I've been meaning to write a blog about something I've been feeling pretty heavily the past few months. But now, at 1 am, I feel overwhelmed to the point of writing several hundred words. About "Nostalgia."
SMC Basketball was one of the best parts of being Saint Mary's. And I was a lucky chosen one who traveled with the team to the NCAA Tournament and the Sweet Sixteen in March. Most of my video production memories are in McKeon Pavillion.
The Gaels are playing on ESPN right now. I get home from work at 11:45 and it's just before halftime in Moraga. The HD view of the gym and the surround sound sound of the crazy fans bring me right back.
"AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE. OI OI OI!"
"LET'S GO GAELS, (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)!"
and that two syllable synonym for Fertilizer.
I miss the screaming, the cheering, seeing friends, yelling at refs, yelling at the other team, being with friends, and, most importantly, having an excuse to go nuts for a few hours and for a good reason.
There's just something about college basketball that makes it so great. It's my favorite. There are so many moments that the sports writing legend, Bill Simmons, calls, "Hrrrrr-aaaAAHHHHHH!" moments. It's when the crowd anticipates something about to happen, and explodes the split second it does. It could be crisp passes leading to a wide open three that arcs just right. It could a fast break leading to an undersized guy dunking when he really shouldn't. Whatever it is, every single person in the building knows what's going to happen, then goes bonkers when it does.
There's nothing better than college basketball in person.
I would love to go back. Hopefully, I can get back for a game in January or February and pretend I'm still in college for a weekend or two.
I hope this feeling continues for years, decades to come. I've always heard that SMC feels like community for an alum's lifetime. And if these current feelings persist, it should be for me too.
I think they will.
(note: These in-game photos are from November '07. At that point, my 'fro had not been cut in 8+ months. I miss that.)