Sunday, April 6, 2014

7 Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Aaron Harrison is the man.
I mean, really?  A Freshman.  You're handed the ball with minimal seconds on the clock.  One game means going to the Final Four.  One means going to the National Championship.  And you fire up and take the shot? 

What a player. 

I don't know if he has that much confidence in himself, if his brother encouraging him gave him the confidence, or if he just is too young to realize what a big deal this is to the people of Kentucky (which, is a whole other topic... and yes, I'm aware that I am a grown woman, and these are just kids, and it is just a game... except it really is a big deal to Kentuckians...)

And as that ball went through the air, in slow motion, it seemed, I held my breath.  And exhaled with all of the Commonwealth as "The Underdog", the 8 seed, Kentucky, headed to the National Championship.  You the man, Aaron.  You are THE Man. 

2. Bill Walton is a big deal, apparently.
I consider myself a fan of the game.  I don't watch every game all year long, but I do tune into March Madness as if my life depended on me watching the games.  I love reading quotes from old players and love reading historical accounts of basketball games.  Tradition. Excellence.  All of that plays a part in what the game is today.

But I didn't know who Bill Walton is. And I caught flack for it, because apparently he is one of the best players ever.

And apparently this is somewhat sacrilege to a basketball fan like Wallace, who had his day made when he spotted Walton in the crowd at the Final Four.  He was rewarded for his star-struckness by a high five when he loudly proclaimed, "Bill Walton for President."

I now know that Walton played for Coach Wooden at UCLA.  Wooden, I know of.  You can't be a college basketball fan and not know of this legend.

But you can learn of new legends every day.

3. Uniformed Servicemen doesn't mean they are in uniform at that moment.
Ok, this is one of my dumb moments.  I'm allowed them every now and then.  And I will say that it was 5 in the morning and I am not good in the morning.  I can barely put together sentences, much less process, and airport security had already about done me in when I was asked to take my laptop out of the carryon bag.  Add that to the fact that I just might have left my license at the TSA checkpoint, and I was a hot mess.  So when they announced that uniformed servicemen could go ahead and board, I promptly informed Wallace that "you're not in uniform." No way was I going to be sent back and called out on trying to board early...

Except that is just a phrase for men and women who are members of the military, not whether he was actually wearing the uniform. Score 1 for Wallace. But I did get to go ahead and board the plane early, so I guess I was a winner, too...
And this is a good time to note that I did win the Bracket Challenge this year, so I'm not completely inept.

4. Big Blue Nation is the best camaraderie on earth.
I mean, seriously. The best.  Walk by them and you'll hear "Go Cats" or "Go Big Blue." Across from the stadium is a Walmart... and you can bet you saw Kentuckians there.  I spent the evening next to a young girl from Transy, and at the end I thought nothing of grabbing her around the neck and jumping up and down like kids.  There is nothing like hearing "Go Big Blue" in a facility that size in response to a dunk or a tied score or a steal.  A sea of blue... and how blessed I am that I could be a part of it.  I still have no words.  (Although, obviously I do... because this is pretty lengthy already..)

5. If there is a hole in a five mile radius, I will find it and fall.
Yes, I will fall.  And it won't be graceful.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.  I'm sure that Wallace will be more than happy to share the story with you if you are interested in the details.

6. In Texas, the right to bear arms is taken very seriously.  So are the jumbo-trons.
This was proven by the demonstration across from the stadium, where protestors proudly displayed their semi-automatic rifles.  And the jumbo-tron? Well, let's just say that I caught myself watching it more than the court, and have I mentioned that it is the size of a football field?  Yes, a football field. 

7.  The record attendance for a NCAA Final Four game is 79,444.  I know because I was one of those 79,444. And it just may have been the best day of my life.  Except maybe when I had Caleb.  Or when I got married... to the best husband ever, who I really never thought would actually get tickets.

Oh, ye of little faith. And to close, I'm saying Kami's pregame prayer, and apparently the prayer that touched God's ears just prior to Aaron shooting the two game winning shots. 

God bless America, sweet tea, and the SEC.  (And might I add, that there is only one team left in the SEC.  And I don't really like sweet tea, so perhaps I could substitute Diet Coke.. which I am feasting on, since Texans apparently like Pepsi). 

And all of Big Blue Nation says... Amen.