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 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 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

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