Tuesday, April 05, 2005

My Carolina blue heaven

I tried to front like the outcome of Monday night's NCAA national championship game didn't really matter to me. I even convinced myself it was possible. Wow, what an amazing lie that was.

I really thought I wouldn't mind if North Carolina lost to Illinois and Roy Williams continued his pursuit of being the new Phil Mickelson.

By halftime, my stomach was in knots. It may have been the first known occurence of a hangover without the consumption of alchohol. UNC led, 40-27, but that's no safety net. CHEAP SHOT ALERT! CHEAP SHOT ALERT! Nothing is safe with Raymond Felton throwing the ball like Braden Looper. Plus, as a Raiders fan since 1983 and a Jets fan since 2001, I've seen my share of ridiculous defensive collapses late in games. (Then there's that little matter of the Yankees up 3-0, then down and out 4-3 to Boston in last year's ALCS).

I followed every shot of the second half. Work be damned! The stories can wait. My Tar Heels were on the verge of something the world hasn't seen since forever and I was not about to miss a minute. Plus there was always the possibility of my DVR not working and I simply was not about to take the chance of missing a play and never being able to recapture all its glory.

The lead soared to 15, then plummeted to zero with about five minutes left. Then, Ray-Ray put up a ridiculous three from MTV Rock 'N Jock distance while being double-covered. Swish. UNC up, 68-65.

Fast forward. Game tied at 70. Rashad McCants, who probably hired an agent at the half given his 0 points in the final 20 minutes, got silly and gave the world a look at one of my patented driving layups -- up and under with a ridiculous one-handed hook scoop that doesn't go in. Fortunately, Marvin Williams brought in the hands team from Madden '95 and got the tip-in for the 72-70 lead. Then Ray-Ray comes up with the big steal and some free throws.

Next thing you know, I'm standing and clapping at a 13-inch color television and screaming in my head. (Hey, I had to at least have the presence of professionalism in the newsroom, or at least fake it best I could.)

I then sat down, exhausted.

But wait, here comes "One Shining Moment." Can you believe some people had the nerve to speak during the year's best moment of sappy television? Such insanity. Where did these people grow up? CHEAP SHOT ALERT! CHEAP SHOT ALERT! They're probably Duke fans.