If you haven’t already, go back and watch the beginning of the game and listen to the crowd go insane as the rain poured down. Between alcohol and football folks were rowdy in the moments leading up to kickoff.


  • Glad to see the #10 jersey being honored well last night. Jaire Alexander was the last person to return a punt for TD back in the 2016 Florida State game. Rodjay, wearing the same number, returned a punt for a TD in Saturday’s game.  I joked that God stopped the rain long enough for Rodjay to score.  Don’t debate me on this, the lord is a Card’s fan.


  • Coach Fitz is a national treasure and shall be treated as such.


Folks stop suggesting Brohm should replace Petrino.  Purdue is 0-2 after losing to Eastern Michigan and Coach Fitzpatrick looks like he has broken a jaw or two in his time. I don’t want to find out and neither should you.


At this time I will open the courtroom for questioning.


Eric Turner (@ericturner45) : “We’ve seen Petrino have short leashes with new QBs, even Lamar. As much as I love Cunningham, I think Pass deserves another shot. What say you?”

Pass is our starter until Petrino decides he has seen enough. I am not gonna fault a guy for struggling in typhoon like conditions.  Malik Cunningham didn’t have to deal with the elements while in the game and he did a chunk of his damage on the ground rather through the air.  Pass will be our starter against WKU, no doubt in my mind about it.  Now, that being said, Petrino also didn’t totally rule it out and it doesn’t help that Cunningham lead Louisville to 24 unanswered points. If Louisville can pull it together and blowout WKU I think you see both on Saturday.  If Pass continues to struggle you will see Cunningham as QB1 at some point this season.


@SleepyCardfan: Did anyone go swimming in the green lot ditch?

Not willingly. I parked off 3rd street so upon my walk back to my car I stopped on Denny Crum overpass to gawk at the green lot or should I say the green pool. Some cars had water up to the doors. Some people were in knee deep water.  Saturday’s weather sucked. I didn’t see anyone in the ditch but I did see guys sliding in the endzone.


@pbond1001:  Anyone find my Nissan key fob?!?!?!?! I’m sure it washed away in the rain!

I found it. It’s my key fob now. Don’t call…….don’t make it weird.


@bigweb57:  In reference to Black Sheep, did u get with this or did u get with that?

I got with this, cause this was where it’s at.


@Thetruefenyt: Will we ever learn to use our arms when tackling?

Sweet merciful Jesus I hope so.   And I don’t want to hear any excuses about rain. We don’t wrap up in domes, we don’t wrap up at home.  We don’t wrap up in grass, we don’t wrap up on a pass. We don’t wrap up here, we don’t wrap up there. We fail to wrap up just about any and everywhere.  Sonofab*tch I am so angry about our tackling I have morphed into Dr. Seuss…..


@andrewskaggs18: What was in the water we waded through last night?

Rick Pitino’s rough drafts from his book, Florida Gator tears,  some old Logan’s Steakhouse leftovers, Dan McDonnell’s sun screen,  a Luke Whitehead mixtape, Andre McGee’s hairline,  fake juice, and possum urine.  I would schedule a doc visit soon if I were you.


@JTWard831:  Did anyone experience shrinkage on Saturday night?

I hold you in contempt of court for pointing this out.  It was a cold and raining,…… of course some of us men lost a few inches temporarily.  Damn you for making me answer this.


Jason Sanders: What is that Hilltopper’s mascot thing?

Big Red is a eunuch who through a genetic experiment turned red permanently similar to the Beast in X-Men. He means well but people treat him like a freak.  My only beef with him is that he never picks up the tab and is a mouth breather.  Cut him some slack.


Person(s) who earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:

All of you who braved the conditions on Saturday to enjoy Cardinal football. I read tweets about people staying till the end. Some people had their four and five year old kids out there.  I tried but couldn’t stay past the 3rd weather delay.  Also, shots for Malik Cunningham, Jeremy Smith, and Mekhi Becton who proved that no matter your size, you can still inflict pain on a touchdown. More shots for Momma and Papa Scull, parents of fellow TCZ member Dave Scull. Thanks for allowing me to crash in the Caboose on the West side of the stadium while the rain poured down. Also, Papa Scull proved that no matter what happens, nothing stops him from enjoying a rib dinner and football.  Some guys have all the fun.


Person(s) who earned a can of room temperature Natty Light:

Any dumba** who didn’t prepare for the rain on Saturday.   What happened to planning?  I saw people with hoody’s on. I saw people with starter jackets on……..starter jackets.  I saw one guy wearing a 13 gallon trash bag when he needed an entire tarp.  I saw people ditching shoes to walk in their socks.  I saw a guy wearing a bubble coat. Is there a poncho shortage in America?   You don’t have $3 to buy a poncho at Dollar General?  It’s comical at times.  Although I did have fun chasing people wearing yellow raincoats around yelling “take it Georgie, take it” (you gotta be a fan of IT to understand).  Come on people, we have been involved in too many infamous rain games to not be prepared for this.  In the smart phone era, you have no excuse.  Now enjoy your warm beer and get out of my courtroom…..you’re dripping water on my carpet.


Welp, we have 10 games left and I still have no idea what we have as a team. I am not sure whether to brush off things or be concerned.  For now I am extremely worried about our team and will need to see more before passing judgement.  Hopefully we can put it together for WKU this weekend.


Speaking of which, the planned TCZ-Red Rage tailgate that was canceled due to last week’s weather is back on.   We are also teaming up with the guys from Collision Course Crew and hoping to throw a ultimate fan friendly tailgate.  Details are to come.  Since Red Rage throws an awesome tailgate and allows fans to eat and drink on their dime, feel free to donate to them if you’re feeling generous.  Just ask for Dave or any member of the RRTG crew if you are in the mood to drop a few dollars.  Times and location for the tailgate will be announced later this week.


WKU is coming town and there is huge alumni fanbase here in Louisville.  Should be fun times and at first peek, the weather looks great.  Let’s do t again this weekend folks…..minus the hurricane.


Be cool in the hot city.


Court adjourned (bangs gavel)



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LJ Nesbitt

The BHK. Writer for thecrunchzone.com , 1/2 of the TCZ Podcast. Surviving in the great city of Louisville, in the not so great state of KY. Loui$ville KY thecrunchzone.com

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