I broke one of my Cardinal rules and I paid for it dearly. I’ve made it a point to not watch games that mean something to me around other people. I really don’t like being around people in general but when you throw a meaningful sporting event into the equation my annoyance with anyone breathing reaches new levels. From time to time people will ask me if I want to meet somewhere to watch a game and the answer is always no. I believe myself to be pretty calm and not reactionary in most aspects of life. Miami Hurricanes sports would be the exception. So what happened on the afternoon of March 15 is something I deserved and I’ll never allow the situation to happen again.
I’m partly a victim of circumstance. The Raheel and Del show on ESPN 97.5 was ending as the Oklahoma vs Rhode Island round of 64 game was coming to an end. We just so happened to be doing a show at a sports bar. The game went into OT so I decided to hang around at the sports bar to watch the finish. By the time that game ended the Miami Hurricanes game was about twenty minutes from starting so I made the decision to stay and watch. That was a mistake. Loyola-Chicago was the opponent and the trendy pick to pull an upset. The game was back and forth throughout and wasn’t decided until Loyola hit a game winning three with 0.3 remaining. I can’t remember the last time one of my favorite teams lost that way, certainly not in a game with that much importance. The loss was bad and the hour and a half drive home to stew was worse. The results aren’t really the point though.
I deserved that loss. I deserved for it to be that type of loss. Never break away from your sports-watching traditions. I don’t really care about Oklahoma or Rhode Island. Did I need to stay to watch that crappy game just because it went to overtime? The clear answer is no. For my troubles I got to sit through a game where every flaw I’ve witnessed throughout the season for my favorite team became magnified in the final seconds. It just so happens I got to sit through it with all my closest friends (we aren’t all that close and most weren’t my friends) as well. During the explosion of emotion after the Loyola shot went through net, two people threw the “U” in my face. I’ve seen rival fans and opposing players do that on TV. I’m pretty much numb to seeing that. It had never happened to me before. It was just the topper to a crappy 2.5 hours.
Never again though. I’d rather keep track of a game on gametracker than sit through being calm in a situation like that. There were no pillows to throw after a bad possession or a place to yell after giving up an open shot. No steps to sit on silently to calm down (these are all things that I do by the way). Pretending to be normal blows. Watch your games the way you want to watch them. If any person in life your asks you to watch an important game in a way you’re not accustomed to, you should ask yourself this question. Do I really need those people in my life? They clearly don’t have your best interest in mind. I paid for my high crimes against sports. Don’t suffer my fate.
I committed sports treason and I got a deserved punishment. The death of my team’s season. Watching that game in my rightful place at home doesn’t change the outcome but I know watching in public didn’t help.
I was clearly at fault but….
“Hey, Miami guard who might be a lottery pick, how about you make a bleepin free throw?”