Most accredited publications of sports journalism will give you a breakdown, a prediction, or a balanced opinion on tonight’s basketball game between the Huskies and the California Golden Bears. Thankfully, this is not one of those publications.
Putting everything else aside for a moment, I think it’d be great if the Huskies could win tonight for the fans, and more specifically, me.
As a fan of the team, I want the Dawgs to win every time they take the floor. Hell, we all do. But damn if there wasn’t a bigger game than this one, right here, right now.
This is your season in a nutshell, Huskies. You lose tonight, and it will likely take a Pac-10 Tournament championship to make the NCAA Tournament. You win, and your hopes for an at-large bid dramatically increase. Simple as that.
Now I’m sure these guys know what’s at stake, and I’m sure that winning and making the Big Dance means a lot to them. But I’d question whether it means as much to them as it does to me. Seriously.
Let’s be real here for a minute.
If these guys go to the NIT or (God forbid) the CBI this year, they’ll shrug it off and move on to next season. Quincy Pondexter might be seriously disappointed, but outside of our senior forward, who else will give a damn?
Isaiah Thomas will go on Tweeting, Matthew Bryan-Amaning will keep on dancing in YouTube videos, Venoy Overton will still be everyone’s favorite OG, Brendan Sherrer will still be a cult hero. These guys will still be pimps in comparison to those of us laymen out there.
They’ll still be getting ass for days from the sorority girls.
They’ll still be looking at potential pro careers (some of them, at least).
They’ll still get the free gear.
They’ll still have the free meal plan.
They’ll still be on scholarship.
If they lose, they still got all that going on and nothing to feel real bad about.
But what about us?
What about those fans that bleed the purple-and-gold and need this victory to carry us through the weekend? Need this season to take us to August, when football picks up again?
How about us for a change?
Because let’s be honest. Even though no one ever says it out loud, the wins and losses mean a lot more to the fans than they do the players, and that’s just reality.
We’re just bums, average joes, Xbox All-Stars, fantasy gurus.
These players are world-class athletes, good-looking individuals with seemingly better lives and all the perks. They are who we wanted to be. And even though we can’t suit up ourselves, we will live and die vicariously through these agents of the industry.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these players are indifferent to wins and losses, because they’re not. Anyone who has played a competitive sport understands the pain involved with losing and, in turn, the jubilation that comes with winning.
But in the heat of the moment, those emotions can be fleeting. For someone who plays the game, the scars from losing might heal rather quickly. Likewise, the elation from victory might slip away within a matter of minutes.
The fans are a different story.
A loss can mean a bad week. Maybe even a bad month. The pain can last an entire season, in some cases.
On the flip side, a win can carry you weeks, months, or even years. I guarantee you that New Orleans Saints fans will still be talking about last Sunday’s Superbowl win decades from now.
So what I’m really trying to say is, just win this one for the fans, Huskies. Don’t even worry about all the other stuff. We want you to win so we can have a damn good Friday that turns into a damn good weekend. It’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday, and I’m sure there are some of us out there who will get a little bit more action if we’re in a good mood.
So let’s make it happen. Put all other interests on the backburner. This is about the fan base. Get this W for them, for us.
Thanks for your understanding.