The Dalai Lama needs a Louisville cap

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The Dalai Lama is going to be in Louisville on May 19 and 20. I saw him in Washington in 2011, where his profound message was “Don’t worry. Be happy.”

I won’t be in town to hear him say that again at the Yum Center, but I think I got the message the first time.

What I do find interesting, though, is his fondness for sports caps. The collection above is from Deadspin, which describes him as a “giant bandwagoner.”

Well, he’s going to the home court of the NCAA basketball national champions, the Louisville Cardinals. The least someone can do is get him a cap. Preferably one that says “National Champions.” I’ve got a cap from the Final Four that I’d give him, but like I said, I won’t be in town when he’s there.

I’m sure they’ll be generous enought to let him take his pick at the Cardinal Authentic Store. Throw in a football and basketball jersey while they’re at it.

Look at the photo above. He even got a Nats hat when he was in Washington, and the Nats aren’t champions of anything.

 

2013: The year of UofL sports

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All is right in the world. The college basketball season is over. The Louisville men are the national champs in Division I hoops. The Louisville women are runners-up for the national championship.

That makes 2013 the year of Louisville basketball.

Uh … wait a minute …

The Louisville football team won the Sugar Bowl.

That makes 2013 the year of Louisville sports.

Luke Hancock and Kevin Ware: Comfort amid pain

Along with millions of other college basketball fans, I was watching the Louisville/Duke game when Louisville guard Kevin Ware went down. I was at work, so it was a sequence of glimpsing the game while getting my job done. So I saw Ware go up to block the shot, but I didn’t see him land.

The next time I looked up at the screen, I saw a bunch of Louisville players on the floor, motionless.

Duke v Louisville

I saw a Duke player walking to his bench covering his face. And I saw people in the stands crying. I didn’t know what happened (no sound on the TV), but I knew it was something horrible. Then I saw coach Rick Pitino and players Russ Smith and Chane Behanan crying.

Uh oh. This is really bad.

When CBS went to the replay, I just knew I had to look away. I always do that when I know a gruesome injury is on the way. Then the camera showed Ware on the ground. His upper body was moving, so my first thought was, “He isn’t paralyzed.”

Then I saw one of the bravest things I ever saw at a sporting event.

Duke v Louisville

While everyone else was overwhelmed with grief, Luke Hancock, the Louisville guard/forward went to Ware, held his hand and comforted him while doctors worked on the shattered leg.

I wish I had that kind of bravery, to see a person with a horrific injury and be able to run to his side and keep him calm while the doctors did their work. But I know I don’t. Because I’ve been in this situation before.

About six to 10 years ago, when I lived in Belgium, my wife and I decided one day to get in the car and drive from Brussels to the coast. We had no particular destination in mind. We were just going to head west. So I got behind the wheel and drove along the highway and I saw a sign for Ghent, a historic medieval city in Flanders and decided, “well, might as well stop here and see what’s up.”

So we get off the highway and drove along the outskirts of town. We turned a corner, and there was a car stopped in the middle of the road, a broken motorcycle on the street and a group of people standing around a body.

We stopped, got out of the car and went over to see a man bleeding in the middle of the street. I don’t know how the accident happened. I don’t think anyone around us could have told us, because we didn’t speak Dutch, the language of Flanders. But the guy was bloody, in obvious pain, and no one was helping him.

And I didn’t know what to do.

But my wife simply went straight to the man’s side, got on the ground, placed his head in her lap, stroked his hair and spoke soothingly to him, telling him things were going to be all right. And she stayed there with him until an ambulance arrived, which seemed to take forever.

I just wasn’t able to do that. I didn’t go far from my wife’s side, but I just wasn’t able to get beyond my fear, and fear is what it was, to do what she did.

We don’t know what happened to that man on the street. The ambulance arrived and took him away. We got back in our car and drove to the coast. I think we went to Dunkirk. The rest of the day wasn’t memorable.

More than likely, the biker was hospitalized, healed, and back on his motorcycle riding through the streets of Ghent within a few months.

But you know, he probably remembers that when he was bloody, broken and in pain on the street, a woman he had never seen before and speaking a language he probably didn’t know, took his head in her lap, spoke softly and gave him comfort until help arrived. And chances are he wonders, did that really happen? Or was it just a dream? Some kind of religious angelic vision he had in his moment of suffering.

That incident was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw Luke Hancock beside Kevin Ware during a basketball game in Indianapolis, thousands of miles away from Ghent.

I’ve read a couple of poignant reactions to the Kevin Ware injury today. Bob Valvano, who does commentary for Louisville basketball games during the regular season had a moving Facebook post. You can read it here.

And on the site Card Chronicle, commenter Chick-Stratino’sUrDaddy, posted this tribute to the Cardinals and Luke Hancock.

They’re both worth reading.

St. James Court Art Show: Day 3

The St. James Court Art Show in Louisville is winding down. I’m sitting on my front porch watching the vendors begin to break down their tents and load up their vans and trucks to head out of town.

Having been here for the past three days, and having lived here for the past three art shows, I’m sure the attendance set a record.

In previous years, I could walk around the show — which extends through Belgravia and St. James Courts and covers from Sixth Street on the west to Third Street on the east and Hill Street on the South and Central Park on the north — with no problem.

It wasn’t that easy this year. Here’s a Sunday view of Fourth Street at Magnolia heading south:

This is not how Fourth Street usually looks. If you see two people walking down the street on a weekend, that’s usually a lot of people. And even though the Sunday view looks crowded, on Saturday, it took forever to walk down this street. You either got distracted, looking at all the offerings, or you were slowed by others who were distracted.

And art works weren’t the only distactions:

These food booths aren’t normally on the south end of Central Park. but they were this week. Good thing, too. I don’t think I can handle more than one corn dog a year.

The local newspaper says a combination of perfect weather and early Christmas shopping  resulted in the huge crowd:

Chilly autumn air and generous sunshine were the perfect combination to bring what the sponsors said might be record crowds this weekend to the St. James Court Art Show.

“There’s no way to take attendance, but Friday was huge and (Saturday) was just as packed,” said Connie Light, chairwoman of the Belgravia Court section of the show. It is one of five Old Louisville-based neighborhood associations sponsoring the 56th St. James show centered south of Central Park.

Light said the organizers were delighted that so many of the exhibitors had ample sales last year, when many people were still feeling the effects of the recession.

“We had several vendors who said this Friday was the best day they ever had” at the show, she said.

I was planning to be frugal and not by much, if any art. But a surprise tax refund arrived in the mail from the District of Columbia on Wednesday. That refund doesn’t exist anymore.

It’s a good thing the show is over, because I’m going broke. I mean, who knew I needed a candle holder shaped like people?

St. James Court Art Show

The 56th annual St. James Court Art Show is taking place today through Sunday in Louisville. Here’s the view from my front porch:

And here’s another one:

There is a steady parade of people, far more than what I saw last year. And this is supposed to be the slow day.

Here’s a brief description:

The St. James Court Art Show® is a juried fine arts and fine crafts show that hosts an impressive 750 artists from North America. Held in the heart of historic Old Louisville among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes, the St. James Court Art Show® has for over five decades provided our neighborhood, city and state with a rich cultural and artistic legacy.

It really must be fancy. It has that little “R” with the circle around it.

As I have during the past couple of years, I helped some of the artists set up their tents. Lots of familiar faces. And on Sunday, I’ll help them take their tents down. I’ll plan to walk around the whole show today. Maybe pick up a few items along the way. That is, if I can get through the teeming masses.

There are two annual events in Louisville that draw huge crowds. I will see more people pass in front of my house than the number of people who attend the Kentucky Derby. That’s how big this is.

Run for the roses

The Kentucky Derby is Saturday. This is one of the two biggest days of the year in Louisville (the second is the St. James Art Fair in October).

Click on any of the jockey silks below for information and videos on the horses and their riders. From the Courier-Journal in Louisville:

Archarcharch
Archarcharch
Brilliant Speed
Brilliant Speed
Twice the Appeal
Twice the Appeal
Stay Thirsty
Stay Thirsty
Decisive Moment
Decisive Moment
Comma to the Top
Comma to the Top
Pants on Fire
Pants on Fire
Dialed In
Dialed In
Derby Kitten
Derby Kitten
Twinspired
Twinspired
Master of Hounds
Master of Hounds
Santiva
Santiva
Mucho Macho Man
Mucho Macho Man
Shackleford
Shackleford
Midnight Interlude
Midnight Interlude
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Soldat
Soldat
Uncle Mo
Uncle Mo
Nehro
Nehro
Watch Me Go