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


Same sh*t. Different toilet.

I don’t want to write this.   I really want to be lazy and just copy and paste the notes from the last three BucketHatisms which were all losses.  Negativity is a funny thing.  It eats away at everything until there is nothing left.  Hope is also a funny thing.  We all have hoped that this team would improve each week only to have that hope demolished within the first 3 minutes of the game.  We hoped that Puma is going to be as good as we thought he was coming out of high school only to see that he is a Redshirt Sophomore who is still playing like a true freshman thanks to his QB coach who doesn’t know how to develop quarterbacks on Madden let alone at UofL.

I really don’t want to write this. I am so sick of being negative and sounding like the world news on a daily basis.

I have nothing good to say about this coaching staff.  There is nothing I can hang my bucket hat on and say “yeah, this team looks great and given time they will be way better next year”.  The only way I will say that is with a coaching change with a proven coach who we can all place our hope in.   When Kragthorpe was canned, we had no idea if Charlie Strong would be a good coach or not.  But we “hoped” that whatever he brought would be better than what we had to stomach for three years.  We knew he was special because he had coached on two National Championship teams and was able to to create a stingy championship defense.

There isn’t one thing this staff can do or say that would make me hopeful for the future in 2019, 2020, or 2021.  Nothing.  I can’t say a year from now we will be dominant when we have senior wide receivers who can’t get open for passes. I can’t say that when we have senior and junior offensive lineman getting beat every single play and half the time not knowing who to block or how to place their feet.  Can’t say that when our running back situation is the equivalent of the spinning wheel at Shoe Carnival.  Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, only Bobby knows and even then he will replace in the second quarter.

I have all the faith in the world in these players, especially the young ones who have shown promise over the past seven games. I have zero faith in the grown men leading them who continue to steal money while providing false hope to the program.

To the notes.


Any outbursts will be permitted.  The fanbase is angry, and rightfully so. We pay the salary of a coaching staff who’s sole responsibility is to develop a competitive team.  We don’t ask for Alabama prestige, but we do however ask for competency. A 4-3  football team would be a blessing right now, and that is as painful to type as it is for you to read. Again, I really don’t want to write this.


Quick note. Puma should transfer.  Puma should transfer during the bye week.  There is disrespect and then there is what Bobby has done to him all year long.  You wait behind Lamar for three years and then in your second game you’re benched for the backup.  In your third game your benched again after 3 incomplete passes, two of which were dropped.  You are forced to be a backup following that game and then put in once the guy who replaced you doesn’t pan out.  You play a great game against FSU and then with that game all but won your coach calls a pass play which is picked off.  You play an even better game the following week but your defense and offensive line does you no favors and your are in a 21-0 hole before you can even put in your mouthpiece.

You go on the road again, lead a successful drive and then your offensive line mails it in. To make matters worse, you are benched in the 4th quarter for the 3rd string quarterback with the game still in reach.  Oh yeah, your head coach and his trusty assistants don’t actually tell you that you are benched, they just assume you can see the backup warming up and that should be enough of a clue.  Your replacement goes 0 for 4 and nearly gives up a safety.

Puma deserves better, and I hope that if he does decide to leave he gets it.   I shouldn’t say that I am surprised he was never told he was benched. His coach left an NFL organization a note mid-season and hauled ass to Arkansas.  Old habits die hard.


  • CJ Avery and the Louisville defense deserve better.  Avery had a monster game contributing 15 tackles, 9 of them solo.  He also had 1 tackle for loss.   Dorian Etheridge deserves better as well, making 11 tackles, 7 solo. The Louisville defense, aside from Bama and Georgia Tech, has tried to keep the Cards in the game but when you are on the field for the majority of the game and the offense continues to stall you will eventually break.  Fatigue with this group normally sets in around the 3rd quarter.


  • Hats off to Amonte Caban who collected the first sack in nearly a month for the Louisville defense. Last time we got a sack was during the Virginia game on September 22nd.  What a fine job defensive line coach L.D. Scott is doing with this group. One sack every 5-7 games is exactly what guys like G.G. Robinson and Mike Boykin signed up for.  The defensive line deserves better than this. Against one of the worst offensive lines in the country the closest Louisville got to Deondre Francois was in the post game handshake line.  Not only that, we have failed to recruit any depth on the line and have had to rely on juco’s to help put a band-aid on a severed arm.  No worries, L.D…….daddy-in-law says we are gonna practice hard and your job is safe.


  • Hassan Hall deserves better.  The true freshman is clearly the best running back we have on the team. I know that, you know that. Who doesn’t know that?  Our offensive genius doesn’t.  We continue to start Trey Smith who is clearly a short yardage back.  We continue to run our smallest running back up the middle and then complain when he fumbles. We continue to forget Hall has the speed and agility to get away from defenses but we refuse to make him an every down back.  I would post Hall’s stats but what does it matter? We probably won’t see him after the bye week because Bobby doesn’t believe in consistency or normalcy for that matter.


  • Dez Fitzpatrick deserves better.  He deserves more targets, better play calling, and a quarterback who can get him the damn ball.  This was supposed to be his year, a year where he could hopefully parlay a big receiving year into a NFL combine invite. Instead we have to hope (there’s that word again) that whoever the coach is next season can utilize his many talents. It also doesn’t help when the balls thrown to him is behind him nearly early play.  But a good QB coach would work with his quarterback to help with issues like that which have happened all year.  And also, a good wide receiver coach would help Dez’s teammates who have struggled with drops as well as route running.  No worries Lonnie Galloway, if Wakey Leaks didn’t get you fired then no way you should be held accountable for developing talent at the wide receiver spot.


  • The special teams group deserves a coach.  Yeah, you didn’t know that did you?  There is no special teams coordinator at UofL.  I have no idea who is coordinating the special teams but they were doing okay up until Saturday.  A blocked extra point, a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, and poor tackling on kickoff returns.   John L Smith was available before taking the head coaching job at Kentucky State.  He was the master of special teams while here but since we don’t make logical decisions we didn’t give him a position on this staff to help with a unit that has not played well outside of our kicker and punter.  Rodjay Burns and Blanton Creque are the only bright spots, and you guessed it…they deserve better.


  • Zach Allen, the star defensive player for BC heard Tutu Atwell’s comments about BC’s defense being “slow”.  You can watch the post game interview below where he made it known that they felt the comments were disrespectful.  However, a good coach would stop his players from trash talking while on a 3-game losing streak after he himself provided bulletin board material during the Kickoff Luncheon.  So far, we are undefeated in trash talk but 2-5 when it actually matters.


  • Each week I write this I hope for more positive notes than negative ones. And each week I have to muster up the strength type out all that is wrong with Louisville football.


The main thing that irks my nerves about this coaching staff  other than in game situations is the fact that they have no fire or intensity. They look like even they don’t want to be here.  When Strong was here I remember one of the coaches getting a flag thrown on him because he was so excited about a play made by the special teams he ran on the field and tackled a player out of joy.  We all remember Vance Bedford telling us to get on the train. And who can forget Charlie crowd surfing after an upset win against West Virginia?

Remember Shawn Watson crying on Teddy’s shoulder?  Remember Clint Hurtt high-fiving each member of the defensive line after a big stop or sack?  Remember Kenny Carter, the former running backs coach, running up the sideline with Andrew Johnson when he returned a blocked field goal against WVU?  Remember him doing the same when Bilal Powell broke an 80 yard run against Cincy?  That staff looked like they were having fun coaching, and the team responded to it.  This staff looks like they are in the dentist office waiting room preparing to have a root canal performed.

The only guys that are intense are the strength coaches and while breaking paddles over your back is impressive that does little to help us win games.  The team looks fatigued, the biggest guys on the offensive line look tired after the first series. We have a ton of injuries and it appears our team is not in the best shape to compete.  Demji Dumervil-Jean is not in the best condition and really should have been redshirted to develop his body and technique. But since we have not been able to recruit defensive lineman (looking at you L.D.) he was forced to play earlier than expected and now he is injured after being chop blocked.  This coaching staff is literally the meme of the dog sitting in a burning house sipping coffee and saying “this is fine”



The courtroom will now be open for statements and questions.


Bond (@pbond1001): Will we win another game?

All signs point to no.  Most people seem to think Wake Forest is our best shot and for the life of me I don’t see why.  Indiana State and WKU was our best chance for blowouts and we see what happened there. We struggled. What makes you think we have a good chance against Wake when we couldn’t even put away an FCS school?


Big Red Louie (@TheBigRedLouie): Could the TCZ crew along with another person of your choice block better than UofL’s offensive line? 

We don’t need another person, we would have Mekhi Becton. And I am sure this group would do better if they had some competent coaching. Not really understanding how some guys on the line block while the same two guys whiff so hard  we can all feel a breeze.  Hanging with fellow TCZ’er Dave Scull, I have begun to pay more attention to the offensive line and now I wish I didn’t. I have seen some of our guys on the line not block anyone and then not even bother to help Puma up afterwards.  Says a lot about the state of the program right now.


Nigel (@danflowe): Why play Jordan Travis? Has Bobby given up on Pass?

Easy answer, Bobby is sundowning.  Bobby gave up on Pass in the second game of the season.  I detailed all of this above.  Pass has been crapped on for perhaps the last time. I wouldn’t blame him if he packed up his dorm tonight and left.


Simple Jenks (@simplejenks): How do you fix the problem and finish out the season on any positive note? What kind if coaching do you do here to insure a solid culture going into 2019?

You fire Bobby and his staff and hire a up and coming coach, preferably a defensive minded one.  The only positive to this season is we received good tailgating weather (minus Indiana State) out of the deal and several night games.  As for your second question, there is no solid coaching from the current regime that can give you, me, or any of us hope. There is nothing this staff does well except lose big and help struggling teams get better.  The only hope for 2019 is that we new staff is in place.  Sorry I don’t have more positive news for you.


All Hail UofL (@LavontezSpanyer): Is this the final straw?

The final straw? The final straw was going for it on 4th down from your own 30. The final straw was calling a pass play instead of running the ball up 3 under 2 minutes. The final straw was running off Todd Grantham who was not perfect but a hell of a lot better than your last two DC hires. The final straw was calling screens for Jeremy Smith and throwing passes 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 1.  The final straw was replacing your quarterback in all but two games this season.  The final straw was losing 9 games with the greatest Louisville football player of all time.   We are way past final straw bro.


Cryptic Jules (@julesmaysmith): I’d love to hear any possible explanation why Bobby continues to always take the ball first when we win toss and even when we don’t win toss every other coach in the universe defers?

Because much like people who actually believe Hocus Pocus was a good Halloween movie, he is living in a fantasy world where he believes he still has the 2004 offense.


Tanya Cowan (@CardsBballFan) Is playing  Jordan Travis, possibly wasting a red-shirt year for him, over Cunningham a good idea?

No.  And it is one of many reasons why Bobby and his staff are likely to be fired at the end of the season.


Jason Sanders: Why do we keep watching these games hoping for a different outcome?



Aaron Dennis (@ADennis5421):  Brent Venables or Jeff Brohm? Who would you prefer, a defensive or offensive minded coach?

Venables all day and twice on Sunday. He knows how to win, he knows what it takes to get there, and he has had a nasty defense for the past few seasons. Any coach can score touchdowns but it doesn’t make a difference if you have to score 60 to win games where you give up 59.


Kevin Dant: Will our defense ever stop the run?

They stopped the run against BC for a good chunk of the game. They began wearing down in the second half and that is when BC went to work.  The defense plays well for about 40 minutes of the game and then the toll of being on the field all day starts to set in. For what it is worth they stopped the run against FSU and held Cam Akers in check.


Beastachu (@502BeastMode): Why does the QB throw it behind Dez….every…damn…time…??

Because Michael Scott-Petrino and Dwight Schrute-Petrino are in charge of developing him.



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

CJ Avery and Hassan Hall.  Two of many guys on this team that have me excited for the future but only if that is under a different coaching staff.  Also, Alex Kupper.  Kupper is a former offensive lineman for UofL who is now the color commentator on the UofL Sports Network aside Paul Rogers.  He pulls no punches and has not sugar coated the team’s poor performance even after Petrino confronted him out it.  He is also a Charlie Strong guy so he knows what a competent staff looks like.  Cheers fellas.

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

Bobby can open a can of this “been in a hot trunk all day” beer.  Also, Tutu has to get some only because you have to know not to trash talk in the midst of a three game losing streak.  Mike Summers is back for another round as is Lonnie Galloway. I would throw him a can but he would drop it.   VanGorder gets another can with cigarette ashes in it.  You can’t get your ass kicked by G-Tech and then get angry during a mid-week interview when asked about it.  Just because you say you and the team have moved on doesn’t mean we all should ignore the fact you couldn’t stop three plays and your defense is responsible for the worst loss in stadium history.


And in closing, I am literally going to copy and paste the same thing that I posted last week because like our losing streak it still holds true:


The Louisville Football games are now a mere outing rather than a contest. This isn’t fun, this is now something for fans to do before it gets cold outside. This is abysmal and its something that the fans have had to go through when we were sure better days were ahead.  Two seasons ago we were #3 in the nation.  Now were not even #3 in the state of Kentucky.
I am not a fan of firing a coach mid-season. I am fully aware that we cannot afford to pay Bobby’s buyout.  But I am terrified to think what can happen if we don’t make a coaching change at season’s end.  If you owned a restaurant and you knew the service and customer support was going to get worse before it got better and the first chance to get out of contract was still several years away. Would you pull the trigger and somehow find the money to get out now, or do you stick it out and have a few down years to save a buck?
If I am Tyra,  I am cutting my losses as soon as the clock hits zero in the Governor’s Cup.  Burn em all….


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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