NCAA Tournament

   I know everyone thought you were going to get a story about spring break this week. I was going to write about our trip to Cancun and how we got to meet Brad Pitt. He was staying at the same hotel we were. But I decided I wanted to share my observations of the men and women’s NCAA tournaments.

   The first thing to discuss is filling out a bracket. I used to fill them out for the pool at work. Now I fill them out for myself. I almost didn’t this year, but I’m quite sure they take away your man card if you don’t. I would like to say my bracket was fantastic, but I think I’d have a better chance getting people to believe I’ll quit fouling.

   It’s always exciting to see the underdog teams that progress further in the tournament than they were supposed to. It’s also kind of fun to hear the so-called experts try to explain what happened to mess up their predictions. But I think the part of the tournament that has the biggest impact, is the raw emotion from the players. Of course, it’s great to see the jubilation of the winners and their fans. But for every winner, there’s a loser. It’s difficult to watch some of the reactions and emotions of the losing team. My heart breaks for those young men and women and the experience they are going through.

   The best game by far was the woman’s semi-final game between UCONN and Mississippi State Friday night. UCONN had won 111 straight games and was a 20-point favorite. Mississippi State won by two points in overtime. I think it proves there isn’t anything that’s guaranteed and to never give up. The best part for me were the comments from UCONN coach Geno Auriemma. “I told the team that our 111-game winning streak isn’t real life” he said. “This loss tonight is real life. It’s what you learn and what you do with it that’s real life” he followed up with.

   That was so inspiring and it reminded me how lucky I have been to be able to coach some terrific young kids. We might not have won many games, but I always gave them the same message. “Sports is about learning the lessons you need to succeed. If you work hard, be a team player, and never quit, you will always be a winner” I told them. I want to thank all the parents of those great kids for their support. These are without a doubt some of my best memories.

   I will end this story by telling all students and student athletes I admire their hard work and dedication. I wish for you the best in whatever career you choose. I am positive you have some very special angels watching over you and they are proud of you. I want to thank my Angel Shannon for always watching over our family. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

Next week: Happy Sweet Sixteen Cassidy

P.S. As far as the Brad Pitt story, I actually posted this yesterday. You know, April 1st.