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

It’s over.  The nightmare is over.

Now it is time to wake up.

This season was so bad it surpassed every other terrible season we could imagine.  The incompetent staff, the undisciplined players, the blowouts, etc.   This was a bad dream that we couldn’t wake up from.   If the football program was experiencing some rough turbulence before, it was nothing compared to the nose dive we have witnessed for the past 3 months.   The season, as expected, crashed into a film of splattered red and blue on Saturday night.

Now that it is over, we can rebuild and pick up the pieces starting today.  There is no sense in talking about this season any further, we need to save the horror story for Halloween.

With that being said.  The verdict is in.


Any outbursts from the court and you will be removed by Ray Ganong.  Ganong was honored by UofL at Saturday’s game for his more then 30 years of service.   Since he is retired now and does not have any more chairs to cripple, its only right he crushes any of you who yell out in my courtroom.   Take a look at him, then ask yourself is the juice worth the squeeze.


Bobby Petrino, please rise.  I charge you with setting fire to every college or NFL team that you have touched since 2006.  Your smug attitude and inability to play with others hampered the University of Louisville.  Your constant favoritism of players who should not have been on the field proved fatal.  You have alienated players such as Dominique Brown, Keith Towbridge,  Shaq Wiggins, Rodney Owens, Hassan Hall, and Colin Wilson.  You have ran off good coaches such as Todd Grantham, Terrell Buckley, Cort Dennison, and Keith Fields.  Coaches and players would rather bail than to buy in to your system.  You coined the term Speed City this year, but it was merely Turmoil Town.   You have obliterated every possible bridge and it is of my opinion you will never be a head coach again at this level.   Your nepotism is the cause of your demise.

Verdict:   I find you guilty on all charges and sentence you to be nothing more than a offensive coordinator for the rest of your days. You may or may not join Alabama’s staff as an analyst.  You may become a head coach again, but never at a Power 5 level.  I am thinking FCS level.  That way when you wreck that program it will hardly be a blip on anyone’s radar.   (Bangs gavel)


Nick Petrino, please rise.   I charge you with being one of the worst hires this side of Steve Kragthorpe.  Your resume was so limited it could fit on one sheet of paper. Your only claim to fame is winning a state championship in high school.  You were the Al Bundy of college athletics.  You didn’t help Lamar Jackson win the Heisman.  A Lamborghini doesn’t become great just because you added more gas to a tank that was 3/4ths full.  You took a 4star, Elite 11 quarterback in Puma Pass and made him look like he was backup on a JV team.   Malik Cunningham still cannot throw downfield and he spent a year learning how to be a college QB.  You ran off the future QB Jordan Travis.  You can’t teach mechanics because you were never taught.  Like your dad,  you alienated Travis to the point where he would rather leave mid-season than to stick around and be a 3rd string QB.  You also robbed the university of 200k.  Your hire was almost worse than Simple Pete Sirmon.  Word around town is that you had to use Google to learn how to run a drill.

Verdict:  I find you guilty on all charges and sentence you to be what you were always meant to be….an assistant to an assistant.  As far as coaching, you should go to Trinity and ask if you can join the staff, perhaps your lack of skills can lead to a junior college job but I doubt it.  I look forward to you coaching football at a high school one day. (bangs gavel)


L.D. Scott, please rise.  I charge you with failure to develop any defensive line talent in your 5 years here.  And before you open your mouth let me remind you that Lorenzo Mauldin and Deiontrez Mount were Charlie Strong’s players.  You had to rely on juco’s to fill holes because you couldn’t recruit.   Your line couldn’t penetrate a wet paper towel at times this season, last season, and the season before that.  Opposing offenses were salivating at the thought of facing you.  We all know the only reason you had a job here was based on who you were married to.  Any other coach with the lack of results that you had would have been gone years ago.  No way Bob fires his daughter’s husband.  Now that you are gone, my hope is that opposing QB’s don’t get so comfortable in the pocket that they can blow up an air mattress and binge watch a Netflix show.   Your resume,  like your coaching, is lacking and in need of more experience.  But unlike your brother in law, at least you played at the highest level.

Verdict:  You will be nothing more that a defensive line coach at a FCS level.  The team this year had only 10 sacks on the season.  TEN.  There are players in the FBS that had more than that.   Your wife’s Facebook post did you no favors.  It seems as though you were hiding behind your in-laws who did an even worse job of shielding you from criticism.  You would do great at a Division III College if they will have you.   (bangs gavel)


Ryan Beard, please rise.  Welcome to the family,……. you’re fired.

Verdict:  You lasted longer than Rick Pitino in a Porcini’s booth.   You were a quality control coach and then added to defensive staff.  How is that even possible?  That wasn’t a question, I already know how.  Ryan, what would you say…..you do here???????????  We know little about you and now you are gone as quickly as you came (like Rick).  Go back to doing, ….whatever the hell you did before you came to Louisville.  (bangs gavel)


Lonnie Galloway, please rise.   You got caught up in an embarrassing cheating scandal and was kept on staff. Any normal head coach would have fired you on the spot, but as we saw your boss was not competent at all. You had perhaps one of the most talented group of receivers here at Louisville. So much speed and depth.

Verdict:  Mr. Galloway, step forward I want to see something.  (Picks up football and throws to him…… which he drops).  And that is why you are out of a job.  (bangs gavel)


Brian VanGorder, please rise.   The fact that you a making a mockery of my courtroom by showing up in a Whitesnake t-shirt is baffling.  You made Mike Cassidy look like Bill Belichick.  You made Peter Sirmon look like Buddy Ryan.  Our last five games were a combination of you yelling into the void and our defense getting ran through like a marathon finish line.  At no point should you have been brought back as a defensive coordinator. You didn’t want to discuss the G-Tech loss, instead opting to use the 24 hour rule.   Your defenses was so bad Louisville’s record books were re-written this year.



I would continue but then this blog would turn into a dissertation.

Verdict:  You will never work again as a defensive coordinator.  No AD or football coach in their right mind will look at this year’s stats and hire you.  Bob plucked you from the depths of unemployment and paid you 900k to produce this steaming pile of garbage.  Your defenses looked confused on each possession.  You knew exactly what Georgia Tech was going to do and couldn’t stop it.  UK’s offense was struggling until they found us. You let Dabo’s son score.  Guys were constantly out of position, much like you.  Why anyone would want you as a analyst baffles me.  You will never work again at this level. NEVER.  You will live out the rest of your days arguing the greatest rock bands and getting kicked out of karaoke bars.


Kolby Smith, please rise.   First of all, this is not your fault.  You were always hampered by terrible play calls and horrible substitutions.  Bobby sabotaged your career with his inability to relinquish control.  You finally had a good stable of running backs but your former boss was too dumb to use them correctly.  You are a young coach that deserves another shot at coaching.

Verdict:  You will land on your feet somewhere. Maybe not at a Power 5 school but at a group of 5 schools.  I can see you coaching as soon as next year and hope the best for you.  You were truly one of the bright spots on this team.


Mike Summers, Lorenzo Ward, and all other coaches and grad assistants please rise.  I am not sure where to begin.  Coach Summers was once one of the best offensive line coaches in the game.  Whammy was a very respected defensive coach.  Things have changed dramatically over the past two seasons.  Guys on the line don’t know who to block, our corners are continually burned.  I would say more but our fans have eyes.

Verdict:  I believe Coach Summers retires.  He has had a long successful career and it may be time to hang it up rather than try to join a new staff.  I believe Whammy Ward heads back to the SEC where he thrived in the past.  He was given an unmanageable situation for the last two weeks and did what he could despite the circumstances. Grady Brown will join a new staff next season as well.  He didn’t get a chance to even unpack his bags.   Here’s hoping you all land on your feet.


I will now open the courtroom for questions and closing statements:


Young OG (@Ville_Hayes): We suck. LJ give me something positive?

It’s basketball season, the team is getting better under Chris Mack.  Jeff Walz and the Women’s team are killing it on the road.  All of the coaches that were tied to Katina Powell, Karen Cypher, Wakey Leaks, neck brace photos are gone.  We will have a new coach in place in the next 2 weeks.  Game of Thrones returns next April.  We get new Marvel movies next year plus a live-action Aladdin and The Lion King.  The Iron Fist was cancelled on Netflix.  There ya go buddy.


@MooreofKaitlyn: Go Cards, that’s all.

Well said Kaitlyn.


L’ville Lich Lord (@Undead_Swankin): If you were in charge of the 3rd down music what would you play? I’m at the point where I’d rather hear Eddie Van Halen shart through skin tight leather than that old dusty guitar riff..

There is so much that can be done with this.  You can play the bell tolls from the Undertaker’s intro music.  You could play DMX’s “Rough Riders Anthem”.  You could play the opening guitar riff from AC/DC’s “Thunder”.   There is so much potential and I hope the new coach has a say.


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

  • Hassan Hall
  • Colin Wilson
  • Dez Fitzpatrick
  • Tutu Atwell
  • Jordan Travis, for pulling back the veil on Nick Petrino
  • Dave Scull for writing 5 Keys to victory even when a loss was certain.
  • Joe Kelly and Mark Ennis for giving a voice to former players
  • The fine folks over at Red Rage and Collision Course Crew for throwing awesome tailgates all year long.
  • The Cardinal fanbase who stuck with the team through thick and thin.
  • The people who read this blog every week and suffered along with me.

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

  • The idiots who trashed the Red Rage Tailgate during the game.  You deserve every bit of karma that comes your way regardless of who you cheer for.
  • Brian VanGorder.
  • The Petrino coaching family
  • Mike Summers
  • Andy Wagner for blocking Louisville fans in hopes to silence the die hard fans
  • The 3rd down music operator
  • Fans who sold their tickets to our rivals and created a neutral site atmosphere.
  • Sports radio wars
  • Suspensions of injured players  (Seriously guys??)


And in closing, I want to thank each and every one of you who have stuck by me for the past 3 seasons.  Reading this week in and out when you didn’t have to. Sharing this with friends and players. Supporting me, even if you didn’t agree.  A king is nothing without his people, and I am glad I have you all.  My Cardinal family.

Thanks to Mark Blankenbaker, Dave Scull and the TCZ staff for sharing, retweeting, and pubbing this on local radio.  I appreciate all the kind words that I have received, it means more to me than you will know.  I am looking forward to Season 4 of BucketHatism.  New coach, new staff, and renewed hope.  This was one of the toughest, most frustrating seasons we have ever endured.  But its over now.

Whether it’s Jeff Brohm,  Matt Campbell, Ryan Day, or someone else the job will be tough but we will be back.  We will remember this season,  the payback will be sweet.  The revenge tour will be awesome, the wins will be boasted loudly.

I hope it’s Jeff Brohm, I believe in him just as I believe in Chris Mack.  He is not the greatest coach to ever stand on the sideline, but he is the best man for the job.  We all see the potential in him, and that is why we want him here.  I believe in Vince Tyra, because he hasn’t given me a reason not to.  I believe this will get done, despite what Brohm said in his presser.  And I believe that the next time we take the field, we will be a team fans will be extremely proud of.

See you next season.

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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