It’s 10 PM on a Thursday night. Some of my friends are at home playing video games, snuggling their wives, or out dancing the night away. I’m in the basement of a basketball arena wolfing down a stale cold pretzel and sitting in a poorly padded chair writing this and editing through 1500 pictures. Why? Because I love it.
The Oregon Ducks upset #3 Arizona tonight in front of the biggest, loudest crowd to ever pack their shiny new arena. It was close the whole way, back and forth and back and forth. Both teams played exceptionally well. It was one of the best basketball games I’ve ever watched, and it would have been even if I had been sitting at home and following along on ESPN (apparently Bill Walton was the color commentator, and was quite a hoot).
But I got to watch it from the baseline, in front of the Ducks’ bench, in an absolutely electric atmosphere. Nights like these are what college basketball is all about, and it’s amazing. I get to see it from the best seats in the house, and I get to share it with everyone. I get to talk to players and coaches afterward and see how they tick, how they feel. It’s the rawest of human emotion, dressed up in Dri-Fit and put on display.
When Oregon won and the fans stormed the floor, mingling amongst the players in one of the most raucous celebrations ever in this building, I was right there. And I could feel an enormous grin come over my face. To me, moments like these are nothing short of a rush, a high. It’s truly amazing.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my picks for NFL Divisional Weekend. In the meantime, I’m going to just bask in it.