I watched the IU/UK game again this past Saturday. For 30 minutes, I thought the impossible might actually come to pass: the rebuilding Hoosiers might pull off a victory. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
That’s what happens when you don’t hit a field goal for 9 minutes during a game.
I don’t want to say that help is on the way because that discounts the efforts of the current team. And…well…that sounds too much like Mike Davis’s excuse-making in a not-so-long-ago era. They could very well be better than the experts say, but I still don’t believe they’ve “turned the corner.” They will soon, though. Very soon.
That being said, the rivalry with Kentucky is not what it should be.
Of course, it doesn’t help that IU hasn’t beaten UK at Rupp since something like 1988. Of course, they did win at Rupp more recently than that. But it was against a different despised opponent in blue. And it is, perhaps, my most favorite game. Ever.
It was a great ending. The audio of Todd Leary going absolutely nuts is the best thing ever. And the joy of watching the Hoosiers beat Duke on Kentucky’s floor was just priceless.
But this game was memorable for another reason. As I’ve shared before, that tournament run has a special place in my heart because Alyson was born just a few hours after the Championship Game. But right before the Duke game, we had to take Aiden to the emergency room. If I remember correctly, he had a pretty high fever and was rather listless. He’d been having health problems so we didn’t want to take any chances.
“Great,” I thought. “I’ve got one kid that might be going into the hospital and another one about to be born.” To be honest, I’d forgotten that IU was even playing that afternoon. I think you can understand why.
While we were at the hospital, Aiden perked up and was eventually cleared to go back home. I remember listening to the game on the radio when we were driving home and almost turning it off in disgust. It was a blowout already. The game was hopeless.
We got home and I turned the game on. As a devoted Hoosier fan, I cannot ever give up on my team. Of course, that has led to lots of frustrating Saturdays with the Hoosiers football program. So, I sat down on our couch and watched. Christy took Aiden into the kitchen because he hadn’t eaten anything yet and was starving.
Suddenly, things got interesting. As the Hoosiers cut into the lead, I found myself inching down the couch, closer to the television. I’d cheer a good play on occasion, which Aiden thought was extremely hilarious.
Hoosiers inch closer.
I inch closer to TV.
Aiden cracks up.
The pattern repeated over and over again until I finally found myself standing in the middle of our living room, jumping up and down during the final minutes of the game.
Eighteen month-old Aiden is soaking it all in; cracking up the entire time.
When AJ Moye blocked that shot, I went nuts like the rest of Hoosier Nation. Aiden went nuts from his high chair.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when he jumps all over me when IU makes an exciting play. “Train up a child,” I guess…
Now, if only I can convince him that he doesn’t have to change the channel every time his team is down by a point or two. 🙂