Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dustin' off the ol' ball glove...

When I was younger I loved playing baseball. In fact, I just loved baseball in general. As I've gotten older, my love of baseball has dwindled. However, I've re-gained some of my baseball passion this spring. Some of it has to do with the fact that UofL is crazy good at baseball, some of it has to do with the excitement surrounding Jason Heyward at Braves Spring Training, but most of it has to do with the fact that I'm starting a softball team.

For quite sometime I've wanted to play on a softball team and this year some of my buds and I have put that plan into action. This morning I went over and signed up for the Men's C league at Seneca Park. I'm totally pumped.

Here are the main reasons that I am so pumped:

1.) I get to be active.
- I simply have to exercise more. I'm not fat, I'm not unhealthy...but it's a slippery slope and there's no reason for me to be so lazy. Also, I just like playing sports. My fitness will also be helped by Volleyball which begins in about 2 weeks.

2.) Sunflower seeds.
- I love sunflower seeds, but if you're not playing baseball/softball...it's tough to find a time to eat them. I plan on averaging a bag a game.

3.) The Dugout.
- More than any other sport, baseball lends itself to some good ol' fashioned camaraderie. When you're in the dugout there is a lot of down time, so there's lots of talking, trying to spit in things, etc. When I stopped playing baseball the shenanigans in the dugout were what I missed most.

4.) Beers after the game.
- It's the spring/summer so after the game there will be plenty of time to head to a nearby watering hole and grab some beers and some wings with the team. When I was younger our baseball team would go to Hooters after big wins. It was fun and there wasn't even any beer involved. I imagine beer will make the post game meal more enjoyable.

Also, I'm dedicating this season to Bobby Cox. The Braves skipper is calling it quits after the season and it breaks my heart. However, what better why to honor a man who represents all that is right in baseball, than by getting together with your buds to play some ball and drink some beers? This one's for you Bobby!
Get out your gloves and put on your caps, gang...it's time to play ball!

Song of the Day: John Fogerty - Centerfield

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits...

It's Me Mario...I'ma gonna wiiin!

* Check out who stopped by my local guitar shop the other day:
Yup, Mr. Yim Yames his self paid a visit to Mick and the other folks at Steilberg String Instruments. One of the biggest bummers about starting grad school is that I don't have time to take lessons anymore and as a result, don't get to head to Steilberg's as often. Still, pretty cool that Yim stopped in.

* In addition to the fine bourbon that I blogged about on Friday, Lautaro has also recently picked up a bottle of Jefferson's:
I haven't tried it yet, but the bottle is cool. Man, we've got bourbon out the wazoo.

* The New Jersey Nets won their 10th game of the season last night, meaning they will not be known as the worst team in NBA history. They've actually been decent this past month and much of that is credited to the outstanding play of their rookie Terrence Williams. Seriously, T-Will's playin' like a bad ass this month...his future is bright.

* We've all had bad days...but I think this chick just experienced one of the worst days ever:

I mean seriously, it's bad enough to miss a shot that could send your team to the final four...but to miss a wide open layup...twice...that's what we call "choking." Still, gotta feel bad for her.

* It's always lame when College Basketball comes to an end, but it does allow me to relax a bit and focus on some of my other hobbies, such as music. Luckily, this spring we'll get hit with some new albums from some outstanding artists...check it:
4/16 - Dr. Dog
5/4 - New Pornographers
5/4 - Big Boi
5/11 - The National
5/18 - Band of Horses
5/18 - The Black Keys
I will but all of those, it will be awesome.

* There are few things I hate more than the NFL draft. I mean honestly, it's still like 3 weeks away...who cares?

* Tuesday's are not super exciting.

That's all I have for today. Have a good one!

Song of the Day: The Whigs - Right Hand On My Heart

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home...

Everyone knows that the University of Kentucky lost to West Virginia in the NCAA tournament this weekend. Most people know that I don't particularly like UK. I was out to eat with some friends on Saturday and I didn't even watch the game. Yet, I still kept track and the UK loss brought a smile to my face. One of our friends lives in Shelbyville, KY (Shelbyville: We take what we can get!) and asked me why I was rooting against UK. She is a fan of the state of Kentucky and made the point that across the nation Kentuckians get such a bad/unfair reputation, shouldn't we root for all of our teams to win so we can be known for something else? I said, yeah in a perfect world that would be awesome. In fact, I root for all other teams in Kentucky (WKU, Eastern, Murray St, etc.) but I don't root for Kentucky. She then asked me to explain why and I thought I should probably explain to everyone why I hate UK.

To start off, I don't root against UK because I'm jealous and I don't simply root against UK because their our rival and I don't want them to win. I root against UK because if they win...I have to hear about it from their fans....and god are they obnoxious.

I know what you're saying, "But Brian, you celebrate when Louisville wins...what's wrong with that?" That's true, but I don't rub it in UK fans' faces. I celebrate the fact that my team won and I move on.

Also, this isn't something that has started recently...here are some highlights in my life as a UofL fan.

- In 2nd grade UofL lost to UK, I was sad. However, my best friend was a UK fan and decided that it wasn't enough for his team to win and my team to lose. That little bastard actually sent me a kleenex in the mail that said, "use this to wipe up your tears! Go Cats!" The best part is that his parents actually helped him send that. I mean really? Way to be a good sport. Now, I know that was a looong time ago and I'm not bringing it up because it still bothers me...I'm bringing it up to show how long this has been going on.

- In 1996 and 1998 UK won the championship. Guess what happened? Within 10 minutes of the final horn in both years, my cousins on my Mom's side (UK fans) called my house. Thank God for caller I.D., I didn't pick up. Still, they left messages saying, "We're #1! Go Cats! UofL stinks!" I mean honestly? Your team wins the national championship and the first thing you think of is, "Oh, let me call my cousins to rub it in their faces!" I can assure you that if UofL wins the national championship in my lifetime, the last people on my mind will be UK fans. Not to mention I'd be crying so hard and drinking so much that I won't be able to work a phone.

- After UL loses in High School I would often walk into homeroom to find a note on my desk that would read something like, "Nice game Loserville!" or "UL Sucks" both super creative and unnecessary.

- Throughout the rest of high school and college UofL started to get better and UK started to get a little worse. Hell, we even beat them a few times. Still, I had plenty of phone calls and text messages after UK wins and UL loses. All saying the same thing, "UL SUCKS!" "GO CATS" "GO BIG BLUE" It was predictable and it was lame.

Now, those are just highlights...I could write you a 200 page book about how many times UK fans have been terrible to me over the years. I just don't have that kinda time. I still have UK fans call, text or e-mail me on a regular basis, it's sad really.

Here's the kicker though...most people would probably say, "Well, Brian...you've rubbed it in when UL's won and UK's lost before, so don't play that sympathy card with me!" Honestly, that's not true. I'm not going to say I haven't taken the occasional shot at UK in my lifetime because God knows I have...but I've never sought out a UK fan just to rub it in when they have lost and I've never done it when UL has won a big game.

People probably find that hard to believe and I'm sure UK fans don't believe it...but prove that I'm not telling the truth and I'll admit I'm wrong.

Here's the reason why I don't rub it in....losing sucks. There is nothing worse than your team losing a big game or getting knocked out of the tournament. Actually, the only thing worse is having that happen and then having some idiot rub it in. It sucks a lot and when it happens to you several times a year for 24 years...you tend to develop some hatred toward those fans that do it and the team they support. Especially, when you don't return the favor when you win or they lose.

I don't root for UK, in fact...I hate UK. But I don't just hate UK for the hell of it, I have 24 years of reasons. I know there are UofL fans out there who are obnoxious and do rub in UK losses...but I'm not one of them, so start calling and texting them after games....they deserve it.

In fact, I've never started an argument about UL/UK stuff. If you bring it up, you better believe I'll get into it with you and defend my team...but I don't bring it up. If you comment on a Facebook status of mine, I'll respond...but I've never commented on a UK fan's status and trust me...there are some real gems out there that I've wanted to respond to.

At the end of the day, it's not worth it, it's like arguing politics...which is another thing I don't do. I root for UofL, UK fans root for UK...nothing is going to change that. I root against UK because I don't want to hear their fans rub it in my face if they win, it's pretty simple.

The UofL vs. UK rivalry is the ugliest in all of sports, I'll argue that till I die. During Football and especially Basketball season it causes a bunch of tension and anger across the state. It would be nice if we could all support each other and give Kentucky a better reputation across the nation...but that won't ever happen.

But basketball is over now and with 4 months until football starts, we can all rest easy and focus on Spring, which allows us to shed our redneck image for a few months...only to obtain the image of drunk, southerners who love to yell at race horses! At least we do that together.

So, fellow Kentuckians...I raise a glass of bourbon to you. We may seem like drunk-inbred-barefoot-rednecks to everyone else...but we all know the truth! (Just 80% of us are drunk-inbred-barefoot-rednecks).

Here's to Derby!

Song of the Day: John Prine - My Old Kentucky Home

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stocking My Bar...

For most of my adult life, I've enjoyed the occasional drink or two. Over the last year or so I've really expanded my horizons and I've developed a good appreciation for fine liquor....especially bourbon. The problem is that I don't make a lot of money. As a result, I tend to be cheaper liquor and I only buy it as needed. However, with this past Christmas and my recent birthday my bar is looking more and more...how do you say it....bad ass!

For Christmas I added a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve courtesy of Taylor's Parents
While Woodford isn't my favorite bourbon, it's very good and I enjoy it quite a bit. Also, the bottle came with a horse bottle stopper.

Also for Christmas I received a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch from my Mom.
Four Roses is my favorite bourbon and the small batch, which I hadn't had until this bottle, is fantastic. Extremely smooth and delicious.

When my birthday rolled around, I didn't know what to ask for...but booze always makes a good gift.

Ben and Megs gave me a bottle of Basil Hayden's
I've tried this before, but never owned a bottle. It is one of my favorite bourbon's for sure though. In addition, I love the bottle and the fact that this bourbon was first made when Kentucky, as a state, was 4 years old and George Washington was president.

Finally, as a final birthday gift, my dad gave me a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel.
I haven't tried this one yet, but it's on my immediate things to do list for this weekend. My mouth waters a bit just looking at it.

In addition to these four, My mom also gave me this UofL decanter for my birthday
It fits the collection nicely.

So, while I'm not bourbon expert by any means...I like bourbon a lot and I've been wanting to stock my bar with a good selection of bourbon for some time. Luckily, thanks to good gift givers, I've finally been able to stock my bar like an adult. Don't worry though, there's always room for some Very Old Barton and Kentucky Gentleman on my shelf.

Also, the top shelf of my desk, which used to be full of CDs, proved to be a good spot for my "private stock."


Have a good weekend everyone. Cheers!

Song of the Day: Billy Blues - Water, Wood and Corn

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Cleaning...

Recently I noticed that my room at my apartment was getting over run with stuff. Old magazines, books, CDs, etc. I'm a bit of a pack rat so this wasn't too unusual. However, I realized a little spring cleaning would fix this issue.

The main issue was my desk. I feel like desks tend to be places where junk collects most often. I needed to fix two things about my desk. First, I needed to find a different place to store old magazines, pieces of mail, cards, etc that I have collected. Luckily, I have a Beatles box for an end table and I was able to stash all of that stuff in there. Next, I needed to find a new home for some of my CDs. I tried moving them to different areas and nothing was working. It was frustrating.

Luckily, my next move was to head to Target and look for a shelf of some kind. While looking at Target I realized I didn't really have room for another shelving unit in my room. Finally, I decided I could get some new shelves to put my TV on...which would also give me some shelf space for CDs. I got home and assembled the shelves and they're perfect...here's a pic I took with my phone:
It's not amazing, but it's certainly better. The funniest thing is how happy it made me. The TV stand I had before was too big, too low, it didn't match and it was overall a piece of crap. I hated it from the moment I bought it, but it was cheap and easy...so I put up with it and lived with a cluttered room for a year and a half.

Overall my spring cleaning took me about 2 1/2 hours and cost me 24 dollars. It's crazy how such a small amount of time and money changed so much. I've been sitting at work all day thinking of how pumped I am to sit in my room later, drink some bourbon, listen to some music and enjoy the lack of clutter.

Less is more, people...less is more.

Have a good one.

Song of the Day: The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

101 Small Pleasures You Can Enjoy Everyday....

On the front page of yahoo they had a link to an article called, "101 small pleasures you can enjoy every day."

I'm always interested in these kinds of lists because they are often absurd and ridiculous. So, I read the list while keeping in mind that these are things I can do for a bit of enjoyment...every single day.

When taking that approach, the list becomes hilarious. Let's take a look:

5.) the first daffodils of spring
- I'm sure that is nice, but I bet it's tough to enjoy in October.

11.) the way babies smell
- Hmmm...what if you don't have any kids who are babies? Or any sort of access to a baby? Do they make baby air fresheners? I'm lost on how to enjoy this one everyday without looking like a creep.

15.) finding a couple forgotten dollars in your pocket
- When this happens it is totally awesome. However, if every day you reach in your pocket and find some money you forgot about, you might want to go to the doctor because as it turns out...you're kinda stupid.

20.) playing hookey
- I actually thought that said "hockey" the first time I read it. Still, hookey every day? I think that means you're unemployed...or will be soon.

28.) old fashioned photo booths
- What? I don't even really know what to say to that one...unless you own an old fashioned photo booth.

32.) rainy afternoons
- I love rainy afternoons. However, in Louisville today there is a 0 percent chance of rain. Hard to enjoy this one today.

43.) The Beatles
- True

47.) staying in your pj's all day
- Every day? Just like the hookey one...unemployed or soon to be.

59.) sunshine
- What!?!? How am I supposed to enjoy sunshine and rainy afternoons each and every day. This list is bull shit.

70.) the perfect taco
- Hahaha. That should just read...eating a taco. They're all perfect.

76.) the smell of gasoline
- Whoever made this list has issues.

86.) reading your child a bedtime story
- Again, no kids and no access to kids.

101.) bacon and pancakes cooking on Saturday morning
- Haha, save the best for last. Good luck enjoying that one on the other 6 days of the week.


I realize that before the article starts it says that you shouldn't enjoy these all in the same day, but if you're going to make that statement wouldn't you change the title? Plus, pretending to do all those in one day makes it much more hilarious. The should have called it, "101 small pleasures you can enjoy every day if you are a forgetful, lazy, unemployed, taco-loving, gas huffing, creepster who hangs out with other people's kids....and love the Beatles.

I got a pretty good kick out of that list...I'm not gonna lie.

Song of the Day: Black Keys - I've Got Mine

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits...

Sit back, relax and enjoy the tidbits...

* While the games in this year's NCAA tourney have been outstanding, the commercials have been pretty legit too. Here are my two favorites so far:



* The new She & Him album came out today. For those of you who don't know, She & Him is Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I picked it up at lunch today and I'm enjoying it so far, nice record for the spring time.
* Also, Wes Anderson's take on "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is out today on DVD. I haven't seen this yet, but I really want to...I bet it's good.
* I got my grade for my first midterm test last night. I was pretty worried going in and so were a bunch of the other students. Never fear, I got a 95% yo! I was/am super pumped. It's good to know that all of that SportsCenter is paying off.

* Guess what? I was officially invited to be a member of my brother's volleyball team today. I subbed quite a bit last season, but I was unsure if I'd get asked to be full time. I'm super pumped. Our first game is Sunday. I've got a feeling we're taking the Championship this year!

* Some of my buddies and I are thinking about starting a softball team. We'll probably be in a "C" league...that way we can focus on beer drinking and not worry too much about the game. The first step is finding a team name, J.D.'s suggestion is in the lead right now..."The Master Batters"

* The weather in the 'Ville is gorgeous right now. Kinda cool, but sunny and warm enough. I really liiiike it.

* Best part of being out of town on your birthday? It turns into a week long celebration! Woo!

That's all for today kids, I'll try to do better next time. Until till then...

Goodnight Canada.

Song of the Day: The Beatles - And Your Bird Can Sing

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to Reality...

That was me last week....it was nice.

The past week was great. While not as rambunctious or wild as Spring Breaks of the past, it was great to not only visit Taylor, but also hang out with Will and Danielle. Here is a list-style recap of the past week.

* Charleston has nice weather this time of year

* I got new shoes

* Bat Fight

* I feel like I gained about 15 pounds last week, lots of good food.

* UofL lost on my birthday...it was lame.

* I ate a bacon, chili, cheese burger on my birthday...it was not lame.

* Taylor gave me a cool beer stein.

* The Beach is awesome.

* I'm not so good at the new Fifa

* meat sale

* We successfully made "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Mean Girls" drinking games. Two fantastic movies.

* I've had Jamison before, but I never really realized how delicious it was until this past week.

* How crazy is this NCAA tourney? You gotta pull for St. Mary's, No. Iowa and Cornell...especially Cornell.

* Who's chair is that? Not my chair...No way.

Some of those things are inside jokes. I'll explain in person if you care.

It was a bummer to head back to the normal grind, but things are about to get crazy. I have more than 3x the amount of projects and papers due in the next month than I had the entire semester so far. Also, I'll be done with my first semester of Grad School in 36 days. Also, Taylor moves home in less than 2 months! Crazy awesome things are going on!

Enjoy your Mondays.

Song of the Day: Blink 182 - Dammit

Friday, March 12, 2010

March Madness...

Wooo! I'm super pumped today! Anyone know why? It's because I'm about to embark on the best 10 day stretch of the year. As the weather keeps getting nicer, people continue to wake up from their winter slumbers to help me celebrate these wonderful days. It's fantastic, feel free to join.

Here's what's going on:

1.) St. Paddy's Day:
For me St. Paddy's began last night with the "Blessing of the Beer" at O'Shea's, will continue Saturday at the St. Paddy's parade and then will go out with a bang on March 17th! I love Ireland, I love Guinness, I love Jamison, I love St. Paddy's day!

2.) Spring Break 2010
I'm back in school now, so that means I get a Spring Break! Woo-hoo! Next week, I'll be heading to Charleston with Will and Danielle to stay with Taylor and celebrate the craziness that is Spring Break. While this one will probably be a bit different from the Spring Break trips I've been on in the past, it's still going to be wicked fun. We leave on Sunday and we'll be back next Saturday. Boom!

3.) The NCAA Basketball tournament opening weekend.
I love the whole tournament, but nothing is better then the first weekend. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be games all day long...and they are all significant. The Cards are limping into the tourney and they probably won't do much, if any, damage. But, they'll get a shot to do something crazy and so will 64 other teams!

4.) My Birthday
I've never been a huge fan of my own birthday, but I'm pretty excited about this one. I'll be 24, which is an alright age, but most importantly...I'll be on SB in Charleston and I'll be able to go to a bar and drink beer and watch basketball all day long! So, it should be a good day!

Alright guys, I hope you all have great weekends of your own. I wont have daily posts next week, but I'll try to stop by and say hello. If I don't, it's because I'm at the beach, or at a bar, or watching basketball, or having a wonderful time celebrating the best 10 days of the year.

Take care.

Song of the Day: LMFAO & Lil John - Shots

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Sound of Your Own Voice...

I'm I alone in saying that I hate the sound of my own voice?

Now, let me clarify that just a bit. I don't hate the way my voice sounds to me when I talk, but whenever I hear my voice played back in a home movie, phone message, etc., I always cringe and think I sound like a doofus.

I mean honestly, when I talk I can hear the words coming out of my mouth and they sound fine. I don't have a strong accent, I don't have a speech impediment or anything, but I just don't like the way it sounds when it's played back to me.

I actually did have trouble saying my R's when I was younger. I guess all kids talk funny for a little bit, but I couldn't pronounce my "R's" until I was like 5 or 6 (I think). It was made even worse by the fact that I loved playing cards and my favorite game was...War. Or as I called it, "Wauw." It also sucked the entire year that I was "Fauw" years old. Oh well.

I don't really know what the point of this post is, I just know that I don't like the way my voice sounds when I hear it played back to me. Do you guys think I talk funny? Do you think you talk funny? This might actually explain why I think I'm an outstanding singer and the rest of the human race disagrees. I don't know.

Actually, I think there is a way to resolve this issue...I have to start talking with an accent or something. Or maybe I'll talk like Morgan Freeman. Ooh, what about a British Morgan Freeman? Yeah, I like that, gov-na'!

Alright guys, have a good Thursday!

Song of the Day: 38 Special - The Sound Of Your Voice

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday Tidbits...

I know it's weird...just roll with it.

* First off, I want to apologize for yesterday. I actually had a pretty nasty virus on my computer and it took pretty much the whole day to get it fixed. For the record, if you type "Independence and Probability" into google and then click on the wikipedia page, prepare for a virus. I'm not sure how that gave me a virus, but it's fixed and that's all that matters.

* Also, my midterms are over! Woo! I actually have a take home one to do tonight, but it's pretty easy and it will allow me to participate in one of my favorite pastimes...drinking beer while taking a test! Woo! School is awesome!

* Speaking of awesome, how about this weather, Louisville? Pretty amazing stuff. For those of you not here, it's about 69 degrees and sunny.

* So, you know what you should do on this gorgeous day? Sit inside and watch basketball!
Honestly, you can do what I do...which is open your windows (or in my case doors to my porch) and watch basketball. It's awesome. But really though, is there anything better then basketball during the (week) day? No, there isn't.

* Anyone else getting in the St. Paddy's Spirit? Apparently you can get a growler full of Guinness at Value Market, so that's cool. Also, I love St. Paddy's day.

* With the wedding just around the corner, Taylor and I talk often about our future home and what we will put in it. Sadly, she doesn't find all of my pieces of sports memorabilia, Beatles dolls, Keg-o-rator and drum set as things that should go in the living room. So, we've decided that I'll get a room, basement or garage to myself...basically, a man cave. With that in mind, I was surfing ebay recently and found this magnet for the keg-o-rator:
Totally awesome huh? For those of you that can't see, it's a cave man running out of the cave, which has a dart board, while wearing a UofL garment, holding a beer and spinning a basketball. There's also a grill involved....and what looks to be a dinosaur.

* Here's a cool picture of Freedom Hall that I ganked from the UofL website:
* Daylight savings time is this weekend which means we lose an hour of sleep. I hate springing forward.

* Broken Bells released their cd yesterday. Broken Bells is the group made up of DJ Danger Mouse and James Mercer (singer for the Shins). It's a pretty bangin' album.

That's all I have for today, I'll try to do better tomorrow. Until next time....

Goodnight Canada.

Song of the Day: Broken Bells - High Road

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tuesday Technical Difficulties

I know you guys were expecting some tidbits today...but it's not going to happen. We've been experiencing some technical difficulties at the LoB headquarters and I've got a midterm in less than an hour. So, I'm just going to say sorry and tell you to go watch the Big East tournament instead of wasting your time on this blog.

Also, you should watch this again:

It never gets old!

Sorry gang, I'll give you some tidbits tomorrow.

Song of the Day: Wilco - Either Way

Monday, March 08, 2010

All Hail The Cardinal Spirit, All Hail Our UofL!

At the last minute I was able to grab a ticket to Saturday's Freedom Hall finale. It was the greatest sports experience of my entire life and not even Walt Disney could have imagined a better finale for World Famous Freedom Hall!
I woke up on Saturday without a ticket. I didn't care, I was going to that game. Taylor's parents had their two season tickets and they both tried to give them to Taylor and/or me, but we didn't feel right taking them. My Mom had been in talks with a guy from her work who's friend runs the ticket office, but he was unsure if he could get tickets. Nevertheless, we all headed out to the hall around 11:00. When we got there we found there were no tickets to be found. One guy was selling one, for $250. We needed three. As hope began to die my mom got a call and there were two tickets waiting in Will-Call for her...YES! Next, mom found Taylor's parents' friend Doc and he had a pass that could get one more person in the gate. So there it was, we were all in...it was a minor miracle.

When we got to our seats the crowd was already electric. You could just feel that it was a special day. They played past UofL highlights on the video board before the game and the crowd was loud. Next, they honored the seniors and then UofL's living All-Americans were honored and then they honored the 86 and 80 championship teams and Denny Crum. The whole place was in a frenzy with Denny, Pervis, Griff, The McCrays, Dejuan Wheat and Billy Thompson in the house.

Next it was time to tip it off and Griff got us going (Fast Forward to the 50 second mark)

"Louisville, this is it. Let's Rumble" Said Dr. Dunkenstein. I've never been more jacked up in my entire life.

The game went on and Jerry Smith go us going with two threes and a dunk! The crowd was getting louder and louder. We went a little cold from the field and at the half we trailed by 5.

Halftime brought more Famous Alumni to the court and they somehow brought more energy to the crowd.

When the 2nd half started, the Cards tied it up within just a few minutes. Then Kyle Kuric entered his name on the UofL legends list by giving the greatest performance of his young career.
The sophomore wing player was averaging 3.5 points per game this season and less then 10 mins of playing time. With Jerry Smith out with a bruised hand and Reginald Delk cramping up, Kuric got some minutes and made some things happen.

19 mins, 4 threes, 4 dunks! It was amazing!

Right after his first Alley-Oop put us up 14, I found myself standing on top of the seats, pumping my fist in the air, yelling GO CARDS and high fiving everyone around me. It was the greatest moment I've ever experienced in Freedom Hall.

The game came to a close with the Cards up 78-68...It was time to celebrate.
Kuric was 6th man of the game:
Some fans rushed the floor and hoisted Jerry and Edgar up on their shoulders:
I still don't know how we all got in:
I even had to say goodbye to the Guinness stand:
And give one last C-A-R-D-S Cheer while going down the ramp:
Everyone else had left, a police officer came and made us leave...otherwise I'd still be there.

Then Denny said a few words, got choked up, made all of us cry and said, "Freedom Hall...Good Night!"
It was as perfect as it could be. A recording of John Tong welcomed us to Freedom Hall, they did the "Beat Purdue" cheer, the C-A-R-D-S guy led the loudest cheer I've ever heard. It was a big win, on senior day, over the #1 team in the land, locking up an NCAA bid, closing out Freedom Hall. I'll never forget the way I felt, the noise level , the pride, the excitement, the adrenaline, the joy, the happiness...it was a wonderful celebration of Louisville Basketball and the perfect way to bid farewell to Freedom Hall.


Go Cards!

Song of the Day: Kenny Loggins - This Is It

Friday, March 05, 2010

Freedom Hall...

I had this plan to write a big, long, sappy post about how much I love Freedom Hall, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm just going to list my favorite things, games, memories, etc. and talk about what I'll miss most about the greatest place to watch College Basketball.

* The Smell. The first thing you notice when you enter the Hall is the smell of caramel corn. I've always loved it and I've always associated it with UofL basketball. If they made a body wash that smelled like that, I'd use it. I love the smell!

* Getting autographs before games. For about a 5 year stretch, when I was a kid, I would go to the games super early and get all of the players to sign the team media guide each year. I still buy the media guy each year, but I don't get autographs anymore. I'll never forget getting Dejuan Wheat's in 1997. He was my favorite player and the last player I needed that year. I caught him just before he went to the locker room and he signed the front which had a picture of him on a Wheaties box, but it just said, "Wheat." It's one of my favorite pieces of sports memorabilia I own.

* The famous fans. The C-A-R-D-S guy (who has unbelievable timing), the guy who did the crazy hand stands on the rails, the guy who ran back and forth to spell out CARDS, The Boogie-Cam man, The old guy who always waves the ref shirt. They were/are all great!

* Marques Maybin's shoes. One game while I was getting autographs, Marques Maybin was sitting on the bench with his shoes off, adjusting his socks. Tony Williams came over and took both of his shoes and threw them in the stands. Marques asked me if I would go get them for him. Maybin was by far my favorite player and while I tried to act cool, I was so excited that I got to help him out. Although, I remember thinking that I should try to keep them.

* The Cardinal Bird Flying from the rafters. About 12-15 years ago, before they announced the starting line-up, the mascot would drop form the ceiling and "fly" over the crowd. IT WAS AWESOME! I wish I had a picture of that.

* Fans chanting "C-A-R-D-S" while walking down the ramps after a big win. The party always carried over to the parking lot after that.

* The three game home stand last year. Edgar's dagger to beat UK, an OT win over Notre Dame and then beating #1 Pitt. All three of those games were loud and exciting.

* Senior Day. Dejuan Wheat in 97, Reece Gaines in 03, Larry O'Bannon (The crowd chanting LAAARRR-EEE) 05, David Padgett 08, T-Will 09.

*Taquan Dean's three to beat Memphis in the 2003 C-USA tournament. One of the loudest games I can remember. Tom, Todd and I went to the game right after school, it was great.

* Winning the 2003 C-USA tourney. Everyone threw their "3" signs on the court and it looked like it was snowing 3's.

* Reece Gaines' buzzer beater against Princeton in the NIT. I remember being so excited that my dad went to give me a five and I just hugged him and jumped up and down.

* John Tong announcing, "Steps Called", "GOOOOAL BY WHEAT", "ANNND TIME IS OUUUT ON THE FLOOR"

* Sean Moth announcing, "THHHHHHRRRRREEEEEEEEE GAAAAARRRRCCCCCIIIIIAAAA"

* The pep band playing "Can't Turn You Loose" with one minute til tip. I always watch to see if they're gonna make it before the buzzer sounds.

* Seeing Michael Jordan play an exhibition game with the Bulls in 1996.

* Hearing how loud the crowd gets when our guys force a shot clock violation.

* Staying after for the Coach's press conference on the video wall.

* Giving the player of the game a standing-o when they came out to talk to the radio guys

* Listening to the radio post game show while sitting in traffic on the way out.

* Too many more to name.

The thing about Freedom Hall is that it's been the home to so many great memories. While I love the buzzer beaters, big wins, senior nights, etc. It's the whole experience that has made me love Freedom Hall and Louisville basketball. I love feeling like everyone in the crowd is your friends and family and you all are supporting one cause. Talking with other fans and high fiving them during big games will always be one of my favorite things. In the end though, my absolute favorite thing about Freedom Hall and Cardinal games will be the chance to watch games with my mom, dad, brother, fiance, best friends, soon to be in-laws, etc. and getting so excited that we hug, high five and cheer as loud as we possibly can. Nothing beats Freedom Hall and the thrill and excitement of Louisville Basketball.

One more game, let's go out with a bang Cardinals!

Go Cards!

Song of the Day: The Beatles - In My Life

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Earliest Freedom Hall Memories...

When looking back at the thrill and excitement that I've been a part of while attending UofL games at Freedom Hall, I can point to my two of my earliest memories as to why I'm such a fanatic today.

In 1994, my Dad took Ben and me to one of the last home games of the year. I don't really remember who we were playing (Tulane maybe?), but I remember being super excited because it was on a school night and we got to stay up late. Anyway, we got to the game early and Dad took us down to the court to see if we could snatch some autographs. It was literally hours before the game and there were only about 5 other fans in the stands. Ben and I walked down by the court with our eyes wide open and smiles on our faces. I can remember the security guard starting to come over to tell us to step back, since we were practically on the court, but he soon saw the excitement on our faces and just let us go.

So there we were, 11 year old Ben and 8 year old me, standing under the basket as our heroes warmed up. I will never ever forget how small I felt. I mean, they were giants! Soon, Ben got up the nerve to ask for an autograph, "Clifford! Hey, Clifford! Could we get an autograph?" We watched as All-American Clifford Rozier shot free-throws and didn't respond. Ben tried again this time a bit louder. Finally, the same security guard said, "Hey Cliff, you've got some fans over here!" Cliff smiled and said, "Huh, I thought I heard somebody calling my name." To this day I remember feeling so nervous and excited as big Cliff walked over and scribbled his name on a piece of paper. After we got one autograph, the flood gates opened. We got the whole team! Dwayne Morton, Greg Minor, Dejuan Wheat, Alvin Sims! It was awesome!

I have no idea how that game turned out, and it didn't even matter! I went to school the next day and showed off my prized autographs and it was the coolest. Sadly, I think someone at school stole some of Ben's autographs or something...it was lame, but kids are kids. Nevertheless, I'll always remember how excited I was to talk to the Cards, see them up close and get their autographs.

My next memory is from January 30, 1997. This time I cared about the game, a lot. This was about the age when I started to understand basketball and I really cared about winning. The Cards had the late Thursday night ESPN game (9 o'clock) and they were hosting the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats and their All-American Danny Fortson. It was for first place in the conference and I wanted to win badly. My mom came up with some tickets to the game and I got to go with her.

When we got to Freedom Hall there was a buzz in the crowd that I had never felt before. With each and every basket the Cards scored the place got louder and louder. I remember Dejuan Wheat hitting a big 2nd half three and thinking, "This is so loud, is it going to hurt my hearing?" Then we got a steal and a bucket and the place got even louder! It was like the building was shaking! Mom and I high fived and I will always remember being more excited and pumped up then I had ever been before.

As the game went on that feeling grew and grew. The Cards won that game 81-70 and I will always remember walking down the ramps and people just chanting "C-A-R-D-S! CARDS!" over and over again. Strangers were high fiving and hugging in the parking lot, cars were honking their horns. It was the craziest feeling that I had ever experienced...and it changed my life forever.

Without those two early Freedom Hall memories I wouldn't be who I am today. I know that sounds crazy, but they laid the foundation for the thing, with the exception of family and friends, that I love most in the world....Cardinal Basketball!

One last Freedom Hall goodbye post tomorrow! Have a good one!

Song of the Day: Ryan Adams - To Be Young

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Favorite Freedom Hall Moment, pt. 1...

With the Cards set to play their last game in Freedom Hall on Saturday, I've decided to dedicate the rest of this week's blog entries to the wonderful arena who has helped shaped my entire life.

Today, I'll tell you my favorite Freedom Hall moment that had nothing to do with basketball.

On Feburary 5th 2003 the Cards were ranked 5th in the nation and set to face arch rival Cincinnati at Freedom Hall. It was a big game and luckily my Mom was able to score 4 tickets that were only about 8 rows from the floor. I called my buddies Tom and Todd and we all headed to the Hall for the game.

We got to the game and the crowd was rocking. While we were all into the game, Todd, Tom and I were a bit distracted because we soon noticed that there was a very attractive 20 something lady sitting behind us. The three of us were yelling at refs and cheering loudly and the girl behind us soon joined in and began flirting with us big time. (I realize this sounds pathetic, but we were 15 year old dudes...any attractive female that talked to us...we fell in love with. ) Needless to say, we were enjoying her flirtation.

That's when the magic happened.

It's really awesome to sit so close to a game, the players are gigantic, you can hear the players and coaches talk, you feel so close to the action, etc. But those tickets are very expensive...and we were about to find out why.

During halftime the National Champion LadyBirds came out to perform. They've been National Champs like a million times in a row, and yeah...they're not ugly:
Once again, Tom, Todd and I were having a blast.

The LadyBirds began their routine and they were wearing some rather tight fitting tube tops. They were moving and shaking and bouncing and then...

The good lookin' chick behind us stood up, pointed and yelled,

"HER BOOB IS OUT!"

Sure enough, the Lady Bird on the end had let her left breast pop completely out of her top. WE WENT CRAZY!

I mean you can imagine the reaction from three 15 year old boys. The best part is that the lower level of seats in Freedom Hall is notorious for being occupied by an abundance of not-so rowdy old people. But, even they had to give a laugh at our reaction.

Here's the real kicker, though. She finished her routine before fixing it! That my friends is not only why those seats cost so much, but it's also the reason the LadyBirds are like 10 time national champions. I'm mean that's dedication.

The Cards went on to beat Cincinnati behind 8 three pointers from Freshman Francisco Garcia. After the game we waited around and I had brought a sign, which made ESPN, and I had it signed by Rick Pitino and Francisco Garcia. For the record, my sign said...

E
xpect
Some
Pitino
Net-cutting

Bad-ass...I know! It's hanging in the bar-room at my apartment.

It was a great night all around and as we were walking out my mom said to us, "What was your favorite part of the game?" All of us laughed and said, "the boob!" However, then Tom (I think) paused for a moment and so wisely said, "No, the hot chick pointing out the boob!"

Todd and I concurred.

Todd and Tom don't live in Louisville anymore, so we don't go to games together. But, the legend of "the boob" lives on. We talk about it often when we get together and every time the LadyBirds take the court for their halftime performance I laugh a bit to myself and think how wonderfully immature we were and how great that memory of Freedom Hall has become.

More Freedom Hall stuff tomorrow. Have a good night gang!

Song of the Day: Blink 182 - What's My Age Again?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits...

RISE AND FIRE....COUNT IT!

* I'm not going to lie, College Basketball has pretty much taken over most of my thoughts. But for real, it's March. What do you expect?

* I don't know who keeps making these videos after every Cardinal victory...but this one is amazing.

Boom.

* You know what's depressing about my life? I have a much harder time eating an entire orange than an entire Qdoba burrito. I like Oranges, but once I get about 2/3 of the way through one, I'm spent. That is not the case with Qdoba Burritos. Hooray Health!

* Speaking of health, I realized recently that I drink more water then anyone else on the planet (I looked it up, it's true). I mean honestly on any given day I'd say I drink between 150-200 ounces of water. Does that win me some kind of prize? It should.

* I saw the Lebron James documentary "More Than A Game" over the weekend and I really liked it. I'd suggest it if you're into basketball at all.

* I took a pretty solid knee to the thigh while playing basketball last night and it hurts pretty bad today. I don't have to walk with a limp or anything, but I'm crying on the inside with every step I take.

* I read on Yahoo today that the earthquake in Chile shifted the earth's axis quite a bit and as a result it has made our days shorter. They acted like it wasn't a big deal, but I'm pretty sure the world is coming to an end.

* Looking for gift ideas for my birthday? I want this poster:
Yeah, they don't make it anymore. But I've always wanted it. If you can find one for me...you can also find your name atop the list of people Brian would like to buy a beer for! Make it happen.

* Here's a great article on Edgar Sosa.
If anyone has the nerve or is dumb enough to boo Edgar Sosa at any point during Senior Day on Saturday, I will hunt you down and beat the crap out of you. Deal? Deal.

* Taylor's home for Spring Break of Friday! Boo-----Yah!

That's all I have for today! Have a good one!

Song of the Day: White Rabbits - Percussion Gun

Monday, March 01, 2010

March...

You feel that? Palms sweating, stomach tied-up in knots, knees shaking? Yeah, it's March...and I love it!

While there are plenty of reasons to love March (my birthday, warmer weather, St. Patty's Day, Spring Break, etc.) the main reason is college basketball.

Now there is just one week left in the regular season and here's what I know about my Louisville Cardinals...nothing.

Every time you count them out, they come up with a big win. Every time you count them in, they drop a game in unthinkable fashion. This team could honestly not win another game this year. They could also win the Big East tournament and then make some noise in the dance. I honestly have no idea what's going to happen. But isn't it great?

Beginning with the Cards last second win yesterday at UConn, each game from here on out has a ton riding on it.

Tomorrow night, the Cards head to Marquette with the winner pretty much locking up an NCAA tournament birth.

Saturday, the Cards will host their Senior Day and say goodbye to this place:
Oh yeah, we'll be playing the #1 team in the nation as well!

Then next week we'll head up north to Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament.

Then, hopefully, we'll get a chance to dance in the NCAA's!

We might miss the tournament, we might make the tournament, we might lose our next 4, we might win our next 7 or 8! You just can't tell with this group.

But man, doesn't it feel great? I've got an extra hop in my step today and it's all because I'm dreaming about the Cards doing crazy, exciting things.

Seriously, is it crazy to think that this picture:
could turn into this picture:
in the next week or two?

It's probably crazy, but I've got a case of March Madness and you can't cure it!

Song of the Day: Kenny Loggins - This Is It