To wrap up my Louisville weekend review, some notes about what else I did down there in my brief visit.
My KC homie E$ flew into Indy Friday and we headed south around lunchtime Saturday. He had been to the ‘Ville many times so had a solid plan for how to spend our pregame hours. First, we dined at Mark’s Feed Store, an excellent name for an establishment that specializes in smoked meats. I had a fantastic brisket sandwich, along with a cup of the local delicacy, burgoo, which was amazing.
After lunch we headed downtown. Our first stop, as I mentioned yesterday, was the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. It was 2-for–1 on tours if you were wearing NCAA gear, which was quite the coincidence! Speaking of coincidences, they just happened to be making bats for Alex Gordon on the day a bunch of folks from the Kansas City area were taking tours. What were the odds?!?! E$ and I joked about that a little bit. Later we heard from KU friends who took the tour on Friday that, amazingly, they were making bats for Gordon then, too! I mean, the guy breaks a lot of bats but seriously…
There were tons of KU people on he streets. You never went more than a few minutes without seeing Villanova fans, or even the occasional Maryland or Miami fan, but it was definitely a heavy KU town that afternoon. Plenty of Kentucky fans had their gear on, as well. I learned last year that, surprisingly, Louisville probably has more UK fans than UL fans.
We met some friends for a beer at an outdoor bar, which was fun because it was nearly perfect outside.
Next, we stopped off at the team hotel, where we ran into a few acquaintances, saw Uncle Anthony, Greg Gurley, and Wayne Selden, Sr. We watched about half of the team and coaching staff walk through the packed lobby to the bus before we had to depart to meet our ticket contacts.
E$ has KU friends who live in the ‘Ville, and we were meeting them and a friend of theirs who had our tickets. We went to a place called the Troll Pub Under the Bridge, which was, yes, under one of the bridges crossing the Ohio River to Indiana. You had to go down some steep steps to get to the bar, and the interior was this cool, old-looking brickwork. It felt kind of like a subterranean dungeon that had been there for about 250 years. Being right across the street from the KFC Yum! Center, it was the ideal spot for that last beer (or two) before heading to the game.
Our ticket contact had a very cool story. He was a Louisville native and UL season ticket holder who played baseball at Kentucky. I didn’t get that whole story until later so I didn’t get the chance to ask him how that works when UK and UL play each other. Even more interestingly, his dad was UL’s first basketball All-American, the #2 pick in the 1957 NBA draft, and still the school’s all-time leading rebounder. Which seems crazy.
After the game, we headed to our friends’ house just outside downtown. We commiserated over the game while drinking some very good bourbon. I’ve always been more of a Scotch/Irish whiskey guy, but based on what we drank that night, I could be convinced to drink more bourbon.
In all, I spent less than 24 hours in Louisville. Aside from the 2.5 hours that were taken up by the KU game, it was a pretty fun trip. It is a cool city, with lots to do downtown, especially on days when something big is drawing lots of folks that direction. E$ has been to the Kentucky Derby several times over the years. I’m thinking it might be a good idea to do that sometime in the future and spend another weekend exploring the city.
- Highlands location, for those of you who know the area. ↩