I’m a Texas Tech Basketball fan. I start watching when I got to Tech in 1975 & have watched since. There have been some pretty lean years (a lot of them) and some really good years. 1996 comes to mind. 14-0 in conference. I’ll always remember Jason Sasser dancing down the scorer’s table. I’l always remember Darvin Ham breaking a backboard on a dunk and getting his face on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated. And last year’s team made it all the way to the Elite 8.
I elaborated in a previous post about this year’s team. Picked 7th in the Big 12 Conference. Not supposed to make the tournament. No respect.
But our team & our coach decided differently. They meshed, they worked, they embraced 4:1 (Four parts mental, 1 part physical). They decided not to listen to the critics. And while they had some lapses over the season, mostly they won and won and won. They still didn’t get respect or even notice but we noticed. This was absolutely the best team I’ve ever seen. We had a “star” player and he was great but his back up singers were all good. Any one of them were capable of taking over a game.
Last night was the championship game. As usual, everyone had decided our team came in the wrong door. Virginia won by about 7 but that is not indicative of the game. It went to OT. Game is over and asshat Virginia ran down floor alone to do a shiny dunk. These boys were devastated. We were devastated.
The officiating was horrible but I don’t put the loss on them. It’s horrible in every game, in every sport. Officials make it about themselves way too often.
I certainly don’t blame the loss on this team. They played an amazing game and left every heart on the court. I will be forever amazed by every player on this team. And the Coach. If they had more time. If that last 3 pointer had fallen. If, if,if. Cannot take one thing away from team.
That being said, I’m not sure I have another season in me. I thought about it all night and have been really confused on why this loss hurts so bad. Sure I want my team to win but it’s more than that.
The state of Texas has traditionally had 2 “premium” schools…the University of Texas & Texas A&M. We are probably 3rd. We are certainly treated that way. And I admittedly have a big old chip on my shoulder about it. Tech is in far west Texas. A long way from anywhere. Snobs cannot imagine why anyone would come here. But I chose it. I’m not sure moneywise I could have gone to UT or TAMU. But certainly I never wanted to. But their A team status gets them the stars and the expensive coaches. And Tech got the leftovers. Both schools are pretty certain if the back up the Brinks truck that our coach will be theirs. I don’t think so and I hope not.
So back to my problem. For years, our athletic teams have come close but not close enough. The 1993 Lady Raiders won a national championship but that was a fluke. In 2008 our football went 11-0 & was ranked #2 in the country. They next week, Oklahoma dropped like 55 points on us. And last night the team came up short again. I feel like for 44 years of my life (and many more before) we have been on our faces, in the endzone.
They’re playing games. I get that. But can I get my hopes up again just to be disappointed again? Do I dare believe again? I’m not sure I have it in me. I’ll always root for every Red Raider team forever and ever but I’m not sure I can invest my heart and soul again.
I’m raw right now. Maybe by June I’ll be excited to try again. And maybe I won’t. We’ll see.
Pom & Cheer Squads and Meat Judging have national championships. We have that.