First open practice attracts huge crowd of Cards fans - News, Weather & Sports

First open practice attracts huge crowd of Cards fans

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Fans lined up to get a glimpse of the Cards. Fans lined up to get a glimpse of the Cards.
University of Louisville Head Football Coach Charlie Strong. University of Louisville Head Football Coach Charlie Strong.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Most could barely see the numbers on the jerseys, but fans still lined up, in some cases nearly a dozen people deep, to see University of Louisville Head Football Coach Charlie Strong and this year's group of Louisville Cardinals in their first open practice.

All the pre-season hype led to the football team's biggest crowd for a first practice in the program's history.

Well before the 5:15 p.m. start time Tuesday, the Cardinal Faithful started packing the UofL practice field and coming. Lined several fans deep all along the sidelines, hundreds of fans were on their toes. Card Fan Haron Kaisa said of his view seven people back, "You can't see anything," he laughed. Fan Jill Clore told us she wasn't able to see much either.

Outside the field some fans climbed the fence to look over it and others found any hole they could to try and see the team.

Clore said of the crowd, "We pulled into the parking lot and we're like, really? All these people are here for the practice, it's awesome!"

To see what the pre-season #9 ranking is all about kids had to go higher, "Me and my dad are sharing duties of putting him on our shoulder," said dad Andrew Voll of his young son. Or, they had to get low on the ground to see Charlie Strong and company.

That was the case except for young Alex Doucette, who had a front row seat for the action, "We just kind of moved our way in and we got here pretty early," he said.

Fans wanted to be at the practice for several reasons. First, the obvious: "Of course, we're excited for Teddy Bridgewater," said Voll, his 3-year-old son replied, "Duh!" Paxton Voll who came complete with a mohawk and face paint, knows his Teddy's and his quarterbacks, especially the Heisman Trophy candidate who's been making the rounds on ESPN.

"That's the reason we're as good as we are," Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said of the fan support, "Our fans travel and support us on the road and today is unbelievable how the fans are show their appreciation."

The other returning players who thumped the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl were also a big draw. And then, "There are a lot of new players and apparently a lot of new talent," Doucette said.

Fans wanted a glimpse of the new talent wearing #26:  Former Auburn running back and former BCS title game MVP Michael Dyer. Voll said, "I tried to get a shot of Michael Dyer but couldn't spot him just yet." 

Patrick Brents came to see his nephew Nick Brents get out of red shirt territory, "He was highly ranked and an Army All-American, he did it all."

The biggest thrill? The high flying possibilities, "It's a big season," Dad and Card Fan Bob Doucette said, "A big season."

The Cards will hold a second open practice Wednesday from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. weather permitting.

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