Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To the Tournament!

I don't know how I get this lucky. Sometimes things happen that make me shake my head in amazement and disbelief. But the good kind of disbelief.

I'm going back to March Madness!

Late last week, I got a call from Saint Mary's asking if I'd be willing to travel with the school and produce videos for the team. I just about jumped out of my shoes. Before I could say yes, I needed to my bosses to sign off on the work, which they did.

Selection Sunday brought a different kind of tension than it normally does. Where would we be? Pittsburgh? Greensboro? Nashville? Columbus? Nope, Omaha. Not my first (or second, or third) choice, but the Gaels could've been travelling to Alaska and I'd be onboard.

The brackets were revealed and, just like last time, we're in a 7/10 matchup, but this time as the favorite. We'll be taking on 10-seed Purdue, then likely taking on 2-seed Kansas. It seems like an infinitely more uphill battle than two years ago when we upset 7-seed Richmond and 2-seed Villanova. Maybe because we're less unknown, less under-the-radar, less of a "darling" than in 2010.

But maybe that works for us. We're this funky team made of Australians and transfers. We play in a gym that's the same size as most other schools' practice facilities. Other teams will bring more fans to these tournament games than we have students at Saint Mary's. How many people don't know what a Gael is? We're an oddity. And maybe that's what propels us.

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It's Tuesday morning, about 6:15, and I've been up for an hour and a half. I can't sleep because I'm so excited to get on the road and head back to campus. I'll be there meeting with my "clients" (I am a freelancer for the next few days), saying hi to friends, and sleeping on a couch.

It's a quick turnaround and all the plans just came together last minute and requires the six hour drive over the nasty Siskiyou Summit at the OR/CA border and through the rainy freeways of the East Bay. And though couch-crashing is far from glamorous, I wouldn't have it any other way.

-- --

Come early Wednesday I'll be boarding a bus then a charter plane with the players, coaches, band, cheer team, and everyone else who's trekking eastward to "The Gateway to the West."

From there, I'll be making at least one video a day and posting it to Saint Mary's' website or to the Athletics website.

I don't know what these videos will be or how long or anything just yet. We'll be talking it over and I'm sure the plans will change in the middle of the day. But that's alright.

My hope is to post a link to the videos on this blog every night. If I've got some free time there even may be some anecdotes about how it was put together. But things may get busy (read: I'm having too much fun). And you can definitely count on a recap at the end of the whole experience. Hopefully it's later than it is sooner.

-- --

Like Pavlov's dogs, I hear this sound and can't wait to see what's coming next.
My favorite song for the next month:

-- --

I feel lucky and I feel excited to have this opportunity.
When I got to go senior year, I felt like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was wrong. Apparently lightening can strike twice.

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