Monday, October 30, 2006


Regular readers of this blog, and my friends from way back, realize that I am a big University of Louisville Cardinals fan. I truly love the Cards, and I have for many years. My fondness for the Cards was, in essence, a product of circumstance and my own discovery.

My parents are both from Laurel County, Kentucky. While they were indoctrinated from an early age in Big Blue lore, there wasn't much love in their hometown for the red and black. And although my mother attended the University of Louisville for a time before I was born, she was not really into 'Ville sports back then. As a result, I never really became familiar with the Cardinals until I was old enough to discover them for myself.

My earliest recollection of grooving on the Cards dates back to when I was about 10 or 11 years old. My beloved grandmother, Mabel Booze, was working at Silverman's Department Store in Louisville at the time. She told me that she had a friend and co-worker whose son played basketball at the University of Louisville. The player's name was Wesley Cox.

I didn't know who Wesley Cox was, so I decided to check out one of his games on the television. I quickly became a big fan of both Cox and the team, and the University of Louisville was "my " team from then on. My friends at the time--Rags, Jeeves, Brad & Skeet--all became big Cardinal enthusiasts with me. I loved their style of play, and I found myself sneaking to stay up late to watch the Denny Crum show, which was aired at 11:30 on Sunday nights. By the time I attended the U of L Law School in the 1980's, I was a certifiable 'Ville man.

In addition to basketball, I have always loved the Cards in football. I attended games back in the "Red Rage" days, and I was a student at the University when Howard Schnellenberger arrived. When he declared that the program was on a collision course with the national championship, I believed.

And so it is that now, some 20 years later, the University of Louisville football team will be playing the most important game in the history of the program this week. The Mountaineers of West Virginia come to town this Thursday night, and national championship possibilities are most definitely implicated. The Cardinals are currently No. 5 in the Bowl Championship Series ratings, and West Virginia is No. 3.

One can't help but wonder how this game would set up if the Cards were totally healthy. Future NFL star running back Michael Bush was lost for the season in the first game against the University of Kentucky, and star quarterback Brian Brohm suffered a significant hand injury earlier this season, requiring surgery. There have been other significant injuries as well. Still, the team has marshalled on, and it remains undefeated at 7-0.

Brohm is back, but he hasn't looked as if he is playing at 100 percent in his games back thus far. I'm hoping that the extra time off--with the Cards having had a bye last week--will help to ensure that he is back to his former status as an elite QB. If the 'Ville is to have a chance to win this game, Brian Brohm must be on top of his game. We must also have a big game from one of the deep stable of remaining running backs. Kolby Smith, George Stripling, Brock Bolen or Anthony Allen--or perhaps all of the above--must step up and show the kind of running ability that we have seen in flashes previously this season.

The Mountaineers have an absolutely explosive ground attack themselves. Steve Slaton is one of the most elusive and best running backs in the nation. Pat White is a fine quarterback, and coach Rich Rodriguez has shown himself to be an offensive mastermind. The Cardinals have a very speedy defense, but it will be necessary for them to find yet another gear if they are to stop the mighty Mountaineers.

We shall see what happens on Thursday evening. I think that the 'Ville can do it. I'm certainly hoping so. And if they do, you just might hear me celebrating all the way from here to West Virginia.

--The Meatbe

Saturday, October 28, 2006


This year, I have finally joined the world of fantasy football geeks. I know what you might be thinking: "What! Not another fantasy football geek; say it ain't so, Jones..." I have to confess that such would have been my reaction to a similar announcement not so long ago. I have come to discover, though, that fantasy football is both worthwhile and entertaining. And, since I am now participating, I no longer deem it to be the domain of geeks who have nothing better to do with their time.

Truth to be told, I've been curious about fantasy football for some while now. For several years, I 've heard others talking about how much fun it is. I've heard them speaking with great enthusiasm about "their" teams and "their" players. I've heard them agonizing about whether to use one particular NFL star or another in their "starting" lineup for that week. I've heard them debating about whether they should drop a player, pick up a free agent, or whether they should seek a trade with another player in their league. It all sounded very mysterious and involved.

Although I was interested in fantasy football, and curious about it, I didn't really know how to get involved. I have to thank my friend and colleague Curtis Moutardier for finally getting me over that hurdle. Curt is a self-professed fantasy football guru. He has been a fantasy owner for several years now and, as I understand it, he won his league last year. Upon some prompting from him, I finally decided to bite the bullet and join. The result is that I've been enjoying this NFL football season more than I have any other in recent memory.

In fantasy football, each participant acts as the owner of his or her own team, competing against the owners of other teams within the same league. In the fantasy league, games are won or lost each week depending upon how the actual NFL players performed in their games that week.

For the uninitiated, here's basically how it works: Once a group of players has agreed to participate in a fantasy league, a draft is held before the start of the season. Each player drafts players from various offensive positions. They also select one or two defenses. In our league, we selected twelve offensive players, and two team defenses each. Those selected on draft day comprise the owner's initial roster.

Once the rosters have been set, league play begins, coinciding with the NFL action. Each week, I have faced a different fantasy owner within my league. Although each owner has 14 positions on his roster, he can only start seven for each game: One quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, and a defense. Points are awarded based upon how each of the owner's players performs during that particular week. It thus becomes a matter of great fun and strategy deciding which players to start in your lineup each week.

There are various web sites that host fantasy leagues. The league in which Curt and I play is hosted by My good buds Rags and Bret are in a different league on Yahoo Sports. There are many to choose from, as the leagues have been popping up everywhere.

The season started out great for me. I began the season going 3-1. I was fortunate to have been able to draft Tom Brady of the Patriots and Torry Holt of the Rams, and they have both been true stars for me thus far. Unfortunately, I have lost my last three games in close contests, and my team now sits at 3-4. I'm planning on a big comeback though, beginning this week. My opponent (or should I say victim) this week is fellow lawyer and recent fantasy enthusiast John L. Grannan.

If you have ever thought about getting involved in a fantasy league, I would recommend it. It definitely helps to enhance the viewing of NFL games in general. Whereas I used to be primarily interested in watching the Bengals, Colts and Bears, I am now interested in watching many teams because of the impact that the other games may have upon my fantasty league.

Wish me luck. If the fortunes smile my way, Curt might be saluting me as the new league champion this year.


--The Meatbe

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Greetings, friends...And please allow me to apologize for my long absence from the blogging world. When I began this blog, I envisioned writing on it several times per week. Although I got off to a good beginning, my devotion sputtered when the busy fall season rolled around. My office case load seemed to increase, at a time when my evenings and weekends were filled with attending my sons' football and soccer games. I've also experienced some computer difficulties. As a result, my writing diminished. I know: You don't want to hear my lame-ass excuses, but I feel compelled to give them anyway.

I recently attended the "Beer Walk"--an annual tradition that occurs on the Friday of Harvest Homecoming. Perhaps I'll discuss that glorious tradition more at a later date, as it is always a true stone-gas. In any event, as I was making merry with several friends in beautiful downtown New Albany at the bars surrounding the festival, two of by great buds--Larry "Butticks" Ragland and Patrick "P.E." Jennings--both chastised me for my long failure to post on this blog. To be frank, they gave me some hell for my failure to post. And if you know those brutes, you know that catching hell from them is no fun. I assured them that I would be posting again soon, so here I am.

Truth to be told, I have felt quite guilty about my failure to post. I know that I have several friends and relatives, not living in this area, who previously kept up with some of my comings and goings by virtue of this blog. My father in Virginia, my daughter in Indianapolis, and my brother in Cincinnati, to name a few, have previously read this blog and been able to monitor my activities from afar. Similarly, although I remain in close contact with Mr. Ragland and Mr. Jennings, I know that they and other locals have enjoyed reading my blog. I am ashamed to have abandoned my writing duties....But no more!

This is the first of my renewed writing endeavors...Stay tuned, as I promise that I will be posting at least once per week or so from now on. There are many strange and varied thoughts that I want to share with you.

For now, please accept my apology for the long absence. Talk with you soon. Skoal!

--The Meatbe