Thursday, September 27, 2007


This weekend, Rags, Bret and I will embark upon our annual journey to Illinois for an Illini football game. Rags' brother, Johnny, works at the University of Illinois. He and his lovely wife Linda live on a lake not too far from the campus. It is our annual ritual to go to the elder Raglands' manse to enjoy a time of football, fun, and general debauchery. The tailgating scene in Champaign is quite impressive. The lake fest atmosphere around Johnny & Linda's beautiful home provides the opportunity for a significant stone-gas as well.

After the dismal start for the 'Ville, I can use the break. Unlike the Cards, the Illini have gotten off to a better-than-expected start. On Saturday, we will watch them square off against Joe Paterno's Littany Lions. I'm looking forward to watching Rashard Mendenhall, the Illini's elusive and powerful running back, doing battle with the always-tough defense from Linebacker U.

It should be an interesting weekend. Cheers, y'all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


When Coach Bobby Petrino decided to leave the University of Louisville football team last year to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, he was roundly excoriated as a modern day Benedict Arnold. How dare he leave, we 'Ville fans questioned, after he had been given such a golden opportunity to shine on a national stage? Where was his sense of loyalty?

Enter Coach Steve Kragthorpe, an up-and-coming head coach from Tulsa with experience in the NFL. Hand-picked by mastermind Tom Jurich, it was widely felt that all Kragthorpe had to do was to come into Louisville and hold onto the reins while Louisville glided to another BCS victory. Only it didn't quite work out that way.

The new-look Cardinals have stumbled out to a terrible beginning. Shockingly bad, to tell you the truth. After unimpressive victories over outmanned Murray State and Middle Tennessee, Kragthorpe's Cardinals lost to....gulp...Kentucky. Yesterday, they dropped a shocking loss to 0-3 Syracuse, a game in which the Cardinals were favored by almost 37 points at home. The word is now officially out: This team is not as good as advertised. Far from it. And for some, that means that heads must roll.

The chants and internet missives have begun. Many Louisville fans want Coach K gone, and gone right now. The evidence has been weighed, the verdict is in, and many in the U of L jury seem ready to sentence Coach K to walk the plank. When we consider the alleged "betrayal" by Coach Bobby Petrino last year, this rush to judgment strikes me as rather ironic.

Don't get me wrong. I am as flabbergasted about the poor start for U of L as anyone else is. I am bummed, steamed, whizzed and downright honked off. I am very concerned. Still, it seems strange to me that, after expecting uncompromising loyalty from Bobby Petrino, we are now ready to scrap the career of our new coach after only four games.

I wonder: What does that say about us?

Sunday, September 16, 2007


As you might imagine, I am very BUMMED about the outcome of the football game last evening. For anyone who doesn't know, Kentucky beat Louisville by a score of 40-34. I truly thought that the Cards would win, although I admittedly had concerns about the Louisville defense and the new coaching staff. I am still optimistic that the 'Ville can have a good season. But the fact that Louisville's national championship hopes have been dashed by our bitter rival is truly a bitter pill to swallow.

Once upon a time, I may have tried to diminish the accomlishment that the Cats achieved on Saturday evening, and perhaps I would have made excuses for this loss. My conscience will not allow me to do so now. As Muhammad Ali once said, "The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."

Congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcats. They showed that they are an excellent football team. I hope that they go on to have an outstanding year, thereby showing that my beloved Cardinals were beaten by a worthy opponent.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Tick, tock.....Tick, tock.....Oh boy! It's almost time! Almost time for the annual football holy war between the University of Louisville Cardinals and those blue bellies from the east, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. To put it mildly, I have an extreme passion for this game. This is a great football rivalry, and I really love it. I'll go ahead and admit it that, for me, this is the most anticipated, most exciting and yes, most important game of the year. I think of this game all year long, and there are many like me. Every minute that this game gets closer, I can feel my blood pressure rising in nervous anticipation. It won't be long now.

I bleed Cardinal red. I always have. And there is much about this year's game that causes the Cardinal faithful to be alternately confident and concerned.

U of L has completely owned this rivalry in recent years. There was much hype and excitement going into last year's game, and the Lexington propaganda machine convinced me that the Wildcats might actually win. Once the game started, however, the Cardinals dominated as usual. The final score was 59-28, but it wasn't that close.

This year, Louisville has a team ranked in the top ten, but they also have a new coach and a defense that has looked very shaky in wins over Murray State and Middle Tennessee. Kentucky has a prolific offense, and the 'Ville defense will have to seriously step it up if they hope to stop Andre Woodson, Rafael Little, Keenan Burton and their mates. The game will also be played in front of a rabid, hostile crowd in Lexington, and that fact causes some concern for me.

In the final analysis, though, I believe that the Louisville offense is just too powerful to be outscored by the Wildcat offense. The Cardinals' offensive line is huge, mobile and experienced. Jeff Brohm is the best passer in college football, thowing to three of the finest receivers in Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia and Gary Barnidge. Anthony Allen is a human wrecking ball, a brute of a runner who chews up yardage and punishes those who tackle him. I don't think that Kentucky will be able to stop him.

I think that it will be a good contest, an exciting fray, but that the Cards will have too much in the end. My prediction: Louisville 58, Kentucky 41.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Nine months ago tomorrow--on January 10, 2007-- I swore off the eating of meat and the consumption of most dairy products. I haven't had a taste of meat (including fish or chicken) or a glass of milk in nine months...And I feel great! I have been doing it long enough now that it no longer feels strange to declare it: I am a vegetarian.

Within a few months after adopting a plant-based diet, I saw my weight drop 25 pounds. I have continued to keep that weight off, while my strength and stamina in the weight room have increased. Only time will reveal the long-term effects, if any, of my conversion to vegetarianism. I realize that I may die tomorrow. Even if that should happen, though, I am absolutely convinced that my conversion has been a good thing. I have no doubt that adopting a plant-based lifestyle is a healthy choice both for my body and for our planet's environment. I only regret that I didn't consider it sooner.

Here's to your health, my friends.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


"When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil."

--James Carville

Monday, September 03, 2007


The lead article in today's C-J is about Herb Segal, a labor lawyer in Louisville who has devoted the past 60 years to representing downtrodden workers. The article is an excellent one. It describes in vivid detail the tireless, life-long efforts of a talented attorney who is committed to using his legal skills to establish justice and to improve society for those who are less fortunate than himself.

The article about Mr. Segal serves to show, I believe, why most aspiring attorneys chose to go to law school in the first place. The vast majority of attorneys that I know went into the profession with the stated goal of improving the society in which they live. As lawyers, we are in a unique position to assist the helpless, to uplift the downtrodden, to stand up for those who are unable to help themselves. We play a vital role in upholding the foundation of our social structure. As lawyers, we want to make a positive difference in our communities.

I am sick and tired of hearing that lawyers are the problem, rather than a part of the solution. As a former president of the Floyd County Bar Association, I can attest to the many thankless and unreported hours that our members routinely devote to assisting the less fortunate in our society. Our profession is an easy target, a ready scapegoat for the disingenuous who choose not to recognize our contributions to society. While it is true that there are a few bad apples in the legal profession, the vast majority of us are civic minded individuals who are striving to improve our communities.

I am proud of the vital contribution that lawyers make to our society.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


I turned on the television today to catch an episode of Meet The Press. The topic under discussion was the upcoming presidential election. I was delighted to see that one of the guests was James Carville. As I watched his performance I was, as always, enthralled.

If there is one political commentator I enjoy watching, it is James Carville, a.k.a. "The Ragin' Cajun." He has a style that is like no other. The thing that I like so much about him is that he seems thoroughly genuine. He cracks me up. He is a former U.S. Marine and a litigator with extensive courtroom and political experience. Despite his lofty experience, he comes off as a regular guy who has tremendous political insight. He seems like the kind of fellow who would be great fun to sit down with over a beer.

While others on the show today became frustrated and red-faced in their efforts to explain themselves, Carville remained above the fray. It is impossible for me to watch him without smiling. He has a style that would be worth emulating--if only it were possible to do so.

I do not know how the political fortunes will unfold in the coming year. I do know, however, that that whenever The Ragin' Cajun speaks, I will be listening--and smiling.