September 28th, 2014

Bridgewater successful in first start

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — If you’re a University of Louisville fan and you found yourself missing the guy who now wears No. 5 for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon, you can be forgiven.

If he was watching, I’m sure Charlie Strong down in Texas was missing him, too.

It’ll become more evident as time goes on, but this Teddy Bridgewater guy who was under center here for the past three years was pretty special. His old school — and his old coach — owe him quite a bit. He’ll not be easily replaced, even if others come through who throw for more yards or touchdowns.

In Minnesota on Sunday, they experienced that themselves.

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September 28th, 2014

Bridgewater ready for first NFL start

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Is Teddy ready? Former University of Louisville start quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is getting ready to make his first NFL start in a game that will be televised by WDRB-41 TV in Louisville, and his coach has no doubt he’s up to the challenge.

"Honestly," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters earlier this week in Minneapolis, "I think he’s been ready since the day he walked in."

Bridgewater came on in relief of injured starter Matt Cassell in last week’s road loss to New Orleans, but has had all week to take reps as the starter and says that’s helped.

He’s also — and if you followed him at Louisville, you knew he’d say this — expecting help from his teammates.

"It’s no pressure on me and it’s not all about me," Bridgewater said in a news conference on Wednesday. "It takes a team effort to win football games and we have 11 guys on defense who are going to play their tails off. We have 11 guys on special teams and 10 other guys on the offensive side of the ball that are going to be out there competing for one another. There’s no pressure for me to have to fill the needs or anything. … It’s just all about the team."

According to the Associated Press, Bridgewater said he hasn’t increased the size of his cheering section being named the stater. He said he’s saving tickets for the same six people he did as a back-up, among them his mother, girlfriend and agent, according to the AP.

"I gave myself a moment Monday morning," Bridgewater said. "I woke up and told myself, ‘Hey, your dream is finally here and it’s coming true.’ It’s not the way that I wanted it to happen, but I’m still going to have to take advantage of this opportunity.

"It’s one thing to be named the guy, but for me I want to continue to just be the guy for a long time."

Bridgewater will look to have better luck than most former U of L quarterbacks in their first NFL starts.

A quick look at who they are, and how they fared.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

September 10th, 2014

I AM ALI. Coming to theaters Oct. 10. New trailer.

September 9th, 2014

CRAWFORD | Tuesday tangents

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Sad, sad, sad. Sometimes you just have to give in to the feeling.

In sports news, the Ray Rice video has everyone buzzing. Frankly, had the league dealt with this correctly from the start, the release of the video wouldn’t have been quite the splash it was. It was terrible, of course. But we knew something awful happened in that elevator.

It speaks again to the power of video. It’s one thing for something to happen. It’s another thing entirely for it to happen on video, for the world to see. It changes everything.

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September 8th, 2014

VIDEO | Time-lapse look at the new U of L court at the KFC Yum! Center.

September 8th, 2014

Monday Miscellany: Random items from a Sunday on the couch

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Sunday Column. I inherited a Sunday-for-Monday column when I moved into the columnist spot at The Courier-Journal, and both the previous occupants of the post warned me, “It’s a killer.”

Nothing is going on around here on Sundays. The NFL takes over, but so often you’re traveling back from a college game on Sunday that following the NFL is tough.

I was thinking about the Sunday column this Sunday as I sat around and did little but watch the NFL. I may not have another Sunday like this all season. So instead of a deftly crafted Sunday column, I offer a few observations from the couch.

PREGAME: I got a kick out of several analysts from several networks all Tweeting about their new studio sets. For the record, let’s get this out of the way. All NFL pregame sets are based on one thing:

JUST GOOD OL’ BOYS: You know it’s going to be a good day when you see the following in the lane of opposing traffic.

No, I wasn’t in Hazard. I was in J’town. That has to be profiling of some kind, right? My younger brother, Wes, channelled Waylon Jennings, captioning the photo, “Now friends and neighbors — you KNOW this here ain’t no routine traffic stop.”

Later in the evening, I learned that the General Lee car belongs to Chris Vittitoe and the patrol car belongs to Paul Brown. The two built the patrol car together, and they were headed to a little boys’ Dukes of Hazard-themed birthday party, where they were going to make a big entrance. They also took the boy and his dad for a spin around J’town. Now you know the rest of the story.

A SLICE OF AMERICANA. I’m watching the Bengals and Ravens, and a series of three consecutive commercials strikes me as saying something about the country we live in today.

First, a KFC commercial that’s nothing but a line of kids eating original recipe chicken, asking each other if they like it. Tag line: “Remember the taste of KFC original recipe? So will they.”

Don Draper stuff, there. Who doesn’t remember a family reunion, or some kind of thrown-together picnic, where someone grabbed a bucket of chicken and came on. Well played.

The next commercial was by Budweiser. Guys sitting around drinking beer, reading about the Yankees signing Babe Ruth on a train, or listening to Lou Gherig’s speech around a radio, Willie Mays’ famous catch, Hank Aaron’s record-setting home run, Cal Ripken Jr.’s ironman game. Tag line: “Here’s to baseball.”

It’s a nice sentiment, coming as it did in the middle of an NFL game. It could also have said, “Goodbye baseball.” Once the NFL starts, it dominates everything. We’ll check in on the World Series, but most of the memorable moments produced these days are produced in the NFL.

The third ad? For the iPad. Showing how various people use it. Tag line: “What will your verse be?”

Chicken, beer and iPad. That about covers it.


— When did the 49ers build such a huge fan base in Dallas?

— When did the Colts join the Big Ten? (I Tweeted this in the first half, the Colts were pretty impressive in the second.)

— Peyton Manning is good at football and making commercials.

— The latest thing in Twitter seems to be stadium crowd shots. Three good ones from today:

Look at the ‘49ers fans in Dallas …

And Kansas City was pretty well empty by the final drive of the fourth quarter …

And from Tampa …

BIG TEN, BIG EASY: Picked up this little item in Champaign, Ill., Saturday. It serves as a handy guide for keeping track of Big Ten teams with title hopes:

CARDS STREAK CONTINUES: Florida State, with 18 straight wins, has the longest winning streak in FBS. Second longest? The University of Louisville, with eight straight wins. The Cardinals have won 16 out of 17, and haven’t lost a game away from home since losing at Syracuse in the 2012 season.

NON-SPORTS READING: Working on The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. Review to come soon.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

August 8th, 2014

On the Kyle Tucker ‘beef’

image Having come off the golf course Thursday, I realized I was “sparring” on Twitter with The Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker. Later in the evening, after my TV duties, I ran into Jonathan Lintner of the C-J and he mentioned something about it.

So I went back and looked at what all the fuss was about. I published a line in a column saying that no one was invited to some University of Kentucky basketball practices who wasn’t going to report enthusiastically. Kyle took offense, since he was one of those invited.

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August 7th, 2014

Woods struggles through opening PGA round at Valhalla


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — How did Tiger Woods look at Valhalla in the first round of the PGA Championship?

About the way you’d expect a guy coming off back surgery who hasn’t broken 70 on the weekend of a major since 2011.

He sprayed shots all over Valhalla. Starting on the back nine, he bogeyed both par-threes on the back, but looked like he might get something going after holing a wedge shot on No. 16 from more than 100 yards away. That magic wouldn’t last. Errant tee shots on No. 1 and No. 2 sent him on his way to a 3-over par 74 finish.

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August 7th, 2014

UK basketball heads to Bahamas with a different class of hype


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Kentucky basketball is not a place where subtlety thrives. Everything that happens there, from player haircuts to uniform changes, is a big deal.


August 6th, 2014

BOZICH | Other golfers skeptical, but Tiger is chasing improbable PGA history


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The only place where people were not hyperventilating whenever Tiger Woods twitched his back Wednesday was the players’ locker room at Valhalla Golf Club.

A dozen minutes after Woods pulled his sparking silver Mercedes SUV into the players’ lot in the early afternoon, he cut through the clubhouse and locker room on the way to the practice tee.

Norman Callahan, the guy who has run the clubhouse from the day Valhalla opened, clapped as Woods entered. Woods’ locker, tucked between Y. E. Yang and Lanny Wadkins, 12th from the aisle in the second row, has been ready for Woods since Sunday night.

“Thank you, sir,” Woods said quietly.

He just kept walking, heading to the balcony and then down the steps to start preparing for the practice holes he played Wednesday afternoon.

That was it.

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August 6th, 2014

Valhalla: Hole by hole

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A hole-by-hole look at Valhalla Golf Club, where the PGA Championship will begin on Thursday. At 7,458 yards, it will be the longest par-71 in PGA Championship history.

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August 6th, 2014

Garcia on a hot streak, but still finding roadblocks to first major

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — If not for the run that new world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has been on, the hottest golfer in the world would be Sergio Garcia.

Instead, Garcia comes to Louisville in the shadow not only of McIlroy, but of whether Tiger Woods will play in the 96th PGA Championship, which begins Thursday morning.

But overlooking Garcia might be a mistake, given the way he’s played lately.

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August 6th, 2014

PGA chief sees ‘mulitple’ championships in Valhalla’s future


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The CEO of the PGA of America today expressed delight with the feedback the organization has gotten on course changes at Valhalla Golf Club and reiterated the its desire to bring multiple championships to the facility.

"This is a wonderful golf course," Pete Bevacqua said. "It’s a PGA of America facility and I think we have every intention of bringing multiple championships back here over the course of the years."

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August 6th, 2014

Woods arrives at Valhalla, will play a practice round at 2 p.m.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Tiger Woods arrived at Valhalla Golf Club at about noon today and is scheduled for a 2 p.m. practice round, the PGA said today.

Woods’ status for the tournament was in question after he withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone final round Sunday with an apparent aggravation of his back injury. Woods had back surgery earlier this year and has been back in competition for just over a month.

He returned to South Florida for evaluation, and received an extension on registration for the PGA Championship. Woods hasn’t spoken to the media since arriving at Valhalla.

Speaking with the media this morning, PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua said,  “I think it’s no secret, obviously we want him to play. … We are rooting for him to play because it would be a great thing to have Tiger Woods here, that’s for sure.”

Presumably, he’ll make a determination on whether to play after his practice round today. He’s scheduled to begin the tournament at 8:45 a.m. Thursday on Hole No. 10.

Watch WDRB Sports Live at Valhalla at 6 p.m. for a full report.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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Sports writing from Eric Crawford of in Louisville, Ky.