Life Bounces On ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Life Bounces On

The wheels have finally fallen off the wagon. At every juncture, I thought the inevitable might still be avoided. At every turn, I was wrong. Roy took home the hardware.

After the Jayhawks imploded against Bucknell, I generated a variety of creative scenarios in which Roy Williams did not win the NCAA championship. At first I had UConn tabbed as the giant killer, but they failed to make the appointment. The Villanova Wildcats, my initial hopeful, tripped up in the last moments of their dance with destiny. I could never seriously convince myself that Wisconsin would challenge the Tarheels, and they didn’t. I forced myself to believe that Michigan State could knock Roy off…but I didn’t really.

The Illini were my last great hope. To their credit, they fought back from a disastrous shooting performance to put a scare into UNC that Roy’s heart won’t soon forget. They did well, very well, but they failed down the stretch in their assigned mission—to knock Roy Williams from the title game.

Lindsay and I yelled and fist-pumped and even winked at Coach Weber’s ostentatious orange coat. Those back-to-back threes that Deron Williams knocked down—we willed ‘em in. Those surprising-but-crucial shots from Ingram—we screamed at him to spot up and knock them down. We willed the Illini to stop Sean May too, but our powers of telepathy weren’t strong enough.

Our spectacular arsenal of negative vibes and projected antipathy were not enough to stop Roy Williams. Tuesday was a grey day in Kansas City. The ultimate putdown had been pasted to KU fans. Williams had fooled us, said KU was the new hoops paradise, then turned on his heel and walked out two years later.

We Jayhawk fans sat in baleful silence as he swiped his first NCAA trophy. In Lawrence, Self’s boys were in the workroom, already gunning for next season, puzzled intensity on their faces. Self had watched the game with something like desperation eddying beneath his self-assured demeanor. In different states, three highly-decorated McDonald’s All-Americas had soaked in the spectacle on CBS, weighing their chances of reversing KU’s fallen fortunes in seven months. When Roy hoisted the trophy, they didn’t quite understand the implications, but they suspected they were big. They shifted restlessly on their sofas and mentally shouldered the burden.

The KU weapon was doggedly reloading. Somewhere in Lawrence, KS, a beautiful orange sphere caromed down a court beneath a palm, defied gravity—and hit only nylon. Above the Field House, the sun shredded clouds as if they were a net. Life would go on.

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Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife