Well, today’s Thursday, April 24, and my first post of 2014. How shameful for an aspiring writer…but, perhaps, how typical of a 21 year old man-boy still learning the ropes of the adult world. Nevertheless, the monkey is coming off the back tonight.
I tried to write a blog here and there, but I’ve struck-out every time. I wanted to write about the job Billy Donovan did with our basketball team, and when I didn’t, I promised myself I’d do a blog about the Orange and Blue Game (…Debut, I mean).
And then I still didn’t write a blog, which brings me to today. This is the furthest point I’ve reached all year—normally, I’d write a sentence, read it over and over again, and just quit.
It’s not that I don’t want to write or that I’ve lost any passion for writing. For some reason, I just can’t seem to get the ball rolling—as if my brain is taking play calls from Brent Pease whenever I pick up my laptop. Honestly, I think it’s just because whenever I write something, I want it to be really good. Some days, the creative juices aren’t flowing.
But now (not necessarily at this very moment), I’ve realized that’s exactly the point of a blog! It’s not about writing your best stuff every single day. It’s just about writing. Length doesn’t matter. Quality, well, that’s subjective anyways, so I’ll let that work itself out.
It’s kind of like when you start working out after you haven’t lifted in months. If you hop on the bench press (or even worse, squats) and try to pick up where you left off, by the end, you’ll probably be thinking, “Shit, I’d have been better off not even trying to lift again in the first place...” You gotta start small.
So that’s what I’m doing, starting small with little rants like this one.
But before I finish, I want to recognize how incredible this basketball season was. Let’s face it Gators, we needed this like American Idol needs Simon Cowell to return. Seriously, who the hell even watches American Idol anymore?
We needed something to feel good about. We needed something to talk about. We needed a reason to jump up and down, and scream our heads off again. We just needed something to get our minds off football for a while.
Instead, we got one of the most unforgettable seasons of all time. This rare group of Gators, with four Seniors who exemplified what it meant to be collegiate athletes, delivered us salvation.
30 straight victories…18-0 in the SEC…three victories over Kentucky, the most recent, a scant, one point SEC Tournament Championship victory.
Beating Kentucky at Rupp Arena can usually stand by itself as the shining achievement in a basketball season. Not for this group. Kentucky was just another team on the railroad tracks—and the Gators were the train that didn’t halt for a second to catch its breath, until it reached the Final Four. What a job by Billy Donovan. Never leave, Billy.
Although the storybook ending didn’t play out the way we hoped, just the fact that we had an opportunity at a real storybook ending is something to cherish. One of the most successful classes to ever play in the NCAA tournament finally got over its Elite Eight curse. Be thankful for that, I’m so happy they made the Final Four. Teams like this one don’t come around very often. This team wasn’t like our squad with Noah, Horford, Green, Brewer, and Humphrey. That team was the perfect collection of talent, swagger, chemistry, and grit.
What made this team special was the connection that we as fans could feel every time we saw them. I can’t even really put the words together to describe it, and I’m not saying a connection with the “Oh Fours” was missing. It felt different. I think they fed off it, too. Even more so, these guys loved their university. I’m sure of that. Those four Seniors are lifelong Gators.
It just stinks that one bad night on the court ends it all, but that’s where March gets its Madness. Congrats, Gators. And thanks for making this season the most unforgettable basketball season of my entire life.
I’ve been in Gainesville a lot in the past two months. During one of my visits, on a Sunday hand-crafted for Gainesville in the spring, I got up early in the morning and walked over to The Swamp. It was such a cool moment. There were maybe five or six people I could see other than myself; they were all doing stadiums and running laps.
As for me, I just sad in the North end-zone for about 20 minutes and soaked everything in. I’ve been going to Gator games since I was six. It’s always a special time going to The Swamp, but this time something dawned on me. It’s almost a bit ridiculous how worked up I get over Gator football, but I can’t help it. Anybody who knows me gets it. I sat there thinking, I can’t believe I’m 21, almost 22, and here I am back at this Cathedral of college football…and I get the exact same feeling in the pit of my gut every time I’m here.
What is it about college football?…
As for The Swamp, I’m happy to say she’s doing fine and looking good. But you can tell she’s dying to rock…she’s dying for a Doug Johnson to Quezzy Green moment. (Where ya at, Mick Hubert!?)
No question, last season was so bad. We all felt every bit of that 4-8 record. But college football works in cycles. We won’t be down long. Soon enough, The Swamp will be rockin’ again.
Until next time.