Friday, April 11, 2008

A Blue Week

The mourning period continues.
Carolina's loss in the national semifinals was absolutely devestating, and I'm still trying to get over it. Not just because they lost, but because of the way they lost. Fortunately, baseball is in full swing and I have been so distracted by all that entails that I have very little time to think about it.
When I do, it's very disheartening. It's like I wrote a while back about the Patriots' loss in the Super Bowl - the worst part is that this team had an incredible season and their performance in that game is all that will be remembered. They fought through the loss of Frasier, the #2 point guard, for the season. Then they fought through losing the #1 point guard for a big chunk of the conference schedule. They beat Duke at Cameron. They swept through the ACC tournament. They manufactured several of their trademark comebacks during the year, including one for the ages against Clemson. They even made one of the biggest comebacks in tournament history against the Jayhawks last weekend, but couldn't sustain it. They just never quit, which I believe is a testament to Roy Williams and the character of the teams he puts together.
I never have figured out what went wrong that night. Roy puts all of the blame on himself, of course. Says he didn't have the team prepared and focused. They definitely were not prepared and focused, but I doubt that Roy Williams left anything undone that would have prevented this. The team apparently was just a little too pressured. It seemed as though they were so intent on winning it all that the thought of not doing so scared them, and that fear forced them out of their game. They were playing not-to-lose, instead of playing to win.
As a fan, it really hurts because these seasons don't come very often. We've been fortunate enough to have gotten very close several times lately, and did win it all in 05. The fact is, however, it takes a few breaks and a ton of talent to even be in contention for a national title, and when you get so close you always have that thought there - "How long before we get this shot again?" Some people say "well at least you're not like UCLA, 3 Final Fours in a row, and not even an appearance in the title game, much less a title". Maybe they're right. I tend to say that I'm just thrilled when we get to the Final Four, and an appearance there is a victory in itself, and UCLA should be damn proud of getting there 3 straight times. But 3 straight losses in the semi-final would be very discouraging. That really must feel like a wasted opportunity, even more so than the Heels' futility this year. So I will say it once more - it's something I spent entire decades saying as a Red Sox fan - Next Year!!
I just hope Tyler comes back.
And Now For Something Completely Different -
I mentioned last post that there was health news. It wasn't that much. Just that the wife's chemo was postponed till Monday and this was after her usual week off that comes every 4th week. This all added up to about 11 days with no chemo and she was feeling very well for a change. We bought flowers Sunday. Whether they will get planted before they die is another question, but I'm glad she was postive enough to get them and believe she would be able to get them in the ground. I really should plant them myself, for her, and will if I can ever get a break from all of the pre-season crap around the Little League complex that didn't get done pre-season because of the weather. Now I'm having to deal with it all around the games being played and it really slows the whole process down.
We also went out to dinner with a couple that I do some work for. They are very interesting people, both doctors, very intelligent, and just good company. This may not seem like a subject to bother writing about, but when you're going through chemo, any day she feels well enough to get out and DO something is an event.
We had been planning this dinner for the past 3 Wednesdays but every week that would turn out to be a day that Cathy just wasn't up to it physically. I also imagine the posponements were influenced a little by her not feeling real sure about this meeting. She didn't know them as well as I do, and she doesn't seem to enjoy meeting new people as much as before the cancer. I'm sure the fact that they are both doctors and neither of us even went to college was a little intimidating as well. The long break from chemo, however, seemed to allow her to get to a point where she felt like she could be good company, so we went for it this week. She really enjoyed herself, as I was sure she would, and connected very well with them. The woman has a very rare muscle-related condition and is dealing with a lot of pain issues herself, so she empathizes with Cathy's situation more so than most. Her husband has retired specifically for the purpose of researching and trying to cure his wife's illness. I look forward to spending more time with them in the future. We have a fair amount in common, despite the differences in educational background and financial status. I find that the older we get, the less difference that makes, at least when you're dealing with "real" people.
Off to work now, I'll get to my 1st Little League game (maybe games by then) later.

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