Thursday, March 23, 2006

Heartbreak in Spokane

Gonzaga Playing the Blues

When it was over, Adam Morrison was face down on the floor sobbing. A few hours earlier, his buddy J.J. Redick had headed to the bench red-faced and near tears. The Duke game against LSU was basketball justice: LSU looked so much more talented. Duke was outmatched and it would have been a crime if they had snuck through. But this Gonzaga loss in the Oakland bracket was pain for decades. It was the type of loss usually dished out down the road in Pullman where the Washington State Cougars football team has a habit of inflicting life-altering disaster on the locals. Up by 17 in the first half, the Bulldogs slowly watched UCLA chip away, with the Bruins scoring the last 11 points, and winning by 2 on a steal and lay-up.
How long will this be remembered? As long as wheat grows in the Palouse Country. And next winter as the frigid Arctic air drifts down from the North once again, seizing Spokane in its shocking cold, the Bulldogs will take up the game once more, but this loss will still be as fresh as the new fallen snow.
And Adam Morrison? The young man has developed a reputation as a vicious trash talker – so much so that other teams complain about it in the media. Well, welcome to the great silencer, Adam. For wherever you go, for as long as you play ball, all the other team will have to do is remind you of 2006, and the blown game against UCLA. There is no reply to a loss like this.
Charlie with Bulldog Mascot in Happier Times
My old band-mate Charlie Butts played the National Anthem at several Gonzaga games. Charlie, I know you are in Europe right now, and if you are reading this, I hope you couldn’t find a TV to watch the game. Only your hometown Cougs could deliver a blow this heartbreaking.


Post a Comment

<< Home