Summer Events For Cardinal Fans

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Most of the Louisville athletic programs are winding down for the summer and we have 98 days remaining until the start of football season in August. This will be one of the most exciting off seasons in the programs history as we will be anticipating the Cardinals first year in the ACC.

Other than looking forward to July 1st when Louisville officially becomes a member of the ACC there is plenty of events this summer to keep you going until kickoff in Papa John’s Cardinal stadium this fall.

There will be vacations, grilling, swimming, and a few cold beverages, but here are some other events to keep Cardinal fans entertained.

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Photobucket-June-July: 13th Annual Cardinal Caravan (No Official Date yet)

This is always one of the best events of the summer for Cardinal Fans. Most folks don’t get the opportunity to get up close and personal with Louisville athletes and coaches. This event gives everyone that chance. The Caravan usually makes 4 regional stops across the state and almost always has an incredible stop at Captains Quarters in Louisville. Keep an eye out for more info about the Cardinal Caravan and plan on spending a summer afternoon with your favorite player.
Info will be here when officially announced.

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Photobucket-June 14th-25th: College World Series

Every year 8 teams come together from all over the United States to Omaha, Neb., TD Ameritrade Park for the College World Series. Our Cardinals baseball team were in this event in 2007 and last year. This years team has really hit their stride and are playing their best ball of the season. I’m hoping they end up being one of the 8 teams left standing, but if not this is still a great event to watch.
The official site for the CWS.

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Photobucket-June 26th: NBA Draft

Last year we got to see two of the most beloved Cards of all-time realize their dreams of playing in the NBA when Gorgui Dieng was selected as the 21st pick in the first round and Peyton Siva was selected 56th in the second round. This year we will all be watching to see what NBA fan base will be lucky enough to get Russ Smith on their team. It will be a special moment when we hear his name called.
2014 NBA Draft WIKI

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Photobucket-June 28th: Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts

The NASCAR race at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta Kentucky has become one of the biggest events of the summer for local racing fans. Last year Louisville had a National Championship sponsored car and held events at a hospitality tent throughout racing activities. I don’t know if we will have a sponsored car this year but there will be another hospitality tent. If you’ve never been to a race I highly suggest you try it once.
Get your tickets here and enjoy a day at the races with other Cardinal fans.

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Photobucket-Now-August 31st: The Louisville Bats

Louisville is home to one of the best triple A minor league franchises in the country. They are right in the mix again and chasing another pennant. There has also been a lot of Cincinnati Reds coming down to rehab this season. These games are great for family outings and are a great way to spend a summer evening. Be sure to head out this summer to Louisville Slugger Field and catch a game.
July 10th is a Louisville Alumni night.

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Photobucket-July 23rd-28th: AAU Division I National Championships & Super Showcase Events

The City of Louisville along with the Kentucky Exposition Center are hosting one of the biggest AAU events of the summer. Some of the most sought after prospects in the country will be heading to Louisville in July. The AAU Division I 10th & 11th Grade National Championships, the AAU 10th Grade Super Showcase – Gold Division, the AAU 11th Grade Super Showcase –Gold Division and the AAU 12th Grade National Championships will be awesome.
Here’s the official AAU page.

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Photobucket-August 4th-10th: PGA Championship at Valhalla

The 96th edition of the PGA Championship returns to Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville for the first time in 14 years. Be there in person when the world’s best players compete for the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. This could also be the first major where Tiger Woods makes his return. This will be a special week in Louisville. The PGA Championship is the most lucrative major of the golf season with a purse of $10 million dollars.
The official site for this event.

Teddy Bridgewater in a Spike Lee Joint

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Teddy Bridgewater looked his adversity dead in the eyes and refused to be another statistic. A kid who realized that education was important early on and graduated high school early, a kid that realized early on that family is more important and was ready to give up football to take care of his ailing mother, a kid that realized what he wanted and sacrificed to move far away from all he knew to get it.

When Teddy arrived in Louisville it was a football program headed in the right direction, but it was a program in search of the leader on the field to take that next step. And boy did we get that in #5. Snap after snap, Play after play, game after game Teddy Bridgewater gave it all he had not only for himself but for the city of Louisville, the University of Louisville and Cardinal fans everywhere. He gave his all for us because that’s what Teddy does for his family.

When Teddy was 9 years old he promised his mother that he would by her a pink Escalade when he became an NFL player. After a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and hard work yesterday he made good on that promise. Director Spike Lee has made a great mini documentary about Teddy’s journey and about his promise to his mom. It is worth the watch.

A promise to Rose:

Louisville Ready For A Big NFL Draft Night

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Now that the Derby and the festivities surrounding it have ended Louisville fans will look forward to Thursday night and the NFL Draft. Due to a scheduling conflict this years Draft was pushed back from its usual late April date. A lot of folks have complained about this because it has allowed for all of these mock draft folks to extend their tearing down and building up of NFL hopefuls. One of the mock draft guys has had at least 30 different players in his top 10 and at least 6 different players in the top spot.

I haven’t really payed much attention to all of those mock draft guys as I figure they like all journalist are just looking for hits to their respective sites. I did come across one draft article this weekend that I found interesting. Bryan Fischer of College Football 24/7 wrote a good one over at about “The Best Draft Classes In ACC History.” Even though our Cardinals haven’t had a snap in the conference yet and won’t officially become members until July 1st Bryan added them to his article.

Here’s what he wrote:

Taking into account Hall of Fame careers, Pro Bowls, years as a starter, games played and overall depth (i.e. lack of busts), here’s a stab at the best draft classes that all current ACC have produced.

Best draft class: 1991 (Ted Washington, Browning Nagle, Jerry Crafts, Mike Flores)

Highest overall pick: Ken Kortas (9th overall, 1964)

Other top classes: 1955, 1983, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014

Notable: The Cardinals haven’t played a single game in the ACC but land on this list thanks to past accomplishments and future conference affiliation. The 1991 class had all four players start at least 13 games, led by four-time pro bowler and Super Bowl champion Ted Washington. It’s tough to pick just one group because of limited numbers, but the 2014 class might wind up being the best based on projections.

Thursday night looks to be a very promising one for the University of Louisville and could potentially be the best draft class in school history. It could also produce the highest draft pick in school history if Teddy Bridgewater finds himself in the first eight players taken. As mentioned in the article above Ken Kortas currently holds that spot selected 9th overall, in 1964.

Teddy Bridgewater, Calvin Pryor & Marcus Smith are the Louisville guys expected to hear their names called first on Thursday night. Teddy and Calvin were invited to be in the green room. If those three guys go in the first 3 rounds as expected, Louisville will have 13 NFL picks in top 3 rounds since 2002. The Cards have had 6 NFL Draft picks in the past five years.

Other Cardinals hoping to hear their names called on Thursday night include: ILB Preston Brown, S Hakeem Smith, WR Damian Copeland, C Kamran Joyner, OT Jamon Brown, FB B.J. Butler, and RB Senorise Perry.

I am looking forward to the draft and I do think it is going to be an incredible night for a group of guys who deserve greatness. This group has already made their mark on the Louisville Football program with the wins and the BCS Sugar Bowl Trophy. On Thursday night they could have a curtain call by being one of the best NFL Draft classes in University of Louisville history. Be sure to tune in at 8:00pm on ESPN and watch these guys realize their dreams. L1C4