Friday, January 29, 2010

Stuff to say, year 2

Man.

- ... We won. We WON?! This time last year, it wouldn't have been believable to LOSE (until, you know), but this time last year it would have also been incredibly pressure filled and nerve-wracking and we have to win to keep going and going and going losing is not an option go go go lights camera we have to WIN.

- Don't get me wrong, it was nerve-wracking as hell. I think my friends can tell you that my nerves were a tad wracked ("oh my lord jesus I can't do this I can't watch this oh my lord holy shit AHHHHHHHHH" or something like that). I wanted to win, but... differently, I think. Last night I wanted to win because we are a good team, because these boys work incredibly hard even when things aren't going well, because we deserved it. Because I'm sick of the Cougars beating us.

- "CLAIRE!" Morgan yelled from the front row right before the game started, holding his hands (oops, I mean claws) out in disbelief -- such a small crowd! "I know!" I shouted back, disappointed. "I don't know why!" Thursday night, too much work, meetings, weather, no Stephen... But suddenly about ten minutes in, I looked around and realized -- it's a pretty full house. Definitely a full endzone. Really full bleachers. Most definitely a full D-Block. Good job, black shirts and hoarse voices. Excellent.

- After one of J.P.'s many great shots, D-Block started chanting something that I hadn't heard in so long, it even took me a second to register it:
"HE'S A FRESHMAN! HE'S A FRESHMAN!"
It didn't last long, drowned out in the cheering, but it tugged at my heartstrings pretty good. Circles... we know a good thing when we see it.

- The battle cry of the evening became "AR-CHAM-BAULT! AR-CHAM-BAULT!" Deservedly so. Will has upped his game and hustled more than I've ever seen this year, and even though I love it when he hits those slanting threes, I think I love it even more when he drives to the basket or is there to tip it in. Singles, little things. Every time we chanted his name, I grinned a little wider, thinking -- he has EARNED this. I am proud of him, and for him. And at the end, he forced a Charleston time out, kicking his legs and waving his arms all over the place. Thanks Max, I thought.

- Frank was his beastly self, finally. Most impressive, perhaps? Calming down and focusing to make both free throws. God they could have so easily clanked.

- Brendan drove to the basket like Jason Richards. He also celebrated, encouraged, acknowledged the crowd like Jason Richards. I'm a fan.

- My only thought when the first half ended at 36-36: halftime score of Wisconsin halftime score of Wisconsin halftime score of Wisconsin.

- Captain Heart of a Lion has mastered the art of pulling down rebounds. It has been so cool watching him go from red shirt (I really didn't know what this guy was doing on the bench all the time freshman year, just figured he wasn't that great) to Leader, period.

- Benjamin (which is what I call him when he looks like he might jack up a three -- "BENJAMIN YOU DO NOT TAKE THAT SHOT!") -- his determination is PALPABLE. He is there to pull it down or muscle it in and you will not stop him, he will make you foul him before he will let go of that ball.

- Doing the wave in Belk Arena is funny but I love it.

- It is important for me to text my friends that aren't here anymore.

- Even though we've proved that we're really really good at making comebacks, we've also proved that we can let a big lead slip in about two minutes, and I've become so used to crashing at the end of games -- boys crashing, fans crashing. Can we hold on can we hold on can we play 40 minutes of basketball? But we just let it go, didn't stop. "THIS IS A FUCKING GOOD BASKETBALL TEAM!" I shrieked over and over as the crowd got louder and louder.

- A couple of times during those last two minutes (god, so different from last year's last two minutes, and I'll take this over Dickie V any day) I had to stop jumping and shouting and simply listen. THIS is Davidson basketball, loud and sacred, blurry and hilarious and electric, lifting-up, brim-full. In moments like this it's almost like pride is reverberating back and forth and back and forth, crowd to team and team to crowd until there is no separation. I cannot comprehend that I ever have to leave it.

- Dear freshmen, welcome to the rest of your life. Whether you only make it to a couple of games, or if you fall into it and never want to get out, there's a twinge of something that's a little bit different, and it comes from a roaring crowd that claims you whether you're on the court or off, a community that will claim you long past graduation.

1 comment:

Splinter Faction said...

Your last two paragraphs introduce a compelling topic. My first reaction to the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph was: But you don't have to leave, and all that romantic piffle about how it all goes with you, you never really leave, etc., but of course you do have to leave, and after graduation everything is different. Interestingly, as your essay intimates, at Davidson, basketball is probably the most potent vehicle by which it does stay with you, and you with it. Because that vibration, that loud and sacred thing, well, that does not go away. You just come back, and there it is. Not exactly the same without all your classmates there, but the circle expands, other good people cross your path, and what remains is still, as you described, sacred and good in its own way. I like reading your pieces because you describe this well.