I hate to rain on the parade of civic and school pride as it relates to the University of Louisville’s phenomenal success as the home team at the KFC Yum Center, but all the prosperity has created a bit of a problem for the women’s program.
The Lady Cards took care of Seton Hall, 59-49, in a game devoid of much excitement on the floor. U of L got an early lead and held it throughout against an abysmal 8-20 team before an announced crowd of 9,875 on Senior Day. Mine and Luke’s favorite player, second-leading scorer Shoni Schimmel, played just 17 minutes and was held scoreless.
But the real drama for us occurred right before tipoff. After arriving about 20 minutes before gametime, we jumped in a ticket line about 10 deep. There were three such lines. After five minutes, we saw the line wasn’t moving and were told the game was sold out. No more tickets.
But wait, friends inside said the place was about half full.
So we milled about the lobby, knowing from previous experience somebody might be giving away tickets. We needed four. Some guy gave us one. National anthem. Tipoff. We scored another from a nice lady. Somebody said the will call line was selling individual tickets, so I got in line. Our friends inside came up with another. A rude usher asked what I was doing. The guy in front of me bought one, and just as I made the front of the line, Luke got a man named Don Edison to give us the 4th. It was midway through the first half.
As we walked into the lower bowl, we saw that maybe 80 percent of the seats were filled. With plenty of choices, we took 4 together about halfway down.
One of the announcements was that U of L was second in the nation in attendance. And that may be, but U of L lost at least several dozen potential bodies in seats because it didn’t have the (foresight, brainpower, sense?) to sell general admission tickets. Obviously, there are a lot of people buying season tickets with no intention of showing up.
We did enjoy the game, though, and decided to stop in and see what the fuss was over at Doc Crow’s, the new barbecue joint next to the arena. And we didn’t want to miss it if UK lost to Florida (Cats won, bummer).
First of all, it looks great and is a lot bigger than it looks. Walk all way to the back and there’s a huge room, and plenty of booths. Along the way, you can peak in at the bright kitchen. We were greeted by Brett Davis, one of the partners (the Ton Brothers are also partners) and requested a seat in the bar to watch the game. Plaid-shirted help were everywhere, as Davis said he was expecting a big post-game rush (it never came). There were plenty of folks here, though.
I was tempted by the raw bar, but ordered the Brisket supper, and Luke tried the pulled pork. Both were generous and tasty, and I lathered mine up with some tangy, sweet sauce. It was served in a tray with wax paper, a no-frills presentation that matched the rag that served as a napkin. A steady crowd continued to come in.
Based on the commerce here, it’s obvious that locals have an appetite for post-game munching and drinking. Along with soon-to-open Los Aztecas next door, and O’Shea’s, and Bearno’s and Imprellizzeri’s and Prime Lounge and the BBC in the other direction, well, there’s a lot going on down here. Despite the ugly eyesore of Whiskey Row.
As we settled up, we noticed a bunch of tall young women coming in headed for the back of the restaurant, and a moment later, to modest applause, came U of L women’s coach Jeff Walz, all smiles.