Tuesday, April 7, 2009

North Carolina 89, Michigan State 72.....

From a fan...

It’s a long season, November through March. Over five months of preparation, hype, expectation and often disappointment culminate game after game, complete with skyrocketing highs and debilitating lows. It’s easy for us. You lose and we go home and yeah, we’re disappointed…but after a few hours or a good night’s sleep it doesn’t seem so important. We lick our wounds and shrug our shoulders, but ultimately we’re no worse for the wear. You have to relive it, over and over again. You head into the locker room and listen to the coaches, see your record change, watch it on SportsCenter, in the paper, in practice, on film—hours upon hours of watching and wondering what you could have done better, how YOU could have made things turn out differently. And sometimes, you deserve it. But sometimes you just don’t. Sometimes, you play with all you have and your shot just won’t fall. Sometimes, even when you’ve made 99 free throws before, the 100th won’t go through. It can’t be easy. There must have been times when you didn’t feel like playing—times when the last thing you wanted to do was step onto that court and face your opponent. But you did it anyway.

Above all else, realize that we, your fans, are still with you. Win or lose, we respect your effort. After getting knocked down time and time again, you came out and gave it your all. We’ve seen you crumble with injury and fight to get back up. We’ve watched you fly. And there have been times when we have cried with you—our hearts have broken when things just don’t go your way and you take the blame. Times when we feel pain and sadness not for our own dignity or pride, but for yours. Times when we wish we could be your wings, be more than just a face in the crowd and somehow will you with all our strength to keep going. We stay because we know deep in our hearts that you are a champion. Regardless of your record, we believe in your magic. We believe that you will get there. Keep fighting. Keep trying. Keep putting your heart on the line each time you play. Let that fire and that hunger consume your thoughts. Let it make you better. We will still be here. We always will be. Thank you for making us proud to wear the green and white.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

National Championship, here we come!!

Holy crap.

That. Was. AWESOME.

The last time I was at the Final Four in 2005, our hopes were dashed by North Carolina. It was sad. THIS time was different.

First of all, Ford Field was about 85% Michigan State fans. Green and white as far as the eye could see....it was beautiful. The energy was incredible. People were happy, smiling, excited...everyone was friends (and really, seeing people they knew every which way...or maybe that was just me and Leah).

Our section was interesting. It was a mix of Michigan State fans (of course) and random people who didn't seem to care one way or the other. Leah and I checked out our surroundings....
MSU fans in front of us...Check.
MSU fans next to Leah....Check.
MSU fans behind us...half a check.

People who didn't care but claimed they were cheering for MSU next to me and behind me...Check, check.
Random Villanova guys two rows down who were cheering for MSU...check.
No small children within earshot in case I swore...CHECK.

Then I had to give all the people around me the disclaimer...I'm VERY loud, I get VERY into and you may be sorry you got stuck next to me. SO, if at any point I'm too much, just let me know I need to dial it back. And it's at that point that whoever it is (usually a male) smiles and says something to the effect of "Oh don't worry honey. You just go ahead and cheer your little heart out." Whichever one of my girlfriends is with me usually leans over and says, "Um, no really. You have no idea what is about to happen." And then they laugh and smile indulgently at the cute young girls who like basketball. Then about two minutes into the game, they realize what they're in for.

There is nothing "cute" about the way I cheer. I am loud. I jump up and down. I yell at officials. I scream words of encouragement as if the players can actually hear me (which of course, THEY CAN). I know what a charge looks like, I can tell when someone travels. I get angry if the refs call ticky-tack fouls. There is never an excuse for missing a free throw. I know the players on the court, not just on my team, but on the other team as well. I know who the coach is. I can list their starters and their top 3-4 bench players (if they go that deep). I know their stats, the record, etc. Here's a newsflash: JUST BECAUSE I AM FEMALE, IT DOESN'T MEAN I CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE GAME. Maybe it's because the majority of my female friends and the women I work with are like me (if not about college bball, but about some other sport), but it still blows my mind that people are surprised when women know sports. I don't think it's THAT uncommon.

But I digress. At this point, the guys behind us have decided I am HILARIOUS because I'm angry at the fact that UConn is pushing MSU around and not getting called for fouls but MSU is getting called for touch fouls left, right and center. My mother is texting me random thoughts about how she and my father are jumping around the family room and how the UConn mascot annoys her. I tell her I need to watch the game and cannot keep up a stream of texts. It was a physical game and Michigan State stayed in control the whole time. It was beautiful. Kalin Lucas taking people off the dribble, Raymar Morgan having the game of his life....sigh. And best of all? Michigan State running Connecticut right out of the gym.

Which is funny, because all tournament long all the analysts made comments about how Michigan State "can't run" which left Michigan State fans (and Coach Izzo) dumbfounded. Have you WATCHED them play? This is where I need to give props to Mike DeCourcy, Senior Writer of the Sporting News. I spoke with him after the Louisville game and he expressed his outrage at the number of media personnel that claimed MSU can't run. "I don't know who they're watching," he said, "But Chris Allen and Durrell Summers could run with the U.S. track team." DAMN RIGHT!

The game was terrific...too close for comfort at some points, but interesting and it ended in my favor, so what's to complain about?

Oh, right.....now we have to deal with Carolina.....

Friday, April 3, 2009


Finalized it this morning. Leah found a terrific broker that didn't charge extra fees and allowed us to pick up our tickets on-site. Tickets for Saturday AND Sunday, all games, 100 section, a little over $300. We're happy, excited, and every fabulous emotion that goes with it.

Also found out two of our other good friends will be making special trips into town on Saturday as well. We won't be together, but we have plans to meet up, say hi and take pics (we ARE sorority girls after all).


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Starting to worry...

$100 tickets from coworker fell through. Limited in time to look, as I am in Auburn Hills working and our event is today. Leah is looking frantically along with me, checking Craigslist with great fervor. We both called and emailed multiple people both last night and this morning.

Called in a few more favors...nothing yet. Slightly ticked off, but there is NO WAY I'm not going to this game. No way.

5:00 PM: Abandoning Craigslist after multiple phone calls were answered with "It's a joke...we don't have tickets." Leah and I are at our wits end. Check ticket brokers....Prices starting to drop. Feeling more hopeful.