Friday night I was on the road, covering one of our better teams, FHS (11-3 entering the game), against the #10 team in the state, MHS. MHS had just lost their first game of the year, one they played without their best player, who is the #2 scorer in the state at nearly 30 ppg. They are also very tall, starting three girls over 5’10″. It seemed like a tough matchup for my girls at FHS.
They fell behind early but slowly worked their way back into the game. FHS took a lead in the third quarter, the teams spent four minutes going back-and-forth, and then MHS pulled away again. Midway through the fourth quarter, it was a seven-point lead and the result seemed certain.
But FHS fought back once more. They tied the game with just under two minutes to play, got the rebound off a MHS missed free throw, and ran over a minute off the clock before MHS fouled. FHS hit one free throw and led by one with 13 seconds left.
MHS brought the ball up, tried to get it inside, nearly lost it as the FHS defense collapsed into the lane, and then somehow the ball came out to a girl wide open at the top of the key.
A terrific effort by FHS, but not quite enough to get the win.
Saturday, as my Facebook friends probably know, we went to the Colts-Jets game. We had fantastic seats, sixth row on the 25 yard line, thanks to some friends whose family business is a Colts sponsor. After being in Lucas Oil Stadium three times for high school football and college basketball, it was very different seeing every seat filled and the entire crowd roaring.
I would love to offer one of my famous, detailed breakdowns of attending a sporting event, but the truth is I got kind of drunk during the game, and it’s all a little fuzzy. And, as good as our seats were, we were low enough where it was difficult to follow some of the plays.1 Thus, for example, I could not understand why the Colts kept running the ball. I received a text during the game from my buddy Coach Hebs that said, “It’s bad when the Jets are daring them to run and they still can’t do it.” I took his word for it.
Still, with 53 seconds left, it looked like my prediction would come true: Adam Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal to put the Colts up by two. Kick it deep, cover, and keep the Jets on their side of midfield and the game is over.
Instead, short kick, the same horrible kick coverage the Colts have had all year, and the Jets have a short field. Throw in one of the worst time out calls ever2 and the Jets get a chip shot for the win.
So my first ever Colts game in person, and first NFL game in 16 years, was a total failure. I wore the Colts shirt I bought earlier this season, and this brings their record to something like 2-5 when I wear it. Clearly I can’t go to games and can’t wear that shirt anymore.
It was a little strange walking out of the stadium. Most people just quietly left their seats and exited. Some fans near the tunnel where the Colts locker room is located remained and cheered as the players left the field. But just about everyone else slowly faded out. I got the sense that everybody knew the Colts were fortunate to have even made the playoffs this year and thus there wasn’t a lot of angst as we left. Or maybe everyone was just shocked by the result. And drunk.
So two days, two three point plays at the buzzer to win games. You would be correct if you thought I was a little tense Sunday as KU blew a 15-point lead at Michigan and the Wolverines had the ball down two with under 20 seconds to play. I was expecting another three pointer at the buzzer.
Luckily Michigan only hit a two, KU’s chance at a game-winning three rimmed out, and the Jayhawks did just enough in overtime to remain undefeated. It would have been a very difficult Sunday night if I went 0-3 on the buzzer beaters.
Throw in a fantastic brunch with friends Sunday morning and an even better nap Sunday afternoon, and it was a pretty excellent weekend.
- All the beer didn’t help. ↩
- Seriously, WTF was Caldwell thinking? Didn’t he learn his lesson earlier this year in Jacksonville? He just earned a place with Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy as one of the worst time management coaches in the NFL. There was a guy two rows in front of us who grabbed his coat and walked out, muttering about Caldwell as soon as the ref announced the time out. Caldwell might be lucky that Jim Irsay is a pretty nice guy. I doubt his old man would be as understanding. ↩