Sunday, March 15, 2015

go badgers

I am an unapologetic Wisconsin Badgers fan.
UW is my alma mater as well as Mary's. Both of our kids matriculated there as well. We are all proud UW alumni.  Those three family members, however, are not the crazy, loud, nervous, uptight, critical, sufferers that I am when the Badgers play a game, any game. Most of my vociferousness comes when they are engaged in a football or basketball game. I would conduct myself the same way even if they were playing tiddly-winks against the Third Grade Varsity Winkers from Yahoo City. I scream, cuss and use bad language whenever they are on the field, any field, wearing red and white. And that's when they are winning whatever contest they are in. You don't want to be in the same county with me if my beloved Badgers are losing the game, any game.
So you can well imagine what my demeanor was like today when the Badgers were playing Michigan State for the Big Ten Basketball Championship. The game was not going particularly well for my team in the first half and I was getting more and more upset at the turn of events. And then....NOTHING. I mean the TV I was watching just up and quit. Went blank. No picture or sound. It was a useless large paperweight.

This happened just before halftime with the score something like 26-22 in the Spartans' favor. I was not doing too well with my beloved Buckys not playing as well as they are capable of playing, so a good portion of my animus was aimed in their direction. I was running in circles and jumping up and down and screaming obscenities at the TV, at the engineers at CBS, who I figured must have tripped on the extension cord and pulled it from the wall in the broadcast booth, and at anything and anyone that had the temerity to cross into my world.  While I was ranting and raving and doing nothing to correct the situation, Mary was on the phone calling Melissa and Valery, the two women who run this place to find out how we could correct this nightmare. It turns out that the entire block was powerless due to something that no one wanted to take the credit for. After Melissa found out what the problem was, my entire being concentrated on a way to circumvent this technological snafu.

My first thought was that I had a car sitting at the curb, cars have radios, so I spent the next ten minutes trying to find a station that might just be affiliated with CBS and would be sending the appropriate airwaves to my car's radio. No such luck. 
After another round of cussing out the powers that be, I was near tears thinking that all was lost, including the game. I'm not sure what was worse: the Badgers losing, or my not being able to witness that loss.
Then a miracle happened. Melissa turned into an angel of mercy who just happened to have an iPhone that she said she could get the game broadcast on, and I could use it if I wanted until the power was restored and the world was back on its axis. She even connected a small speaker to the iPhone so I could hear it better. By this time the game was midway through the second half, the Badgers were trailing by 11 points and it looked like the dream season they were having up til now was going in the dumpster. 
I was yelling and screaming my support for my team while feeling that it would all be in vain. But these Badgers are no ordinary Badgers. They proceeded to make the greatest comeback in Wisconsin history to send the game into overtime and the Spartans into shock. The result of the overtime is already well known. Wisconsin was awarded the #1 seed in the West regional of the NCAA tournament.
As the game wound down my voice got stronger and louder. I wanted everyone on the street to know that MY team had won and my whooping and hollering was my way to celebrate their performance. I also wanted to hug Melissa for coming to my rescue with her generous lending of her iPhone and speaker.
My voice is shot. My nerves are frayed. My pride in my team is overwhelming. My anticipation of the coming NCAA tournament is going to keep me on edge for awhile. God I love this time of year when Basketball reigns supreme. My survival is in doubt, but what a way to go.

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