Not surprising Louisville basketball fans, the attention of the world was squarely focused on the Cardinals’ newest selection Wednesday afternoon. But the pick has left many Louisville supporters scratching their heads and in some cases angry.
“I just don’t get it,” said Jim Jones of Glenview. “I get that we’ve done well with international players, like Gourgi,” referring to Gourgi Deng, the Senegal-born starting center for Louisville who moved to the United States, “but do we really need someone from Argentina who lives in Rome? Do they even play basketball in Argentina? Or Rome?”
Details about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now referred to by the Cardinals as Francis I, have also disappointed fans.
“I heard he’s like 76 years old,” said Bob Stevens, a junior chemistry major at Louisville. “Is he even allowed to play college basketball at that age? I think (head coach Rick) Pitino is taking those ‘Uncle Drew’ ads a little too seriously.”
Even the timing of the selection has drawn scrutiny. The high-profile pick in Italy came the day before the Cardinals were scheduled to play in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
“I can’t believe they had to announce this now,” said Manor Creek native Julie Brown. “I appreciate high profile events for the Cardinals but the timing was terrible. Did we really need to summon every Cardinal in the world to Rome right before the biggest game of the season? They should have at least waited until the conference tournament was over.”
Still, some Louisville fans showed optimism about the new signing.
Tim Thompson, a bar owner in downtown Louisville, said he trusted the logic behind the Cardinals’ decision. He said they wouldn’t have rolled out a giant tapestry, the Swiss Guard and assembled hundreds of thousands of people for a Rome announcement if “he wasn’t any good.”
“Isn’t it a big deal for Brazilian soccer players to change their names if they’re good?” Thompson said. “I mean, if this guy is doing it already I think we’re in for a good run.”
“This guy can’t be any worse than the last guy the Cardinals picked,” said Louisville native Steve Locke. “The last guy they picked just straight-up quit on everybody. I just hope the new guy doesn’t jump to the NBA after one year.”
Note: This story is for satirical purposes and does not include real life events.