Week 1 Preview: It's Time to Get Started
The voice of USF Athletics routinely puts down his radio headset and picks up the pen to share his perspective on the history of USF Athletics.
Louk has been broadcasting games for 28 years and is the resident historian in the Athletics Department hallways.
Voice of the USF Bulls
All is darkness.
Each day, despair has its hold over me, ruling my life with the iron fist of hopelessness.
A never ending landscape of sun and thunderstorms taunts me. The calendar is my enemy, standing silently on my wall, mocking me.
Is there any possible way to go on?
I try to go to work. The security guard looks down on me with disdain. "Your game credentials," he whispers, "are not good today."
Defeated, I turn and leave, looking at an empty field where in a happier time, a pre-game broadcast stage existed. Now, lonely blades of grass reach up to an empty sky as if to ask "when will the pain go away?"
I can see the future. It is bleak. The 1987 Holiday Bowl will soon be replayed on TV, and I look forward to it.
This frightens me.
Oh all right, the football offseason isn't quite that bad, but I for one am glad it's over and we have a game to talk about this week. Plus that's all the existentialist Ingmar Bergman type stuff I can come up with today, so let's get going on USF Football 2012.
We begin season 16 Saturday night at 7 against Chattanooga (for the record, they wish to be called UTC or Chattanooga, rather than UT-Chattanooga). The Mocs finished 5-6 last year and a few of their FCS opponents might be familiar to longtime Bulls fans. Two early-in-the-program USF foes, Georgia Southern and Citadel beat them in 2011, as did our opening opponent from a couple of years ago, Wofford.
Like the Bulls, the Mocs had some heartbreak in 2011; 5 of the 6 losses were by 7 points or less, and remarkably 3 losses were by the same 28-27 score. Chattanooga plays one FBS opponent a year; the Bulls get the call in 2012. Chattanooga certainly hasn't ducked anyone. In the last five years they've opened with Oklahoma, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn and Nebraska. No near upsets, although they did put up 24 points against Auburn in 2010.
Saturday, however, is more about the Bulls than the opposition. It's the beginning of a long journey. Exactly three months after this game, on the same field in Tampa, the regular season will end against Pittsburgh. What happens between now and then is something we can only learn week by week.
On paper, the Bulls are solid, probably a bit deeper than ever before, with strong senior leadership and playmakers on both sides of the ball.
There is a strong desire to start erasing the memories of the 2011 season, and to prove that it was an anomaly. That job began a while ago, but the intensity increases Saturday.
We'll be on the air with our brand new broadcast partner, The Fan 98.7 beginning at 5 p.m.. The Fan and USF are offering game tickets for just $9.87, so it's a great opportunity to take your first look at the 2012 Bulls. Come out and see us before the game in the Bulls Zone.
Oh, and I'll save you the trouble. In the 1987 Holiday Bowl, Iowa beats Wyoming, 20-19. The real games are finally here, so I'm not watching it again. Until next offseason.
The voice of the Bulls, Jim Louk, offers his perspective of USF Athletics, both past and present.
For 29 years, Jim Louk has been the voice of USF Athletics.
Louk came to USF in 1983 as the radio play-by-play announcer for the USF men's basketball team and served as the lead voice until the conclusion of the 1996-97 season. He then made the transition to football in USF's inaugural 1997 campaign, and still serves as the team's play-by-play announcer today. Louk will come into the 2012 football season having broadcast every Bulls football game in history - a span of 177 games.
He has handled USF TV play by play broadcasts on SportsChannel, Fox Sports Florida, and Brighthouse Sports Network. His career includes over 1,500 play by play broadcasts of USF events, including football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer and volleyball.
This series of articles for GoUSFBulls.com began in 2010.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Louk is a 1979 graduate of the University of Bridgeport where he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism. Louk and his wife Barbara reside in Lutz. Their son Ross is a sophomore in college.