By Sam Roof–

Wash your favorite jersey and grab your best koozie because full capacity is back at Cardinal Stadium. 

After their season opener against University of Mississippi in Atlanta, the Louisville Cardinals will begin their preparation to play against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. 

Hopefully, 60,000+ fans will be on their feet ready to cheer on our team in what should be a bounce-back year. 

There’s a buzz going around campus from players and fans alike. This season means a lot to many different individuals. 

For underclassmen, this may be their first opportunity to experience a Division I college football game. 

And for upperclassmen, the return to full capacity means a return to traditions and exhilaration they’ve longed to get back to for well over a year. 

Charlie Young, a U of L senior and lifelong Cardinal football fan shared what he was most looking forward to this season. 

“Getting back in the stadium and getting that Cardinal football atmosphere, being able to enjoy the game from the stands where I can cheer on my team in person and give the cards more of a home field advantage,” said Young.

University of Louisville tight end Isaac Martin also touched on the impact fans have for the players.

“The most exciting thing about this upcoming season is being able to play in packed stadiums and being able to hear the fans. It will definitely help us in tough spots, like in the red zone on offense and the defense on third downs. I can’t wait to have them back!”

This mutual excitement is just what our community needs. The last year and a half has been hard on everyone. But together, we have made strides to get better and closer to our new “normal.” Football has been a beloved tradition for the Louisville community. 

Freshman tight end Dez Melton reflected on what made him decide to leave his home in Arizona to play for U of L.

Melton said, “The fan base was part of the reason why I came because on my official visit, we went to a pizza place before a basketball game and everyone in there gave us a standing ovation. I never had a standing ovation from fans on any of my visits.”

This sport and this city mean something to our players, on and off the field. For some, such as Melton, this is a home away from home. Hopefully this football season can serve as a boost of joy for our tried and tested community. 

The players are excited. The students are excited. We all deserve these good times ahead. 

Let’s all strive to stay safe and enjoy this upcoming season. As freshman wide receiver Bradley West said, “There is nothing like the energy in a full football stadium.”

Photo Courtesy // WLKY News