When Louisville was rolling, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was a tough place to play. The Cardinals haven't won as much lately, but they still have several gameday traditions. Let's take a look at some of them (Pitt is next up, so send your favorite traditions to me now, Panthers fans).
Card March: A couple of hours before the game, the team bus lets the players off in the parking lot, and they march through fans before entering the stadium.
Gathering around Johnny U.: As Louisville is introduced, players emerge out of the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex and touch the statue of Johnny Unitas in the end zone before sprinting on the field.
Cardinal bird parachutes in: About 10 minutes before gametime, the Cardinal mascot parachutes into the stadium, hopefully landing at midfield.
Train whistle: Owing to the school's location near train tracks, a train whistle blares every time Louisville scores. When Bobby Petrino's teams were lighting up scoreboards, it sounded like Grand Central Station.
The victory lap: After each win, Louisville players walk around the stadium and give fans high-fives.
Ethan from Louisville: The best Louisville tradition in football has got to be the intimidating "Crunch Zone." At the closed end zone side of the stadium, this area of crazed Cardinal fans transitioned easily from the old Cardinal Stadium to the new one. With PJCS expanding to over 55,000 seats, the rowdiness fom Cardinal fans will be wilder than ever. Firing up the defense, forcing opponents to call time-outs because they can't hear, and helping the team win is what the "Crunch Zone" is all about!
Chris L from Louisville: Louisville traditions: Card march, "C-A-R-D-S cheer, "Good for another" first down cheer, the "O Fortuna" blaring along with a slideshow of Louisville greats, ending with players walking out and gathering before running on to the field ... you talk about goosebumps. I love, love, love, me some sports, and I'm never as emotional anywhere else as I am at that moment. Standing up, bouncing a little bit, ready for the game to start, ready for the players to take the field, ready for battle, ready for war, ready for victory. It takes everything I have to not storm the field myself. I'm salivating for some football at this moment.
Mathew T. from Louisville: Louisville has a few awesome game day traditions. We start off before every home game with the Card March into the stadium. During pre-game festivities the Cardinal Bird flies in, weather willing, and we all pray that he doesn't smack into the ground, but man does it get everyone pumped. However, the best tradition of them all at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, is when the team comes out and touches the statue of Johnny Unitas as "O Fortuna" plays. At the moment we, players and fans, are all united in the passion and vigor for the game.