Sunday, September 6, 2009
You Simply Can't Give Up On the Guys
Two years ago after I'd bought tickets for the Duke-Virginia game for an outing with my wife and my sister and her husband, Virginia opened the season with an ignominious 23-3 loss to Wyoming. When I heard that score--Wyoming was terrible--I was crestfallen, believing my $70 or so investment was in the toilet.
We went up anyway and watched Virginia beat a so-so Duke team 24-13. Then, in succession UVa beat North Carolina by 2, Georgia Tech by 5, Pitt by 30, Middle Tennessee by 2, UConn and Maryland by one each, before losing for the second time (NC State by 5). Virginia bounced back beating Wake by 1 and Miami--in one of the most surprising reversals of fortune in UVa history--48-0. All this represented one of the most exciting football seasons I've ever watched. Christina and I went up for the UConn game and watched most of the rest on TV.
I had been at the verge of giving away the Duke tickets and had no idea what I'd do with the already purchased UConn tickets at the time of the Wyoming disaster. College football, though,is a game of redemption and a game of constant hope. I think that's why I dearly love it--far beyond the game at any other level. Pro football is too dry and the players too good. High school football is slow and flawed. It's the college game, so full of life, enthusiasm, youthful error and astonishing talent, that keeps me interested 12 months a year.
Tommy and I, pulling for different teams yesterday, each enjoyed what was given us. His team (for which he played guard in the 1960s) won, but I don't think that made a lot of difference to either of us. It was a marvelously competitive game with a lively crowd, warm sunshine and even those cell phone calls to my brother son to see how Tennessee was doing in its opener (it won 63-7) and to my wife to see how UVa was progressing (it was, of course, regressing).
So Saturday--in spite of Virginia's embarrassment against William & Mary--we're going to Charlottesville to see the Cavs play ranked TCU in a game where it will be a prohibitive underdog, remembering that if we'd ditched Virginia after the Wyoming game two years ago we would have missed one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the Cavs.