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Slings and Arrows

There are criminally few things I remember from my SPAD (sports administration) days at UofL. One of things that stuck is BIRG and CORF. Perhaps it’s because it makes me imagine two Swedish gentlemen enjoying tankards of mead while discussing their day at the IKEA factory. In any case, BIRG stands for “Bask In Reflected Glory” and CORF stands for “Cast Off Reflected Failure”. The basic idea is that sports fans readily lap up the spoils of victory but quickly disavow the burdens of defeat. A common example is when a sports fan says, “We won!” but conversely claims, “They lost.”

What got me thinking about BIRG and CORF (besides IKEA and mead) was today’s adventure up to “Practice Brooklyn”, also known as Cincinnati. Cincinnati, like Louisville, is a city of bridges. They even have a bridge specifically designed to eat Coopers and other members of the Purple Family. Are these bridge jokes landing? No? Too bad. Suffice to say it was with a mixture of pride and trepidation that we crossed the Ohio. Oh, how we missed the cool water of that dirty river once we entered Nippert Stadium, to be known hence as the “Dutch Oven” (you’re welcome, University of Houston). I won’t regale you with a recap of this scorching, sun-blasted shellacking because Jason Ence has already done a fine job of that.

Let’s just say I was as excited about the result as I was about the long climb back up to Calhoun Street.

That slog across UC’s campus, however, showed me how Louisville City FC fans are the exception to the BIRG/CORF rule. There was no casting off. I heard no cries of, “They lost.” It was clear that every purple heart was wounded. The pain on the faces of our boys in purple was reflected in the grimace of every fan piled into that sun-soaked corner. This is not to say we shed the same sweat (or in some cases blood), but simply to say the level of empathy in this fan-base is something to behold.

These are not their losses. These are our losses. And I know that every purple clad crazy in the city of Louisville feels it in their purple heart of hearts. The boys are going to need us more than ever for this last push through the USL regular season. They want to win, and our ticket to a share of those victories is an admission ticket and every ounce of breath in our lungs.