The University’s athletic program is one of the major reasons a lot of students choose to come here. From basketball to football to field hockey to rowing, there is a seemingly endless list of varsity teams. The University has experienced some scandals with its coaches in the recent past (hello, Rick Pitino), but it seems to have only made people more interested in attending games and supporting the teams. Cardinal fans go into every season optimistic, even if Louisville doesn't always win. Discounted student tickets are available to all sporting events, and some are even free. But, if you want to get tickets to a men's basketball or football game you’d better get them early because they will sell out. If you can't make it to a game, you can always find a sports bar that is carrying it—these places are usually packed with fans on game day. L-Raisers, a student organization whose sole purpose is to promote and support U of L sports, adds another dimension to the intense pride Cardinal fans feel.
And it isn’t just all about varsity sports, either. Students often participate in intramurals, or at least go to watch the games. One complaint students have about the athletics here is that certain teams are overlooked, such as field hockey, lacrosse, swimming, and soccer. These sports typically have low game attendance, but students are starting to show more of an interest. Football and basketball will always be the most popular, though, and even when the Cards don't win, U of L fans never give up on their teams.