08 Aug Fans & Fanatics
So getting in the gate and wearing your Louisville gear isn’t the end of cheering on your teams. There are rituals and traditions to take part in and some fans, well, have taken fandom to the next level. See if you can keep up.
Just can’t wait to get your first look at the Cards before they take the field? A few hours before kickoff, the Cardinal football team makes its entrance through Streetfest at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in front of hundreds of screaming fans. Led by the Marching Band, the players march from the team bus to Gate 4, getting fans and the team pumped for kickoff. Be sure to get there early if you want an inside view of the players or Coach Petrino—fans can and will pack the area.
UofL’s football team knows its fans and the atmosphere are a big part of victories at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. In a tradition that dates back to Coach John L. Smith, players make sure to thank and celebrate with their fans with a victory lap. Just after the game, the team winds its way around the lower bowl, and players reach up to the crowd to share high fives, handshakes, hugs and thanks. If you’re lucky enough to be close to the field, makes sure to stick around for a bit after the game.
It’s never too early to experience the action and thrills that come along with Cardinal football. The Spring Game, which normally occurs in April, is the public’s first look at Coach Bobby Petrino’s new team. There’s a lot of anticipation, curiosity and screaming Cardinal fans. The offense and defense square off against each other in a Red-White matchup that also gives fans a chance to practice their tailgating and cheering skills in preparation for the fall. Marking the end of classes, the Spring Game is a great tradition to end a semester.
White Outs & Red Outs
Once or twice during the basketball season, UofL fans are asked to really get in on the action. Asked to either wear white to the game for a White Out or red for a Red Out, fans paint the arena white or red during big, eagerly awaited matches during the season. The bold colors
create a stirring sight—rallying the Cardinals base and overwhelming our opponents. Even Coach Rick Pitino gets involved, donning a white suit for the White Outs. Red Outs and White Outs are some of the coolest scenes you will ever see in Cardinals sports—made even better by the fact they usually are reserved for only the biggest of games.
Every stadium or arena has its characters, making the game not the only action to watch. In particular, look for the “Running-Back-and-Forth Guy” (behind The Nest, our student section) at the KFC Yum! Center. Also be on the lookout for the fans who dress in head-to-toe, spandex body suits or just go for full body paint. At a lot of events, you’ll also see people carrying “Big Heads” of their favorite players or coaches. And if you’re at the KFC Yum! Center, make sure to keep your eyes peeled. You or your friends might get caught on the dance cam.
My Old Kentucky Home
So what does the state song have to do with UofL athletics? It’s played at every UofL home football and basketball game, along with the Call to the Post. Here’s something else: You probably knew that the singing of My Old Kentucky Home signals the start of the Kentucky Derby race each year. But did you know that the UofL Marching Band plays it there? And a final trivia note: UofL alum Steve Buttleman is Churchill Downs’ official track bugler and as such plays the Derby’s Call to the Post.