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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stung

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The expectations were high. The execution was abysmal.

My Butler Bulldogs lost the national championship of college men's basketball last night. It took my breath away and left me, as a friend said on Facebook, feeling like someone just ran over my dog.

I could go over all the plays and highlights, though there weren't many. I could talk about ifs and whys. I could point fingers at UConn's head coach and talk about NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations. But that won't change the outcome.

I believed. I kept waiting for something to start the run, to unleash the magic the Bulldogs have brought game after game in this tournament. But last night, the dawg remained tethered.

It was too much to watch the post-game. I turned to a DVRd cake show from the Food Network because cake always makes everything better.

Finally, sometime after midnight, I crawled into bed, still in some shocked disbelief. Yet, this morning, I woke up and realized that I was still humming the Butler War Song in my head.

No, my Bulldogs did not bring home a trophy last night. That stings and probably will for a while. But what will outlast the sting is the pride with which I can say I am a Butler graduate.

Matt Howard, Shelvin Mack, Ronald Nored and the others. Coaches Brad Stevens and Matt Graves and the rest of the staff. The way they have competed, their focus on academics, their emphasis on team over individual, the grace and humility with which they seem to conduct themselves on and off the court. All that makes me proud to be a Butler Bulldog. Trophy or not.

4 comments:

Eternal Lizdom said...

I want to blame the officials because they really did suck. But the guys didn't make good baskets and that's what counts. The shooting percentages speak for themselves.

Have you read this Yahoo article? I was in tears reading it. Even with this bitter loss, this is a program that is focused not on victories but on a far more important and longer lasting lesson- being a TEAM.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news?slug=dw-wetzel_final_four_butler_goes_down_its_way_040511

kimybeee said...

amen amy!

Michelle said...

Thought of you all night, Amy. Well, when I wasn't sleeping. Those boys, ahem, men, rock. Title or not every single one of them is a winner in my eyes.

Molly said...

Is it pathetic that I totally cried? I love that team and coaches. Good men.