Raheel Ramzanali: A 16 beating a 1? What's next in the sports world?
There are certain things in sports that I thought I would never see in my life, but here we are and a 16 just upset the OVERALL No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Maybe because it was anti-climatic since UMBC slapped Virginia around in the second half, but not a lot of people were as moved by this as I was on my radio show (which can be heard on ESPN 97.5 FM daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
I thought a 16 upsetting a 1 would rank as an all-time “whoa, they really did it!” moment for sports fan, but the reaction was just a “cool, it happened - now what?” for the most part. I get it, we live in a time where we’re really desensitized by memorable moments because they keep happening, but even a 16 over a 1? In the last year we’ve seen a player average a triple-double in the NBA, Lebron make it to seven straight finals, a player hit 59 homeruns in a non-steroid era (albeit a juiced ball era), and Nick Saban win his 900th National Championship in an era where teams are getting better and better, yet he keeps winning. These are things that aren’t supposed to happen, but they have and we as fans are starting to believe this is normal. Heck, we’ve even seen a female basketball player compete in a Slam Dunk Contest in the last 15 years.
I thought on Monday morning I would be greeted with the same enthusiasm as I had about seeing history being made, but it was more of a, “Raheel, we get it, a 16 beat the number 1 OVERALL seed - let’s move on.” Maybe I’m more disappointed that I no longer have something to cross off my sports viewing bucket list, but I can’t be the only one that will remember where I was when the Retrievers upset Virginia. I knew this would be the year we saw it. Just ask my good friend Dustin on Twitter. I was calling the upset of Kansas by Penn as we watched the first wave of games on Thursday. Y'all, we witnessed history! All those close calls and “I think this is the year” moments finally paid off and we cashed in with a historic upset.
This also leaves me with an important “What Now?” update of my sports viewing bucket list. I’ve been lucky to experience some cool sports moments, but here are two that I need to cross off before I call it a day and give a shout out to heaven:
United States National Soccer Team winning a World Cup
Texas Basketball winning a championship
I guess I have something to look forward to for the next 33 years. Here’s to you, Shaka!