I have stuff to say.
I don't know if I can say it though-- or say it well at least.
I mean, it was always gonna happen. I just didn't ever think that it would be today, this game.
I hate it.
Because of espn2, because of Vitale, because of the shirt (because you don't lose a Blackout game!!), because of the streak, because Joe was here, because JRich was here, because we were louder than we've ever been, because we had it goddammit (forgive me Lord, the syllables just work well) and then we lost it.
Because it has been seven hundred and forty-seven days since I last walked out of that beloved building with that feeling in my stomach.
And so much has happened in those last seven hundred and forty-seven days to make me feel like this day just couldn't come.
We clapped. We screamed our heads off-- because even with 2.2 seconds we effing believe. Steph's last shot was blocked. The buzzer sounded and we all let out this moan of anger and disbelief and just--no. No. It just doesn't work like that, it just--
I felt kind of numb all over. We sat there for a minute. Pep band played the fight song again. I clapped. I stood outside those glass doors and waited, exchanged looks and eye rolls and much-needed hugs. Asked Joe how much he was gonna drink tonight (because if I was more of a drinker, I'd be getting hammered-- and unfortunately that is going on right outside my door. Argh).
Walked to the Union. Andrew slapped my hand, saxophone slung over his shoulder, said "It's always a great day to be a Wildcat." David and I put our orders in, sat on the couch and didn't say anything.
And as I sat there in the midst of the low murmurs I thought. I thought about the framed newspaper that hangs above the water fountain, two faces beaming with resurrection (little r) miracle. I thought about the yellowing article on the bulletin board by the printer, red jerseys sitting in wooden booths. I thought about all that I have heard and seen in the last two and a half years because of this team, the places I've been.
And... I don't know, really. I'm not quite at a concensus yet.
I guess it has something to do with faith, hope, love, these three. Or skill. Or hard work. And a little bit of frustration. Nostalgia? Sure, throw that in there too (but not too much, move forward not back).
Whatever it is, it won't let me give up on getting my seat back in that thunderous football stadium eleven hours up north.