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


You really thought there was some Louisville football being played and I wasn’t going to recap it?  Come on buddy. I may be on vacation but there is always time for BucketHatism…..unless I am dead, then there isn’t time. Unless my ghost could still gain access to my laptop and wifi and could still access my Twitter which would still be active since no one but me and the FBI agent assigned to spy on me knows my password.  My point is, there was time.


So excuse the tank top, shorts, and Nike flip flops.  The BHK does not own many summer clothes but has a ton of court robes in his closet.  The feel good wave for Louisville Athletics continued this past week when the brass decided to move the Spring game to Friday night so the fans can experience good weather and have all weekend to recover from dri….. um, watching football.   So far Vince Tyra is walking the talk and the fanbase is embracing the new AD more and more.  Now if we can just get Frisbee dogs at the halftime shows we are set.  Also, dollar beers all season and FDKY brisket served from this point going forward. Please and thank you.


Let’s just be clear, I gain nothing from the Spring game.  It’s a glorified practice in which the public is invited.  I hope that one day the NCAA  will not only pay players but also have scrimmages against other schools instead of spring games.  They can treat it like preseason football in the NFL.  I think it allows the 2nd and 3rd team players to get valuable experience and also gives the fans a better look at their team.  What do I know? I am just a humble guy with a large amount of bucket hats and bourbon.


To the notes.


Any outbursts and you will be removed from the court by the bailiff Corito Cardinalis (@MrMozee502). Do not be fooled by his silence.  Corito remains focused at all times.  In fact he sat behind the BHK at the Spring game for an hour and didn’t notice it until I got up to leave.  Corito became so engulfed in the spring game that nothing else mattered.  Corito is stealth like a bomber. That or he just really enjoys spring football. Either way, I would want him as my security detail if the time ever calls from it.  You think he is watching the game when it turns out he was plotting on how to attack you.  Well played Corito, well played.


  • Before we get started,  Jawon Pass is the starter next year.  I don’t give a damn what you think or what you saw, Pass is the QB when we take the field against Bama.  There is no QB controversy at Louisville, at least not as QB1.  Now, I do think the backup to Jawon will have a stiff competition.  Malik Cunningham looked solid in game but Jordan Travis and Sean McCormack will definitely challenge him in August once fall camp begins.


  • Pass has been patient for the past two years and now it is his team.  I understand fans are pumped about Malik due to his ability to scramble.  He makes plays with his feet,  like Lamar.  He escaped pressure, like Lamar.    He was able to juke and shimmy, like Lamar.  But this is Puma’s time.   I am aware that the backup is the most popular person on the team but let’s not forget that everyone looks great in a scrimmage.  Pass was told not to run as well, so basically he was forced to stay in the pocket. I think Bobby saying they were going to mold the offense around Puma was exactly what we saw. Puma can run, but that is not his game.  He is a certified pocket passer.


  • I do think our offense could mimic 2004.  Stefon Lefors would start the game and play the majority but Brian Brohm would come in and play the bulk of the 2nd quarter.  I think we will see Malik come in during some read option plays as well as short yardage plays.  Cunningham is very talented and it will be tough to keep him off the field.  He plays above his height, same as Lefors.


  • Dez 6-Patrick is back at it again.  He finished with 8 receptions for 174 yards and 2 scores. He also made one of the sickest catches of the night.  I would explain it but I still don’t understand how he caught it.  Me and some fans around me thought the defender intercepted the ball but nope, all Dez. Even during the replay it didn’t seem possible.  If Puma and Dez have the same chemistry next season I would expect this to be Dez’s last year in a Cardinal uniform.


  • I was really impressed with Tobias Little.   He exemplifies the “downfield runner” label.  Little carried 13 times for 77 yards and 1 touchdown.  I am not sure how much of him we will see once Dae Williams and Colin Wilson return but he is a viable option if both are not ready to go in September.  I was also hoping to see more Trey Smith but I believe he was out due to injury.  The running back position at UofL is super thin and the Cards will have to recruit that spot hard in the 2019 class.


  • It was great to see Micky Crum back on the field and being productive.  He caught 8 passes for 90 yards and 1 touchdown.  We were really excited for Crum after his first season but injuries have hampered the Ohio native.  “Baby Shockey” is back and as long as he remains healthy I think he can easily be a key piece on this offense.  I really think he can kill a few more defenders who don’t have their heads on swivels.  Who can forget this timeless classic:


TJ Green’s soul was last seen on Amazon.


  • Tutu Atwell looks like he absorbed George Stripling’s and Traveon Samuel’s speed and is here to wreak havoc.  Atwell hails from South Florida and was a member of the Miami Northwestern Bulls who won the 6A Florida state championship last season.  The last time we got some guys from Northwestern we just so happened to win the Sugar bowl with them.  You remember Eli Rogers and some guy named Teddy Bridgewater right??  Back to Atwell.  The true freshman total 6 receptions for 73 yards.  I think you could see him in the slot position as well as on kickoff returns.  Speed kills.


  • After a shaky start, Jawon Pass wound up passing for 342 yards and three scores. He completed 26 of 37 passes with one turnover.  Again, I think next season’s offense will be more balanced and get back to a heavy dose of running as well as airing the football out.  Pass reminds me of Dave Ragone. Ragone would make you pay through the air and on the ground. He was a pocket passer but if he got loose he was a load to bring down.


  • The jury is still out on the defense but  I did enjoy seeing the 4-3 base being played.  I am hearing good things about new DC Brian Van Gorder and how he is reshaping the defense and installing his system.  I am still skeptical because as I have said, you can’t gauge a lot from spring games. I don’t think the defense will be as bad as last year, but I do think we will struggle in some areas especially with depth.  The defensive line will have to stay healthy as best they can because right now they are wet tissue thin.   One encouraging thing is how intense Van Gorder was while on the field.   I am a firm believer that you always want a defensive coordinator that is a bit off of his rocker.  If your defensive coordinator does not break a few white boards per game then he is  doing it wrong.


  • It was good to see C.J. Avery out there making plays.  The true sophomore was thrown in the fire early last season and had to learn on the fly.  Peter Subtraction was using him wrong and hopefully BVG can utilize him better this season. He is way too talented to not be making an impact for Pete’s sake. (pun intended).


  • I have always been a Dee Smith fan and these past 4 years have flown by.  He is now a senior and I hope he has a huge year this year.  Smith has played with Josh Harvey Clemons and Chucky Williams and finally its his year to shine.  He does not have blinding speed but he and Khane Pass love to do one thing.  HIT. Let’s not forgot TreSean Smith who will be back from injury and London Iakopo as well.


  • I wanted to see more from  Rodjay Burns and P.J. Mbanasor on Friday but I am not worried.  I think both will be great additions at corner along with Anthony Johnson and Russ Yeast.   It was also encouraging to see Robert Hicks out there making plays.  I could be wrong but I believe he was the one covering Dez during his amazing catch, and if so it is incredible that a linebacker has the speed to cover 6-Patrick. I expect the true frosh to see the field a lot come fall.


  • Beautiful weather. Friday night.  Louisville’s annual spring game.  That can only mean one thing:


It wouldn’t be a Louisville Cardinal sporting event without the infamous slappy.  And yes before you ask, the school down the road was playing at the same time we were.  Louisville still hasn’t punted….


  • The BHK enjoys Woodford Reserve.  I mean, what Kentuckian doesn’t??  So all week long, twitter follower @MadOnline247  had been telling me has a drink for me at the Spring Game.  The last time I heard this from someone they gave me a damn Samuel Adam’s Oktoberfest beer.   I had to bleach my tongue to remove the trace of that garbage beer.  So MadOnline247 shows up and gives the BHK some Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection.  I have never cried over bourbon but I believe one drop fell from my eye.  You can keep your Pappy Van Winkle and just give me this.  I went from being elated to being upset that he has had this in his possesion and is just now bringing it out.  I spent the rest of the night trying to convince his fiance that she can do better.  If you see this guy out and about,  shout “shame” three times and then ring a bell.  Congrats on the engagement bro.


  • Big shoutout and thank you to the good folks over at FDKY BBQ.  Fellow TCZ’er Joe Kelly (TBG) and owner of FDKY   “Torch” were in attendance passing out pork sliders and dropping brisket like Dez Bryant drops passes.  Not only did folks get to enjoy great, authentic bbq, but they also were able to donate to a good cause.  If you dropped some money in the fireman boot you also helped donate to the Crusade for Children.   FDKY is located in J-town on Taylorsville road, so make sure you go there and get the brisket and fries and deep fried rolls. It will change your life.


  • And while were on the subject of BBQ let me say that just because you call yourself a BBQ spot does not mean that you are one.  I mean if we’re being honest anyone with a grill and some charcoal can call themselves a BBQ joint.  I can’t respect anyone that doesn’t have a smoker out front and some guy with a messy apron. If I can’t smell your smoker from 3 blocks over then I doubt you will be in business long.  If your brisket does not have a smoke ring then you are basically using an electric smoker and have given up on life.  Don’t let a twitter post praising bland bbq in New York gas you up fam. If that seemed like a shot, it was.


And in closing I am now back into vacation mode.  I was simply in the mood to write, so I wrote.  We are quickly approaching the dead season and I am prepping my binge watch list as I do each year. I think I will finally start binge watching Homeland since I have wasted the past three years dedicating my time to The Walking Dead which is a shell of its former self.  The writing it bland, story lines are now dead ends, and some characters have been around for far too long.   There is no reason the villain should last this long, but I digress


I will see you all in August where hopefully the key pieces to the football team are healthy and Bama has to suspend a huge chunk of their team before our showdown in Orlando.  Some call it wishful thinking, I call it “speak it into existence”.  Either way,  I still have a personal vendetta against Disney World for the move they pulled in the summer of 2006.

I don’t want to talk about it…….


Be cool in this 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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